WRAL-TV participated in the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon for many years. During the early years, UCP used a different approach to their telethons compared to later years. From 1950 until 1979, they would travel to major cities on a monthly and broadcast over one station in that television market. It was a grass roots approach that brought entertainment stars – in person, to the viewers.
In 1971, the UCP telethon aired live from the Kerr Scott Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. The host was Dennis James. Entertainment was provided by actor Burt Reynolds from the ABC show Dan August, actor James Brolin from the ABC show Marcus Welby MD, actor Linda Chrystal from the NBC show High Chaparral, child actor Johnny Whitaker from the CBS show Family Affair, singer Ruth McFadden, Nashville singer Demitrius Tapp.
At 54 minutes into the video, you will see WRAL’s Charlie Gaddy sing with backup singers.
This is the first hour of the telethon.