Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9 Radio History

Courtesy of American Radio History January 9, 1926 edition of Radio Digest. Click Here

In 1922...KQV-AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting. Jeff Roteman's Tribute website.

KQV was one of Pittsburgh's five original AM stations, signing on as amateur station "8ZAE" on November 19, 1919, predating KDKA which was granted the distinction of being, as KDKA claimed, the world's first commercially licensed station, on November 2, 1920. KQV did not receive a commercial license until January 9, 1922, despite having started transmitting three years earlier. KQV's call letters reportedly stand for "King of the Quaker Valley".

Only five radio stations east of the Mississippi River have call letters which start with K: along with KQV and KDKA, the others are KYW in Philadelphia (though the KYW callsign has in the past been used in Chicago and Cleveland), KTGG in Spring Arbor, MI, and KFIZ in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. KQV and KTGG are the only two of these such stations that have never had an associated TV station.

KQV was extremely successful as a top 40 station during the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, owned by ABC for nearly all of that period with Count John K. Chapel as the radio personality. Known variously as "Colorful KQV," "Audio 14," "Groovy QV," and "The Big 14" over the years, KQV premiered its top 40 format on January 13, 1958, and is remembered for its high-profile, high-energy personalities, such as Chuck Brinkman, Hal Murray, Dave Scott, Steve Rizen, Dex Allen, Jim Quinn, future game show announcer Rod Roddy, and their large-scale promotion of a Beatles concert at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena in 1964, and its former showcase studios at the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Pittsburgh, where the disk jockeys could be watched through a large window.

"Jeff Christie"
Dominant with young listeners throughout the 1960s, the station was a major force in breaking new music and introducing Pittsburgh to new artists such as Sonny & Cher, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Dave Clark Five and others. KQV slowly began to decline after 1970 with the advent of new competition from WJAS and the rise of FM radio (including its then-sister station WDVE, which began life as KQV-FM).

One of KQV's top-40 personalities in the 1970s, with the on-air name of "Jeff Christie," later became famous as a talk-show host under his real name, Rush Limbaugh.

In 1929...KDB-AM in Santa Barbara, California began broadcasting.

In October 1929, KDB’s license was cancelled for failure to comply with regulations from the Federal Radio Commission. At issue were broadcasts of “The Crusaders,” which promoted the repeal of Prohibition. Station management put up a vigorous fight and KDB returned to the air by the end of the year.

Over the next couple of decades, KDB was bought and sold a few more times. It was Santa Barbara’s first 24-hour station, broadcasting on both AM and FM. KDB-AM and KDB-FM were bought in 1971 by the Pacific Broadcasting Company.

In 1990, KDB-AM and KDB-FM were split apart due to an owners’ dispute.

Currently owned by Rincon Broadcasting, KDB-AM is now KSPE.

In 1956...At the KHJ Studios in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "You Make Me Feel So Young."

Radio Bart and Krusty

In 1958...John Tukey coins term "software" in American Mathematical Monthly

In 1992...Sting guest appeared on the TV cartoon series "The Simpsons," as "Radio Bart."

In 2006...Howard Stern began his new program on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

In 2007...SIRIUS paid Howard Stern an $83 million dollars stock bonus for subscriber goals.

In 2007...WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC became WWFS.
The 102.7 FM frequency was first assigned in the mid-1940s as WNJR-FM from Newark, New Jersey. Initially intended to be a simulcasting sister to WNJR (1430 AM, now WNSW), the FM station never made it to the air despite being granted several extensions of its construction permit. WNJR finally gave up and turned in the FM license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1953.

In 1955 the FCC awarded a new permit for 102.7 FM to a group called Fidelity Radio Corporation, based in West Paterson, New Jersey.  The station was later granted the call sign WHFI, and a year later the community of license was moved back to Newark from West Paterson. Once again, the owners failed to put the station on the air.

In November 1957, the WHFI construction permit was purchased by the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation, which already owned WABD (later WNEW-TV) and earlier in the year bought WNEW radio.   In January 1958, WHFI was renamed WNEW-FM  and DuMont completed its build-out, moving the license to New York City. The station finally came on the air on August 25, 1958, partially simulcasting WNEW (AM) with a separate popular music format.   DuMont Broadcasting, meanwhile, would change its corporate name twice within the next three years before settling on Metromedia in 1961.

WNEW-FM's early programming also included an automated middle-of-the-road format, followed quickly by a ten-month-long period (July 4, 1966, to September 1967) playing pop music—with an all-female air staff.  The gimmick was unique and had not before been attempted anywhere in American radio. The lineup of disc jockeys during this stunt included Margaret Draper, Alison Steele (who stayed on to become the "Night Bird" on the AOR format), Rita Sands, Ann Clements, Arlene Kieta, Pam McKissick, and Nell Bassett. The music format, however, was a pale copy of WNEW-AM's adult standards format and only Steele, Sands, and Bassett had broadcast radio experience. The all-female disc jockey lineup endured for more than a year, changing in September 1967 to a mixed-gender staff.

On October 30, 1967, WNEW-FM adopted a progressive rock radio format, one that it became famous for and that influenced the rock listenership as well as the rock industry. The original disc jockeys were Bill "Rosko" Mercer, who started on October 30, 1967; Jonathan Schwartz, who made his debut on November 16, 1967; and "the Professor" Scott Muni, who first appeared on November 18, 1967. Alison Steele would stay on from the female staff and eventually take over the overnight shift on January 1, 1968.

In 2008...Former radio personality (KGIL, KMPC-Los Angeles)/television producer (Gene Autry: America's Cowboy)/actor Johnny Grant, the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, died at age 84.

In 2013...Announcer/emcee/Country Music Hall of Famer Frank Paige, a broadcaster for 65 years, died of a respiratory infection at age 87.

On October 16, 1954, Wilkinson introduced radio listeners to Elvis Presley when the Memphis teenager first performed at Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium on KWKH's live music show, the "Louisiana Hayride," the state's version of the Grand Ole Opry.

During a year-long series of Presley appearances on the program, Wilkinson was the first to tell an audience, "Elvis has left the building."

In 2015…Radio and television entrepreneur/station owner Lowell "Bud" Paxson, creator of The Home Shopping Network and PAX TV (which later became Ion Television), died at the age of 80.

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