Viewer memories of WALB

Here are some viewer comments you may find interesting, as we move closer to the 50th Anniversary of Channel 10.  These are from our e-mail bag, and are posted with the newest at the top. (Part I)



Hello Channel 10,
I left Albany and joined the Air Force after graduating from Dougherty High School in 1978.  I'm still in the Air Force and stationed at Grand Forks AFB North Dakota.  I still keep up with what's going on in Albany by visiting the WALB web site.  I've found the site to be a very informative site, keep up the good work.
While growing up in south Georgia during the 60s and 70s, WALB was the only station our family watched.  My first exposure to television as a kid was watching cartoons as a small child.  Some of my favorite programs were Bonanza, Adam-12, Emergency, Circus Parade, and the Monkeys.  Also, I remember watching the Flintstones everyday after school.  While I was in the 4th grade, I was on Circus Parade twice, I don't remember the name of the host, I think his last name was Nesmith, but I do remember Clem-Clown.  Clem-Clown never talked, he would blow a horn that he had tied to his waist when he wanted some ones attention.   
Some other high lights I remember are watching Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live when it started in the mid-seventies.  Also I remember hearing Gill Patrick's voice every morning while I was getting ready for school.  Tell everybody that remembers me, "Greetings from the Frozen North".  This Winter our temperature got down to -42 a few times and that was not wind chill.  It's April now and were slowly thawing out.
Take care Channel 10 and keep up the good work.      
Dale McDonald




Hello there, and boy do I remember Gil Patrick! I watched his weather forecast when getting ready for school as a child. I'm now 34 yrs old and fondly remember Gil and when he did the weather I hoped for snow a lot (lol) growing up. I truely cried when I heard that Gil Patrick passed away. It was like loosing part of the family.

I watched Channel 10 for years and really enjoyed the local news. I watched Ruthie's hairstyles change and grow just like channel 10. Love ya Ruthie! I loved it when you did Town and Country and wished that they would let you do it again. When you inteviewed local folks it meant a lot to me.

I like watching the local news cast and seeing what is going on in our part of the state. I enjoy seeing local news and reports and very much appreciate all the efforts that WALB does in the communities. Way to go on 50 years and hope you see 50 more!!!
Thanks for the memories,


Patti J. Smith




I can't remember the year, but a local R&B band called the Velvetones were on the Town and Country show. They were Albany State students.  The Velvetones moved to Atlanta, where they opened for several national acts in the late sixties and early seventies.  Wilbur "Geno" Jordan the band founder and leader died in 1996 in Atlanta.


William Jordan

Wow, where do you begin?  I'm 37, and my fondest memories of anything to do with television all include channel 10.  There was the NBC peacock that emerged into "living color", the cartoon shows in the afternoons, "Uncle Doug", and Clem Clown, who I remember meeting when I was a little boy when he came to Nashville.  


The personalities, way too many to name here, but they have included JimDavis (earliest news man I can remember), Grady Shadburn, Jerry Cannady, EdLightsey, john Varner, tom Bryant, ducky wall, Jim Wallace, Susie Jacobs,Ruthie!!, Dawn Hobby, Ben Roberts, Yolanda!, Kent Williams, and who canForget Gil Patrick?!!  I'm not old enough to remember the days when he was there, but Dawson Mathis who was originally from Nashville anchored the

news at one time. 

Don't forget all the interesting people Joe Courson has introduced to us.

When I was growing up, there was always Gil there to get your morning going with Today in Georgia and then a few minutes of the today show before getting off to school.  I even remember watching as Gil's coffee cup collection grew and grew. 

As I reached high school, I can remember FridayNights staying up late after football games to watch Johnny Carson, so Gilhelped wake us up and Johnny helped tuck us in.

The many memories of town & country with Gil and Susie and later CynthiaHunkele and then Ruthie made it a "must see" around lunch time during thesummer and on breaks from school.  What a wide panel of guests has appeared, including the medicine man!  Don't forget the Christmas specials with the children of WALB employees!

Then there have been the many road trips and live broadcasts walb has made from the expo and the exchange club fair and the parades such as the pecanfestival back in the 1980s that my high school band marched in.

