Posted by & filed under 1970s.

Fort Worth radio station WBAP 820 was established in 1922 as an AM news and talk show. The station expanded to include the television program WBAP-TV in 1948, and an FM radio station the following year. WBAP shared frequencies on AM radio with the station WFAA until 1970, when they paid WFAA for sole occupancy of 820 kHz. Upon receiving sole occupancy, WBAP 820 became a full-time country music station named “Country Gold.”

Black and white photo of a long van with a bullhorn and antenna on top. On the side is an illustration of a person holding a pick and a gold mining pan, with the words Country Gold.

Country Gold van parked at the Fort Worth Zoo, 1974.

WBAP’s Country Gold anniversary event was an annual music festival held at Arlington Stadium in Arlington, Texas that commemorated WBAP’s switch to country programming.

The following footage is from a WBAP-TV news clip of WBAP’s Country Gold third anniversary event in August, 1973. The video has no sound.

The most notable performance was that of Dolly Parton at WBAP’s Country Gold fourth anniversary event on August 26, 1974.

Photograph of Dolly Parton on stage holding an acoustic guitar and wearing a green bedazzled jumpsuit.

Dolly Parton performing a Country Gold, 1974.

Below, Parton can be seen posing next to WBAP 820 DJ Don Thomson.

Photograph of Don Thomson with his arm around Dolly Parton's shoulders. He wears a light blue leisure suit, and she wears a green and bedazzled jumpsuit. Other people surround them.

Don Thomson and Dolly Parton at Country Gold, 1974.

Hank Williams Jr. played at both the third and fourth anniversary events. The following photograph shows him performing at WBAP’s Country Gold third anniversary event in 1973.

Black and white photo of Hank Williams Jr. performing on stage. He holds a guitar and wears a cowboy hat. Other musicians are behind him.

Hank Williams Jr. performing at Country Gold, 1973.

Other notable performances include Bill Monroe, Leona Williams, Charlie Walker, Joe Stampley, George Lindsey, Johnny Duncan, Wynn Stewart, Red Steagall, Ronnie Milsap, Jeanne Pruett, and Chubby Wise.

Below, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys can be seen standing with Leona Williams at the third anniversary event.

Black and white photo of Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys standing on a field in a stadium. Two men stand with guitars.

Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys at Country Gold, 1973.

WBAP also released a compilation album called WBAP’s Country Gold Hits in May of 1973, along with a record book by the same name containing lyrics, chords, and sheet music for various country songs. The cover page of the record book can be viewed below.

Black and white photograph of Country Gold Hits record book, with list of songs and artists. An illustration of a man with guitar and cowboy hat is in the lower right corner.

Country Gold record book, 1973.

WBAP-FM became KCSC in 1973 when it switched over to all-country programming; at the time, it was the only country station on FM radio. WBAP 820 is still broadcasting on AM radio.

More photographs of WBAP’s Country Gold third and fourth anniversary events can be found in the KXAS-NBC 5 News Collection on The Portal to Texas History.

Check out Mike Shannon’s Dallas-Fort Worth AM Station History site to learn more about local radio history.

Posted by & filed under 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s.

In 1930 Paul and Thomas Braniff founded Braniff Airways, Inc. The two petitioned the US Postal Service for a Chicago-Dallas airmail route in 1935, making Braniff Airways the first company to hold that route, and allowing them to eventually grow into a major airline company. Braniff assisted in World War II, grew their passenger business, bought out other airline companies, grew their fleet, and expanded their routes across North, Central, and South America. In 1958, at the height of business, Braniff Airways built a new terminal and facilities at Dallas Love Field called the Braniff Operations and Maintenance Base, as well as built a new headquarters building at Exchange Park.

View this 1982 KXAS story for more history about Braniff Airways.

By 1982 the airline ceased operations because of the high cost of fuel and the increased competition from new airlines after the airline deregulation. This 1983 clip describes the work for Braniff and the Hyatt Corperation to come to a deal, extinguishing Braniff’s debts, and returning to operations under the Hyatt umbrella.

