Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11 Radio History

In 1906...a man who was instrumental in bringing The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet to the airwaves, James Jewell was born.  He was a busy actor, producer and director at radio station WXYZ, Detroit, where owner George W. Trendle opted to drop his network affiliation and create his own programming.   Jewell was made Director of Drama, and was part of the station staff that worked out the original concepts for The Lone Ranger.  He’s also credited with selecting The William Tell Overture as the theme. “Ke-mo sah-bee“, Tonto’s greeting to the masked Ranger, was derived from the name of a boys’ camp owned by Jewell’s father-in-law.  When he departed for Chicago in 1938 he became director of another classic kid’s radio serial, Jack Armstrong the All American Boy.
When that series ended in 1951 he became director of ABC Radio’s Silver Eagle.

He suffered a fatal heart attack in 1975 and died at age 69

1938…Bob Hope's first feature film, "The Big Broadcast of 1938," co-starring W.C. Fields, Martha Raye and Dorothy Lamour, opened in theaters and introduced Hope's signature song, "Thanks For The Memory."

In 1940... NBC radio presented “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” for the first time. The famous Blue network series included several distinguished alumni — among them, Dinah Shore and Zero Mostel. The chairman, or host, of “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” was Milton Cross.

Milton Cross
He would say things like, “A Bostonian looks like he’s smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he’s found it.” The show combined satire, blues and jazz and was built around what were called the three Bs of music: Barrelhouse, Boogie Woogie and Blues.

In 1941...1st Gold record presented (Glenn Miller-Chattanooga Choo Choo)

In 1949...the private-eye radio drama Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar debuted on CBS Radio, with Charles Russell in the title role.  It amazingly survived five changes in the lead actor during its 13 year run.

In 1964...At the Colosseum in Washington, DC, the Beatles played their first U.S. concert. They sang "Roll Over Beethoven," "From Me to You," "I Saw Her Standing There," "This Boy," "All My Loving," "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Please Please Me," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Twist and Shout," and "Long Tall Sally."

Because of the stage setup, the band was forced to move their equipment three separate times in order to give everyone in the audience a chance to see them. The opening acts were Tommy Roe, the Caravelles, and the Chiffons.

In 1993...the Howard Stern Radio Show began airing on on WRQI-FM in Rochester, New York.

In 1994…Actor William Conrad, who provided the voice of Matt Dillon in the radio version of "Gunsmoke," died of heart failure at 73.

In 2012…Whitney Houston died at the age of 48. Six weeks later, the Los Angeles Coroner's report indicated Houston drowned accidentally and autopsy results revealed heart disease and her recent and chronic cocaine use were contributing factors. It was unclear if she suffered a heart attack before drowning.

In 2013…Bassist/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Huxley, a founding member (1958-1970) of the Dave Clark Five, died after battling emphysema at the age of 72.

In 2013…Foreign correspondent Tom Aspell, a 28-year veteran of NBC News, died of lung cancer at age 62.

In 2015…Veteran CBS News correspondent (60 Minutes) Bob Simon died when the car in which he was a passenger was involved in an accident in New York City at age 73.

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