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Sally Starr

Sally Starr's fans write in with their
memories of her long-running kid's show.

(Many of these comments are from 2001.)

"Sally Starr, along with Gene London, were the royalty of Philadelphia kid television. Aunt Sally and Gene were on sometimes 7 days a week and no one was tired of watching them. All of these performers were great in their time and made an impact on our generation, but Gene and Sally more than any of them were probably our second parents, providing morals and guidance you didn't always get at home and school.

Sally Starr started at about 4pm in the afternoon (after American Bandstand) till 6PM. The old show was called "Popeye Theater" with a giant cut out of Popeye wearing a cowboy suit. (I wish I had that now !!) Her opening line was " I hope ya feel as good as ya look to your gal Sal" and closed with "May the Good Lord be blessing you and your Family, Bye for now!" She never talked down to her audience, you knew she was sincere.

Sally's show was mostly famous for Popeye in all his reincarnations, and The 3 Stooges (shorts, cartoons and Stooge guest shots), but throughout the years the viewer saw: Warner Bros. & H/B cartoons, Bullwinkle, Clutch Cargo, Space Angel, The Funny Company, Ramar of the Jungle, The Lone Ranger, Andy Clyde shorts, Doodles Weaver, Beetle Bailey, Krazy Kat and Snuffy Smith cartoons too.

She used to plug Good & Plenty, Cocca Marsh and Gino's and if she flubbed her lines, she would bend her cowgirl hat and say " I made a boo, boo !!" It was great when the Stooges were on because I was proud that Larry Fine was from Philadelphia."

- Will Hill


Our Gal Sal"Sally Starr and Chief Halftown were part of the WFIL ABC lineup. I remember getting to see Chief Halftown after bugging my folks to take me to the Buster Brown Shoe Store where he was making an appearance. That was also a major learning experience for me - when it was time to go to see Chief Halftown, I was watching something on TV that I didn't want to miss. I thought that when I turned off the TV to go see the Chief, that the show would be on where I left it when I got back. Man, was I ticked off!! :)

I heard Sally Starr had been a Burlesque dancer in her prime (not true), and then moved into the Kiddee show TV market. I always watched that show to see the Three Stooges and Popeye. I remember seeing lots of Cocoa Marsh commercials on that show."
- Ed Justice


"Sally Starr came to our area when I was very young and I did at the time get an autographed photo. I remember her long pale blonde hair and her blue and white cowgirl outfit very vividly. I remember that of course, there was a large crowd of people. It is fun to share these experiences because most people don't have a clue what I am talking about when I ask if they ever heard of....."

- Rita Lopez


"In sixth grade (1967-8), I was a repeat contestant on a local (WFIL) early A.M. kid's quiz show, called "The World Around Us", hosted by Anita Cleaver. After filming one episode, I was fortunate enough to meet Sally Starr afterwards. She was gracious, and very interested in my performance that day! Wow, the eyelashes she had to wear must've weighed a pound each!"

Never did spot Pixanne though."

- Donnie L.


"Sally Starr gave me my first exposure to the Three Stooges...and it was all to culminate one day when they were to appear on the show. What a disappointment when not only was there no Curly, but these weren't the Three Stooges, just some old men."

Sally Starr"When Sally Starr was ill her place was taken by Rex Morgan, whose gimmick was a bassett hound. Happy the Clown gave special children rides on Chippy the Chipmunk - and does anybody remember watching Bill Webber (WFIL weather) in the morning before school, where he received mail from Elmo - a small toy that rode a tightrope?"

- VW Rizzo


"There was a time when I could not imagine life without being able to watch Sally Starr on TV after school. I remember having mixed feelings about our summer vacations in Wildwood Crest because our family always rented bungalows without a television. The idea of missing our gal Sal was unbearable. I can also remember the thrill when we got our first UHF adapter and we were able to watch Wee Willie Webber on channel 17. This was my first experience with Marine Boy, Prince Planet, and of course, Speed Racer! Ah, to be 9 years old - in Philly, in 1969, it was a real treat!"

- a webviewer


"Concerning Sally Starr in Philadelphia Kid Shows, she is still active in the Delaware Valley, and has a Sunday morning country and western radio show on 92.1 FM in Vineland, New Jersey. She makes many local appearances, too. For a while, she hosted a weekend western movies show on Channel 65 in Vineland before the station went "Home Shopping". She lived in Florida for a while, but moved back to New Jersey after losing her home and belongings in a tragic fire several years back. Our Gal Sal is alive and doing well in the Philadelphia area."

- Mike Brady


"'Our Gal Sal' was really 'My Gal Sal'... I loved her! I had a crush on the pretty blonde cowgirl who would talk to her little viewers every afternoon at 4:30. My mom still refers to Sally Starr as her "babysitter", since I would be glued to WPVI-TV Channel 6 in Philly from 4:30 until the end of the show. This gave my mom the uninterrupted opportunity to fix dinner for dad.

