In November, 1968 KQV Radio gave birth to a nightly series of stories devoted to the most unlikely of characters, Turkeyman. The Original 1968 series was voiced by KQV newsman Bob Harvey as Turkeyman and narrated by KQV personality Bob Wilson. Turkey Man followed the exploits of Bryce Lovely, full-time perfume salesman from Shadyside, turned part-time Turkeyman, arch enemy of evil doers and dirty communists. Harry West, Gary Gears, Fred Winston and other participated as well. (Available in realaudio or mp3)
|Bob Harvey on
Turkeyman . . .
"The concept for Turkeyman came from the fertile mind of KQV p.d. Mike McCormick. The 60's TV show "Batman" was a hit and that spawned a funny radio version called "Chickenman" which WTAE picked up. They were rock radio back then and after KQV's fat ratings. McCormick decided that Bryce Lovely - fearless fighter of crime and or
evil had to have a stereotypical lisp and sound femme. I was called in on a Friday afternoon in November of 1968 and was told to create this femme crime fighters voice and be ready to record the following Monday. I attended a party for station folks over that weekend and the voice of the swishy crime fighter was born. I was concerned that such a voice would upset some of our listeners. But young females thoughts the series was hysterical ... and since that was our demographic and they controlled the radio the series was a hit.
"The voices were of Harry West (who wrote the first scripts), Bob Wilson, Gary Wallace Gears, Fred Winston and others that we would drag in to do parts. The series was aired on the Todd Chase show in the evenings from 11/68 thru early in 1969. When Jim Quinn returned to KQV evenings the series was abruptly cancelled since Jim didn't like anything that was funnier than him.
"In 1974 pd Jim Carnegie revived Turkeyman. This trip the voices included Larry Clark and Joe Fenn and others. Turkeyman lost his lisp due to complaints by gay rights organizations. In the middle of one of the episodes Turkeyman caught a cold and the femme lisp became a nasal voice. We would record a week's worth of shows in an evening and those evenings would become events attended by guests such as off duty station people to the femme's de jour. Copious amounts of wine also helped make
the recordings even more fun. By this time I was writing most of the scripts. When the series was finally cancalled ... we had run out of local things to talk about and this was about the end of the golden age of radio. I was pleased to work with so many voices of quality and in a humorous kind of way."
on Turkeyman . . . as remembered,
thirty five years later.
"Driving home one night to Ingomar, PA, back in 1968, and monitoring the market... I heard a promo on WWSW saying that ... CHICKENMAN was now on his way to the Steel City!!! Welllll ... having broadcast Mr. Chickenman at KOIL/Omaha, NB ... prior to my KQV job, I was quite well aware of this Chicken's competitive potential.
Put a major plan in place." "O.K. I did.!!!")
(01) KQV & Turkeyman would burn the idea of WWSW having Chickenman as a staff fowl first! And, WWSW might not even possess the complete package of Chickenman yet. giving us a free competitive advantage.
(02) Since Chickenman was not an inexpensive sleuth ... I thought there might be a very good chance that WWSW would broadcast the entire series ... due to their out-of-pocket investment. KQV could then initiate a free-for-us promotional WAR between our Turkeyman and their Chickenman. WRONG! Our friends at WWSW sucked up the expense ... and hastily retired Chickenman to the hen house ... never to be heard from again (although to mend fences with Dick Orkin, I did buy The TOOTH FAIRY for Lujack after returning to WLS).
(03) Of most importance, however, was our new AM Traffic Time on-air personality ... who was Harry West, of the Harry West Show. I liked Harry because he had a natural feel for radio comedy .... and he really enjoyed having fun on the air. An extra and unexpected asset that came along with Harry, was that Harry sounded like Pittsburgh; it could have been his home. Although uncomfortable for a while, he warmed-up to the idea of Turkeyman (it originally was broadcast exclusively on his show) and was now moving into the direction I wanted both him and his show to go.
On the night of the aforementioned Ingomar drive ... I spent the entire evening outlining a month's worth of content ideas and wrote the first three scripts for Turkeyman. Luckily I still had all of the Chickenman production effects and had even brought them with me to Pittsburgh. We were in Turkeyman business now!
Coincidentally, I had advanced Bob Wilson to Creative Director for KQV while he additionally served as General Manager for WDVE. (his highly professional skills were now available from 8am-5pm ... and beyond). Fred Winston was now on board from WKYC/Cleveland ... and Gary Gears would soon join us from Armed Forces Radio in Vietnam. (Bob, Fred, Gary and I had previously worked together when I was Program Director for KOIL/Omaha, NB.) It WAS a dream production team ... everybody could write, announce, create special voices and special effects, produce, direct, and chew Wrigley at the same time. Oh yes ... each had 'natural voices' that made the old fashioned NBC Radio Network announcers sound Like capons!
