GRAHAM ARCHER, "GOLDEN HOURS" FOUNDER & LIFE STORY

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    Craig_Adams
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    Today April 28, 1912 Louis “Graham” Archer was born in Blackfoot, Idaho to Rebecca Sirinda Graham and Robert Louis Archer. Graham had an older brother Robert Ardle and an older sister Georgia Lillian. On October 29, 1917 Graham’s father Robert Louis Archer died at age 43 in Blackfoot.

    By October 1933 Graham was attending Fullerton Junior College and a broadcasting school in California where he free lanced in Hollywood. On November 22, 1933 at Fullerton it was announced veteran college actors Graham Archer & Bob Eddy would share the role of Scrooge in three performances of Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” before the student body and community. On November 3, 1934 Graham was featured in the play “Michael & Mary.”

    As of January 20, 1936 Graham was a graduate of Fullerton Junior College and a resident of Los Angeles. He was free lancing radio work on KNX as an actor. In 1937 Graham became a charter member of AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) holding card No. 15. On December 15, 1938 it was reported Graham Archer was given an announcing assignment of 39 quarter-hour episodes of the syndicated transcription serial “Exclusive Story” being produced by 20th Century Radio Productions and cut by Aerogram Corp. in Hollywood.

    On March 10, 1939 it was reported Graham Archer was General Manager of “Hollywood Airshows” syndication. Graham served in the U.S. Navy during World War II with Armed Forces Radio on Midway Island. By August 1945 Graham had joined KTSM in El Paso, Texas.

    On December 1, 1946 Graham Archer joined KGW as an staff announcer. On June 7, 1949 KGW’s “Wax Museum” record show debuted 7 nights a week, beginning at 11:15pm and Saturday’s at 11:00pm to midnight. Graham was the host 7 days a week and director of contests and telephone interviews with listeners. On March 26, 1951 it was reported Graham Archer was the new announcer and producer for the popular KGW program “Hostess House Party” weekday mornings at 10:00am.

    On April 2, 1952 the comedy “Dream Girl” opened at Portland Civic Theater, where Graham played six roles. On December 3, 1952 Portland Civic Theater presented the comedy “Harvey” with Graham taking a role. On January 5, 1953 KGW AM/FM’s “Wax Museum” start time was moved from 11:15 to 11:25pm. On January 12, 1953 “Wax Museum” start time moved to 11:30pm. On February 10, 1953 “Wax Museum” ran its last stax of wax. In March 1953 KGW cut Graham from its air staff.

    On September 27, 1953 KPTV debuted “Mr. Smiles Reads The Funnies.” This was Graham Archer’s first Portland TV program. He read “The Sunday Oregonian” comic strips to children and adults Sunday mornings from 9:15 to 9:30am. Sponsored by Sunshine Dairy. The last funnies were read on March 28, 1954. In July 1954 it was reported Graham was doing summer fill-ins on KEX AM/FM.

    On August 2, 1954 Graham was back on KGW AM/FM weekdays with the record show called “New & Old” 3:45pm to 5:00pm. On February 4, 1955 Graham was in another Portland Civic Theater play “My Three Angels.” After Graham’s 4th of July 1955 program of “New & Old” it was canceled.

    In September 1956 Graham Archer joined KOIN AM/FM as announcer and newscaster. On March 19, 1957 “Happy Medium” made its debut on KOIN-FM 9:00pm to 11:00pm with Graham Archer & Bill Ness. The program featured music from KOIN’s new Hi-Fi library (high fidelity albums).

    On October 3, 1958 Graham Archer was KOIN AM/FM announcer from the “Portland Hi-Fi Music Show” at the Multnomah Hotel. It featured “The KOIN Orchestra” and was the first live stereo remote broadcast in the Northwest and one of the few attempted in the Nation. The special program was broadcast from 7:00pm to 7:30pm. Graham had also been the announcer for the “KOIN KLOCK” program in 1958. By March 1960 Graham was a member of the “Portland Rainmakers” hijinks organization and had left KOIN and radio.

    February 29, 1964 Oregonian article excerpt by Jean Henninger: “Graham Archer favorite radio personality in Portland since after World War II, is really a nice guy. But, nearing his 50th birthday and still unmarried, he admits being a little desperate. Muttering something about dependents and income tax deductions.” On March 4, 1964 Graham’s brother Robert Ardle Archer died at age 62. In September 1964 Graham was back on the air, broadcasting from KXL. In October 1965 Graham was doing the all-nighter on the new KXL-FM.

