Johnny Ginger

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Galen Grindle (born c.1934), better known as Johnny Ginger, was a pioneer of Detroit television.


Grindle was born in Toledo, Ohio. His parents, Ray and Edna, were a Vaudeville family act performing at the Paramount Theater in Toledo.Kiska, Tim & Golick, Ed (2010) Detroit Television, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0738577074, p. 52 His brother, Kenny, was a tap dancer in the family act. One day they brought little Johnny up onstage to sing "Sonny Boy" and he was an instant hit. As a teen he performed stand-up comedy in clubs all over Toledo, Detroit, and Canada.

Grindle had been working as a comedian under the name Jerry Gale when he auditioned to present a program for WXYZ-TV based around re-runs of The Three Stooges. Given the role, WXYZ vice president John Pival insisted that he work under the name Johnny Ginger, the name taken from a bottle of Johnny Bull Ginger Beer. Ginger's afternoon show, Curtain Time Theater (which was always pronounced "Thee-A-ter"), entertained kids from 1957 to 1960 on WXYZ-TV Channel 7.Castelnero, Gordon (2006) TV Land: Detroit, The University of Michigan Press, ISBN 978-0472031245, p. 51-62 The live portions of the show were broadcast all around the television station, with Ginger in his janitor costume of bib-overalls and driving cap. By the early 1960s Johnny adapted a new...
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