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Children's Show Hosts

Buckskin Bill BlackBuckskin Bill - The nickname of William P. Black, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana kiddie show host who appeared on  STORYLAND and THE BUCKSKIN BILL SHOW from 1955 through 1990 on Channel 9 WAFB-TV. Dressed in a buckskin fringe jacket and pioneer hat, Black played a Native American Indian Scout. He greeted his viewers with the catchphrase "Chickama Scouts!" 

Known as the Pied Piper of Baton Rouge, Black played the flute and was famous for the Monday Morning March! when he encouraged youngsters to stomp around their living as he played fanciful melodies to his faithful viewers.

His character Buckskin Bill lived in a cabin and entertained the visitors to his frontier world with songs, stories and several recurring characters like a trained dog name Mr. Blue, Candy the Chimp, Billy the Goat, Dum Dum the Myna Bird, an assortment of farm and wild animal and Senor Puppet (voice of Sid Crocker), a mischievous Mexican marionette.

Actually, Black hosted two children's shows. THE BUCKSKIN BILL SHOW aired at 3:30 p.m. for the older kids as they came home from school.

The early morning show STORYLAND aired weekday mornings at 9am (geared to smaller children). He began each program with his trademark greeting ""Hi, this is Buckskin Bill Black, good morning and welcome to 'Storyland'," or "My name is Buckskin Bill Black and the name of this television program is 'Storyland'."

STORYLAND was the first kids shows in the country to offer signing interpreters for the hearing impaired. Initially, the show hired a former teacher from the Louisiana School for the Deaf to appear once a week and translate stories, news items, weather reports using finger-spelling, and other visual aids.

A believer in values like "strength, honesty, purity and truth," Buckskin Bill also offered down home wisdom like "And remember kids, you're never completely dressed until you put on a smile."

Buckskin Bill also campaigned to get a zoo built in the city of Baton Rouge. He ended every one of his local children's television shows with "Remember-Baton Rouge needs a zoo!"

To finance the zoo, he collected $6500 in pennies sent in by the kids in town. The Baton Rouge Zoo opened in 1970 and included two elephants that were purchased with the money donated by the kiddies.

TRIVIA NOTE: The legendary "Penny Jar" used to collect money for the Baton Rouge zoo appears as a vignette (made by Dahnell Bell) on a Commemorative Quilt submitted by the city of Baton Rouge to honor the three hundred year celebration of the Capitol of the State of Louisiana (1699-1999).


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