VALCINE YOUNG “My Fondest Memories of Christmas”



My fondest memories of Christmas was as a child, and my uncle, John Marshall, and the 60s.  Every year, the GENE CARROLL show gave a free concert for the community at 36th and Euclid.  Can’t remember the name of the auditorium, but those shows were the first bite of show business.

CLEVELAND – The Gene Carroll Show was the longest-running television show in history when the 25th anniversary edition of the Gene Carroll Show aired April 29, 1973.

The show aired on WEWS at noon on Sundays, beginning its run in 1948 — just a few months after WEWS signed on the air as Cleveland’s first TV station December 1947.

The show was a mix of local talent — amateur and professional — with a few national acts, often friends of Carroll, sprinkled in.

Gene Carroll himself was quite the entertainer, having a long run in radio at local stations around the country as well as shows that aired nationally.

Carroll’s show was known by a variety of names, depending on who was sponsoring it.


Every year my uncle John took me and his daughters to Mr. Carroll’s shows….. Nobody liked them white kids performing – but I loved it. !!!!!

I looked forward to those shows every year. I even got away from my uncle and cousins one year, and found my way to the stage area.

My family was in the line waiting to get free gifts from the show.  Broke my heart.   When I had a conversation with a pretty little girl who did a

tap dance act, I asked her how can I be in the show?  She said, “You got talent? You got a routine?  Why you asking me, ask your agency!”

So I made my way back to my uncle John and my cousins’, who was having a fit- search party was in effect. LOL, Don’t you ever go

off like that.   I knew that day, I was gonna be in the business of show business, and that came to pass!  Uncle John known by the island,

Cleveland Ohio Miles area, was a tall black man, full of unspeakable energy, hardworking southern man, who loved music and taking

pictures.  I can go on and on about My Uncle John. But I will say this, he planted many of seed within me for his sister.  One was his love for

the entertainment world. There was always parties at his home, which turned me into the perfect host.

There was always a big Christmas show and other shows which he took us to.  He was what the kids call the underworld of the

business.  He loved the Blues!!  Growing up, I never knew the word Celebrities.  When Bobby Blue Bland or B.B. King was in town, or

even James Brown – I didn’t know about all that.  Those cats spent the night were just Uncle John’s friends….

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