The Hyatt Braniff model failed by 1989. Additional attempts to resurrect the Braniff name in airlines were made over the years, but none were ultimately successful in bringing the airline back to life.

You can find additional Braniff related clips and scripts from the NBC 5/KXAS Archive on The Portal to Texas History.

You can also find photographs of the Braniff headquarters, Love Field location, and many celebrities departing from Braniff planes in the John Rogers and Georgette de Bruchard Collection.

Additionally, the UNT Oral History department has collected a series of oral history interviews related to Braniff Airways.

Posted by & filed under 1960s, 1970s.

NBC 5 / KXAS has done many stories on North Texas artists throughout the years, showing their craft and skills. We have brought together some of this footage of artists at work from the 1960s and 1970s, to share some of the wonderful footage and their stories.

In the following footage, a metalsmith, known only by his first name Jim, shares some of the beautiful knives he has crafted, along with information on techniques for working with metal.

In the following clip, cartoonist Lex Graham talks about how entered his career, and shows off some of his quick sketch work. Graham is best known for “The Back Forty Calendars.”

This local welder, whose name is unknown, shows his skills in creating art from steel. He uses his welding skills to create scenes depicting stories of war and history.

The following clip features glassworker Bill Alexander sculpting a small figurine from glass.

Posted by & filed under 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s.

Aerial view of a large shopping mall with parking lots all around it. To the left and bottom of the image are highways.

NorthPark Center, c. 1970.

NorthPark Center, a Dallas hallmark situated near the intersection of Loop 12 and US 75, has been a staple for perusing the latest fashion trends and modern art since its opening in 1965. The original L-shaped structure took four years to build, and was the largest indoor shopping mall at the time. Developer Raymond Nasher, whose family would later develop the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, established and ran the center until his daughter Nancy Nasher later took over in 1995. In 2006 NorthPark Center underwent a major expansion making it the second largest mall in Texas.

This KXAS script describes the interest on opening day, filled with ribbon cuttings and shoppers checking out the stores and enjoying the art, fountains, and greenery surrounding them. Counteracting the confusion of the city, as Raymond Nasher saw it. 

Yellow paper with typewritten text filling the right half of the page. The title reads North Park, and there are hand written edits throughout.

North Park script, August 19, 1965.(Full Script)

NorthPark Center’s anchor stores have traditionally been up-scale like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and briefly Barneys. The sometimes aspirational wares sold in these stores is mirrored in this 1965 clip featuring the Bark and Purr Petshop, selling mink fur coats for dogs! (Dog gifts script)

NorthPark Center has become a defining feature of Dallas as a destination for shopping and culture. The mall also currently houses a branch of the Dallas Public Library called Bookmarks, which caters to children 12 years old and younger. Find more NorthPark Center history on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1960s, 1970s.

The Dallas Opera has been a major part of Dallas’ climate of culture and sophistication since it’s opening performance in 1957. The early reputation of the Dallas Opera was surely boosted by the presence of world-renowned opera singer Maria Callas, in that first performance.

Black and white photo of white woman sitting in front of an image of Dallas. She wears a black fur hat, coat and pearls.

Maria Callas, 1958, Georgette de Bruchard. From the John Rogers and Georgette de Bruchard Collection.

Maria Callas is still considered one of the greatest sopranos of all time, with a distinctive voice, and wide vocal range during her prime. Callas was born in 1923 in New York, began vocal training in Greece at the age of 13, and established her career in Italy.

Callas worked for many major opera companies throughout her career, and her return to the Dallas Opera in 1958, helped to continue to establish the company within the Dallas arts community. Callas performed in La Traviata and Medea in the 1958 season.

Yellowed paper with typewritten text filling most of the page. Many hand marked edits are made throughout.

Maria Callas news script, October 23, 1958.

Callas grew a reputation as a diva, and was often reported as being difficult to work with by media outlets. Some of the reporting in these NBC 5/KXAS scripts is exemplary of the tone taken to describe her, calling her temperamental, describing supposed feuds with other singers, her disinterest in answering questions upon her arrival at the airport at 4am, and her ongoing divorce proceedings.