I can still see Sally catching the mailbag and throwing a kiss as she said "Love, Luck and Lollipops!". I had the pleasure of seeing Sally and Bozo the Clown at the Moorestown Mall in the late '60's. Her "Popeye Theater" will always be a cherished memory of my youth."

- Frank T.


"I really enjoyed reading about the kids shows; especially reading about Sally Starr. I can remember see her at a (long gone) amusement park in south Jersey in the summer of 1960 - I got her autographed picture in fact."

I remember Wee Willie Webber too, and Bertie Bunyip. *LOL* In a bizarre twist of fate, one of the very first jobs I had one summer while in college was telephone soliciting for a land development corp. in which our pitch was: I'm calling on behalf of Wee Willie Webber, who would like to invite you to .. yadda yadda yadda!!!"

- Ruth Gardner


"I just finished reading your article about Sally Starr. Being from Philly, and watching her every day when I was growing up; BOY did that bring back a lot of memories!!! But; I just want to share with you & your readers some of my memories of her and the Popeye Theater. First off; she was my first exposure to the 3 Stooges (who I'm still interested in-they're all dead, by the way). Someone else mentioned that Larry (the one with the fuzzy hair) was also from Philly. (South Philly - his house is still there); but did you know another one of them was also from Philly? Joe Besser was from West Philly.

"But I don't remember her ever interviewing them. Or having them on the show. I didn't know that she's still around; that's good to know. I may write her a fan letter. I saw her in person once; back around 1987 or '88. It was at a 3 Stooges convention - she's also a fan of them; and was in one of their movies. She was giving autographs; but I didn't get one - I forget why. But, she was sharing her memories of the Popeye Theater; and doing TV in Philly and showing the 3 Stooges. She'd had a fire in her house a few years earlier and was saying that one thing she lost that she was really upset about was a trailer she had for the Stooges' movie that she was in. She was also saying that there was going to be a scene with her on horseback (the movie was a western) where a little boy asked her something and she was supposed to say something like 'Get outta here, kid. Ya bother me!' But she refused to do that scene because she was a kiddie show host."

- Joe Kienlen


I believe Sally's line was" I sure hope you feel as good as you look, 'cause you sure look good to Your Gal Sal!".

I remember going to the WCAU studios on City Line on a grade school trip and being amazed that Chief Halftown's village was right there!!
I'm also trying to remember the TV show with the puppets that had a very Lady-like Ostrich, a squirrel,and I can't remember what else. I'm pretty sure it was a local Philly show. And what about the Fran Allison Show? Wasn't that with Ollie the Alligator? And Willie the Worm? Was he local?

I started out on Google looking for a 1970's sort of science fiction show I used to watch in Sacramento on Saturday morning. It was about (I think) a pilot who had crashed and was cured by Tibetan monks and I think there was another man and also a woman who were his partners. And I never could find the name of that and somehow I ended up on tvparty!!

I was born in Philly and moved westward just after I turned 21, but I still remember Sally Star, Chief Halftown and Soupy Sales. I'm sure I MUST have watched Bertie the Bunyip because the names are SO familiar to me. It's funny what you remember (or think you do) and what you forget.

If you can come up with the name of the puppet (marionette) show with the Lady Ostrich, I'd be very happy...maybe something about "something in the Park"?

Linda Berlin


Sally Starr photoSally Starr
A NOTE FROM SALLY STARR
Pictures from her 79th birthday celebration (right) and her 76th birthday (below).

I'm spending the first evening of 1999 surrounded by good friends of long standing, The Gilbert Family of Sicklerville NJ. Just for fun, Mary's youngest brother, Hank (who is a tremendous photographer), and I spied the computer together at the same time. We had been discussing the fact that my niece, Sally Hodgkins had told me that there was a lot of misinformation on the web about me. So I thought, what a wonderful way to clear the air and renew old friendships.

First of all, I'm alive and doing very well, thank you. Five years ago New Year's Eve, I had a massive heart attack. I stared fate right in the face, appeared at the same place NY Eve 1998, wore the same gown, did the same countdown and everything turned out just fine.

Sally Starr Philly TV StarIf you would like to write to me, I will give you an address that only my friends have... Sally Starr, Box 238 - Atco, NJ 08004.

Sally Starr By the way, my birthday is on January 25th. I am in the process of creating a biography of life and times on Delaware Valley Television and am seeking any photos, videos, memorabilia, anything regarding Popeye Theatre, Sally Starr, etc. Please send your scans letters objects, etc. to the PO BOX above in Atco.

