- 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
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
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