In 1922...WEAF New York airs first commercial ("This program brought to you by..."). Announcer H.M. Blackwell spoke about Hawthorne Court, a group of apartment buildings in Queens, New York. The Queensboro Realty Company, of Jackson Heights, bought 10 minutes of commercial air time for $100.
The first radio advertisement (actually a roughly 10-minute long talk anticipating today's radio and television infomercials) which promoted an apartment development in Jackson Heights near a new elevated train line.
In 1954...“That’s All Right (Mama)” b/w “Blue Moon of Kentucky” became Elvis Presley‘s first hit single on local charts in Memphis. Local DJ Dewey Phillips had debuted the single on his “Red Hot and Blue” radio show on WHBQ.
In 1961...“Cousin” Brucie Morrow starts at 77 WABC.
Morrow's first stint in radio was in Bermuda at ZBM-AM, where he was known as "The Hammer."
Morrow began his stateside career at New York Top 40 station WINS in 1959. In 1960, he moved to Miami for a brief stint before returning to the New York airwaves the following year on AM 770 powerhouse WABC, another Top 40 outlet. Morrow's return to New York City came at the precise moment that rock and roll music was exploding across the Baby Boom demographic and Morrow found himself on the most powerful radio station on the East Coast. His main competition came from his previous station WINS, which featured "Murray the K."
"Cousin Brucie" quickly became a success on WABC's teen-oriented evening shift in the 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. slot. Morrow became a commercial radio powerhouse and household name through his ability to maintain a rapport with his listeners while smoothly mixing the diverse musical genres of the time (Motown soul, pop, hard rock, surf music, novelty records), and then seamlessly segueing into commercials for youth-oriented sponsors and events such as concerts and drag-strip races.
He served at WABC for 13 years and 4,014 broadcasts until August 1974, when he jumped to rival station WNBC.
In 1966...the Beatles played Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was their next-to-last live performance. The Beatles performed in front of a crowd of 45,000 people. After the show, their attempt to escape the stadium in an armored truck went awry when they reached the main gate and found it locked. The Beatles had to spend two hours sitting in the back of the truck before they could leave the stadium.
In 1967...WCBS 880 AM flipped to all news.
By the early sixties, WCBS had evolved into a Middle of the road (MOR) music and personality format, which included limited talk programming. Personalities included legendary morning host Jack Sterling, Bill Randle and Lee Jordan. Like many MOR stations at the time, WCBS did mix in softer songs by rock-and-roll artists, as its ratings at the time were ordinary compared to the higher ratings at WOR and WNEW, both of which also had MOR formats and more distinct identities. Through it all, the variety show "Arthur Godfrey Time" remained a weekday mid-morning staple. Eventually, WCBS gained a foothold in local news coverage (WOR and WNEW's strengths) bolstered by its standing as CBS's flagship radio station.
During the 1960s, CBS chairman William S. Paley was concerned about the station's low ratings, and that concern started a process that would lead to the creation of a news radio format that would become known as "Newsradio 88". This format debuted on August 28, 1967. Its original roster of anchors included Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Robert Vaughn (not related to the actor of the same name) and Pat Summerall. Later anchors included longtime anchor Lou Adler, and others like Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Bill Lynch and Gary Maurer.
Although 1010 WINS has usually received the higher Arbitron ratings of the two all-news stations, WCBS has had the stronger ratings in the outlying suburbs because of its broadcast-signal pattern. Its traffic reports and news coverage includes more of Long Island and the northern and western suburbs of New York City than WINS, and it occasionally allows room for longer interviews and analysis pieces than does WINS. The station is less tightly formatted than WINS, and formats at a half-hour cycle instead of a 20-minute cycle.
Courtesy of DonSwain.com:
WCBS-AM Newsradio88 debuts inauspiciously on its little-heard FM Station on August 28, 1967, because a small plane demolished the transmitter tower on High Island in a fatal crash, knocking the AM station off the air. Interestingly, the debut begins with a staff announcer reading the WCBS-FM sign-on, followed by the "Star Spangled Banner." Then, anchorman Steve Porter reads an account of the air crash. Pat Summerall delivers the sports, Gordon Barnes the weather. The rather ponderous presentation includes few if any commercials, and virtually no news audio. Charles Osgood takes over from Steve Porter at 6:00 A.M. The producer of the broadcast was Mike Ludlum, the editor was Al Wasser. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan, Manager of On-Air Promotion, WCBS.
Part One 8/28/67
Part Two 8/28/67
Courtesy of DonSwain.com:
30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/3/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Charles Osgood, Lou Adler, Art Athens. First of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part One: Click Here.
30th ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST WCBS's LET'S FIND OUT -- 8/10/97. Hosted by Rich Lamb, this special broadcast looks back at 30 years of Newsradio88. With Jim Donnelly, Harvey Hauptman, Rita Sands, Gary Maurer, Ben Farnsworth, Bill Fahan, Neil Busch. Second of two broadcasts. Audio courtesy of Bill Tynan (30:00) Part Two: Click Here
|Larry Lujack 8/28/87|
In 1987...Superjock Larry Lujack knew it was time to go. ABC had already bought out Lujack's contract amid sliding ratings and on Friday August 28, 1987, after a slew of televison cameras, newspaper and magazine reporters joined him for his farewell, a tearful Larry Lujack signed off from radio and from WLS. His tenure at the station spanned three decades.
Despite Lujack's cynical on-air persona, he was actually quite easy to work with, his former boss John Gehron said.
"He was a professional, worked hard at what he did," Gehron said. "He was one of those personalities that surprisingly didn't cause any problems. His feeling was, you pay me and I'll do the job for you, and he worked very hard at it."
After ten years in morning drive, Lujack had moved to PM drive in 1986. Lujack signed off thanking listeners "not just for listening, but also for caring."
In 2012…Boston radio personality (at classical station WCRB for 57 years) David MacNeill, "the voice of the Boston Pops," died at age 80.