The Moriss Taylor Show
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The Moriss Taylor Show was one of the longest-running locally produced television shows in history. Hosted by longtime radio personality and producer Moriss Taylor, the show (based in Chico, California) was a weekly country music-variety staple featuring such musicians as Charlie Robinson, Greg Ecox, Yvonne Ambrose-Haygood, Bill Teague, Mark Alstad, Rosie Mello, Jolene Farrara, Mark Pacheco, and Mel Wilson. Announcer Ron Palmer and news reporter Rick Rigsby also made appearances on the show.
The show started in 1956, three years after the launch of its host television station KHSL-TV. It was produced at both KHSL-TV studio locations on 4th and Wall Streets from 1956-84 and on Silverbell Road from 1984-95. It was broadcast on Channel 12 from 1956-95 and was shown in reruns on KHSL-TV until 1997 when it was cancelled following the acquisition of the station by Catamount Broadcasting.
In 2015, KRVU cancelled The Moriss Taylor Show following an ownership change of the station when they were purchased by Bonten Media Group, owners of KRCR-TV in Redding, California, a chief rival of KHSL-TV since 1956.
Moriss Taylor Bio
He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the second most prestigious medal for valor a person can receive in the air with the Medal of Honor being the most. He flew a cargo plane over "The Hump" between India and China.
He started on the radio in the 1940s and landed at KHSL-AM 1290 (now occupied by KPAY) while at the same time performed with several bands through the Northstate. His radio experience landed him his first television job at KHSL-TV Channel 12 in 1953. After several bands auditioned, he got the job and The Moriss Taylor Show was born three years later.
He primarily performed songs on his show, but he added corny jokes into his program like the following:
- "They say dogs make great chiropractors, because they know where all the bones are."
- "Do you know what animal goes 'Marf, marf, marf?' A hairlip dog."
- "Did you hear the one about the dentist who married the manicurist? They've been fighting tooth and nail ever since."
- "It was so hot one day, I actually saw a hen lay a fried egg on a sidewalk. It's a fact."
Taylor ended his TV show in 1995 after a 39-year run. He continued his radio career with his show airing on KHSL-FM 103.5 "The Blaze". Between 2004 and 2005, he released five CD's from his TV show including Original Cowboy Songs, Original Fun and Love Songs, Volume III, Who's Foolin' Who and She's A Lady.
The show's closing theme song is "High Sierra", written and sung by Moriss himself. It also served as the closing theme of his radio show on KHSL Radio until his retirement from the show in January 2013.
Moriss Taylor died on January 9, 2018 at the age of 93.
- Moriss Taylor, Band Bio, Chico News and Review, Date Unknown
- Moriss Taylor page at CDBaby.com
- High Sierra (Theme Song), Moriss Taylor - Topic at YouTube
- High Sierra Moriss Taylor show 1993, YouTube
- Icon Moriss Taylor says farewell to radio show, Roger H. Aylworth, Oroville Mercury-Register, January 19, 2013.
- Chico Icon Moriss Taylor Dies, Linda Watkins-Bennett, Action News Now, January 10, 2018.