By KEITH SPERA, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bob and Jan Carr turned home names in 1960s New Orleans by co-internet hosting a great number of radio and Television broadcasts.
Now in their 90s, they are hosting a number of more.
Immediately after settling into Christwood Retirement Group in Covington 3 several years ago, Bob and Jan released an hour-extensive weekly present called “Home at Christwood.” Broadcast all over the Christwood campus and archived on the web, it attributes breezy interviews with residents and staffers framed by the cheery, back-and-forth banter that is the Carrs’ calling card.
Again in the ’60s, they named their popular WDSU morning show “Second Cup.” By that regular, what cup are they on now?
Bob laughed: “The previous cup.”
Increasing 4 young ones on Bourbon Street, entertaining and informing successive generations of New Orleanians, touring the globe — they’ve lived a entire everyday living.
In its closing chapter, they’re nevertheless performing what they adore to do, with each other.
At 93, Bob Carr’s brain, memory and wit are nonetheless sharp, even as he battles cancer. At 90, Jan Carr is as superior humored as ever, even following a recent heart scare despatched her to the medical center.
In advance of posing for photos at Christwood a single afternoon, Jan took inventory of her husband. “Fix your hair,” she instructed.
She initially laid eyes on him in 1950, when Bob was using on a ladder atop a fireplace truck crisscrossing the campus of Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They’d each and every enrolled at Carnegie Tech — now Carnegie Mellon University — with theatrical aspirations.
Bob quickly wooed Jan with his dancing expertise. 6 months later on, they eloped. Seventy years down the road, they nonetheless joke about how naysayers “said it would not very last.”
After school, they settled into a sublet condominium on 20th Avenue in New York, striving to make it in demonstrate enterprise. But they obtained no even further than the summer Jan put in schooling with the Rockettes and Bob’s appearances in ads for Zippo and Coca-Cola.
A household mate of Jan’s grandparents who owned a radio station in Wheeling, West Virginia, bought a license to launch a Television station. He provided Jan and Bob on-air employment. They literally created their speak show, “Calling All Carr’s,” from scratch, encouraging assemble the cameras and build the set. It co-starred a pet named Jillopy.
From Wheeling, they graduated to Huntington, West Virginia. Bob stepped absent from Television for two years to promote stained glass. Ready for a alter of landscapes, they planned a go to Los Angeles. A friend performing at WWL 870 AM in New Orleans questioned if they had positions lined up in California. They did not.
He promised them perform at WWL. “We under no circumstances imagined we’d want to occur to Louisiana,” Bob claimed.
They arrived in 1960. At the time, WWL broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel’s third flooring. In the mornings, Bob was the on-air sidekick to Sid Noel, aka Morgus the Spectacular. He and Jan presided over their very own shows, interviewing diners at the Roosevelt’s restaurant and celebrities booked at the hotel’s famous Blue Area.
Promotion guru Peter Mayer cast the couple in a commercial for Luzianne espresso and tea. In it, they introduced on their own separately: “This is Bob.” “And this is Jan.”
That turned their catchphrase. At WDSU, they hosted “Second Cup” from a poolside perch on the Royal Orleans Hotel’s roof. Jan did a trend-themed radio demonstrate from trumpeter Al Hirt’s Bourbon Avenue club, with Ronnie Kole on piano. They afterwards joined the forged of WDSU’s “Midday” show.
They loved to fulfill folks, beloved appealing discussion, thrived on holding viewers and listeners engaged. And they were being ubiquitous in the New Orleans market place. Victor Schiro, the city’s mayor for most of the 1960s, supposedly complained, “I’m the mayor, and Bob and Jan are more famous than I am.”
Their life and careers were being non-halt. “We did so damn a lot of factors, I have kind of forgotten,” Bob explained, even as he recalled aspects of interviews and interactions from many years ago.
“He remembers a great deal,” Jan stated. “We have been so lucky to have so many occupations.”
In the early 1970s, following an possession alter at WDSU, the few embarked on a different program. Bob went to operate for the Global House, the forerunner of the New Orleans Globe Trade Centre. For 20 several years, he led delegations of community business enterprise leaders on sojourns to India, China, Russia and other considerably-flung locales.
Jan went together as baggage wrangler, retaining monitor of a hundred or more suitcases for two-dozen vacationers. “All that time that we did those people visits, I in no way shed a suitcase,” she said.
