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Thursday, September 24, 2015

WATCH: Ron Stone covers the 80s in 'So Long Urban Cowboy'

In So Long Urban Cowboy, Stone covers the 80s and notes, "Our redneck gets whiter, and our blue collar gives way to an image of suit and tie."

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Well, I've certainly enjoyed looking back at legendary KPRC 2 anchor Ron Stone, and based on the reaction, I know you have too. Sites get criticized for throwing around words like "legendary," but in the case of Stone, I think the use is totally appropriate.

Today, we view Stone's 1989 documentary looking back at the so-called decade of excess. But for Houston, the decade should probably be called one of transformation.

In So Long Urban Cowboy, Stone look at the 1980s includes a great line, "Our redneck gets whiter, and our blue collar gives way to an image of suit and tie."

The biggest little Texas city was becoming international.

Stone opens with the rise and fall of Gilley's (Did you see the CMT documentary by the way? Good.) to a real cowboy, Bum Phillips, scoring with the Houston Oilers.

That gives way to young Houston singles living it up in the Colonial House apartments and the opening of the Wortham Center and The Menil Collection. Stone says the most famous convention center that resembles a ship at sea, the George R. Brown, was constantly being redesigned to save time and money.

And of course there are mentions of the Shamrock Hotel closing and Mayor Kathy Whitmire.

In "the more things change, the more they stay the same" category, Houston had big traffic problems with constant freeway construction back then and downtown would empty out after the business day ended (although the latter is changing now). There were also controversies with a rail system.

Enjoy! They don't make 'em like this anymore. Make sure to check out the 950 AM KPRC commercial at the beginning! And thanks to Josh Burdick who recorded this treasure, saved it all these years and posted it, along with the others, on YouTube.

- What is KPRC 2's Ron Stone without Doug Johnson?
- VIDEO: KPRC 40 Years - A Houston Essay with Ron Stone
- WATCH: Ron Stone's last KPRC 2 newscast
- VIDEO: KPRC 2's Ron Stone and Doug Johnson sure had on air chemistry
- VIDEO: Classic Houston TV hosts talk about golden age

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