Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 29 Radio History

Walter Winchell
In 1929...gossip columnist Walter Winchell first appeared on radio. But it would be more than a year before he got his own show on local New York radio, which led to national success.

In 1937...The CBS Radio Network debuted "Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories".

In 1942...BBC Radio launches a new program called Desert Island Discs . Still on the air today, it's the second-longest-running radio program in existence, next to the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1945...Lionel Barrymore took over the host duties temporarily on the “Lux Radio Theatre” on CBS radio. This after longtime host Cecil B. DeMille refused to join the radio performers union.

In 1951...Major League Baseball signed a 6 year agreement for TV-radio rights at $6 million.

In 1956...the show "Indictment" was first broadcast on the CBS Radio Network. It aired for 3 years.

In 1964,...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles. This first American release by the Beatles was one of the biggest selling British singles of all time with worldwide sales of 15 million copies.

In 1964...Beatles record in German "Komm, Gib Mir Diene Hand" & "Sie Leibt Dich"


1980...a true entertainer who conquered vaudeville, radio & TV Jimmy Durante, who was confined to a wheelchair following a 1972 stroke, died of pneumonia at age 86.

In 2000...Longtime Detroit radio personality (WQBH, WJLB, WCHB) Martha Jean "The Queen'' Steinberg died at the age of 69.

Martha Jean Steinberg
Her first radio job was on Memphis’ WDIA starting in 1954. There, she was one of the first female disc jockeys in the United States, with a program that included the latest R&B hits along with the typical "household hints" programming that was de rigueur at the time for female radio personalities.

In 1963 she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she was heard on WCHB-AM and then throughout the late 1960s and 1970s on WJLB. On July 23, 1967 Steinberg convinced WJLB to cancel its normal evening programming and she did an on air program calling for people to calm down and stop rioting. It has been suggested that this prevented the 1967 Detroit Riot from being worse than it was.

During her time at WJLB, she led the station's on-air staff in protest of the fact that the station at the time had no African-American employees outside of the air staff.

In 1980, WJLB converted from AM to the FM dial (where it remains to this day), and Steinberg's show was dropped in the process. The former WJLB-AM became WMZK with an ethnic format. In 1982, Steinberg purchased WMZK-AM and changed the call letters to WQBH in order to offer more gospel music oriented programming. Steinberg remained on the air at WQBH 1400 AM until her death. WQBH is now WDTK.

In 2013...WRXP 94.7 FM, NYC changed call letters to WNSH

In 2008…Former U.S. First Daughter/singer/network radio series co-host (with Mike Wallace on NBC's Weekday)/author Mary Margaret Truman Daniel died at the age of 83.

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