At age 50, Bob flirted with the plan of turning into an Episcopalian priest. “Somehow I bought the religion and veered off to the aspect,” he explained. “But there was a lot much more to it than discovering God. You’ve acquired to sell your house, relocate. It ran out of steam. And I preferred my task at the Earth Trade Center.”
They under no circumstances gave up the broadcasting bug. Until Hurricane Katrina, they still hosted a Saturday morning radio clearly show for WGSO. The storm broken the station’s studio in Metairie. When it moved to Slidell below new house owners, Bob and Jan made a decision to contact it a vocation.
“That was our past hurrah,” Bob stated.
More than the decades, Carrs occupied a succession of attractive New Orleans households, starting with one particular on Bourbon Avenue. In his 2010 memoir “Raising Our Young ones on Bourbon: A French Quarter Enjoy Affair,” Bob recalled the joys, laughs, enjoy and worries of parenting 4 youthful young ones in the city’s decadent coronary heart.
He wrote the guide inspite of hardly ever obtaining go through one particular in its entirety. “My dyslexia kicks in and I skip to the very last chapter,” he explained. “I can publish, but I simply cannot read.”
They afterwards moved to Prytania Road in the Yard District Bob mounted an underwater tunnel from the warm tub to the pool.
In 1991, they restored a grand three-story mansion on Esplanade Avenue that had been chopped into flats. When they could no longer navigate the stairs, they moved to a one-tale unit with a terrace at 1750 St. Charles Avenue.
In 2018, they decided that Christwood presented the ideal combine of independence and aid for their twilight a long time. They ended up stunned to explore how several fellow people acknowledged them.
“I never know why individuals continue to try to remember us,” Bob claimed. “It was the ’60s and ’70s when we have been at our peak, and that was a prolonged time ago.”
Early very last year, they were being questioned to history a birthday greeting for a buddy of a pal. They revived their “Bob and Jan” act, pretending they have been again on the roof of the Royal Orleans.
They recognized how substantially they skipped undertaking a display alongside one another. They tried internet hosting a podcast, but it didn’t capture on. “Podcasts are not our generation,” Bob mentioned.
What labored was what has always worked for them: remaining themselves, bantering back and forth, taking an curiosity in the stories in their community.
“We turned it in on ourselves,” Bob claimed. “We talk to the men and women who reside right here, simply because everybody’s got a story.
“There’s a whole lot of folks right here that have been a good deal of spots. You don’t sit at evening meal with anyone and say, ‘Oh, I was in India,’ and they go, ‘What? You had been in India?’ Alternatively, you get, ‘I wasn’t in India, but I was in Saudi Arabia’ or a little something. That helps make it fruitful to speak to people today and find out the place they had been and what they were being carrying out. There’s a lot of fertile content all over listed here, even for the duration of COVID.”
Employing his Iphone, he shoots “Home at Christwood” all about the campus. An IT staffer, Paul Krobert, can help edit and add the present. “It’s all on this trusty mobile phone,” Bob said. “It’s my lifeblood.”
At the start off of the coronavirus pandemic, Bob volunteered to provide newspapers, which were dropped off at Christwood’s entrance, to fellow inhabitants. He was also identified with prostate cancer, soon after previously obtaining survived most cancers and a stroke far more than a 10 years back.
The radiation therapies are tough, so he sooner or later gave up his paper route. He’s also lower again on “Home at Christwood,” no extended taping a new exhibit each and every 7 days.
Scheduling interviews, accomplishing investigate, getting lively in front of the digital camera — it is no modest hard work. Why does he nonetheless do it?
“Cause he likes to do the job,” Jan mentioned.
Bob agreed: “If I never get up in the early morning and do anything like this, I really feel like I’m going to die.
“If I’m not with folks or performing a thing, I just go to mattress. I despise to say the exhibit is like treatment, but becoming in this enterprise, individuals generate your power.”
Jan stays associated “because I like to perform with him. I’d pass up it if I did not. And I’d be jealous of whoever did the demonstrate with him.”
“I instructed her that just one day it could possibly become the ‘Bob and Jane Show’ or the ‘Bob and Barbara Show.’”
Jan didn’t mince terms: “I wouldn’t like that at all.”
But is not she tired of working with him right after all these yrs?
“Oh, no, due to the fact he does all the function.”
How extended will they maintain likely?
Jan turned to Bob: “As very long as we can, don’t you consider?”
“As extensive as I can prop you up.”
“As prolonged as you can prop me up. Which is appropriate.”
They laughed, however satisfied as lifelong co-stars.
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