Canyon Kid's Corner
Canyon Kid's Corner was an American live children's television series, airing on KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, from 1953 to 1985. The show was one of the two pioneers of children's programming in Iowa.
Canyon Kid's Corner was hosted by Jim Henry, who worked on the show for 32 years; Henry once explained that the show was intended as both entertainment and instruction for children, teaching them to "get some sense of how to live right" through principles like respecting one's parents and kindness to one's friends. Anywhere from 15 to 20 children would be featured live on the show. During the show's first month, Henry wore a cowboy hat and a tie. Though he played a cowboy, Henry had a Brooklyn accent; he explained to the children that the accent came from "the canyons created by the tall buildings in New York City". Children in Sioux City often appeared on Canyon Kid's Corner for their birthday; sometimes they came on the show with friends or Scout troopmates, and each Tuesday would feature the pets of the show's guests. Canyon Kid's Corner held a drawing contest every Wednesday, and children would give performances every Thursday in dance, song, and music.
Jim Henry was from Brooklyn; he moved to Sioux City after he was stationed there during World War II. Canyon Kid's Corner began airing as part of KVTV's original lineup, on March 29, 1953.[a] The producers wanted a host for a children's television series. Henry wanted the show to be similar to a club for children that would normally be in someone's backyard. Henry auditioned for the role in cowboy-like clothing and he came up with the name Canyon Kid. Despite KVTV liking Henry's audition, the producers wanted a better name for the show, although the name was never changed for the entire 32-year run. Henry said,
In television's early years...there was no difference between local television and network television...I mean, you were on television...and it didn't make any difference if you were coming from New York or from Sioux City. Whatever it was, they were impressed.
Originally a daily afternoon show, it was moved to 7:30 a.m. when KVTV (by then known as KCAU-TV) sought to increase the audience of its early evening newscasts by airing The Mike Douglas Show. By 1978, it was airing weekly on Sundays at noon. Throughout the show's entire run, around 75,000 children appeared as guests; it was considered a pioneer of children's programming in Iowa alongside The Magic Window. The show helped launch the career of musician Tommy Bolin. In November 1985, KCAU-TV was sold to Citadel Communications; Canyon Kid's Corner was axed after Henry—who also doubled as the station's promotions manager—was fired, along with 21 other staffers, as part of a house-cleaning effort by the new ownership. Canyon Kid's recognized vest was hung at a Sioux City Applebee's restaurant, while Henry went on to become an insurance agent.
- KVTV began broadcasting on March 29, not March 28 as stated in the article.
- Stein, Jeff (2004). Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting. WDG Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 0-9718323-1-5.
- Hawbaker, Becky Wilson (1994). "Early Television for Iowa's Children". The Palimpsest. p. 75. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
- Burkhard, Betsy (November 19, 1985). "No more 'Canyon Kid': KCAU ousts 22 in purge". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A1, A12. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
- Casterline, Gail (April 16, 1978). "Sioux City's Canyon Kid: Cowboy with New York accent". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. p. 7P. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
- Hollis, Tim (2010). Hi There, Boys and Girls!: America's Local Children's TV Programs. University Press of Mississippi. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-60473-819-3.
- Zahren, Bill (May 22, 1994). "Canyon Kid still reigns as Siouxlanders' favorite". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. Living 5. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gallagher, Tim (February 1, 2014). "Jim Henry cherished role as Canyon Kid—Funeral services for Siouxland TV icon planned in Sioux City". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. p. A1, A7. Retrieved May 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
- Leigh, Heather (February 6, 2014). "A Final Goodbye to the Canyon Kid". KMEG. Retrieved May 23, 2022.