Thursday, May 15, 2008

Betty Feezor - The Voice of Today's Woman

This morning this video popped up in my e-mail from my TV archiving friend Dan. I can't tell you how it made my morning. I'm sure every city had one of these women who came on during the morning and gave helpful household hints. In Chicago our woman was Lee Phillips. She practically invited the genre and I'm sure was one of the many inspirations for Sue Ann Nivens from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Looking back these shows were really important in the development of women in television. Lee Phillips was one of the first shows I remember that touched on social issues, homosexuality, breast cancer, and how to get that horrible coffee stain out of the sink.

Dan is from North Carolina and I asked him to give some of his memories of Betty:

Betty Feezor was the queen of local TV where I grew up in Charlotte, NC. All the kids called her Betty Freezer because of her kitchen proclivities. WBTV was one of the first color stations in the south and their broadcasts reached into Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina... it had a class and polish to it that left all the other stations looking like amateurs.

She really had the perfect talent for that job, which is a lot harder than it looks. It's the equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your stomach half the time. Plus she had that perfectly modulated personality that was neither too rural or sophisticated, yet always very smart. You had to pay attention to keep up with her. My mother worked but whenever Betty had a special show that she could watch, we didn't even think of changing the channel or she'd swat us with her hand-made fly swatter (with decorative cozy, of course).

I'm glad that her son is posting some of her videos on-line so we can all enjoy her. So have your paper and pencil ready.

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