Hello everyone. Today I am writing about The 60th anniversary of the television series Family Classics, the program aired on WGN-TV Channel 9 in Chicago. The program showcased classic family films that aired in the evening so the entire family could watch them together; the show’s host was Frazier Thomas. He also hosted the television series Garfield Goose and Friends. The first movie that aired on September 14, 1962, was the 1938 film The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The series aired on Friday nights, and in the fall of 1968, it moved to Sunday afternoons.
I had so many fond memories of the shows as a child. I started watching the show in the early 1970s when my family and I lived in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago. We had a black and white TV set at the time. When we moved to the Ashburn neighborhood in the fall of 1974, we bought our first color TV set. We purchased the TV at Polk Brothers at The Ford City Shopping Center in Chicago, and we viewed many movies and often repeated them over the years. Frazier Thomas was in charge of editing certain films. He felt some scenes were too violent for children.
The memories of the show are so vivid to me. When the show began, you would see the chair, the portrait of Garfield Goose, the bookcase with a model ship on one shelf, and books on another. The opening credits are presented first on the screen, and Frazier Thomas introduces himself. He would say what movie was playing and discuss the plot briefly. The books had the film titles on them, surrounded with satin. The television bumpers aired the title of the films, as well as the bookcase.
They were so many classic movies that aired on Family Classics. Tobor The Great, Boys Town, The Canterville Ghost, Sink The Bismarck!, The Adventures Of Robin Hood and many others. Two Christmas films aired on Family Classics over the years. A Christmas Carol and Miracle on 34th Street. Frazier Thomas would sometimes say a few trivia moments during the movie presentations. At the end of the program, he held the book in his hand, saying what movie was airing the following week. The theme song is called Moviescope and was composed by Dennis Berry. It was a sad but memorable piece of music.