Remembering just Gil would fill up a letter, but there was the time Gil predicted snow and it did -- from the rafters of the station.  Of course what about the toupee and when he decided it was time to quit wearing it? 

And how different the weather forecast looks now than it did 25 years ago!"Live super Doppler 10 radar" is a long way removed from the days whenRadar first became part of the broadcast.  Remember the days when Gil drew the fronts and high's as he went?  Now it's all computer animated.

You can't talk about channel 10 without talking about the Locker RoomReport on football Friday nights (even if my school usually is on the shortend of the score). 

Channel 10 burned when I was in 4th grade, and it was like losing a member of the family for a little while until the station got back on its feet.When WALB rose from the ashes, however, it seems like it took off and hasn't stopped getting better since.

Congratulations walb, and  Ihope to be around to help you celebrate #100!


Skeeter Parker

Nashville, Georgia


Thoughts of Captain Mercury bring back vivid memories of sunny afternoons after school.  In between dinner time and the time we got out of our school clothes, we would gather round and watch cartoons with captain mercury.  Life was fun and times were good!!!

Debbie Wilson


When I was a little girl - I was on the Captain Mercury show for a birthday party.

When I was in the 1st grade I was on town & country and participated in a modeling show for Guys & Dolls (I think) and we were showing the latest infashions in swimwear.  My mother took a television to my school so my friends could watch me model on TV.That was approximately 41 years ago.

Adayna Broome

Sale City, Ga.


I have been watching WALB for all of the 50 yrs. At first in the front window of T. L. Kirbo appliance store in Camilla (kinda of snowy) I knew Grady Shadburn and also went to school with his sister. Sure has been a long time, but have enjoyed having a station that represents all of the  areas around here. I live in Douglas now, but still watch.


Keep it up


Roy White


I grew up watching WALB in Valdosta.  In those pre-cable days, channel 10 and channel 6 were about the only stations we could watch.  I remember seeing George Ort tout all the new toys on Saturday mornings, hear Newana Hill's soothing voice and seeing Grady Shadburn as captain mercury (and even had the chance to be on his show as a Cub Scout!) 

 Who would have known that would be my first job out of college?  I had the privilege of working with some great personalities for 11 years, and had the task of promoting WALB's 35th anniversary.

Happy golden anniversary to a station that gave me my love of television!  I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!!


Lee McMichael

Walb promotions manager/PSA director 1979-1991

I grew up in Albany in Lake Park in the early 60's. I was on 'captain mercury' several times whenever a friend had a birthday party. Captain mercury came on every day at 5 pm and showed cartoons and all the kids said the same thing. " I wanna say hi to momma, daddy, and everybody that's watching".


Stan Davis


My wife, Debbie, and i have been on the town and country show together on two occasions.  Once, Ruthie interviewed us during a weeklong spotlight on relationships.  My wife and I are in our second marriage with stepchildren and we were invited to discuss our challenges. 

Another time was when we went on with four of our five boys.  Two sets of twins.  We were able to show the result of a test my wife did when buying shoes for one set.  She bought shoes for each twin one at a time without the other knowing which pair his brother chose.  They both chose the same pair.

To this day they still remember the visit and occasionally speak of it.  Thank you WALB for 50 years of service to southwest Georgia.

Joe Blanton

Happy anniversary WALB!!!!!  Channel 10 has always been a part of my 52 years.  Our family moved to Albany in 1952, when I was born.  I have grown up and grown old watching WALB.  Even though I have lived the last 25 years outside of Albany, I always came back home where my parents still live and have always watched channel 10 if it was available where I lived. 

When I was in the second grade, my Brownie troop was on the Captain Mercury Show.  That was probably in 1960.  The photo of captain mercury on this web site and the same one that was shown on TV announcing the 50th anniversary was the very show I visited that day so long ago.  I was amazed when i saw myself in the background.  I really would like a copy of that picture if possible.

My family always watched the Johnny Carson show too.  I also remember all the live telethons in Albany and the celebrities that came to town and was on walb 24hrs. For that weekend!!  What great memories!!! 

Thank you for them all,

Ann Adams



My first sight of a TV was very exciting.  Who else appeared on that screen, but WALB, channel 10.  I can remember it like it was yesterday (about 49 years ago).  My family was on the low end of the poor scale.  Don't know how we obtained a TV but we did. 

