In 1890...Edwin Howard Armstrong was born in New York City. He was an early radio pioneer and also the inventor of FM, Frequency Modulation. A motorcycle visit to the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ, the world's first FM radio tower.
Rather than varying ("modulating") the amplitude of a radio wave to encode an audio signal, the new method varied the frequency FM enabled the transmission and reception of a wider range of audio frequencies, as well as audio free of "static", a common problem in AM radio. (Armstrong received a patent on wide-band FM on December 26, 1933.
|Edwin H. Armstrong|
From May 1934 until October 1935, Armstrong conducted the first large scale field tests of his FM radio technology from a laboratory constructed by RCA on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. An antenna attached to the spire of the building fired radio waves at receivers about 80 miles away. However RCA had its eye on television broadcasting, and chose not to buy the patents for the FM technology. A June 17, 1936, presentation at FCC headquarters made headlines nationwide. He played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. "[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds," noted one reporter. He added that several engineers described the invention "as one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."
In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40 kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey. The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.
In 1920...broadcaster Willis Conover was born in Buffalo. He was known as the man who “fought the Cold War with cool music.” For 40 years he presented American jazz heard round the world on The Voice of America. He died May 17 1996 at age 75.
In 1956...Phil Rizzuto contracted to be a New York Yankee radio-TV announcer. He held the position for 40-years.
In 1958...U.S. launches SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) to transmit radio message from President Eisenhower, effectively becoming the first communications satellite
In 1967...Radio Personality Scott Muni started at WNEW 102.7 FM.
Born Donald Allen Muñoz in Wichita, Kansas, Muni grew up in New Orleans. He joined the United States Marine Corps and began broadcasting there in 1950, reading "Dear John" letters over Radio Guam. After leaving the Corps and having considered acting as a career, he began working as a disc jockey; in 1953 he began working at WSMB in New Orleans. His mentor was Marshall Pearce. In 1955 he began broadcasting at station WAKR in Akron, Ohio, and after that worked in Kankakee, Illinois.
In 1965, Muni left WABC and ran the Rolling Stone Night Club while doing occasional fill-in work for WMCA. Muni had explored some opportunities beyond radio: he had recently co-hosted a local weekly television show on WABC-TV with Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow.
In 1966, Muni joined WOR-FM, one of the earliest pioneers of freeform-based progressive rock radio. The notion did not last at that station, but in 1967 Muni moved to legendary rock station WNEW-FM, where the format really took hold. Muni stayed there for three decades as the afternoon DJ and sometimes program director. Muni was described by fellow WNEW-FM DJ Dennis Elsas as "the heart and soul of the place". Under assorted management changes during the 1990s WNEW-FM lost its way, and in 1998 Muni ended up as a one-hour noontime classic rock personality at WAXQ "Q104.3", where he worked until suffering a stroke in early 2004.
In 1971...the CBS Radio network cancelled Saturday morning band concerts.
In 1993...WNCN changes to rock WAXQ in NYC
In 2010...NYC Radio/TV Personality Clay Cole died from a heart attack at age 72
In 2012…Two global audience-measurement giants announced plans to join forces as Nielsen, the dominant source of TV ratings, agreed to buy Arbitron for about $1.26 billion to expand into radio measurement.
In 2013...longtime Chicago ‘superjock’ Larry Lujack, who early in his career had a stint at KJR Seattle, succumbed to esophageal cancer at age 73.
"Animal Stories" came about because WLS was still receiving farm magazines long after they went into Rock and Roll in 1960. Lujack started reading some of them and began airing stories from them instead of reading the grain reports connected with the Farm Report. When the Farm Report was officially discontinued, the feature became Animal Stories. A perfectionist about his work, Lujack would review every word he said on the air after each broadcast by listening to an audio cassette "skimmer" tape.
First at WCFL-AM and later at WLS-AM, a clear-channel station that could be heard far beyond Chicago, Mr. Lujack — known on the air as Uncle Lar’ or Superjock — spent 20 years spinning records and spouting opinions.
He became famous for regular features including “Klunk Letter of the Day” and “Cheap and Trashy Showbiz Report.” His best-known feature, done in collaboration with his longtime on-air partner Tommy Edwards (“Li’l Snot-Nose Tommy,” Mr. Lujack fondly called him), was “Animal Stories.”
Growing directly from the farm reports Mr. Lujack had to give early in his career, the feature involved his reading comic news reports about animals — among them the tale of a chicken who lived on despite having parted company with his head days before — to an astonished Mr. Edwards.
Lujack’s style, which also included strategic pauses, audible paper-shuffling and grandiloquent references to himself in the third person, demonstrably shaped that of Mr. Limbaugh, who in 1990 told The New York Times Magazine that Mr. Lujack was “the only person I ever copied.”
According to The NY Times, Larry Lee Blankenburg was born in 1940 in Quasqueton, Iowa, and reared in Caldwell, Idaho. At 18 he joined KCID-AM in Caldwell, adopting the surname of his idol, the Chicago Bears quarterback Johnny Lujack.
After working at stations in Idaho and Washington State, Mr. Lujack joined WCFL in 1967 and moved to WLS four months later. Except for a four-year stint back at WCFL, he remained with WLS for the next two decades.
In 1984 WLS gave Lujack a 12-year, $6 million contract, making him one of the country’s highest-paid radio personalities. (“I am not the least bit excited,” he was reported to have said.) But in 1987, amid declining ratings, the station’s corporate parent, Capital Cities-ABC, bought out his contract.
His honors include membership in the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (“It’s not Mount Rushmore,” he said on learning of his induction) and the National Radio Hall of Fame.