County Gazette of Calhoun County Alabama presents local news,
sports, and features of interest about the area. It is dedicated
to the people of Calhoun County and to others who would like to
know more about us and the great opportunities for travel, fun,
and business in our region.
You never know what will turn up in
the attic. GetCalhoun.com reminisces about a staple of Calhoun
County, Alabama life in the 70's... The Huntin' N Fishing Show.
You have to be of a certain age to remember and savor those bygone
days... Why not check your attic and tell our readers about
something you know from the past?
By Norman Morrison
To know the story of the Huntin'
N Fishin' Show is to also know part of the early
history of TV in Calhoun County, Alabama.
WHMA-TV came to town in 1969. It was originally owned
by The Anniston Star, hence the HMA in the call letters.
(Named for Harry M. Ayers of Anniston Star fame.) It began
as a combo NBC/CBS affiliate and filled local time with
ancient cowboy movies with the likes of Singing Sandy, and
afternoons with Cousin Cliff and the Three Stooges. It also
featured local shows...
Jim Kidd, born in Anniston, but late of west Texas,
came back home to serve as the film editor. His passion was
fishing, and soon, he sold the station on a new idea, The
Huntin' N Fishin' Show. Anyone of an age here remembers
Modern times being what they are, it is hard to
remember when there weren't such shows, but it is a fact
that the Huntin' N Fishin' Show was a pioneer of its day.
It never had much of a budget, and it was long on talk,
on video, but it never failed to be entertaining,
and the Saturdays filled with big budget action fishing and hunting
shows were in the future.
Airing late on Saturday afternoons, it began in the
mind of Kidd who enlisted the always entertaining and
imminently professional Travis Nance as his co-host. Later,
Nance was replaced with the show sponsor Jerre Peak who
worked for and later owned Anniston Sporting Goods. Anniston
Sporting Goods is another example of a simpler time when
sporting goods places were few and far between. Anyone who
fished or hunted did business there sooner or later.
In those days, what video there was, was not video at
all. It was film. All moving images were shot on 16mm film
which was processed in house on a spectacularly complicated
machine. Otherwise, stills were done with the 35mm camera.
It wasn't until later that one of the first ever 2" tape
machines, a veritable monster, was hauled up to the 3rd
floor of the Radio Building on 14th and Noble Street. Even
so, the Huntin' N Fishing Show was always done live.
No video survives, but there are a few slides and they
are presented below....just a sample of the days that were
for area outdoor sports enthusiasts. Everything you see was
seen on air. Also, there is a sample show format and a
question and answer sheet.
The Huntin' N Fishin' Show entertained and educated
us at the very dawn of the televised hunting and fishing era
leading the way to our modern bass boats and fancy hunting gadgets.
1. Show Open
2. Show Open
3. Travis Nance
4. The old Anniston Sporting Goods Store.
5. Kidd, John Murrell on dock and unidentified man.
6. Jim Kidd
7. Kidd and unidentified man.
8. Jerre Peak with Tom Mann.
Ed Note: The great Alabama fishing
pioneer and entrepreneur, Tom Mann, of Jellyworm renown
was a frequent guest and supporter.
Ed Note 2: About the fish. In those days many folks
actually ate what they caught.
The picture above is a
"rundown" for the hosts and director for the 9/6/1971 show. My
suspicion regarding the entry, "Cry a Lot" is that they were
short of material. Or it could be they were sad for the eels.
Probably not, though... The picture to the right is the
question and answers for that segment of the show.
Got a boat for sale? Have you listed your
with us yet?