Remembering Melody Matinee premieres on KOAM
Tune in to KOAM Channel 7 at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 12
PITTSBURG, Kan. – A member of the KOAM family who was a beloved pioneer of Four-State broadcasting has passed away.
Virgil Glenn was known for his skills as a guitar-picker and occasional mandolin player on KOAM radio beginning in 1949. He became a performer on KOAM-TV beginning in the 1950s. First, on the program “Circle 7 Jamboree” and later, as a regular on “Melody Matinee.”
PITTSBURG, Kan. – Remembering Melody Matinee, looking back at a piece of 4-State history, premiers this Saturday on KOAM-TV.
Thousands of 4-State residents grew up watching local programs produced by KOAM-TV, including Melody Matinee, the longest-running local music program.
“The long-running music show was really a blend of two programs that premiered in 1954,” said show producer and KOAM creative services director, Dale Switzer. “Melody Matinee originally consisted of thirty minutes of pleasant keyboard favorites played at midday, while Circle 7 Jamboree was a spirited hootenanny in front of a live studio audience on Saturday nights” continued Switzer. Starting out at half an hour, Circle 7 had expanded to 90 minutes before leaving the airwaves in the fall of 1956. The following spring, four musicians from Circle 7 joined the cast of Melody Matinee for a “tryout run” that lasted 28 years.
Missouri Southern State University Communications Department was set to honor the program as a Pioneer Broadcast earlier this year and KOAM-TV general manager Danny Thomas asked Switzer to put together a 3-to-5 minute video for the awards banquet, which ended up being postponed until next April because of the pandemic. As Switzer was researching, writing and producing he said “it was like getting back together with a group of old friends I hadn’t seen in decades.” Switzer has worked at the station since 1975 and is its longest-tenured active employee and historian.
Switzer says he received guidance from local historian J.T. Knoll, previously-unpublished photos donated by Ralph McGeorge and Nadine Bryant, a digital dub of the show’s final episode provided by Lucas O’Toole, tireless and expert participation of the show’s host and KOAM Executive Producer Dowe Quick, who has worked at KOAM since 1980, and camerawork from KFJX-TV general manager Darren Dishman. “Remembering Melody Matinee” will debut Saturday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m. on KOAM.
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