Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 1 Radio History

Hildegarde with Orchestra leader Paul Whitman
In 1906...the 4th most prolific recording artist of all time was born in suburban Milwaukee.  She was known as “the incomparable Hildegarde,” a title bestowed on her by Walter Winchell. She appeared in cabarets & supper clubs up to 45 weeks a year.  The woman born Hildegarde Loretta Sell was the “girl” on CBS Radio’s “Ninety-Nine Men & a Girl” (1939), the hostess on 1943’s “Beat the Band” musical quiz show, and “Hildegarde’s Raleigh Room” on NBC Radio.  She also appeared in several TV specials, and continued performing to age 89.

She died of natural causes July 29 2005 at age 99.

In 1926...Station news from Radio Digest:

Courtesy American Radio History

In 1942…Shortly after U.S. entry into World War II, Voice of America began broadcasting programs aimed at territory controlled by Axis powers. This first live broadcast to Germany began with a recording of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," followed by the pledge, "Today and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war … The news may be good or bad for us. We will always tell you the truth."

In 1949...RCA Victor countered Columbia Records‘ 33-1/3 long play phonograph disk with not only a smaller, 7-inch record (with a big hole in the center), but an entire phonograph playing system as well. The newfangled product, the 45-rpm, which started a revolution (especially with the new rock and roll music), soon made the 78-rpm record a blast from the past.

In 1964…Newsmen learn that Indiana Governor Matthew Walsh has banned the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," then sitting at Number Six on Billboard 's Hot 100, for allegedly containing obscene lyrics. Claiming it makes his "ears tingle" to listen to it, Walsh requests that the Indiana Broadcasters Association ban the record from airplay on all radio stations in the state. For his part, the song's publisher, Max Firetag, offers $1000 to anyone who can prove that the song contains obscene lyrics. The FBI eventually gets involved, and after extensive study reports that the lyrics of this version of the song, originally recorded by Richard Berry and the Pharoahs, are so garbled as to be unintelligible

In 1964...Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand," 1st #1 hit, stays #1 for 7 weeks

In 1986....KHJ-AM in Los Angeles CA changes call letters to KRTH.  On the evening of January 31, 1986, regular evening jock Dave Sebastian Williams was joined in studio by Robert W. Morgan. Many disc jockeys from throughout KHJ's heyday of Boss Radio phoned in (including M.G. Kelly, Bobby Ocean, Jimmy Rabbitt, and Boss Radio-era Program Director Ron Jacobs) for a farewell broadcast, playing the songs that had made KHJ a popular AM station in the 1960s and 1970s. At the stroke of midnight, the station changed its call letters to KRTH to match those of its FM sister station, KRTH-FM playing a format called "Smokin' Oldies" that featured hits of the first ten years of rock and roll. The station used "AM 930" as its on-air ID.

RKO General was under nearly continuous investigation by federal regulators from the 1960s onward due to unethical conduct at its television stations, including KRTH-AM/FM's television sister, KHJ-TV (channel 9, now KCAL-TV). It was eventually ruled unfit to be a broadcast licensee and forced by the FCC to sell off its broadcast properties.

In the summer of 1989, KRTH AM/FM were sold to Beasley Broadcasting, which immediately turned around and sold KRTH-AM to Liberman Broadcasting. It became a full-time Spanish-language station, adopting the call letters KKHJ in honor of its historic calls.

As time went by, program director Alfredo Rodriguez and chief engineer Jerry Lewine wanted to bring back the legendary three-letter call sign. However, the FCC hadn't issued three-letter calls to radio stations since the 1930s. So they came up with a plan to convince the FCC that KKHJ could not use the Spanish pronunciation of its call letters on the air. This was purportedly because the pronunciation of the first two letters in Spanish (kah-kah), the Spanish vulgar slang word for feces.

As a result, whenever the call letters were used, they were pronounced in English. This proved somewhat awkward over a decade, so the station collected letters from listeners and community listeners and lobbied the FCC to allow the station to drop one of its Ks. The FCC allowed the station to return to its original calls, KHJ. The change became official on March 15, 2000.

In 1985...

In 1989…WEVD switches from 97.9 FM to 1050 AM.

In 1988, Emmis Broadcasting acquired the license of WNBC and moved WFAN from 1050 to 660 AM.  Emmis sold the license for 1050 to Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), which quickly agreed to trade that license with cash to the Forward Association for WEVD-FM. Until the latter transaction was approved, SBS operated 1050 as a Spanish-language station called WUKQ.  When the deal was finally consummated, WEVD moved its call letters and programming to 1050 and the former WEVD-FM became WSKQ-FM. WEVD gradually replaced much of its brokered ethnic programming with liberal talk shows over the next several years; it gained some loyal listeners, but not enough to keep the station economically viable.

In 2001, the Forward Association entered into a local marketing agreement with ESPN, and WEVD began broadcasting a sports format on September 2 of that year. In 2003 the station was sold outright to ESPN and its call letters changed to WEPN.

In 1994…Olan Soule died of lung cancer at age 83. He was a radio voice in the series, "Super Friends".

In 1996....both houses of the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved a rewrite of the 1934 Communications Act. Some highlights: it allowed local and long-distance telephone companies, as well as cable TV providers, to offer a mixture of goods and services; Deregulate cable TV rates; allowed consumers access to a greater variety of cable, telephone and other communications services; and, in one of the most controversial changes, it revised the National Multiple Radio Ownership Rule and Local Radio Ownership Rule, allowing most of the stations in the U.S. to be snatched up by a few corporations.

In 2004...Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during the half-time show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, resulting in US broadcasters adopting a stronger adherence to FCC censorship guidelines.

In 2013…Three-term mayor of New York City (1978-1989)/author/movie reviewer/ radio talk show host/commercial pitchman/TV judge (The People's Court) Ed Koch died of congestive heart failure at age 88

No comments:

Post a Comment