    On August 12, 1967 the revival of the classic Portland radio drama “Homicide Squad” made its debut on KPOJ AM/FM at 7:05pm. In the cast were two of the original players from the series that ran from 1932-38 on KGW-KEX. Janet Baumhover & Leith Abbott, plus Graham Archer, Chuck Bernard & Sam Herrick from KATU. Paul Rask, host of KPOJ’s “Niteline” had obtained some of the original scripts from Bill Mears, KOIN AM/FM Program Director.

    On August 1, 1968 KXL began its first morning news block from 6:30 to 7:45am daily. John Lewis was News Editor & anchor along with colleagues John Salisbury, Ralph Rogers, Graham Archer (Business News), Don Porter and others. On January 29, 1970 Graham’s mother Rebecca Sirinda Archer died at age 93. On March 2, 1970 Louis Graham Archer, 57, married 47 year old Betty J. Greenwood.

    On March 18, 1971 it was announced by Graham Archer that “the broadcaster sought approval by the task force of what he terms the “Golden Hours” program, bringing old-time radio broadcasts into nursing homes to provide entertainment to patients. Archer told newsmen the project, which he hoped would be financed through private donations and partially by state and federal funds, would cost about $100,000 to initiate and $50,000 a year to operate. About $35,000 of the $50,000 would be for salaries for a program administrator and clerical help.”

    On April 29, 1971 it was announced the Oregon corporation, Golden Hours, Inc. elected its first President, Dean Anderson (PSU Director of Relations), Rod Johnson (KWJJ owner) Vice-President, Bob Franklin (U.S. Bank of Oregon) Secretary, Robert Hocks (Hocks Labs) Treasurer. The non-profit corporation was formed by Graham Archer, Henry Norton & Dr. William Sherfey. The proposed radio network would not be available to the general public on either AM or FM but would be released through the use of sideband equipment to pretuned receivers through KOAP-FM’s antenna.

    Golden Hours will start by means of telephone lines through the assistance of Ralph Rogers, Instructor in Radio-TV for the Mass Communications Division of Mt. Hood Community College. Students would receive training by editing the tapes from Talking Books, serving as technicians, announcers and doing live programming, such as reading newspapers.

    Golden hours was the brainchild of Graham & his wife Betty. Graham’s mother, Rebecca Archer was confined to a nursing home. Graham & Betty would visit her and Betty began walking the halls, visiting other residents when Graham was feeding his mother. Betty saw their boredom. Graham felt modern medical science had extended the years a person may live, but little had been done to extend the mental activity and interests of these people.

    “The programs will consist of fiction, drama, non-fiction, current news and periodicals supplied by Talking Books, Inc. It will also have musical programs, replays of historic radio broadcasts and live local entertainment.” Gov. Tom McCall endorsed the Golden Hours concept as a “fine humanitarian enterprise.”

    On October 5, 1971 Golden Hours began via telephone lines to nursing homes in Portland & Gresham areas. Long-time radio broadcasters assisting with Golden Hours were Art Kirkham, Rollie Truitt & Sammy Taylor. Others would follow. Golden Hours had one hour in the morning and two hours each afternoon. In March 1973 KOAP-FM began its SCA sub-carrier channel service for Golden Hours. Weekdays from 10:00am to 5:00pm. These hours would expand over time.

    By June 1973 Graham Archer was named Golden Hours Executive Director & Henry M. Norton, Program Director. Golden Hours offices were located at 1804 S.E. 100th Ave. (former home of Graham’s mother). On March 22, 1975 Graham’s sister Georgia Lillian Archer died at age 71. By June 1976 Golden Hours operated to midnight. By May 1985 Graham & Betty had retired from Golden Hours and moved to No. 52, Little Whale Cove at Depoe Bay.

    On September 2, 1997 Graham Archer died at age 85 in Newport. On September 6, 1997 a funeral was held at Bateman Funeral Home in Newport at 11:00 am. Interment was in Eureka Cemetery in Newport.

    Special Thanks to Joel Miller who helped make this biography more complete.

    References: Broadcasting magazine, El Paso Herald, The Oregonian, Santa Ana Register, Weekly Torch.

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