Tiny Town Ranch

(courtesy of Gil Tisnado)

Gil Tisnado would have graduated from Crawford in 1967 if he hadn't been shipped off to live with his father in Citrus Heights, a suburb of Sacramento, where he lives today.  His half-sisters Marie Stout '62 and the late Virginia "Ginger" Stout '63 did go to Crawford.

I always enjoy your "Fry Day" emails. I especially enjoyed seeing the color photo of Monte Hall this morning. Reviewing your photos, I realized there were a couple you didn't have, and might like to use.

The first one is of me and Aunt Gaby on my "Tiny Town Ranch" debut. I was seven. I cannot take responsibility for that accordion player shirt. I was never sure if it was Aunt Gabby or Aunt Gaby on the spelling, but Monte's obituary gave Gaby as the spelling for his wife. She probably didn't get enough credit for his show. But I remember her as being very kind, sweet, and nurturing. Just the traits you want from a treasured aunt when working with children.

The second is an autographed postcard of Monte and Aunt Gaby. Sorry, the back side is so screwed up, but it was pulled from an old scrapbook that apparently had used industrial strength 1950s glue.

Monte Hall, Gil Tisnado, and Aunt Gabby • 1957

Gil Tisnado in front of Monte Hall • 1959

Gil Tisnado (front right in cowboy hat) • 1960

Says Gil -- From the time I could walk, I was always singing. I got my start at five years old, singing at our church in Encanto, a converted gas station that was turned into a Baptist church.  I was so small when I sang my solos at the Encanto church that I had to stand on a chair, so people in the back could see me.  Seems funny now, because it wasn’t a very big room. But then after all, it used to be a gas station!  I was quite the singing and dancing fool.  I used to embarrass my sisters for every time I saw a jukebox, I would get up and perform.  Apparently, when I was seven, I begged my mom to take me for a Tiny Town Ranch audition. Mom called Monte Hall and told him I wanted to be on the show.

He asked, “Does he sing good?”

My mom replied, “Of course, but you’re talking to his mother.”

Monty’s next question was, “Is he photogenic?”

Mom said, “You’re still talking to his mother!”

We bought some sheet music to “April Love” by Pat Boone and Mom and I went to the old cavernous TV studio that used to be downtown for the audition. I guess I was a hit, because after singing, Monte Hall picked me and swung me around and said, “That’s my boy!”

And I became a regular on “Tiny Town Ranch.” It was 1957, but still feels like it was just yesterday.

Monte Hall Page

(Some other Monte Hall photos and memories)

Return to Memories Page

Return to Crawford Page