The morning after the night before ... the guys and I got together and reviewed the options. We all agreed that Turkeyman was a GO (thankfully I had earlier brushed the idea past John Gibbs ... leader and General Manager, who also had a (hidden but) great appreciation for humor. John liked the idea but indicated that we might be a bit conservative at the onset. Of COURSE John ...)!
It was decided that all content should always be local or localized; some characters could often be actual residents of the Pittsburgh metro, more rather than less. I guess I was the Continuity Acceptance person who watched out for libel and slander things. Then we rewrote the original three scripts ... added and detracted bits and stuff ... and when everybody started to break up each other ... it was production SHOWTIME! The rest is history.
Ahhhh .... I'm very sorry, just excuse me please ... there IS just one more thing ...
... it's both the preeminent and culminating announcement of Turkeyman himself!!!! (it's self?). NOW the one, and the very ONLY .... never-to-be-forgotten and always- to- be- remembered ... Captain Bob Harvey, who will both write for and act as the feathered friend of those who are right and righteous ... alone and lonely ... trodden down and beaten down ... the good people who are always in need, of ... a "James Taylor."
Bob was ' da MAN! But, please always keep in mind that he had both his hands impaled with countless straight pins preventing any personal-riotous laughter, to erupt, as he read many, many Bob Newhart -- Johnny Carson -- David Letterman -- Bob Hope and Freeman Gosden ... (who's HE?) ... type scripts. Bob did keep good company, but It indeed was a very tough gig for the Captain .... as Tennille never ever helped him at all!
But he thrived and he survived ... and he lived a fowl life, all the way ... to retirement!
And today he is still known ... all around the North hills and the South hills ... and the steep hills and the down hills as ... THE O L D TURKEYMAN ... FROM THE BIG 14, K Q V!
WHOYAAAAAHhhhhhhhh Bob! YOU made it all happen! You had the toughest part ... and you constantly delivered the best bit(s) and that's what made OLD TURKEYMAN gobble!!! You indeed can take great pride in your own personal performance. Because, in your own way ... you did ... BROADWAY. Damn Good Show.
Postscript: several members of the KQV staff continuously submitted great content ideas ... and ... new character names ... and often did voices. It kinda''' grew into a STATION thing ... which was good and timely for morale building ... because we were just about ready to kick some BIG TIME BUTT of that McKeesport minor league, in-your-dreams, Top 40 radio station start up .... that certainly didn't!
Oh ... Harry West of the Harry West Show? Harry became papa to a radio crafted version of the then ... widely popular, NBC-TV show ... LAUGH IN. It became #1 teens and 18-34 men and women. His total 6am-10am ARB ratings were consistently #1 in Pittsburgh ... only KDKA had larger ratings .... 65+ ... and, McKeesport WHO?
It was the same great KQV production dream team ... and a program that was certainly out of place for format radio (THEN) ... but like many things that should never have worked ... it DID It DID!
P/SS: ABC Owned Radio Stations President Harold L. Neal heard about the project and shortly after Turkeyman's inauguration, Hal visited KQV from NYC. He asked Mr. Gibbs for an audition of all the produced shows ... and, according to his own words ... "you guys are good .... VERY GOOD ... but CRAZY! They were ... and they were.
Mr. Neal graduated from ABC Owned WXYZ/Detroit and had been a network staff announcer and actor on early ABC Network programs such as The Lone Ranger, Captain Midnight, and many other ABC Network radio programs produced at WXYZ. He had an appreciation for the work done on Turkeyman, and later asked me for a copy of the series, which was duplicated and delivered promptly..
. . . The Birth Of Turkeyman
(Original Airdate: Monday, Nov 18, 1968)
||Episode 2 . . . Turkeyman
Stumbles on a Case
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Nov 19, 1968)
Episode 3 . . . Turkeyman Discovers an Odor in Pittsburgh
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Nov 20, 1968)
Episode 4 . . . Turkeyman Helps The Beatles
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Nov 21, 1968)
Episode 5 . . . Turkeyman Helps PAT's Financial Woes
(Original Airdate: Friday, Nov 22, 1968)
||Episode 6 . . . Turkeyman
Patrols Shadyside & is Turkey-Napped
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Nov 23, 1968)
Episode 7 . . . Turkeyman Is Held Captive Hanging Upside Down
(Original Airdate: Monday, Nov 25, 1968)
Episode 8 . . . Turkeyman Gets Sold for a Song
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Nov 26, 1968)
Episode 9 . . . Turkeyman Gets Plucked for Thanksgiving Turkey
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Nov 27, 1968)
Episode 10 . . . Thanksgiving Episode . . .
