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Oprah Winfrey -
Historic recording on Baltimore radio

I found this radio announcement on an old reel-to-reel tape of mine, from about 1980. Deejay Johnny Walker ran a Psychedelic Amateur Hour (also called the "Psychedelic Gong Show") on his morning radio show on WFBR (AM 1300). Five "unknowns" would perform on the radio via telephone for about 15 seconds each and the listeners would call in to vote for the winner. I played "Windy" on the guitar - and I won! I beat Dan's disappearing act, little Andrea playing "Old MacDonald" on the recorder, Mildred singing a ridiculous song about Nixon's trip to China - and Bill The Great juggling six coffee cups!

Oh, but you don't care about any of that. Between Johnny's Gong Show and the announcement of the winner (me!) was this spot for a Baltimore morning tv show called People Are Talking. Click here to listen to Oprah Winfrey on Baltimore radio!

And to give this web page a little more weight, allow me to transcribe the WFBR radio spot.

Richard: Mary Kay Ash was a typical housewife...

Oprah: But she invested a few thousand dollars that turned into a multi-million dollar company.

Richard: I'm Richard Scher...

Oprah: And I'm Oprah Winfrey...

Richard: Mary Ash invested her life savings in Mary Kay Cosmetics. Just one month before the company was to open, her husband died.

Oprah: Her attorney and her accountant advised her to bail out...

Richard: But Mary Kay refused to give up...

Oprah: And her risk paid off. Today she's a millionaire whose products are sold all over the world.

Richard: Meet Mary Kay this morning at 9 on Channel 13's People Are Talking.

Pay special attention to Oprah's introduction of herself - right at that spot there's a neat little tinkerbell twinkle. I swear I didn't put it there. Is that the moment Oprah's fairy godmother sprinkled fairy dust and whispered, "Forget Baltimore tv, my dearie, I am going to make you the most famous woman on earth!"

1980 is my best guess for the year, but 1979 and 1981 aren't impossible. I may have hard evidence somewhere that nails it down more precisely, but I'm guessing others can date it in a heartbeat. Let me know.


Note: prior to December 9 2005 there were no mentions of the - or any - Psychedelic Amateur Hour on the whole stinkin' worldwide web. What good is it . . .


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