Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

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You just got home from school and it’s Channel 30 Fun Time! Or maybe Nancy Allen's Movie Matinee on Channel 24. Don’t forget the BOSS 30's #1 KYNO. If you were sophisticated, you only listened to KFIG on some new airwave called FM. We honor the late great Al Radka here at Lost Fresno whose motto was Lettuce Eat it!
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Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Guest » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:33 pm

I found this posted on the web and as this site honors Al Radka, I thought it would be appropriate to share it here.

TV Celebrity Al Radka Leaves a Great Legacy

(PRWEB) March 13, 2005 -- Al Radka past away Thursday. Many of you dont know who Al Radka is. Many of you never heard of Mr. Fresno", or even care. Al radka was from Los Angeles when his family moved to central California. If Radka would have stayed in LA he would have been a Mr. LA". This still does not diminish the importance of Al, who began in the infancy of Television in the early 50s, and contributed extensively to its popularity. To give you some background,

Al Radka was a Far Western Conference guard for the Bulldog Gridders, under Jimmie Bradshaw, for three consecutive seasons in 1937, 1938, and 1939.He spent so much of his time in his opponents' backfields that he was given the moniker "Raider Al" and was named as one the guards on the FSC all-time football team. Serving his apprenticeship in the line at the Alhambra High School, first as a center, later as a guard, Radka prepared himself for a career which continued under the coaching of Bob McNeish, who coached at Pasadena City college. Then he moved to FSC where Bradshaw's line coach Roy Niswander initiated the Red-Haired Radka in the aches and pains of college blocking.Radka graduated from Fresno State in 1941. He was Student Body President n 1940-1941; member of Blue Key, National Men's Honorary Fraternity; member of Alpha Phi Gamma, National Journalism Fraternity; Varsity Society and the Sigma Epsilon Fraternity.

He wrote college sports for the Fresno Bee under Ed Orman. He also wrote, produced, directed and appeared in three annual FSC's Spring Swing Musicals, during 1939 through 1941.Radka is a past president of the Fresno Junior Chamber of Commerce, past chairman of the Raisin Bowl game, past chairman of the Fresno Junior Chamber of Commerce State Convention, winner of the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Key and the Kenneth L. Hampton Award. He was named the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1963. The Fresno Hot Stove League has grown under Radka's guidance to one of the largest vital organizations of Fresno. He is married to the former Alma May Dutton, a native daughter of Fresno. Radka enlisted in the Air Corps in 1942 as a Private, discharged as a Captain in 1946 and was a reserve Major for many years. In the early 1950s pioneered early television at KFSN (Then KFRE) TV and was also on KFRE radio. After retiring from Channel 30 and KFRE in 1981, he along with Alma started their own advertising agency, "Al Radka Productions" and was one of the most successful pitchmen of his time, having clients and friends from San Franciso to LA.

I first met Radka when I was 9 years old. My father worked as a stage director at channel 30 in Fresno, CA. I had grown up in television stations since I was from LA, and my father was a staff member at KTTV in Los Angeles. Radka grabbed me and put me on a show with my father whom was his guest since he was Butch" in the original Little Rascals". After that Al showcased me on three UCP telethons and eventually pushed for me to be a co-host on the news magazine for youngsters, Valley Mainstreet". Al was a good friend, though we lost touch in recent years. I only know that he was my friend and an endearing part of my youth that helped me along the way and strengthened my career and stability in the showbusiness world. Relics of our childhood fade away, but never die. Radka is one name that needs to be recognized as a pioneer in television, and one who was very important in the entertainment industry, and to me.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby crobby_52@yahoo.com » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:34 pm

I agree! I grew up with Al on the TV. Later i had the honor to meet him while in college at Fresno State during the 70's. A truly great soul.
crobby_52@yahoo.com
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Alonso » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:30 pm

My friend's dad shared a room with him at the hospital during his last days. Sadly, he was not the same Mr. Fresno that I grew up with. My ex-wife's grandmother rear-ended him on Tulare and First street. He jumped out of the car screaming obscenities.

No doubt, he was visiting Subway VW which was on that corner. He did a commercial for Subway. We always laughed about that story. Al was a great man.

Oberti olives...oberti olives...
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:37 pm

I remember those "Lesterbuger" commercials he did. While describing the burger, "all beef patty, pickles, tomato, & Lettuce...Mmm..lettuce, LETTUCE...EAT IT !.... He used to call a friend of mine's mother, late at night, looking for some "activities", & of course, she was married...
Guest
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Mr Tim » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:41 pm

OBERTI... Only Better Eaters Really Taste It!
Oberti olives from Madera are the best that you can buy, so when your looking for good olives try O.B.E.R.T.I.!
I belive that I read somewhere that he wrote the words for all the jingles he did.
I miss Uncle Al! We could use a man like him again.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Mr Tim » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:53 pm

If I remember, The lettuce at Lesterburger was shredded. That was the big selling point! No other burger place in the Fresno area used shredded lettuce at the time. Al would always make a fuss over his love for shredded lettuce! See if you can find one of the old spots...You'll see! :)
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Scott-o-Rama » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:27 pm

