Smoke House Serenade
“Smoke House barbecue can’t be beat, so good, so good. Smoke House barbecue good to eat, barbecued the Smoke House way. Try the Smoke House tonight, try the Smoke House today. Bet your money it’s the best in town, barbecued the Smoke House way.”
Smoke House Serenade was another WONN success story. The Monday through Friday night 30-minute program began around 1951 and was heard from 10:00 to 10:30 PM, sponsored by The Smoke House Bar-B-Q Restaurant, two miles west of Lakeland on Highway 92 at the west city limits (which was Wabash Avenue at the time). The music was a mix of easy listening pop – Doris Day, Nat “King” Cole, Tony Bennett, Percy Faith, Frank Sinatra, etc. About mid way through the program, there would be a “Smoke House Quiz,” and whoever came up with the right answer to a question about the night’s featured song, would win two barbecue rib or chicken dinners (provided the person hadn’t won in the last 30 days – ver-r-r-y important!!).
There were many hosts of the program over the years, usually the person who worked the night shift on WONN. The most popular host (and Smoke House owner Frank Buell’s favorite) was Ed Pyle from 1962 to 1964. Before Ed came along, the program host read the Smoke House commercials from live scripts provided by the copy department, but Ed didn’t like the repetition of the same two or three commercials repeated over and over, so he tried something different – he would adlib them. Ed was a frequent visitor to the restaurant, usually several times a week, so his commercials were usually about his dining experience there.
Smoke House Serenade was a highly successful program on WONN for many, many years, but was cancelled in the early 1970’s when the original owners, Frank and Retta Buell, retired and sold the business. Check out the pictures of the Smoke House in the WONN Photo Album.
1951 - 1970 WONN (Featured Program)