Jimmy Kilgo--Kilgo's Kanteen WSOC TV ...

Jimmy Kilgo--Kilgo's Kanteen WSOC TV show

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Rosemarys Baby

Waxhaw, NC

#1 Dec 9, 2009
Very interesting discussion generated by regulars on the thread "Let's see who is a real Charlottean?"

The question arose about Jimmy Kilgo getting fired by WSOC in the late 1960's. Kilgo had a very popular teen dance party show much like Dick Clark's American Bandstand on channel 9.

Supposedly Jimmy was fired because kids on his live broadcast made racial remarks.

Another interesting twist to the story is that the Levine family (now Family Dollar) at that time owned an uptown clothier that was Kilgo's primary sponsor. The Levines tried to get Kilgo back on the air because the sponsorship was very important to their business.

Jimmy Kilgo had a prime evening DJ show on Stan and Sis Kaplan's BIG WAYS radio, then the most popular and successsful radio station in the Charlotte market. The Kaplans fired Jimmy Kilgo after WSOC fired him. They insisted that Jimmy Kilgo because of what happened on his live broadcast, portrayed an image they did not want BIG WAYS associated with. That may have been true but it was known that the Kaplans and the Levines frequently were at odds with each other and many thought Kilgos firing was a slap at the Levines.

Someone posted that Jimmy Kilgo died in Charlotte in the 1990's.

I believe Jimmy Kilgo was the older brother of Davidson College basketball broadcaster, Packman contributor and Dean Smith biographer John Kilgo who has been a sports commentator for nearly every Charlotte radio and TV station over the past 30 years or so.

Comments? Is this information correct? What can you add? Thanks!

Indian Trail, NC

#2 Dec 9, 2009
I was in the 7th or 8th grade ('67-'68) and I remember watching it on TV and thought those teenagers were the luckiest people on earth. The were "grown-up".

Waxhaw, NC

#3 Dec 10, 2009
A DJ named Jimmy Kilgo worked for a radio station in Greensboro sometime around 1975. I don't know if it is the same one you are writing about.

Athens, GA

#4 Dec 10, 2009
Hymie Finkelstein

Waxhaw, NC

#5 Dec 14, 2009
Very interesting history written by Rosemary's Baby but I can add a little since I was friendly with Sherman Levine who unfortunately passed away God rest his soul. Sherman was the brother of Family Dollar founder Leon Levine and a good and loyal member of Temple. Sherman's haberdashery uptown,The Hub was the main sponsor of Kilgo's Kanteen on WSOC-TV. Sherman would appear on the show and show his fine name brand clothing. He did all he could to bring back the show but WSOC management decided not to.
Hymie Finkelstein

Waxhaw, NC

#6 Dec 14, 2009
Sherman also had a store in Cotswold Mall when it was the most popular shopping mall in Charlotte before South Park was built.

Asheville, NC

#7 Dec 17, 2009
Wow...I, too, thought Jimmy Kilgo's TV dance show was the coolest thing ever! Course I also thought Charlotte was the biggest city in the world too!

Arthur Smith, Fred Kirby, Ty Boyd, Tommy Fails...oh, the good ole days...I remember what a BIG DEAL it was when Arthur Smith opened a seafood restaurant at Muddle Beach! It was a big at the Grand Strand! Anyone remember shaggin at OD ?
1951 Martin D28

Indian Trail, NC

#8 Dec 17, 2009
Yes and Arthur still lives with his lovely wife here in Charlotte. Arthur's son, Clay takes care of them and runs the family empire. Arthur's health is a bit fragile because of his age but his mind is sharp. He can still play anything with strings but not as fast or as well as he once could.

Fred Kirby, Tommy Faile and Ty Boyd have all passed over. The only one of the original Crackerjacks still performing in North and South Carolina is "Little" Wayne Hass who has a Gospel family band in SC. Wayne recently sold a radio station he owned in Chesterfield County, SC. I believe he still has financial interest in another one somewhere around Camden, SC.

Arthur owned 1/5th of the Seafood restaurant called White Point In Myrtle Beach. The other investors were from Monroe and Charlotte. They sold out in the early 80's.

The original writer wrote that Jimmy and John Kilgo were brothers. That is correct. Most people don't know that Kilgo's Kanteen started as a DJ show on WSOC radio. After American Bandstand became popular, Channel 9 decided to develop their own dance party show and gave Jimmy free rein to set it up. Jimmy thought Bandstand was to hurried with back to back to back records. He liked the idea of a "soda shop" background with the kids sitting at round tables enjoying a soft drink between dances. Jimmy liked doing interviews and he was good at it. The show was a big hit. Ratings were very high. It and The Aurthur Smith Show were always number 1 and number 2 in popularity of the locally produced shows. Kilgo pulled in big advertising money. Competition for ad time on Kilgo was fierce with Sherman Levine's The Hub controlling most of it. Regional and national bands like Maurice Williams and the Zodiac, The Embers, The Swinging Medallions and General Johnson were featured along with local "garage" bands getting their first break.