. . . Turkeyman Escapes While his Captors Laugh
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Nov 28, 1968)
||Episode 11 . . . Turkeyman
Gets Go-Go Dancers Costume from Pawn Shop
(Original Airdate: Friday, Nov 29, 1968)
Episode 12 . . . Turkeyman Has to Lay a Dozen Eggs
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Nov 30, 1968)
Episode 13 . . . Turkeyman Goes for Job as University of Pittsburgh Head
(Original Airdate: Monday, Dec 2, 1968)
Episode 14 . . . Turkeyman Interviews with Chancellor Posvar
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 3, 1968)
Episode 15 . . . Turkeyman Reads Letters in Response to Pitt Coaching Job
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Dec 4, 1968)
||Episode 16 . . . Turkeyman
Prepares to Meet Blue Ribbon Committee
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Dec 5, 1968)
Episode 17 . . . Turkeyman Gets Turned Down by Pitt
(Original Airdate: Friday, Dec 6, 1968)
Episode 18 . . . Turkeyman Pleads His Case to Pitt
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Dec 7, 1968)
Episode 19 . . . Turkeyman Goes for Job as Tax Assessor
(Original Airdate: Monday, Dec 9, 1968)
Episode 20 . . . Turkeyman Meets Tax Boss Mr. Scrounge
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 10, 1968)
||Episode 21 . . . Turkeyman
Learns How to Assess Taxes
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Dec 11, 1968)
Episode 22 . . . Turkeyman Is Sent to Bob Cratchit’s Family
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Dec 12, 1968)
Episode 23 . . . Turkeyman Learns Psychology of Taxation
(Original Airdate: Friday, Dec 13, 1968)
Episode 24 . . . Turkeyman Looks for Tax Irregularities and Misses Call
from Mr. Rooney
(Original Airdate: Monday, Dec 16, 1968)
Episode 25 . . . Turkeyman Heads to Cratchit's and Considers Applying
for Steelers Coaching Vacancy
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 17, 1968)
||Episode 26 . . . Turkeyman
Gets Lost on Way to Cratchit's
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 18, 1968)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Promises Mayor Bore It Would Snow for
Christmas and It Does – 37 Feet
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 24, 1968)
Episode . . . Bryce Lovely Opens His Christmas Presents
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 26, 1968)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Goes to Department Store to Return His Jam
Jams and Gets Stuck in After Christmas Sale
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 27, 1968)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Plans NY Eve Party for Mom-Mom, and Orders
Zombies Instead of Kool-Aid
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 30, 1968)
||Episode . . . Turkeyman
and Mom-Mom Spends NY Eve at Turkey Trot
Club And Turkeyman Gets Drunk
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Dec 31, 1968)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Tries to Get Over His Hangover from NY Eve and
Gets Scolded by Mom-Mom
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Enters the New Year Looking for New Adventures
and Considers Opening Turkeyman International and Writes
Letter to President Looking for Financing
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Jan. 2, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Flies Titanic Airlines to Washington for
(Original Airdate: Friday, Jan. 17, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Flies to Walawala Washington
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Jan. 18, 1969)
||Episode . . . Turkeyman
Calls LBJ to Apologize for Missing Inauguration
(Original Airdate: Monday, Jan. 20, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Takes Job as Flood Watcher
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman is in Controversy as Mayor Bore Wants Flood
Watcher Job for his Nephew
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Learns Flood Watcher Job has Stipend of $27,000
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Jan. 23, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Applies for Job as Pittsburgh Sheriff Instead of
(Original Airdate: Friday, Jan. 24, 1969)
||Episode . . . Turkeyman
is Laughed at in City Offices
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Jan. 25, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman is Given Sheriff Job by the Mayor
(Original Airdate: Monday, Jan. 27, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Meets his Secretary Elwood and Gets Invitation
to KQV Bridal Fair
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Decides to go to Bridal Fair and Accidentally
Gives Away His Identity to Elwood
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Denies He Is Bryce Lovely
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Jan. 30, 1969)
||Episode . . . Turkeyman
Is Denied Admittance to KQV Bridal Fair by
(Original Airdate: Friday, Jan. 31, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Finds Out About Fragrant Violator
(Original Airdate: Monday, Feb. 3, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Meets with Mayor About Fragrant Violator
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Investigates Hold-Up at Downtown Perfume Shop
(Original Airdate: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Finds Out His Secretary Elwood is Fragrant
(Original Airdate: Thursday, Feb 6, 1969)
||Episode . . . Turkeyman
Seeks a New Secretary Who Sounds Like
(Original Airdate: Friday, Feb. 7, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Hears from his Conscience Who Suggests He
Help the Penguins
(Original Airdate: Saturday, Feb 8, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Calls Ed Sullivan Instead of Red Sullivan of
(Original Airdate: Monday, Feb. 10, 1969)
Episode . . . Turkeyman Investigates Bank Robbery (final episode?)
(Original Airdate: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1969)
|Well ... Be listening weekly as the KQV Website presents exclusively another chilling chapter in the life of the most feared fowl Pittsburgh has ever known - Turkeyman - He's Always There - He's Always There !|