Ray Rayner and His Friends
Note: All photographs and sounds on this page are owned & copyrighted by WGN Television. More information about this childhood favorite can be located on their website here...
WGN's Ray Rayner & Friends Page
What child growing up in Chicago during the sixties and seventies doesn't remember "The Ray Rayner Show"? Everybody knew and loved Ray Rayner. From 1962-1981 for five days a week Ray would be on WGN morning television as you ate your breakfast and got ready to go to school.
Ray would remind you of what time it was, how the weather was outside, what schools were closed for the day, all while showing the classic Warner Brothers cartoons of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Foghorn Leghorn.
Ray had a daffy duck of his own too, Chelveston. This duck of his would constantly attack Ray whenever he'd bring him out.
Ray also entertained us with songs that he'd sing himself, and do-it-yourself crafts, which as hard as he tried, couldn't do it for himself.
In 1961 Rayner came to WGN-TV to work on the "Dick Tracy Show" as Sargeant Pettibone along with his puppet dog, Tracer.
After a five-year run, "Dick Tracy" went off the air and Rayner worked on another children's series about space titled "Rocket To Adventure. This show ran for one year.
From 1961 to 1971, Rayner also starred on "Bozo's Circus" as Oliver O. Oliver.
Ray then departed Chicago and served as a weatherman on KGGM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Albuquerque. He also filled in as anchor on that station. In his "spare time," Rayner hosted the nationally syndicated program "PM Magazine," and wrote three original plays. In 1984 he returned to Chicago to join the cast of "Guys and Dolls."
Recently Rayner had devoted much of his time to volunteering, reading to the blind, delivering Meals On Wheels, and, in his spare time shot a little golf. Rayner also had added the Grant A Wish Foundation to his list of activities. The charity grants wishes to critically ill children.
Sadly on January 21st of 2004 Ray Rayner passed away due to complications from pneumonia in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 84. Click here for WGN's Obituary.
To all of us boomers in Chicago, the man in the jumpsuit will always be remembered as one of our fondest memories of growing up. Either as Oliver O. Oliver, Sergeant Pettibone, or just plane Ray Rayner.
Remember on the Ray Rayner Show, Ray would talk to the imaginary Chauncey or the imaginary Mr. & Mrs. David (off camera). Remember the Mr. David trying to play his horn while his wife would bust out laughing making him unable to play. Well what Ray was playing was an LP recorded in Germany somewhere between 1910 & 1920. It was called the Okeh Laughing Record. Not heard in years (we'll since your childhood) - It is available to download here for your enjoyment!
Click on the CD below to laugh along with Mr. & Mrs. David's & remember!
(Right click your mouse & choose Save Target As to download onto your computer)
Copyright ©1999 Roger B. Domian