Television was beginning to become a new visual medium of entertainment. On March 11, 1950,
KOB-TV in Albuquerque, a live local entertainment show was going to be broadcast called
the Hoffman Hayride.
The sponsors for the show were the Hoffman Radio Corporation and the Thompson Music Company,
a dealer for Hoffman televisions.
Dick Bills and his Sandia Mountain Boys were to be the hosts for the show. The March 8, 1950
article indicated that local personalities would also appear on the show from time to time.
The initial time slot for the show was from 3:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday afternoons.
The idea behind the broadcast time was so that demonstration television sets in the stores
during business hours could be turned on to get prospective customers interested in buying a
Station KOB-TV was just getting started and the program listing for Saturday showed a limited
number of shows. There was a 15-minute Newstape show at 7:00,
followed by Finlandia and other lesser known shows. The station signed off the air
In May 1950, The Dick Bills Show was on the air and from 10:30 to 11:30 and listeners to KOB radio
were encouraged to listen in to win a trip to Hollywood.
The show's day and time seemed to change in those early days - perhaps due to Dick Bills schedule
or keeping the television station's budget in tow. For example, in November 1950, the KOB-TV
ad noted that the show was back - this time on Friday night at 8:00pm.
In the July 15, 1950 KOB-TV listing, it stated that "Saturday Evening Television Discountined for Summer".
But the Hoffman Hayride show was on at 3:00pm then. And promoted a teaser to "See this week, "Miss E-Z Vision" -
presumably a model to promote Hoffman's Easy Vision Televisions. Viewers were encouraged to tune in and
vote for next week's candidate. On that same July evening, Dick Bills and his Sandia Mountain Boys
were to be performing at 8:00pm to mark the grand opening of the new Greyhound Bus Terminal.
In February 1951, KOB-TV's program listing was promoting a "live" broadcast of the Hoffman
Hayride show and Dick Bills' own show in downtown Albuquerque at the Hudson Showroom.
The program listings we were able to review would occasionally list the guest stars appearing
on the show. Some of these were:
- Darlene Aimes
- Yearout Quartet (Tom Kelly, Bob Yearout, Vern Henning and Dick Hilleary)
- Dusty Taylor
- Shorty Woodward
- Peggy Lewis
- The Hanan Trio
- St. Mary's Clarinet Quartet
- The Mil-Rae Girls Quartet
- Johnny Griswold (The Voice of Hoffman)
- Judy and Fay
- The Loco Weeds
- Dean Kirk
- Junior Condardt
- Marilyn Kloss
- Dick Forrest
It seemed to be a pattern for these new live entertainment shows to give younger local talent
a chance to perform before an audience in the event they might want to pursue such a career.
In early May 1950, the Albuquerque Journal reported that a group of four young girls
aged six to 11 years old, from the Mil-Rae Studio would do a special song and dance
number "Heap Big Smoke—No Fire. The youngsters were Sue Ray Claussen, Penny Grayson,
Marie Matousek and Ann Perry. That same show would feature a clarinet quartet from St. Mary's
High School. Their number on the show would be "American Panorama". In the quartet were
Shirley Arviso, Marie Jo Miera, Mary Ellen Murphy and Richard Rowe. They were directed by
Sponsors would be listed in those program listings as well - presumably Hoffman Television dealers.
- Thompson Music Company
- Rogers Home Equipment Stores
- Chant Electric Company
- Yearout Electric Company
- Sanders Electric Company
- Reidling Music Company
- Albuquerque Music Company
The Hoffman Radio Corporation was an early pioneer in television broadcasting in the western part
of the United States. Its founder and president, H. Leslie Hoffman was instrumental in showing
that electronics manufacturing could be done just as well on the west coast. Up to World War II,
that type of manufacturing was done in the eastern United States. The Hoffman Radio Corporation
convinced the government to give it some of its contracts during the war time efforts and
that continued long after the war. Elsewhere on this site for a Hoffman Hayride show, we will
go into deeper detail of the Hoffman story.