A Historical Perspective of 1960s Cleveland Culture From A Guy Who Lived It

A Historical Perspective of 1960s Cleveland Culture From A Guy Who Lived It by @SRobbinsAuthor #cleveland #culture #historical

History: Cleveland in the 1960s

In the 1960s, Cleveland got a bad rap. Let’s be honest; much of that was deserved. The winters could be brutal, the industrial base was shrinking, the roads were full of potholes, and the Cuyahoga River was on fire.

But it was also a great place to grow up.

Sure, the Indians were terrible, but we had the Browns (until the infamous Art Modell moved them to Baltimore). We had Euclid Beach, a world-class symphony, the art museum, and a certain culture that said it was “us against the world.”

Cleveland Cultural History

My novel, The Healer’s Miraculous Discovery, incorporates a great deal of this culture into the storyline, but there’s one key element that I left out: Ernie Anderson, AKA “Ghoulardi,” (or Horror Host Icon: Ghoulardi | Rotten Ink). There was no way to do him justice in the story, especially for anyone who didn’t live there at the time.

So, in deference to his legacy, I thought it would be fun to start with a bit of that history.

Ernie Anderson, Cleveland DJ

A Historical Perspective of 1960s Cleveland Culture From A Guy Who Lived It by @SRobbinsAuthor #cleveland #culture #historical

James Vaughan via Creative Commons on Flickr

Ernie Anderson came to Cleveland as a DJ, blessed with a quick wit, a unique sense of humor, and a great voice. ­Even if you are not a Clevelander, if you are over 50, you’d recognize his voice as the long-term voice of the ABC Network in the 1970s and 80s and famously for his intro to The Love Boat.

Ghoulardi was the Friday evening emcee for some really bad sci-fi and monster movies to fill space on the local CBS affiliate. Unlike many shows where you’d run to the bathroom during the commercial break, we blew off the movie just to see the breaks where he’d tell jokes or comment on how bad the movie was.

Monday mornings at school were a chance to quote his silly sayings like “turn blue”, “purple knif” (fink spelled backward), “ova-dey”, or references to Parma (a Cleveland suburb that he mocked), or “Dorothy Baby” (a reference to Dorothy Fuldheim, a prominent newscaster on the ABC affiliate).

He also popularized pink flamingos, white socks, and blowing things up with firecrackers while on the air (“boom-booms”). Cleveland’s Ghoulardi went on the air 50 years ago and cast his spell over the city.

If you have a few minutes to kill and want to see a great video on the subject, check out this link: Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi – YouTube.

More Cleveland History to Come!

They do a great job of telling the story, and there are several memories and laughs too. Stay tuned to this blog, and I’ll follow up with the story of “Big Chuck and Hoolihan,” who inherited Ghoulardi’s audience when he left the airways.

Thank you for reading, and more to come!


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Purchase The Healer’s Miraculous Recovery here.

The Healer’s Miraculous Discovery is highly recommended for libraries looking for crossovers between sci-fi and fictional representations of personal and social change. Its plausible possibilities create many insights and reflections that readers won’t see coming.”

~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review 

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