By the way, to answer one question that completely knocked me off the chair, I have NEVER been a burlesque dancer or porno queen. But at my age, thank you for thinking along those lines. In the meantime, thank you so much for being so nice to me and may the good lord be blessing you and your family. Remember, I do love ya lots! Love, luck and lollipops, Bye for now.

SMOOCHEROONI... Sally Starr

Sally Starr is on the net!
Visit: SallyStarr.net


PHILLY LOCALS
Mindy Feinberg writes with her memories of Philly local kid shows:
I have several Sally Starr stories starting back around 1963 or '64, she made an appearance at a fair at one of the local churches in Levittown, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It was thrilling. Of course, I'd see her riding her horse down Market St for the parades in Philly. Now jump forward to 1985 (ish). My neighbor was friends with Sally and was the owner of the old I-95 Marketplace.

It was Sally's first personal appearance since she had moved back to Jersey from Florida. Well, since I had a shop there and also the owners were our neighbors who I had known since I was a young kid, I was excited. The Marketplace grew with hundreds of people in my age group (early 30's ) some dragging their young kids who had no idea who she was. A friend of mine showed up at my store, he had not been there since it opened. I suddenly realized he was there to see Sally. I told him to come with me and we'll go to the office to see if she was there yet. Now, I was always in the office and I have never been at a loss for words, and Joey wasn't exactly a choir boy. He's a great guy, but not who you would expect to show up. So I dragged him up and the door was opened.

I just stood there speechless and my friend asked me what I was doing. Suddenly, I was a 6 year old again and barely got out that we wanted to know if we could come in and meet Sally, I even had my Sally Starr Holster that she signed. I turned to tell Joey we could go in and he was hiding around the corner. I dragged him in and we both stood there like little kids and introduced ourselves and we got a picture and an autograph, giggling the whole time.

We then left but not before she said "Love, Luck and Lollipops", we walked through the crowd with our bounty and we were treated like "mini" stars since we actually talked to her. She then came to the market a lot so it became less exciting but still brought out the little kids in all of us. Her house burned down about a year or so after I first met her and she lost almost all of her memorabilia so I gave her my holster. Thanks for the memories.

A funny story about Sally was when we all went down to the Trop to watch the first solo show by one of Patti LaBelle's backup singers. Everyone got to the Top but Sally was nowhere to be found. Well, she finally arrived and told us how she seemed to be having some trouble with her van. She stopped at her local garage and the mechanic told her the carburetor was clogged so he told her to drive fast to blow out the dirt. He meant for about a minute at the most. Well "our gal" got on the A.C. Expressway and proceeded to go about 75-80 mph. the entire length of the expressway.

Of course she got pulled over and the cop (who was around our age) saw it was Sally. Being a little star struck he asked her why she was going at such a high rate of speed. Her answer was that the guy at the garage had told her she had to drive very fast in order to fix her car. The cop got a good laugh out of it and she got away with it!

Another story is about Pete's Gang. When I was in, I think, 5th grade in about 1962 or 63 my father was working in Philly at the old PGH Hospital, he was the head of the cardiac research lab. Anyway, while walking in town he ran into Pete on the street and they started talking. He told my dad to bring my brother and me in for a taping. We went in. It actually taped in the evening which was strange for a group of small kids. My brother was around 4 or 5 at the time. As you probably remember one kid was picked to be a "helper" and the show started by pulling one of those things that make a bang and streamers come out of it. Then the trap door would go up and all of us had to crawl through the door.

They put my brother first because he was the smallest one. I was behind him and so when the thing popped and the door opened I was afraid my brother wouldn't go out so I gave him a "little" push to start. Well, he went out all right - about half way across the stage from my push. We all were laughing when we came through. No one told us that the TVs on the stage were monitors that what was on the monitor was on TV. So we all started making faces and watching ourselves on the "TV". Being a kid who had ADHD and not much was known so I was just an "active child". I was in my 40's when they finally figured it out. I now take Ritalin.

Anyway, I can't remember what else I was doing, all I remember is that I was chosen to go out in the audience and pass out candy to everyone there. I even remember I was wearing a 2 piece dress that was pink little flowers in all shades from dark pink to light. The buttons on the top where white with rhinestones in the middle. I hated that outfit! (I was 9 or 10). I just remember it was a lot of fun. All my friends got to come over to watch the show at our house.

I have several other stories from the late-'60s early-'70s, like when I was a "Boss Chick" for WFIL. And when I was at Neshaminy we had my soph year Patti Labelle and the Bluebells, my Jr. year was Chicago who I actually flew on a plane to Chicago with and we were all sitting in a small room since they were redoing the airport for a change. Then I met them again when I worked in AC one summer and worked on Steel Pier when all the good groups were.