Of course with those rabbit ears we could only get channel 10 (maybe that was the only channel in the area), but that was ok because we were the most popular family on our street.  Every evening all the neighbors would gather at our house to watch TV.  The crowd grew so large that my father would place the TV on our front porch on N. Washington Street so everyone could stand in the yard and watch TV. 

I don't remember a lot about those early programs, but they were fantastic no matter what they were.  WALB still provides my morning wakeup and usually in the evenings as well.  Thanks for being there then and now. 

Mike Kierce

Albany, Ga


I have a lot of WALB  memories.  In the very early days of WALB, my mother, Mary Mauldin, had an art program.  I believe it was on Sunday afternoon.  I remember being on it when she was showing a portrait she had done.

  We were on at home with the Huelicks several times, once concerning art and once because we are related to George Washington and it was Feb.  I remember the contest to name Walbo the clown and being on Capt. Mercury.

Also I have appeared on town and country and on Gil's morning show in connection with the Dougherty County Saddle Club, Albany charity horse show and Albany autumn classic horse show.

I have grown up with WALB.  When my uncle brought us a TV down from his store in Atlanta, we could only receive WSB in Atlanta.  We were so happy when Albany got it's own station.  I was 10 when this happened.

Thanks for many wonderful years.

Carol Mauldin Rathel

Happy 50th!!!

I remember the visit I made to the Circus Parade as a Brownie in the early 70's.  Our little troop of girls, from Putney, Ga, were so excited and thought we were just about the most important little girls in southwest Georgia.  I also remember the MDA telethons that were always held at the mall and how exciting it was when we were visited by soap opera stars and various other "stars".  I was the marketing director at Albany mall for several years and our shoppers always loved it when "town and country"  was shown live at center court during the holiday season -- Ruthie and I had a lot of fun with the mall merchants.

Rhyne Ellington Owenby

Villa Rica, Ga


Congratulations on 50 years.  I remember coming to walb in the mid 50's and seeing wrestling outside under some trees. Grady Shadburn, Gil Patrick, and others who have gone on, made it great and you all are keeping it going.

Hoyt Dorminey

I want to thank channel 10 for all the memories of growing up with such a great TV station. Now living in Texarkana Texas, i still keep up with events via Internet. I always wanted to work in TV and radio; I guess I just like the media field.

I was lucky, I guess to get in to radio in Albany, the old WWCW 101.7 for about a year and a half, and here in Texarkana I worked in news as a photographer with the local NBC TV station (KTAL). I remember Gil Patrick one of the greatest meteorologist.

&, ;nbs, p;

I remember the Jerry Lewis telethons, but most of all, loved the channel 10 news team, as I know they worked hard to bring southwest Georgia the best in news coverage.

Happy 50th birthday WALB, keep up the good work and thanks again for all the memories.          


 Albert Henderson

 Texarkana, Texas

I remember being about 15 and our church in 83 84 (Victory Tabernacle with Bobby Thompson) came and sang a few songs our youth group did about 5 songs that walb showed on Sundays, I sure wish I had a copy of that to show my children.

I also remember when Gil Patrick sent me a letter that helped me pass a report I needed help on with weather. My children now 14 and 13 each remember getting their pictures on WALB weather at home.

Thanks WALB

Happy 50

Melinda Husted




I think the best memories of WALB are when you had the telethons on from the auditorium downtown. You would invite all the Hollywood stars you could to be there and the fondest memory for me as a young boy was the time when the telethon had Jayne Mansfield on. We watched, as people would come in with cans and jars full of change to put in the big tub. So group of us young boys decided we wanted to collect money just to take it up there to be on television.

We went around Camilla collecting and got my mother to take us up there where we got to meet Mansfield and needless to say we also got on television which made us a little popular at school the next few days.

My other memories involve the time when captain mercury came to Camilla to do a show at the theatre. I took my two other brothers, who suffer from retardation, to see him and join in the audience. It was magic for them and they never missed a show on television until he left.

Your station has provided many memories for me that i could go on forever about but these are the two that stand out.

Happy anniversary and keep doing what you do best.

