Friday, January 13, 2017

January 13 Radio History

In 1905..."Scientific America" published an advertisement for the "Telimco", a device guaranteed to received signals for as far as one mile. It cost $8.50.

The Telimco system included a battery-operated spark transmitter, shown on the left, plus a tapping-coherer receiver, also battery operated, shown on the right. (The use of a spark transmitter and tapping-coherer receiver meant it could only be used to send and receive telegraphic dots-and-dashes, and not full audio.) This small ad--which measured just 2-1/4 inches wide by 1-1/8 inches high (60 by 28 millimeters)--appeared on the back pages of the magazine, mixed in with the advertisements for sundry offering by numerous other small firms. It is generally believed that this was the first-ever advertisement run by a company selling complete radio systems to the general public.

The Telimco brand name was a contraction of The Electro Importing Co. In addition to Telimco Wireless Telegraph Outfits, you could also buy Telimco Experimental X-Ray Outfits, Telimco-meters, Telimphones, etc.

In 1910...the first opera was broadcast on Radio, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The first public radio broadcast consisted of performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. Riccardo Martin performed as Turridu, Emmy Destinn as Santuzza, and Enrico Caruso as Canio. The conductor was Egisto Tango. This wireless radio transmission event of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso of a concert from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City is regarded as the birth of public radio broadcasting.

The New York Times reported on January 14, 1910,
"Opera broadcast in part from the stage of the New York City Metropolitan Opera Company was heard on January 13, 1910, when Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn sang arias from Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, which were "trapped and magnified by the dictograph directly from the stage and borne by wireless Hertzian waves over the turbulent waters of the sea to transcontinental and coastwise ships and over the mountainous peaks and undulating valleys of the country." The microphone was connected by telephone wire to the laboratory of Dr. Lee De Forest.
The few radio receivers able to pick up this first-ever "outside broadcast" were those at the De Forest Radio Laboratory, on board ships in New York Harbor, in large hotels on Times Square and at New York city locations where members of the press were stationed at receiving sets. Public receivers with earphones had been set up in several well-advertised locations throughout New York City. There were members of the press stationed at various receiving sets throughout the city and the general public was invited to listen to the broadcast.

The experiment was considered mostly unsuccessful.  The microphones of the day were of poor quality and couldn't pick up most of the singing done on stage. Only off-stage singers singing directly into a microphone could be heard clearly. The New York Times reported the next day that static and interference kept the homeless song waves from finding themselves.

In 1913...producer/host Ralph Edwards was born near Merino Colorado.  Best known as producer/host of TV’s This is Your Life, he came to prominence as the host of radio’s zany Truth or Consequences, a game show which ran for 38 years on radio & TV.  As producer he brought to the airwaves TV’s The People’s Court, still on the air 25 years later.  He died of congestive heart failure Nov. 25 1997 at age 84.

On Steve Dunne was born in Northampton Mass. He succeeded Howard Duff on radio as the star of The Adventures of Sam Spade.  On TV he starred in the series Professional Father & The Brothers Brannigan, and appeared repeatedly on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Brady Bunch, The Millionaire & Lux Video Theatre.  He died Sept. 2 1977 at age 59.

In 1922...WHA 970 AM in Madison, Wisconsin began broadcasting.

Book Available from Amazon
WHA's history dates back to 1914 when Professor Edward Bennett started using the call sign 9XM. A year later, the call sign was transferred to the University of Wisconsin and used for many experiments in the physics department. Professor Earle M. Terry managed many of these tests, and he eventually decided that the station should start making regular weather broadcasts. From December 4, 1916 onward, the station transmitted regular reports in Morse code.

While most early radio stations in the United States were shut down when the country entered World War I, 9XM's early transmissions were considered important enough to continue, spending much of the war broadcasting weather information to ships sailing on the Great Lakes.

Regularly scheduled audio broadcasts began in February 1920. A six-day-per-week schedule began on January 3, 1921, notable for the introduction of the first radio broadcast of a weather forecast. The station received its WHA call sign on January 13, 1922.

In 1928…The first public demonstration of television was given by Ernst F. W. Alexanderson. The first television broadcast in the United States was to his home in Schenectady, New York in 1927.

In 1934...a comedy-variety hit of early radio The Al Pearce Show debuted on NBC Blue, after 5 successful years on KFRC San Francisco.

In 1958...St. Louis radio station KWK (now KXFN 1380 AM) declared Rock n’ Roll dead. (Ha ha ha ha ha.) After giving their rock records a final play, the station staff broke them

In 1962..."The Twist" by Chubby Checker hit Number 1 again, over a year after it first reached the top spot on the charts. The only other song ever to do that was Bing Crosby's "White Christmas."

In 1970...Los Angeles DJ Sam Riddle forms the Sam Riddle Organization to be known as SRO for coordinating five separate companies headed by Riddle. The divisions include concert promotions, television appearances, record production, publishing and artist management. Riddle is host of “Get It Together” on ABC-TV and still syndicates “Boss City” on TV. He was still heard on 93/KHJ.

In 1970....David Sarnoff, the man who put radio into the American home, resigned as chairman of RCA Corp. because of ill health.

In 1970....Host Bob Grant completes the final two-way talkshow over KLAC, Los Angeles, ending the station’s run as an aggressive “in-your-face” talk format. The station has been transitioning into a MOR music format for the past few months.

In 1980...Orchestra leader/arranger Andre Kostelanetz, whose radio program was one of America's most popular from the 1930s to the 1950s, died at the age of 78.

In 2006...Bob Grant did last long-form form talk show at WOR 710 AM.

In 2011...the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council banned Dire Straits ‘85 hit “Money For Nothing” because a homophobic epithet in the song is no longer acceptable. “The panel concluded that, like other racially driven words in the English language, ‘faggot’ is one that, even if entirely or marginally accepted in earlier days, is no longer so,” said CBSC chair Ron Cohen in an official statement. Many Canadian stations ignored the ban.

In 2012…Former Radio/TV newsman (CBS, ABC) Richard Threlkeld was killed in a car accident at age 74.

In 2016…Retired sportscaster (NBC-TV, NBC Radio, ESPN, ABC, CBS, TNT)/National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Famer Jim Simpson died at the age of 88.

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