KHOF-FM KIDS RADIO PROGRAM
Click on the radio above to listen to an MP3 of Uncle Richard and Rags
© 2013 Joe Snelson
In the late 1960’s and early 70’s KHOF-FM aired a locally originated kids program called Uncle Richard and Rags. What started as a “gap filler” in the program schedule turned out to be pretty popular both with kids and, seemingly more, with Mom’s. The primary characters in the show included Uncle Richard, an older gentleman; Rags, his talking dog; Woody, a person who added to the fun that also played Rollie the rabbit with a high-pitched voice.
One of the regular events on the program featured the Eulalia Street Drum and Bugle Corps which was a marching band. For those that may not be aware of it Eulalia street is a small side street to the north and adjacent to the Faith Center campus located at 1615 S. Glendale Ave in Glendale, CA. The band music, in reality, came from a Salvation Army album.
The staff had fun producing this kid’s show and it was reported that other KHOF staff members would gather around the window looking into the production studio to view the sound effects that would be created and used on the program.
What follows are comments from two of the show’s cast. We are also very pleased to mention that Rick Quintana happened to have in his possession a reel-to-reel audio tape of one of the programs that aired on KHOF-FM. We took that recording and transferred it to an MP3 audio format and have made it available for your listening pleasure. We trust you will enjoy the comments that follow as well as listening to the 15 minute show we have made available.
Uncle Richard & Rags
Van Wood (Woody & Rollie Rabbit):
Van played the part of Woody. Van was the engineer for the show when it started. As time went on, however, he became part of the on-air talent and played the part of Woody and Rollie Rabbit. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with Van through the years and, therefore, were unable to post his comments about the show. Linda Schoch-Davis added this comment about Van. “He ran the afternoon shift on KHOF-FM. He was from my uncle's church in Long Beach, Bethany Chapel. He also sang with the Revival Men's Quartet based from the church.”
Comments from Paul Calentine (Rags the dog):
Rick Quintana was uncle Richard, I [Paul Calentine] was Rags the dog, Woody and the rabbit voice was Van Wood. The title of the show was "Uncle Richard and Rags" I believe we began the show as sort of a lark but it took on a life of its own and Rick and I would just wing it. We added stuff as we went along like sound effects, the recorded voices with the tape running faster. Woody was, at first, just engineering the show until we had him join us in the fun. And it was fun, we had all kinds of silly stuff going on but at the same time we were able to tell a Bible story and get a spiritual point across. Woody was very important to the production of the program because most of the time Rick and I would run into the studio sit down and go without much if any preparation.
Comments from Ricardo “Rick” Quintana (Uncle Richard):
The program was on every day Monday through Friday at 3:00 P.M. The idea was to catch children coming home from school with a feature for them. It also happened during the last hour of my "Perspectives" slot.
Anyway, it was simply a lovable avuncular old guy, Uncle Richard, talking to the children. I [Rick Quintana] played Uncle Richard. Paul Calentine played my faithful talking dog companion, Rags. Van Wood played the part of Woody and Rollie the rabbit. Van used a high-tech technique - record your voice speaking slowly on a tape recorder running at a speed of 3-3/4 inches per second and play it back at 7-1/2 inches per second - to achieve the hyperactive voice of Rollie the Rabbit.
Everyone ad libbed their parts. We had fun music, a story, and various misadventures and fiascoes perpetrated by each character. Uncle Richard was, supposedly, the only sane guy of the bunch. Much of the program depended on puns and word play which most likely went over the heads of the average child listening, but we did have an enthusiastic corps of moms listening.
Once in awhile (most every day,) we would go overboard a bit. One day, being the lover of Salvation Army band music that I am, I played a rollicking march and urged the children to march around the room and step lively to the music. My enthusiasm kicked in and I suggested that they march over their couches and coffee tables. I was puzzled when the phones lit up and mothers were telling me to stop encouraging their children to tromp on their furniture.
As a great believer in the theater-of-the-mind, it was fun to create “soundscapes” that could take the listener from a barnyard to a bathtub at any instant. The redeeming factor for the program was the Bible story which was included in each program. Ah, for the days of live radio. Tune in again, same time, same station when you hear Uncle Richard say, "ya da ti da ti di la la la la.....Well, hi kids, this is your old Uncle Richard and Rags - - - and who knows who else."