Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 26 Radio History

In 1899...writer/producer Wyllis Cooper was born in Pekin Illinois. He was the creator of NBC Radio’s scary series “Lights Out.” Besides writing, producing and directing, he hosted the show from its start in 1934 to 1936, when Arch Oboler succeeded him. He also was creator/writer/producer of “Quiet, Please!” on Mutual (1947-1948 ) and ABC Radio (1948-1949), and producer/narrator of the early TV series Volume One.  He died June 29 1955 at age 56.

1936 group of breakfastclubbers "start the day with a smile, music and an extra cup of cawfee." L-R: Carl Fasshauer, Bill Short, Earl Roberts, Walter Blaufuss, Helen Jane Behlke, Don, Frank Papile, Clark Dennis, Bill Krenz and Eddie Ballantine

In 1907...bandleader Eddie Ballantine was born in Chicago. He was musical director of the Don McNeill Breakfast Club on NBC Blue/ABC Radio for almost thirty years.  When that program ended in 1968 he became a stock market reporter for a Chicago TV station.  He died Nov. 14 1995 at age 88.

In 1922...pianist Page Cavanaugh was born in Cherokee Kansas. He formed & led his own trio from 1943-1960, which was featured on NBC Radio’s Jack Paar Show in 1947.  They worked as backup to Mel Torme recordings, and also were featured repeatedly on CBS Radio’s Songs by Sinatra.  He died of kidney failure Dec. 19, 2008 at age 86.

This ad for KNOW appeared in a 1947 issue of Broadcasting
In 1932...KUT AM in Austin Texas changes call letters to KNOW 1490 AM.  Today, 1490 is Christian Talk KLGO.  KNOW for several years “was one of the best medium-market Top 40 stations anywhere…One thing that set KNOW apart from many other Top 40 stations was its dedication to news.  It had a top-flight news department that won tons of awards.  The calls live-on as KNOW-FM and are assigned to Minnesota Public Radio at 91.1 FM.

In 1947... “The Greatest Story Ever Told” began a 10-year run on ABC radio. It was the first radio program to dare to simulate the voice of Jesus Christ.

In 1969...The Beatles and Billy Preston recorded "The Long And Winding Road," a song Paul McCartney had written at his farm in Scotland the previous year, inspired by the growing tension within the group.

The Beatles re-recorded the song with different lyrics and structure on January 31 but that version (Take 18) was never issued. On April 1, 1970 at Abbey Road Studios in London, producer Phil Spector embellished the January 26 track using 18 violins, four violas, four cellos, three trumpets, three trombones, two guitars, and a choir of 14 women, completely contrary to the Beatles' stated intentions for a "real" recording when they began work on the "Get Back" project. While the released version of the song was successful, the post-production modifications by Spector angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in court for breaking up the Beatles as a legal entity, he cited the treatment of "The Long and Winding Road" as one of six reasons for doing so.

Edward G./ Robinson
In 1973...actor & movie star Edward G Robinson died of bladder cancer at age 79.   Rising to stardom in Warner Bros. movies of the 30’s, his most important broadcast credit was the lead role of crusading newspaperman Steve Wilson in CBS radio’s “Big Town” for 5 years beginning in 1937.

In 1975...NBC’s “Monitor” broadcast for the last time (John Bartholomew Tucker host, right). Monitor spent its last 12 hours looking back on its 20-year history (approximately 20,000-plus hours) with hosts Big Wilson and John Bartholomew Tucker. Many clips were played, including Dave Garroway's interview with Marilyn Monroe on the show's first day, Frank McGee's talk with Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1960s, Bob and Ray spoofing "Miss Monitor" and reporter Helen Hall riding on a roller-coaster.

On January 26, Big Wilson (left) hosted from noon to 3pm while Tucker hosted from 3-6pm. The program's last guest was Hugh Downs, who talked about his earlier days on Monitor with Tucker. During the show's final minutes Sammy Cahn sang about the show's history ("Monitor: It's Been a Long, Long Time"), followed by Tucker thanking the viewers and staff, after which he said his last farewell. The final sound heard on Monitor was of the "Beacon", followed by the NBC chimes at 5:58:50pm.

 Click Here for Monitor's final six hours.

On June 12, 1955, the NBC Radio Network inaugurated an innovative new program called "Monitor". On the following Saturday, June 18, "Monitor" began broadcasting 40 consecutive hours each weekend, from 8:00 AM on Saturday to midnight on Sunday. The show aired from a mammoth NBC studio in New York City called Radio Central, created especially for the program, on the fifth floor of the RCA Building in midtown Manhattan.

"Monitor" offered a mix of news, sports, comedy, variety, music, celebrity interviews, and other short segments.

Click Here for the History of Monitor

In 2007...Former disc jockey (KFXM-San Bernardino, California)/ recording artist/songwriter (The Three Stars)/record producer/promoter Tommy Donaldson, who recorded his Buddy Holly-Ritchie Valens-Big Bopper tribute as Tommy Dee, died at age 73.

Bob Green and Anita Bryant at a 1977 press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, where she was famously "pied" on camera by a gay-rights activist.

In 2012...Former disc jockey (WINZ-Miami) Bob Green, who was married to singer Anita Bryant (1960-1980) and managed her career as an entertainer and Florida citrus spokeswoman, then led her into anti-gay activism which ultimately destroyed their careers and marriage, was found dead at the age of 80.

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