KOMA Promo for Leroy Gordon Cooper's 22 Orbit Space Flight - 1963

Deane Johnson in the KOMA production room.

In May, 1963, NASA was feverishly trying to gain dominance in space for the U.S. The astronaut chosen to fly the longest duration flight to date was Oklahoma born and bred Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., of Shawnee. KOMA decided to break format and carry large portions of the flight activities live, due to the intense local interest.

Needless to say, this coverage presented too good of an opportunity to pass up when it came to making extravagant promos. We seemed to have the ability to puff nothing into something that sounded like coverage CBS would have envied. The promo ran over 3 1/2 minutes in length. Who else but KOMA could get by with that, or for that matter, even try to? I think we were able to pull it off because we made things interesting and entertaining. Voices on the promo were Deane Johnson, Jay O'Day and Don McGregor. The music bed and jingle are from PAMS.

I don't have any recollections of the actual coverage. I remember talking to the the Governor to get him to do some "voicers" for us. Things were easier to accomplish in those days.

Twenty years later, Dennis Quaid played Capt. Gordon Cooper in the motion picture The Right Stuff.

Deane Johnson
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