INDIANAPOLIS– Bob Glaze, or “Cowboy Bob” as he was known on WTTV, was a fond childhood icon for a generation of Hoosier children.
From 1970 to 1989, Bob hosted the afternoon cartoon show, first as the host of “Chuck Wagon Theatre”, then when it became known as “Cowboy Bob’s Corral.”
“You know, I wanted to be, if possible, a surrogate brother, father to the kids out there and that was my motivation,” said Glaze in 2014.
Glaze passed away of heart ailment in 2016. A few years before his death, he told us how he actually fell into his TV host job while working on the floor crew at the old Channel 4. He was an accomplished folk singer who recorded a Christmas album with fellow cartoon show host Janie Woods Hodge. When the station needed an afternoon host, all Bob had to do was come up with a TV persona.
“…And I said, ‘I am from Oklahoma, I know my way around a horse, why can’t I be a cowboy? OK, Cowboy what? I don’t know, my mom named me Bob!’” said Glaze in 2014.
“When you were little, he was so good at what he did, you felt like, ‘Well, this guy is a real cowboy.’ He was playing a role, but that just speaks to the level of entertainer he was,” said John Michael Vincent.
“JMV” of WFNI 1070 The Fan is just one of the countless Hoosiers who grew up idolizing Cowboy Bob.
“I’m 50 years old now and it will always be a staple of my life because that’s how important is was,” said JMV. “He was an entertainer and he was as big then as any you see on a national level today. That’s just how much it meant because we didn’t have all the options that we do now.”
Glaze told us he was always proud of his performance, not so much for its popularity, but because of its impact. The “Cowboy Bob Show” was about more than just cartoons. He also educated and engaged kids about important issues like fire safety.
“What we were doing at the time was meaningful. It wasn’t a waste of time, it wasn’t frivolous. It wasn’t something to pass the time clowning around for a half hour or hour,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade the world for having had that experience.”
Bob’s grown-up fans know what’s lost without someone like him on TV for their kids. In times like these, we seem to miss him even more.
“You bring back those memories and it’s a good day. It’s a feel-good day. We’ve been through this for a month and a half and it’s good to have those feel-good days,” said JMV.