As WRBL celebrates 60 years of broadcasting, we are choosing to bring back some stories from our archives that showcase some of our most beloved TV personalities down through the years. This story turns the spotlight on Rozell Fabiani.
For longtime Valley residents, the theme song to “The Rozell Show” was as familiar as the tune from “I Love Lucy.” For over 37 years those familiar strains signaled the start of the public service program hosted by Rozell.
She started out working in production at WRBL television in 1953. Less than a year later Station Manager Jim Woodruff, Jr. realized she was on the wrong side of the camera.
Rozell told me in an interview back in 2003, “One day Mr. Woodruff called me and said, 'I want you to do a show.' I said huh uh, I'm not getting in front of the camera.”
But on September 23, 1954 she did for the very first time. Rozell said it was the only program she ever rehearsed. “I told Mr. Woodruff whatever came up, came out.”
And that's the way it happened for 9,151 shows, reportedly making it the longest running program of its kind of television. Rozell indeed had found her niche. She remarked, “I never hated to come to work a day in my life.”
“The Rozell Show” was a public service program in its purest form. Not only did it include news and weather with Don Nahley and Doug Wallace, there were cooking segments, songs by the incomparable Fredye Marshall, questions and answers hosted by local doctors, gardening tips from Callaway Gardens, a salute to the native Americans, and visits by Fort Benning generals.
Rozell said, “Fort Benning would bring in those big tanks and all kinds of equipment to the parking lot in back of WRBL. I think that's one thing about the program I enjoyed so much…bringing something to a lot of people who could not go where I went with a camera.”