I played baseball with B.J. Thomas and his band for an hour so he'd come back and engrave a mug for us. Also the Ides Of March. I saw the Supremes, then my Sr. year we were supposed to have James Taylor but he cancelled right before because his girlfriend had committed suicide (the song that starts, 'Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone') and he was hospitalized for depression. So was I, but not then. We ended up having Richie Havens who was so wasted he did more talking and breaking guitar strings than anything else.

Well those are a few stories for now, I haven't gotten to the time I ran away from school and went into Philly and The Mike Douglas Show. I met all of the guests from that day and also Mike and his wife.

Philly Locals

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Sally Starr is on the net!
Visit: SallyStarr.net

Sally Starr passed way Sunday January 27, 2013. She had just turned 90 years old two days earlier. Read more...

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"In sixth grade (1967-8), I was a repeat contestant on a local ( WFIL) early A.M. kid's quiz show, called "The World Around Us", hosted by Anita Cleaver. After filming one episode, I was fortunate enough to meet Sally Starr afterwards. She was gracious, and very interested in my performance that day! Wow, the eyelashes she had to wear must've weighed a pound each ! Never did spot Pixanne though." - Donnie L.

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"I guess you could say I had the best front row seat going! I remember as a little girl wishing I could fill those cowgirl boots, trying on her outfits and pretending I was the cowgirl, and watching ever so carefully as she would put on her make up before a show- so I would be able to put mine on just right!"

"How lucky I was to meet so many people because of her. Dick Clark, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Sonny& Cher, Jerry Lewis, and the Three Stooges... just to name a few. How I was lucky enough sometimes to go to the studio, play behind the scenes in the prop shop, and occasionally be part of a Good`n Plenty or Coco Marsh commercial."

"Most of all I was lucky enough to see the real person everyday. The one that would always do free personal appearances for the handicapped or sick children and adults. Who was always there every year for Jerry`s Telethon, working hour on end to help this wonderful cause. To watch the sometimes-unbelievable devotion she had for animals, her own and strays! Yes, you can say I had the best seat in the house. Thank you Ninnie, you know I will always love you."

- Your "little" Sally


"My name is Alex Frazer-Harrison, and I write a column for the Rockabilly Hall of Fame about Bill Haley and the Comets.

As you might now, Sally Starr recorded an album with the Comets back in 1958. I believe she was also married to Jesse Rogers, who co-wrote the tune Jukebox Cannonball with Haley around 1950.

A major part of my column is a "Where Are They Now" covering the many musicians who have worked with Haley in the past. I have a listing for Sally Starr thanks to your TVparty website. If you'd like to see my column, it can be found at: http://www.rockabillyhall.com/Extra.html"

- Alex Frazer-Harrison


"Oh what wonderful memories came flooding back as I read your Sally Starr page. And then to see a note from Aunt Sal herself! I never missed her show. My mom learned not to serve dinner before 6:00 because she knew there'd just be a scene at the dinner table what with me crying about missing Aunt Sal.

One day while I visiting a friend she made her kids turn the 3 Stooges off of because they were "so violent" and I protested saying, "We grew up on the 3 Stooges and we're fine." Her reply to me was, "Yeah, but we had Sally Starr to tell us not to do those things to each other." She was great. About 10 years ago I heard she was writing her autobiography and I couldn't wait for it to come out. Alas, I heard later it was one of the things lost in the fire. What a shame, I would have loved to have read it.

Recently, going through some old family photos we found a picture of me in my Sally Starr cowgirl outfit taken one Christmas evening. I was so proud! My sister and I laughed ourselves silly over it but I wouldn't trade that picture for anything. God bless you, Aunt Sal. I still love you!"


There is no known video from the Sally Starr show. Do you know of any? Please EMAIL US if you do.


On December 15, 1999 Sally Starr filed for bankruptcy in Camden, NJ. Philadelphia Radio Station WWDB-FM is taking donations to help Sally. Donations can be sent to: WWDB-FM 166 East Levering Mill Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.

The reason for the bankruptcy is due to alleged comments made last year by a Trenton disc jockey on the air. Starr is suing New Jersey 101.5 alleging she was slandered when a talk show host twice called her a "lesbian cowgirl". Starr said her personal appearance bookings have dropped off from as many as six per week to about two since the alleged remark aired, costing her an estimated $8,000 in earnings.

Hope you can post this on your web site.

- Joe Zalescik


"Sally Starr, I have been a fan of yours for many years. I loved watching your TV shows and now I listen to your radio program on Sunday. You are a wonderfull person and I look forward to seeing you in person real soon. Have a blessed healthy happy new year."

- your friend Pat Folwell.


MOVIE APPEARANCE: The In Crowd featured Sally Starr and Peter Boyle Jr. in the film.

:MIKE PENTZ' PHILLY
KID SHOWS HOME MOVIES:

Sally Starr at Hershey Park, 1970

Sally Starr's Message


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