Detail of a yellowed page with type written text. Handwritten corrections throughout.

Detail, Callas news script, November 9, 1959.

Callas’ divorce, and affair turned relationship with Aristotle Onassis allowed her to step away from her career, which had become difficult due to both health issues and the whirlwind of media and bad press.

Callas returned to Dallas in 1968, to be honored as a lifetime director of the company and to hold one final performance. The Dallas Opera has continued to honor Callas and her part in their success by establishing the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award.

Yellowed page filled with typewritten text. Certain words/phrases are underlined.

Callas news script, September 12, 1968.

In the 1960s and 70s, with failing health and vocal abilities, Callas was more discerning in her career choices, performing far less. Her final public performance was in 1974, and she died of a heart attack in 1974.


Additional NBC 5/KXAS materials related to Maria Callas can be found on The Portal to Texas History.

See additional photographs of Maria Callas in Dallas, taken by Georgette de Bruchard. The John Rogers and Georgette de Bruchard Collection is available on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s.

Black and white photo of a Black man standing in front of a blank backdrop. He wears a 1970s style leisure suite with patterned shirt.

Charley Pride, 1974.

Charley Pride, the famed country singer, died this past weekend, December 12, 2020, just after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association.

This KXAS story from 1982 shares an overview of Pride’s beginnings in country music, the fame he achieved, and his thoughts on being a Black country musician.

Before his career in music, Pride was a professional baseball player in the Negro American League, pitching for the Memphis Red Sox between 1953 and 1958. As Pride began to pursue his singing career, he and his family moved to Texas, where they would set up roots in Dallas. Pride’s transition into music began slowly, but as he recorded hit singles in the 1970s, his popularity grew. In this photo, Pride joins Bobbie Wygant to share his 1974 album Country Feelin’.

Black and white photo of a white woman next to a Black man, holding up a record cover with his photo. They smile at the camera.

Bobbie Wygant and Charley Pride, 1974.

In the course of his career, Pride produced 41 studio albums, won numerous awards for his music, and was one of only three Black members of the Grand Ole Opry. Pride found challenge and joy in his career as a country musician, and his artistry will live on.

Black and white photo of a Black man signing autographs. A boy in a cowboy hat holds out a piece of paper, and other hands can be seen holding things out.

Charley Pride signs autographs, 1970.

Find more NBC 5/KXAS Archival Materials related to Charley Pride on The Portal to Texas History.

Posted by & filed under 1970s.

Benji, the 1974 film written, directed and produced by Joe Camp, was filmed in and around McKinney and Denton, Texas in 1973. The film features a mix breed dog who saves a brother and sister from a kidnapping after their father says the stray dog can’t live with the family.

WBAP-TV caught these wonderful behind the scenes shots of filming. Frank Inn, owner of Higgins (the original Benji) tells how he adopted Higgins from the animal shelter, and has Higgins perform some of his many tricks. The haunted house they’re filming in is located at 1104 South Tennessee St., McKinney, TX, has since been refurbished and is currently a bed and breakfast.

Higgins is considered one of the most famous dog actors of the 60s and 70s, appearing in sitcoms and movies, with Benji being his final film. Higgins’ daughter Benjean took over the role of Benji for later films

Posted by & filed under 1980s.

Back to the Future is a cult classic trilogy, that was just as popular upon first release as it is today. The original film was released 35 years ago in 1985, and the characters, story, and whimsy made it an instant hit.

Bobbie Wygant interviewed writer and director Robert Zemeckis in 1985, shortly after the films release. Zemeckis describes the difficult schedule required for filming to accommodate lead actor Michael J. Fox’s schedule while also shooting for the hit television show Family Ties.

KXAS reported, around the Christmas shopping season in 1985, that skateboards had become a popular gift item because of the film, where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) often rides into a scene on one. Reporter Tim Smith notes the cool move McFly does, kicking his board over, which any kid would love to do!

Back to the Future was so popular that Part II was released in 1989, and Part III in 1990. The series are considered some of the best science fiction films ever made, and their popularity led to video games, comic books, an animated series, and plenty of memorabilia being created around the franchise.


