Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Long before MP3 players or even MTV, Central New York teenagers got their music from record shops and AM radio and, of course, Colorful Channel 9.
Looking back at NewsChannel 9’s 50 years on the air, we dug up a piece of local history that touched thousands of kids.
It’s a rare find and the only behind-the-scenes look at Channel 9's early years , a black and white film documentary called "It's Not the Greatest Business, But..."
It’s the only recording of a much-loved experience for Central New York teens of the turbulent Sixties.
It's a profile of Syracuse DJ Bud Ballou, produced by two SU graduate students in 1965 or '66. Both went on to prestigious careers: Gary Nunn as a correspondent with NBC Radio News and Paul Steinle as president of UPI, and for a time in the late 70's, news director here at Channel 9.
They followed Bud home with his young family, and to WNDR Radio, where he worked side-by-side with another young professional of the era, newsman Rod Groat (You know him better as our own Rod Wood). The camera also came to the Channel 9 studios in the basement of ShoppingTown in DeWitt.
Thousands of high school students attended the live broadcasts over the years. Many still call us today, looking for tapes. Unfortunately, those old live shows were rarely taped.
Bud Ballou went on to success as a rock and roll DJ in Denver, Buffalo and Boston. At one point, the top three "morning men" in Boston radio all came from Syracuse... Bud Ballou, Dale Dormann, and Rick Gary.
Sadly, Bud Ballou died of a cerebral hemorage in 1977. He was just 34 years old , but he left a legacy to Central New York fans who are still talking about it today.