Houston Music

Lonesome Onry and Mean: Don Mahoney's Kiddie Troupers

Growing up in West Texas, Lonesome Onry and Mean didn't see his first TV show until 1955. But Houston got television about the time LOM was born, and one of the first TV personalities young Houstonians became enamored with was Don Mahoney.

Television came to Houston on January 1, 1949, when KLEE (channel 2) went on the air. LOM hasn't been able to locate information on exactly what date Mahoney began his shows, but by July 1950, when hotelier Albert Lee sold KLEE to the Hobby family's Houston Post/KPRC group, Don Mahoney and His Sears Kiddie Troupers had a regular slot at 5:30 p.m.

Later the show was altered to Don Mahoney and Jeanna Clare and Their Kiddie Troupers. Think Roy Rogers and Dale Evans hosting a talent show for kids. The show ran for almost 30 years, although it moved from KPRC to Channel 39 at some point and eventually made its way onto cable access in the '80s.

Tom Lewis, who plays drums for Heybale, grew up in Houston and remembers watching the show countless times. Lewis emailed LOM recently that he discovered a pair of Mahoney's custom-made boots in a vintage store in Houston sometime back in the '90s. Here are a photo of the boots and a photo of Mahoney wearing them on the show.

Amazing as it seems, brothers Johnny and Edgar Winter made their debut on Mahoney's show when Johnny was 10 years old. Winter played a ukulele.

Actress Annette O'Toole, born in Houston in 1952, is said to have gotten her first break after appearing on Mahoney's program.

For those interested in more on Mahoney and the Kiddie Troupers, there is a fascinating thread on the Houston Architecture Info Forum.

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William Michael Smith