Thanks for the memories

John Jimenez


Just one of the things I remember most about channel 10 was when Gil Patrick forecasted snow & it didn't snow outside but it did snow on him inside the studio. They dumped a can full of white imitation snow on top of him (live) on the air during his weather for-cast. Also one time during the sports one of the big floodlights in the ceiling blew while Ducky Wall was giving the sports (live) on the air. That was a real blast! I’m 46 & channel 10 was like part of my family, all my life. Not a day passed that I didn't wake up & go to sleep with channel 10.




 Bennie spires, Wray, Ga.


I remember the three times I appeared on TV. At channel 10.  The first time, I was six years old.  My Brownie troop got to visit the station and be on the captain mercury show.  I was picked to open the snack cake (the sponsor's product) and I couldn't get the package opened. 

The second time, I was almost eight and the girl who lived across the street from us had a birthday party at the station.  It was so neat to be in the audience.

The third time, I was in the 9th grade at Dougherty Junior High.  I was in the chorus and we appeared on Town and Country.  We sang the song, "Spinning Wheel".  To this day whenever I hear that song, I still get butterflies in my stomach.

Congratulations on 50 years!!

Teresa Smith



Hmm, I don't know where to begin here.  Growing up in Albany as a kid during the 1970's and 1980's (I was born in 1971), I have so many memories of channel 10, there are too many to mention.


First, I remember when channel 10 aired the news at six o'clock every weeknight, back in the , "News Scene" and "Newscenter 10" days, and not at five as most stations do now.

I was old enough to remember when anchors like Jerry Cannady, Mark McClure, and numerous others would go on the air, along , with times when Gil Patrick would use a black magic marker on a yellow map of the united states to plot the weather forecasts, instead of digital graphics and Doppler radars like it is now. 

Anyway, the news would stay on until seven o'clock, when NBC nightly news would come on, and I would see John Chancellor and his wire-rimmed glasses flashing on the screen, saying, "Good Evening", in a crisp, authoritative voice.

Second, I remember the old WALB logo from the 70's, and even today, I still consider it one of the most "groovy" logos in all of television, at least in Georgia.  I can still picture that logo pasted onto many a panoramic background, with the "walb-tv" in lowercase letters on top, the number "10" in the middle, and "Albany, Ga" in capital letters on the bottom, and hearing the announcer blurt out, "WALB-TV channel 10 Albany", just before the station would switch over to NBC for the network shows.  Oh, and I also remember watching game shows like Hollywood Squares, High Rollers, and Jackpot, right before Town and Country.  And that was when school was out, or when I was sick. 

Also, there were times I would stay up late at night, and watch the "Daily Reflections" series, listening to the inspirational messages, before you would hear that voice saying, "This is WALB-TV, channel 10, Albany, Georgia, concluding today's telecasting activity", then would go! Into rambling into all those "TV intercity relay stations, W.A.C.-241...blab bla bla to bla bla bla megahertz, wac-242, bla bla bla to bla bla bla megahertz", and so on.

Third, I think sports was one of the best kept secrets that WALB and NBC were known for.  In fact, I remember the days when NBC sports would broadcast the "Major League Baseball Game of the Week", the NFL, and NCAA basketball via TVS sports. 

Whenever you heard that ominous music going, "daaaaa.....da, da, da. Da da da da da da da da.....da da!", you knew NBC sports was on the air, with the voice of either curt Gowdy or Dick Enberg following with all the action. 

I still remember those times when the announcer would say, "We now pause for station identification, this is the NBC television network!", and then briefly I would hear "WALB-TV Channel 10 Albany". (sorry, I can't help it!) 

I also remember when channel 10 would switch over to ABC for the college football telecasts back when that network was the only game in town, but by seven o'clock Saturday night, the "Lawrence Welk show" would go on, and by the end, the singers would sing: "Good night, sleep tight", then "Emergency!" would follow right at eight o'clock. 

And this was during the 70's. Oh,  and a golden anniversary tribute to WALB wouldn't be complete without mentioning Ducky Wall, who I think has done a remarkable job of doing the sportscasts, especially the high school football picks, as I always looked forward to finding out which teams he thought would win every Friday night.

Sorry I have to go now. But I want to say one more thing.  Happy 50th anniversary, WALB!

Walter L. Johnson II

Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, Ga 31061-1000