Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 15 Radio History

In actress Mary Lee Robb was born in Streator, Illinois.

She made her radio debut in 1947 on the “Lum and Abner” program, but it was a small part in a 1948 episode of NBC radio’s “The Great Gildersleeve” that led to her full-time role as Gildy’s niece Marjorie, which she played until 1954. She also appeared on “The Penny Singleton Radio Show,” “Burns and Allen” and others before retiring to raise her daughter and son.

She died of heart failure Aug. 26 2006 at age 80.

In 1932…George Burns and Gracie Allen made their first appearance as regular players on CBS Radio Network's, "The Guy Lombardo Show". When Lombardo accepted an offer to move to NBC, Burns and Allen took over his CBS spot with "The Adventures of Gracie," beginning in September of 1934.

In 1943…The ABC Radio Network aired "My True Story" for the first time. The daily program was presented in cooperation with “True Story” magazine, and continued on radio for nearly 19 years.

In 1965…Singer Nat King Cole died of cancer on this day in 1965. He was 45.

In 1993…The Howard Stern Radio Show begain airing on WNVE-FM in Rochester, New York.

In 2002...former CBS Radio correspondent and ABC TV anchorman Howard K. Smith died of pneumonia at age 87.

Upon graduating, Smith worked for the New Orleans Item, with United Press in London, and with The New York Times. In January 1940, Smith was sent to Berlin, where he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System under Edward R. Murrow. He visited Hitler's mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden and interviewed many leading Nazis, including Hitler himself, Schutzstaffel or "SS" leader Heinrich Himmler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. When Smith refused to include Nazi propaganda in his reports, the Gestapo seized his notebooks and threw him out of the country. He left for Switzerland on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

He was one of the last American reporters to leave Berlin before Germany and the United States went to war. His 1942 book, Last Train from Berlin: An Eye-Witness Account of Germany at War describes the reporter's observations from Berlin in the year after the departure of Berlin Diary author William L. Shirer. Last Train from Berlin became an American best-seller and was reprinted in 2001, shortly before Smith's death.

In 2014…Journalist/associate minister/Detroit radio personality (WCHB 1200 AM) Angelo Henderson, who served two terms as a parliamentarian of the National Association of Black Journalists and was the only African-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize for The Wall Street Journal (1999), died at the age of 51.

He had been recovering from surgery conducted last month to repair a quadriceps tendon rupture.

Henderson hosted the morning weekday WCHB radio show "Your Voice with Angelo Henderson," focused on Detroit issues and a daily rundown of area crime.

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