Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Beak of Crime

First the bad news. No Listomania tomorrow (and thus no clue today, obviously). Apologies all around, but alas I got mugged by reality this week and had to spend a fair chunk of time that would have otherwise been engaged in picking the Top Ten Oud Solos Evah instead helping a dear friend convalesce from major surgery.

The good news, however, is that you can now enjoy, from 1965, the premier episode of the hilarious radio serial The Adventures of Chickenman.




A parody of the TV Batman show, obviously, but it quickly took on a life of its own. Chickenman (secret identity: shoe salesman Benton Harbor), also known as the Winged Warrior and the Fantastic Feathered Fighter, started out on a local top 40 radio station in Chicago (WLS-AM) and for years I thought the show had been a strictly local phenomenon; it turns out, however, that it was syndicated across the country and beyond (GIs heard it in Vietnam, apparently). In any case, it's one of the great fondly remembered hoots of my late teens.

Oh, and please check in tomorrow -- as I said, no Listomania, but you'll definitely find something worth your attention in its place.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember listening to Chickenman on WKBW out of Buffalo. The signal was strong enough to reach the NYC area after dark. Chickenman was the best.

All my best to your friend!!!

ROTP(lumber)

Edward said...

I used to listen to it in Hawaii, can't remember the station.

Sixth graders being what they are, we divided our fandom between Chickenman and Super Chicken.

Chickenman holds up much better.

Nora Charles said...

I heard "Chickenman" on WKBW, too -- you could hear it on the Connecticut shoreline deep in the night. "He's everywhere! He's ubiquitous!" Thanks for Chickenman, Steve, and best to the ailing friend...

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

"He's everywhere! He's everywhere!"
Yep - thank God for WKBW back in the day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing this to the uninitiated (like me). What strikes me is that "Benton Harbor" is also the name of a city on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan, directly across from the suburbs (north) of Chicago. A quaint little city in its day. Now it's probably a blighted little city. - AP

dave™© said...

"Chickenman" was everywhere - we used to listen to it when I was a kid growing up in Fresno!

BTW, here's Dick Orkin's website:

http://www.radio-ranch.com/chickenman.php

MJConroy said...

Listened to Chickenman on WIXY 1260 in Cleveland and did not hear it again till a couple of years ago on XM Radio 60s channel. When XM played it my wife, not a listener back in the day, thought it was crap. I on the ohter hand, either have better taste or the memories from childhood color it a lot. Sadly, XM stopped playing it.

paul Kelly said...

Aw, it's really cute, Steve. Funny, I thought Batman was already a parody. Or farce. . . I always get those two mixed up. But thanks for the introduction! Now....you wouldn't mind telling me where I could get the rest of the episodes, would you? Hm?
PK

agitpropre said...

Chickenman ran on CKFH 1430 in Toronto - late at night when we weren't supposed to be listening to the radio on those amazingly crappy proto-earbuds...