Hugh Barrett Dobbs was a physical education instructor who was hired by KPO in
1925 to do an early morning exercise program. Before long, another program was
developed, "The Sperry Flour Happy Hour," which became the "Ship of Joy" program (later the
"Shell Ship of Joy"). The program gained great local popularity, and later became a regular
offering on the NBC Pacific Coast Network.
The Ship of Joy was a mythical cruise "from Good Cheer Dock to the Isle of
Happiness." It would be
considered gushy sentimentalism by today's standards. Part of each program was the wishing well
ceremony, where the audience would be asked to place hand over heart, and "send out a wish
to somebody — somewhere — who may be in sickness or trouble. Everybody — WISH!" Listeners were
told to throw their right arm "high into the air in a vast wave of good will."
When NBC cancelled the program in 1939, Dobbsie brought it to KOMO in Seattle, where it continued
to be popular for many more years.