Jarrett Lickle (Patches)
December 1952
Picture taken by Roy Swartz and the original negative
was donated to us by the Lower Merion Historical Society
© Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia

Although his real name is Jarrett Spotswood Lickle, the children called him "Patches." His friends called him "Spotty," and there were rumors that as a child, he was teased with the name "Spot."

This is the individual who was an elegant, prince-like traveler that appeared in the fifties on Channel 10, WCAU-TV. His clothes were tattered, but not crummy and never dirty. He had several programs on the station including "The Old Story," "Just Us Kids" and "Pioneer Playhouse."

He wore a coonskin cap, reminiscent of Davy Crockett. He also had buckskins, moccasins and a bag thrown over his shoulder.

Before going on the air for the first time, Lickle had to get his costume ready. Holes were torn in the material and patches sown over the rips to give him his TV moniker. However, once the program aired, kids sent him others including many brightly colored ones. The old ones were removed and the new ones were added. That was "Patches."

His started at WCAU-TV in 1952 at the age of 26 and was seen twice a week beginning in February of 1954 (Tuesday and Thursday 4 pm to 4:15). He was 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighed 185 pounds and had blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. Originally, he appeared on WCAU-TV only on the weekends. (Later, it would be daily.) That's because he was on a Baltimore TV station during the week. He lived in Monkton, Maryland (about 25 miles from Baltimore) and he was a real outdoors type who enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.

Jarrett began in broadcasting at 15. He was singing hillbilly style on the radio. Then he entered the Armed Forces and worked in California broadcasting for a short time. In 1949, he made his TV debut in Baltimore and came to WCAU-TV with the recommendation of his friend, Barry Cassell, of "Action in the Afternoon" fame which was originating live from WCAU-TV's backlot on the CBS Television Network.

Patches sang folk songs in his tenor voice and strummed his guitar. He was sort of Channel 10's answer to Rex Trailer, a western singer and host on Channel 3, WPTZ, here in Philadelphia. He also told musical yarns and bible stories. These songs required a lot of research because he performed mostly original selections. He and his wife, Liz, who also played the guitar, loved to "jam" together.

At one time, Patches ran a contest on his show. It was called. "Name the Dog," sponsored by TV Time Popcorn. The contest also ran on the Willie the Worm Show, also on WCAU-TV.

Gary Helton of the Crab City Kids Website e-mails: I have vague memories of the Patches show, which was on (Baltimore's) Channel 13 here (WJZ). I recall Patches had a beard and sang folk-type songs. Actually, I believe the program was called "Patches & Liz." Some time ago, maybe 10 years back, Patches was performing at local coffee houses or churches in the Baltimore area, but I've heard nothing of him since. In the mid-sixties, we know that Patches was doing a children's show in the Baltimore area. This may be the program Gary remembers.

Dr. Richard Sutor, a visitor to our website e-mailed: "Patches... also showed serials such as Don Winslow and an unforgettable serial featuring Clyde Beatty, The Hidden Jungle."

In 1990, Jarrett wrote of book of children's poems entitled, "Mister Mouse's Christmas." It was illustrated by Sharlaine Dziadon and Patricia L Pullin and was published by Atricia Publishing International.

Jarrett Lickle (Patches)
Picture taken by Roy Swartz and the original negative
was donated to us by the Lower Merion Historical Society
© Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia

Surprise! Surprise! We opened our e-mail one January 2002 morning and there was an e-mail from "Patches." He wrote:

I am Jarrett Spotswood Lickle and "PATCHES." My oldest daughter just sent me an e-mail with your website and asked if I knew about it or not. Well now it was such a wonderful surprise when I hit your site. As you can imagine it is a great feeling be remembered and it took me back many years to WCAU-TV. I am 76 now and feeling hail and hearty, thank the Good Lord. I am now living in Sparks, Maryland close to where I was born really....

I thought I would bring you up to date.... First, after leaving WCAU-TV, I worked for a few months on WTNJ radio, 220 watts in Trenton, N.J. I was negotiating with WBAL-TV back here in my home of Baltimore. They took me and I was Patches here with a different format. I had found that the pioneer character WCAU-TV gave me, limited the subject matter to pioneers, indians and animals. However Patches has been with me through it all. After WBAL-TV I went over to WJZ-TV where I ended up with 11 children's shows a week.

It was here that I did my last shows for TV. I married a girl from Cumberland, Maryland who was here on a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory. We married and in between TV shows, we were a singing duet with my guitar. We sang in many wonderful lounges and hotels here and in southern Spain for three years. All in all, we did lounges for 26 years. After leaving WJZ-TV, my wife, Elizabeth and I opened a most successful Coffee House in the roaring 60's. You may find it interesting to know that the likes of John Denver, Don McLean, and Emmy Lou Harris were among the many wonderful performers we were able to present to our clientele.

That lasted as long as folk music did, which was about ten years. I am now retired and Liz, my wife is still an RN here in a fine hospital. And yes we still sing and play at some various occasions. My voice has not failed me yet so as long as it holds good, I will always sing and play that good old guitar. It has been and is still a wonderful trip for me....

The coffeehouse Jarrett was talking about was called, "Patches 15 Below." It was so named because you had to walk down 15 steps from the sidewalk to enter.

Chuck Mu, a visitor to our website e-mailed: I do believe that at the of the show, Patches said "Wishing You a Guitar Full of Happiness."

Jarrett Spotswood Lickle passed away from cancerlast month on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at the Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson, Maryland. Memorial services were held on October 20th.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Elizabeth (Liz) Murray Lickle, four daughters, Andrea Allen, Kathryn Rumsey, Laura Stark and Nancy Jarrett Bernoni; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Text compiled and researched by Broadcast Pioneers historian Gerry Wilkinson
© 2007 & 2012, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com