Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge is comprised of 30 questions (one for each day of this month) regarding your background and history.
Day 15: When did your family get their first color television set? Do you remember the first show that you watched on it?
Yep, I’m old enough to have been there when our color television set was delivered and set up in our living room. It was very excited and ours was one of the first houses on the block to have a color TV. I think it may have been in 1957 or 1958.
Back then there were only four channels to watch — the three major broadcast networks and one local, independent channel. No cable. No HBO or Showtime. No MTV. No VCRs or DVRs. No streaming channels. No Netflix and chill.
TVs back then didn’t come with remote control devices. I served as my household’s human remote device, since my role was to get up, walk over to the TV, turn it on and off, and change the channels as directed by my parents.
I was also responsible for moving the rabbit ears (antenna) that sat on top of the TV console in order to improve the picture reception. Additionally, because of inconsistencies in color between channels and sometimes between shows broadcast on the same channel, I often had to manually adjusting the color and contrast so that skin tones didn’t look too green, blue, or red.
So what did we watch on our color TV? There weren’t too many shows broadcast in color when we first got it, so our options were limited to a handful of shows in color. My father’s favorite show was “Bonanza,” which was one of the first westerns that was in color. My mother’s favorite was “The Perry Como Show,” a variety show and another early adopter to color TV. Oh how she adored Perry Como.
And it should come as no surprise that my favorite show in color was: