The Varsity Show
1950's - 1970's
337 East 4th Avenue
Anchorage,Alaska
The Varsity Show was modeled after American Bandstand and was broadcast live every Saturday afternoon from the TV studio located in the McKinley Building at 4th Ave.& Denali Street, Anchorage, Alaska

Bill Neithercoat, August 2011


The building in the above photo is the Mt. McKinley building, 337 East 4th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska.  This building housed the KTVA Television studios where "The Varsity Show" was produced from the 1950's through the early 1970's.  Augie Hiebert was the President of KTVA Channel 11 and "The Varsity Show" was his creation.

The cast in the photo was during 1963-64 season. Each year high school students auditioned for the show and when selected were the producers, directors, cameramen, lighting personnel, commercial writers and actors and other events on the show. In return, they received scholarships to the colleges of their choice.

Those pictured in the photo include Jim Harlan, Suzie Cook Taylor, Sylvia Smith, Jeanie Woodlock Kees, Rick Hylland, Michael Kohler, Tim Rosaire, Jim Moore, Cheryl Mcghan, Tim Prosser and (2 unknown).

Suzie Taylor, September 2011


 "The Varsity Show" (On YouTube) 1963 featuring Suzie Cook Taylor and host, Neil Christopher

The Varsity Show - on Facebook



The Cast

?, ?, Jim Moore, Cheryl McGhan and Tim Prosser
Jim Harlan, Suzie Cook Taylor, Sylvia Smith, Jeanne Woodlock Kees and Rick Hylland

I am the "Jim Harlan" in the Varsity Show picture standing next to Suzy Cook, now Suzanne Taylor.  In 1964, I was Vice-President of my Junior Class, a part-time disc-jockey for KFQD and President of the Key Club going into 1965.  In 1964 and 1965, I was the "Technical Director" for the Varsity Show, too.  I decided that teenagers (high school kids) needed a place to "hang out" free from college students, G.I.'s and others, where a "mother would know her daughter is at a safe place."   No alcohol, drugs or disorderly conduct was allowed.

Jim Harlan, September 2011


The Varsity Show was broadcast during 1963 and 1964.  It was patterned much like Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  The broadcasts were cut short by the Great Alaska Earthquake, a magnatude 9.2 earthquake that began on Good Friday, 27 March 1964.

The below photo was taken after the earthquake on 4th Avenue looking back towards the broadcast building on 4th and Denali.




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Last Update:  16 September 2011
Credits: Bill Neithercoat, Suzanne Cook Taylor, Jim Harland<>