Jimmy could have taken his show to a competing station after his dismissal. There was talk that WBTV was interested but it didn't happen. Probably because of the possibility of legal problems since Kilgo was deeply entrenched at WSOC for so long.
NC Friend

United States

#9 Dec 17, 2009
Ty Boyd is VERY MUCH alive!

Asheville, NC

#10 Dec 18, 2009
I thought so!
Hymie Finklestein

Sanford, NC

#11 Dec 18, 2009
Yes, very much alive and still giving motivational speeches for companies and raking in the big bucks. I've heard him. He uses some of Zig Zigler's methods. He still has that quality of feeling and emotion in his voice that I've always admired.

I've been trying to find Jimmy Kilgo's obit. I'd like to know when he died and where he was buried. Does anyone know? There is a wealth of "memories" of Kilgo's Kanteen (or Canteen [sic]) on internet sites.

Since: Feb 09

Rock Hill, SC

#12 Jan 6, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed Kilgo's Kanteen. Would love to know when he passed away and where he is buried.
Reality Check

Charlotte, NC

#13 Jan 9, 2010
Jimmy Kilgo is still alive and well......
Deborah Helms Dorminy

Pawleys Island, SC

#14 Feb 19, 2010
Being one of the original "Kilgo Girls", I would LOVE to obtain tapes of the show......I tried going through WSOC a couple of years ago but had no luck. Any suggestions out there?

Linda Gale Jamison

Orlando, FL

#15 Feb 20, 2010
Deborah, how funny you just posted here and I was thinking about Kilgo's Kanteen just this afternoon and decided go go scouting for it! I remember you dancing there! SO cool! I have always wondered why it went off the air, and now I know.
Kilgo Fan

Wake Forest, NC

#16 Feb 24, 2010
As "Reality Check" wrote, Jimmy Kilgo IS alive and well. He's still living in Charlotte with his wife of more than 50 years, and still speaks fondly about Kilgo's Kanteen. He would be touched to see all of these comments.:)
Jimmy Kilgo

Washington, DC

#17 Feb 25, 2010
Hello Everyone!

I randomly stumbled across this page and found it extremely interesting. Jimmy Kilgo is still alive and well with his wife Wilma. I am his granddaughter and we've enjoyed hearing stories about the Kilgo's Kanteen growing up. It's something as a kid, we always I heard of but there are very limited pictures, tapes, etc. If anyone has anything such as pictures, tapes, interviews, etc. it would be awesome to see some of it. I know grandfather will be happy to see some of these comments and know that people still think of him!
The Truth

Fairfax, VA

#18 Feb 25, 2010
About the only parts of this that are true are that Jimmy Kilgo worked for WSOC and for Big WAYS radio.

He was never fired from WSOC. In fact, they tried their best to keep him there when he decided to leave to become the MORNING DJ at Big WAYS radio. He never worked at both WSOC and Big WAYS concurrently. In fact, that would have never worked out because of the work schedules of both.

There were no on-air racial remarks made by anyone on Kilgo's Kanteen. Instead, in the 60's another broadcaster at WSOC, Bill Curry, a sports broadcaster, made a racial statement when he did not know his microphone was still on.That was not Jimmy Kilgo. Jimmy Kilgo, in fact, helped the racial relations in Charlotte by insisting that African-Americans be allowed to be on Kilgo's Kanteen.

Sherman Levine, the manager/owner of Levine's clothing store, had left Charlotte before Jimmy Kilgo went from WSOC to Big WAYS. While there may have been some negative vibes between the Levines and the Kaplans, it never involved Jimmy Kilgo.

Jimmy Kilgo is not dead. He is very much alive, is 79 years old, lives in Charlotte and Ocean Isle Beach, NC and is well.

John Kilgo is the brother of Jimmy Kilgo.

Since: Feb 09

Rock Hill, SC

#19 Mar 4, 2010
Barringer58 wrote:
I thoroughly enjoyed Kilgo's Kanteen. Would love to know when he passed away and where he is buried.
I am so glad to hear he is still living and doing well. Loved Kilgo's Kanteen.

Gastonia, NC

#20 Apr 7, 2010
As a child I lived in Winston-Salem. We lived above the Kilgo's (Jimmy and Wilma and their children)in a huge apartment complex. My mother (Francine) was a friend of Wilma's and continued to be friends when my family and the Kilgo's moved to Charlotte. Both my mother and father have passed away, however I would like to contact Wilma sometime to tell her about my mother. I used to play with the Kilgo's children and I'm trying to remember some of their names (I think one of the girls name started with a J?-Joanne?). Jimmy was a very nice and kind person and was NEVER fired from WSOC. He had a great career at WSOC and had great ratings with Kilgo's Canteen. He was a very popular figure on TV and radio. I remember going to the Kilgo's house and seeing all the vinyl records lined up in a huge bookcase against one wall.

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