1943 “Welcome To Austin” Video, Plus A 1960 Shocker From Cactus Pryor

By Bill Oakey – April 14, 2016

Congress Avenue in 1943

Congress Avenue in 1943

Somewhere amongst the boxes tucked away in my closet are a few legal-sized envelopes from City officials, containing documents from the 1980’s era of my consumer activism. On the back of each envelope was the City of Austin slogan, “Austin, the Friendly City.” Today on the blog, let’s take a trip much further back, all the way to 1943. (When Austin was…affordable)! From the archives of the Austin History Center comes a Chamber of Commerce video about our friendly city. The opening scenes may cause you to howl with laughter. (My, how times have changed)! Enjoy the tour of the State Capitol, Barton Springs, U.T., etc. Then, take a long pause before even considering viewing the second video. I don’t have the words to describe it. Both of them will stay with you for a good long while afterwards…

“Austin, the Friendly City” – 1943

No search for parking is necessary here. Just sit back right where you are and enjoy this video.

Television Special Narrated by Cactus Pryor – 1960

Those of us who knew Cactus Pryor and remember him fondly from his days at KTBC / KLBJ radio and TV may not remember this stunning presentation. Cactus was a nationally known Austin humorist, who went on national speaking tours, authored books and kept the local citizens entertained for many decades. I never knew this video existed until recently. As mentioned above, I do not have the words to describe it.

R.I.P Cactus. I know that you’re up there smiling down on us! Despite this eerie video…

Musical accompaniment for this blog posting:

For the First Video

  1. “Remember Then,” scratchy original by the Earls, 1962
  2. “Remember Then,” great cover by Sha Na Na from their 1969 album, “Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay.”
  3. “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” Al Dexter, number one song, 1943
  4. “Paper Doll,” the Mills Brothers, number one song, 1943, covered by Hank Thompson, 1971 (stay with it till it swings)!

For the Second Video

  1. “Duck and Cover,” Bert the Turtle, 1951 Civil Defense Film
  2. “Hydrogen Bomb,” Al Rex, 1959
  3. “Eve of Destruction,” Barry McGuire, number one song, 1965 (stereo version)
  4. “Cry of the Dying Duck in a Thunder-Storm,” Cactus Pryor novelty song, 1950
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