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Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 20 Radio History

Alan Reed

In Alan Reed was born Herbert Theodore Bergman in New York City.  He was a strong, burly presence on film and TV but he would be better remembered for his equally strong, distinctive voice.

His work involved featured roles on Abie’s Irish Rose; as the “Allen’s Alley” resident poet Falstaff Openshaw on Fred Allen‘s NBC Radio show, as Officer Clancey on the NBC Radio show Duffy’s Tavern; as Shrevey the driver on several years of The Shadow; as Chester Riley’s boss on NBC Radio’s The Life of Riley, and as Italian immigrant Pasquale in Life with Luigi on CBS Radio.

He is perhaps best remembered as the voice of Fred Flinstone in the ABC-TV cartoon series.

He sufered a fatal heart attack June 14 1977 at age 69.

Andre Baruch
In 1908...veteran golden-voiced announcer Andre Baruch was born in France. He tried to begin his career as a pianist for NBC Radio but got into the wrong line of applicants; he was in the announcers’ line and was hired on the spot.

Over an almost 60 year career he announced for such OTR programs as The American Album of Familiar Music, The Fred Waring Show, The Kate Smith Show, The Shadow, Your Hit Parade and The United States Steel Hour.

Fulfilling a 20-year dream, in 1954 he was named to the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast team, for whom he worked for two years on WMGM radio and WOR-TV.

He died Sept. 15 1991 at age 83.

In 1920...In Michigan, the Detroit News founded radio station 8MK, operating at first using an amateur license until granted a limited commercial license in October 1921. In March 1922, the call-letters were changed to WWJ, which they have remained ever since.

In 1925...WJR-AM in Detroit began radio transmissions.

In 1959...A Motorola 6 plus 2 transistor radio was advertised for $29.95. Six transistors and 2 diodes. "Hour after hour of top flight listening on a single inexpensive battery. Built-inantenna, Built-in easel for convenience. Slips into purse or pocket."

In 1960...19-year-old Marv Alpert, a journalism major at Syracuse University was working at WMGM 1050 AM radio in New York during the summer in the record library and news department.

In 1960...Mel Allen, often called the voice of the Yankees, will do the play-by-play of the New York Giants football team over CBS Radio.

In 1963...WCPO in Cincinnati goes “All Hootenanny” - all folk music ...

In 1963...It was announced that all-night talk show host Long John Nebel - heard on WOR 710 AM in New York would also be heard on WNAC 680 AM in Boston, also owned by RKO-General.

In 1963...NYC Deejay Stan Z. Burns at 1010 WINS, New York has the magic touch. After playing “That Sunday, That Summer” off of Nat King Cole’s latest album with tremendous response, Capitol Records announced it will release it as a single.

Rick Sklar
In 1963...Many in the industry are stunned by the promotion of Rick Sklar, director of community services at 77 WABC Radio in New York, to Program Director, replacing Sam Holman. The announcement was made by newly-appointed vice-president and general manager Walter Schwartz. “Sam Holman, who has done so much to bring WABC to its present enviable position in the market, willcontinue to be a front-line piece of talent for us (Holman is also a DJ).

With the responsibilities of running a major radio station in the nation’s first market, it is necessary that we have a man in charge of the program department who would not be faced with the dual responsibility of an air show. Sklar has an excellent track record (he was formerly with 1010 WINS and WMGM 1050 AM) and will be given complete authority on all matters involving programming.” Sklar says: “There will be changes and innovations forth coming in conjunction with our fall campaign.

In 1963...the CBS radio network established a new dimension in network broadcasting. Net Alert systems were just installed in more than 200 stations of the CBS radio network. This will now allow newsrooms in New York or Los Angles to notify local or other network programs of an important news story.

In 1967...With FM radio making some ratings noise in New York, it was announced that a new kind of transmitting antenna was available to improve FM reception. WABC 95.5 FM & WCBS 101.1 FM in New York, began transmitting in September with a circularly polarized antenna from the Empire State Building.

FM transmissions are either horizontal or vertical or both, which means your radio antenna must be positioned the same way. Circularly polarized transmitting antennas means you will be able to set your FM antenna anywayyou want and reception should be good on any plane.

In 1967....The New York Times published a report about a noise reduction technology for tape recording that had been developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Checkmate Records was the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings.

In 1976...Gordon Lightfoot released his soon-to-be hit single, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, from his album Summertime Dream, about an ore carrier which sank on Lake Superior. It would reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1997...Talk show host Bob Grant sued his former radio station – Talkradio 77 WABC New York which he says, tried to blacklist him after he made controversial remarks about deceased commerce secretary Ron Brown.

In 2009...keyboard player and guitarist Larry Knechtel, who was a studio musician on such classic recordings as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mother And Child Reunion, Rockin’ Pneumonia-Boogie Woogie Flu, MacArthur Park, Up Up And Away, Mr. Tambourine Man and Good Vibrations, and who was a member of the 1970′s group Bread, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 69.

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