Within the KXAS/NBC 5 Collection there is additional b-roll footage of the film, if you want to watch the film’s highlights.

Posted by & filed under 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s.

The world’s first powdered soft drink was created and produced in Fort Worth, TX. Paul Hollis invented Poly Pop in 1922, years before Kool-Aid would come on the market. These photos from the NBC 5/KXAS Photography Collection show Paul Hollis and workers at his company headquarters in Fort Worth, TX.

Black and white photo of a white man standing behind a large table with many boxes that read "Good Old Poly Pop." He has his hands on two boxes and looks to the right with a smile. More boxes line the walls and are on the floor around him.

Paul Hollis with Poly Pop products, 1948.

Hollis invented the drink mix on his own, and had local residents do the taste testing. The final recipe was simple – citric acid, certified color, caffeine, and artificial flavor. People just had to add water and sugar and stir, to have a tasty beverage.

Hollis ran the Big State Company, through which he manufactured Poly Pop, in a building near his home in Fort Worth. Penny and nickel sized packets of the powder were sold. The penny size could flavor one quart of water while the nickel size could flavor eight quarts. At its height of popularity in the 1930s, the Poly Pop factory had 200 employees.

Black and white photo of five white women worked at two tables in a room. They have boxes and other materials on the tables and are seated looking down. A white man stands to the side of the tables and looks at the camera.

Paul Hollis and workers at Big State Company headquarters, 1948.

The drink was very successful and made Hollis a wealthy man. He gave back some of that wealth to the people of Fort Worth, especially children, by sponsoring a baseball team and giving gifts to children each year around the holidays.

In 1927, Kool-Aid hit the market, and Hollis’ understated advertising of Poly Pop – “Good Old Poly Pop” – just couldn’t compete over the years. Hollis sold the Poly Pop recipe in 1953. Hollis died in 1962, in Fort Worth.

Black and white photo of white man standing behind a large table with boxes that read "Good Old Poly Pop." He has his hands on two boxes and looks to the right with a smile. Boxes line the far wall, and are on the floor as well.

Paul Hollis with Poly Pop products, 1948.

Learn more about Poly Pop, Paul Hollis, and Fort Worth history on the Hometown by Handlebar blog.

Posted by & filed under 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s.

55 years ago, the Voting Rights Act was passed on August 6, 1965. This Act was initially created to ensure that racial minorities, especially in the South, were not being denied their right to vote by prohibiting state and local governments from creating discriminatory voting laws. The Act focused on voter suppression in Southern states, based on previous minority voter suppression activity.

Before the original expiration date of the Voting Rights Act in 1970, Congress and the Nixon administration began proposing possible revisions. This script shows the proposal of limiting the Act to apply only in Georgia and South Carolina.

yellowed paper with light typewritten text.

Voting Rights Act news script, March 6, 1970.

One major revision made in 1970 was that provisions in the Act would apply nationwide, such as the ban on tests or devices used to suppress voters. The Act was approved by Congress and signed by President Nixon in 1970.

yellowed paper with typewritten text. Title says Voting Rights. Main text has words crossed out and correcting made in black ink throughout.

Voting Rights news script, November 11, 1969.

The 1970 amendments also included a provision to allow citizens as young as 18 years old to vote in local, state, and national elections. President Nixon challenged the constitutionality of lowering the voting age in local and state elections, and the 1970 court case Oregon v. Mitchell upheld only the lowering of voting age for federal elections. Lowering of the voting age to 18 for all elections was addressed the following year with the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Voting Rights Act news script, June 22, 1970.

When brought up again in 1975, the suppression of those in language minorities was brought into the Act, requiring areas with large numbers of non-English speakers to provide ballots and voting information in those minority languages.

The Act was to expire again in 1982, and was again re-approved with additional amendments. As can be seen from this 1981 news clip of a League of Women Voters representative, there was still much concern over the impending discrimination that would occur if the Act was not extended.

Amendments and extension of the Voting Rights Act were approved again in 1992 and 2006. The 2006 Act was scheduled to expire after 25 years, and so should come up for revisions in Congress again around 2030.