Elaine Horn & Local Music: KVOS TV-1965


Robert Rideout

Robert Rideout sent along two photos and I am glad he did. Robert is a veteran musician, and an award winning author, who played with the Pacific Northwest’s Kathi McDonald and the popular Bellingham band The Unusuals. (Click HERE to read more about Kathi and The Unusuals.)

The first picture dates to April 1965. That’s Robert or “Rob” in The Nomads¬†on the “Elaine Horn Show” at KVOS, Channel 12, in Bellingham.¬†Robert said The Nomads performed instrumentals only and their set list relied heavily of tunes made popular by Duane Eddy and The Ventures.

The Nomads with Elaine Horn (L-R) Mitch Bernardi (guitar), Rob Rideout (drums), Elaine Horn, and Bob Mustacich (keyboard)

As far as I can determine, there aren’t currently any other online photos of Elaine Horn, even though her show ran in Bellingham for decades. That makes Robert’s picture, with Elaine in the upper right corner, a real find. In the fifties, Horn hosted “Elaine’s Party Line.” Documentation is sketchy, but I believe she was originally heard on KVOS radio. KVOS TV arrived in Bellingham in 1953 and the existing radio station and the new TV station (both owned by Rogan Jones) retained the KVOS call letters until the radio station became KGMI in 1963.

Horn was the director of women’s programming at Channel 12. Her morning show was “Woman’s World.” It appealed to housewives back when moms could watch daytime TV while the kids were at school. “Woman’s World” was small town folksy television. Regular guests included local newsmakers, entertainers and community leaders. Of course, out-of-towners dropped by the studio occasionally. This old Western Washington edition of the “TV Guide” lists the KVOS program schedule on Dec. 13, 1976.

The second picture is also circa ’65. Robert was in a new band — a morph of The Nomads, but with more members. They were The Rebels (1965-1968). Robert recalls, “I was the oldest at sixteen while the others were fifteen and fourteen. This band wouldn’t be popular today with such a name but we ruled back then, playing for college students at Western. We even fronted for Seattle’s Fabulous Wailers at the Burlington Roller Dome”!

The Rebels: (L-R) Steve Reimer (organ), Mike Grimson (bass), Rob Rideout (drums), Craig Cole (sax) and Mitch Bernardi (guitar)

Over the years, Robert and his drums traveled with Kathi McDonald and The Unusuals. The promotional poster below was from 1969. The Unusuals‘ roster at the time consisted of Laurie Vitt and Bill Capp, original members of the band, and the newer additions were Rob Rideout and Mick Murray.

The Unusuals in ’69 (L-R) Mick Murray, Bill Capp, Rob Rideout, Laurie Vitt

Visit The Unusuals‘ youtube channel (Click HERE). It includes the band’s classic recordings (“I’m Walking, Babe,” “Babe, It’s Me,” “Summer Is Over”) along with rare video, audio tracks and photos of The Unusuals, Kathi McDonald and Laurie Vitt.

Author: Steven L. Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.
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6 thoughts on “Elaine Horn & Local Music: KVOS TV-1965

  1. Not only was Kathi McDonald a great singer, she was also a very nice lady. I talked to her a couple of weeks before she had her surgery and was very sad to learn of her passing. She also made PBS,s appearances with Leon Russell and sang with The Rolling Stones. (give me shelter) There is a local radio show (both stations streamed on the net) that has an excellent history of northwest music. Spanish Castle Magic hosted by Jon Kertzer on Tuesday night at 9.p.m. pacific on KBFG and Wednesday night at 6.p.m. pacific on KVRU. A little shameless plug.

  2. Mike…it was an interesting story to put together. I was first contacted by Robert when he commented with a personal story of working with Kathi McDonald when they were young. I knew his name since his dad, Dr. Rideout, was one of the better known surgeons in town in my younger days. I had forgotten about Elaine’s show because it was on when I was in school. But I saw it on sick days. The other point of interest is that Craig Cole is in the photo with The Rebels. For years he ran Brown and Cole, one of the bigger grocery chains in the Northwest. And he is still prominent up here involved in economic development and politics to some degree. I believe he is a trustee at WWU as well.

    1. Good ol’ KVOS-TV Bellingham. I recall visiting their facilities, both during my early stint at KPUG (’65) and later at KBFW (’70s). There was something authentic and satisfying about medium market TV stations, in the early years, with their genuine attempts to serve their local community, but usually with a limited budget. Being from central Washington, I recall KIMA-TV Yakima, in the 50s & early 60s with their local public interest programs. By today’s standards, all that stuff would seem very hokey, but in the end I, surprisingly, was left with only pleasant (although slightly cornball) memories.

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