Benny Carle-Classic Alabama TV

Early Days
Birmingham TV
Huntsville/Decatur TV
Florence Era








Welcome to the Benny Carle Classic TV fansite! Were you one of the hundreds of thousands of kids who celebrated a birthday on Western Theatre, Circle Six Ranch, or The Benny Carle show?If so, you probably remember it like it was yesterday! Well- this site is for you. Now you can relive all those fond memories of a better time and make some new ones too! It has been reported by those who keep such records that The Benny Carle Show still stands as the longest running local TV show in America: Over 30 consecutive years, 6 days a week. He entertained and interviewed over 400,000 children and guests on his shows. And we've got photos galore of celebrities you should recognize.

Benny's broadcasting career spans over 8 decades. He was the first to perform on live camera. For 30 years he hosted a live children’s TV show each afternoon in the 40's, 50's & 60's on Birmingham channels 13 and 6 and later during the 60’s and 70’s on channels 23, 31 and 48 in Decatur and Huntsville. Benny is an acknowledged TV original. Beginning in the late forties, he was the first to entertain large groups of children each day as live guests in the studio. As his popularity grew throughout the south his method and style was often copied by larger market stations all over America. His outgoing personality and obvious love for children won him the admiration and loyalty of thousands of Alabama families. 

At a time when cowboy westerns were king, Hollywood stars who visited his Circle Six Ranch reads like a who’s who: Gene Autry, Pat Buttram, Tex Ritter, Hank Williams, The Lone Ranger, Ken Maynard, Guy Madison, Smiley Burnett, Dennis Weaver, Duncan Renaldo, Johnny Mack Brown, Vincent Price, John Carradine, Steve McQueen, Captain Kangaroo, Little Big Man, Arnold Stang, Vic Morrow, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Leslie Neilsen, Jane Mansfield, Andy Griffith, and Chuck Connors, who gave Benny a speaking part in his TV show “The Rifleman”.  

Benny’s on-the-air ability and expertise in broadcasting is well known throughout the industry and in 1965 he became part owner and manager of WMSL-TV 23 in Decatur and changed the channel to 48 and moved the station to Huntsville, Alabama. He sold the Huntsville facility in 1977 and moved to Florence to purchase WBCF-AM/FM Radio Stations and originate two television stations: WBCF-TV39 and WXFL-TV10. He continues to operate these facilities together with his son, Benji Carle.

Benny says, “Even now adults 50 to 60 years of age, with families of their own, will contact me from all over America to relive their own experiences on my show. Many are so emotional as they recall in precise detail the thrill of that special day what I said to them and they said to me. It is a distinct honor to be part of a lifetime of memories only a child can appreciate.”

Benny Carle was born, raised and educated in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Ullman and Glen Iris grade schools, Ramsay High school and Birmingham Southern College. He and his wife Patricia have three sons. Benji followed him into broadcasting and manages his radio and TV stations, while Jay and Jim are CPA’s in Nashville. Benny is a World War Two veteran of the US Merchant Marines and holds combat ribbons for both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres of hostilities, including the D Day Invasion of Normandy and the VJ Day surrender of Japan.

Thanks for the memories!  

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