30 June 2007

Dreams of "Wonderama"

I woke up at 6a today with Stephanie Mills and Wonderama on my mind. For those who don't know, Wonderama was a three-hour kids' show that started in the 1950s and ran for 30 years. All the sources say it aired on Sundays, but I vaguely remember it airing on weekdays, too. Although it was syndicated to seven stations on the east coast, it was taped in NY while I lived there so it always felt like a local show to me. Anyway, Stephanie Mills appeared on Wonderama when I was a kid and that appearance always pops into my head when I hear her name.

Looking at Nickelodeon, I sometimes think the musical acts they book on the network's various shows are a bit too grown-up for the age group. In reality, there have always been kids' shows that featured artists that probably appealed more to the big brothers and sisters in the house. Because Wonderama was taped in NY, the show had access to all kinds of TV, Broadway, and rock stars.

Thanks to quirky fans who collect such things, I found several clips from Wonderama on YouTube. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the Stephanie Mills performance that I remembered, but I did find a clip recorded around the same time. Enjoy!

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