WBTV Channel 3, Charlotte, North Carolina
Sign-On and opening of Carolina Calling
recorded circa Autumn 1958

Page modified Saturday, 6 June 2020

A truly historic station sign-on clip recently found on YouTube by the Webmaster. It's a videotape recording (not a kinescope film) from the first and oldest TV station in the two Carolinas. The clip, as far as the Webmaster can ascertain, could not have been made earlier than late September 1958, when WBTV became the first TV station in the nation to use a videotape recorder capable of recording in color as well as monochrome (B&W).

The video commences with the WBTV sign-on that utilizes several station ID slides (the Webmaster does not know the name of the announcer delivering it). One slightly disappointing thing was the absense of the National Association of Broadcasters' Seal of Good Practice in this sign-on. WBTV was a charter subscriber to the NAB's Television Code when it was adopted early in 1952. The Webmaster remembers Channel 3 displaying the SOGP at sign-on during the 1970s.

Right afterwards we are greeted by longtime Charlotte radio-TV personality Jim Patterson, who opens Carolina Calling, WBTV's answer to NBC's Today show on weekday mornings during the 1950s and 1960s. It was Patterson's face that was first seen on Channel 3 when it signed on initially in July 1949. Carolina Calling featured the music and humor of Arthur Smith and his Crackerjacks along with news and weather. Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (1921-2014) was also a veteran of radio and TV in Charlotte. Along with acoustic and electric guitar, Smith also played banjo, fiddle, mandolin and accordion (it's Arthur's brother Ralph who's playing the accordion in this clip). Smith and his group had a very successful nationally-syndacated country and gospel music TV show in the 1960s and 1970s, which was viewed by your humble Webmaster every weekday morning as he prepared for school back in the '70s.

BONUS AUDIO CLIP: a 1979 WBTV sign-off announced by Jim Patterson
Play or Download Here

RELATED VIDEO CLIP: WBTV Channel 3 sign-off and sign-on recorded Summer 1989 featuring clips of various past WBTV personalities.

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The video files featured on TV-Signoffs.com are taken from the Webmaster's own VHS home recordings of over-the-air and cable video captures, clips contributed by others and YouTube video embeds. The quality varies from clip to clip, due to TV reception, recording and digitizing issues. Unless otherwise noted, none of the clips featured on this site have been authorized by the various television stations, networks or any other entity.