Around '64, when I was 11, Al lived down the street from me at the corner of Fedora and Mariposa. Kids would gather outside his house on summer afternoons in anticipation of his coming out on his way to work. All groomed and in an expensive suit he would burst out his front door and shout: "OK, one verse of the song before we go; Uh P R O, Uh D U C, Uh E R S spells Producers ... One more time! ... Uh P R O ..." ... and so on. Then he'd jump in his car and speed off. The man's energy was almost overwhelming!
Scott-o-Rama
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby urbnfmr » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:29 pm

Here I sit, 45 years later and the name Al Radka still stirs up fond memories. We lived in Easton from 1963 to 1966 and Als show was an event I looked forward to every day.

I still remember his Me n' Eds commercials, all his hysterical, zany routines and how much happiness he spread around. Fresno was a great place to live back then and I recall those days with great fondness. Al Radka was a big part of it.
urbnfmr
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy Help Me Find a Piece of my Hi

Postby bookishcha » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:00 am

It was about 1974,
My school me gave the oppurtunity to appear on Channel 30 Fun Time. I was from Carver Elementary School. I was a little black girl in a blue dress. My name was Charlotte. I got Al Radka to tear a piece of paper in to four equal parts for a quarter. If any one has info on how to get this tape please contact me @ bookishcha@yahoo.com. Thanks, Charlotte.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby annegirl » Mon May 09, 2011 12:49 pm

Growing up, I loved Al Radka (I cannot believe there is ANYONE in Fresno who does not know who he was!). One night, I think it was at a Chinese restaurant, my father took me over to meet Al (my dad's bother had gone to school with Al, so that was our "in"). I couldn't believe it! There was Al Radka, sitting at the bar. I was shy and had nothing to say - but hey! I got to meet Al Radka!
annegirl
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Big J » Tue May 10, 2011 11:46 am

annegirl wrote:(I cannot believe there is ANYONE in Fresno who does not know who he was!).


Hard to believe, ain't it? Like many things Fresno, unless you were alive during its peak, you have no knowledge of it. This city, in almost every facet possible, does almost zero to preserve its history. There are those few who do it for a love of it (I'm one of them) but beyond that, there's nothing.

Al Radka disappeared off TV when I was in my early teens. If I were born a decade later there's a chance I'd have no clue, too.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Rodney » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:18 pm

Big J wrote:This city, in almost every facet possible, does almost zero to preserve its history. There are those few who do it for a love of it (I'm one of them) but beyond that, there's nothing.

Right you are. Anything that was ever charming about Fresno has long since been paved over.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby jcred » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:29 pm

When I turned 5 yrs old My grandfather and Father got me on Al's morning show. I will always remember that. I was a kid in audience but they sang happy birthday to me! What a wonderful memory and a great guy especially all the Orberti olives spots.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby DavidMoore » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:38 pm

In the early sixties my family lived in Madera and Visalia, and Al Radka was on the radio all the time (we had just gotten a tv, and only watched it in the evening). That was when DJs really created their own shows,playing a variety of music (stations weren't "branded" then). We loved the group of imaginary characters he carried on imaginary "conversations" with- Mrs. Winnerbottom, Natalie Attired, etc.
DavidMoore
 


Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby DimmuWarrior » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:10 pm

AL Radka was def. a GREAT Man, My father (Robbie Robinson) who used to woik at Channel 30 with Uncle Al, would take my Sis and I to the Channel 30 Company Picnics out at Clovis Lakes, and Uncle Al was always there entertaining like Always. Olberti Olives was Def. a Staple in our home growing up. The best time to be a kid was back in Fresno, CA In the 60sand 70s right smack dab in front of the tv for Saturday Morning and FunTime.
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Big J » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:32 pm

DimmuWarrior wrote:AL Radka was def. a GREAT Man, My father (Robbie Robinson) who used to woik at Channel 30 with Uncle Al, would take my Sis and I to the Channel 30 Company Picnics out at Clovis Lakes, and Uncle Al was always there entertaining like Always. Olberti Olives was Def. a Staple in our home growing up. The best time to be a kid was back in Fresno, CA In the 60sand 70s right smack dab in front of the tv for Saturday Morning and FunTime.


Does anyone know if any footage survived from FunTime or any of the other locally produced kids stuff? I only have the faintest memories of those days and would love to see them again, even just a clip.
Big J
 
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Re: Al Radka Obit - A Great Legacy

Postby Jim Bonkowski W6LFB » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:37 pm

I Remember Al Radka's station ID: "This is KFRE, Fresno, with 50 million milliwatts of power!!"

Here is how I recall the Fresno Radio Dial in 1957 - think that was the year KEAP signed on:

KMJ 580 NBC
KBIF 900 (Daytime)
KFRE 940 CBS
KEAP 980 (Daytime)
KYNO 1300 MBS
KMAK 1340
KARM 1430 ABC
KGST 1600 (Daytime)
Jim Bonkowski W6LFB
 
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