Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2 Radio History

Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll
In Charles Correll, who gave birth to the 1930’s radio sensation ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ with co-creator Freeman Gosden, was born in Peoria Illinois.

The two developed ‘Sam & Henry’ in 1926 for WGN Chicao, which they renamed ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ when they jumped to WMAQ in 1928. They would be staples of network radio for more than 30 years, with Correll throughout portraying Andy Brown.  Later, for the early TV cartoon show ‘Calvin & the Colonel,’ he was the voice of Calvin.

He died after a heart attack Sept. 26, 1972 at age 82.

In 1940...Frank Sinatra made his singing debut with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

In 1946...the radio quiz show “Twenty Questions” debuted on the Mutual network. Bill Slater was the quizmaster, and newscaster Fred Vandeventer, his wife Florence & son Bobby made up the panel. The latter two adopted different surnames to mask the nepotism. it was a major Monday night hit via delayed broadcast on CKWX Vancouver. The show ran for 8 years on radio & 6 more on TV.

In 1957...In the production studio of KWKH Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana, and with James Burton featured on guitar, Dale Hawkins recorded "Susie-Q."

In 1958...‘Frontier Gentleman‘ starring John Dehner debuted on CBS Radio. Antony Ellis wrote and directed the adventures of London Times correspondent J. B. Kendall as he wandered the American West encountering ordinary folks, as well as historical figures such as Jesse James, Calamity Jane, General Custer and Wild Bill Hickok.  The upscale radio western delighted listeners on Sundays for 41 weeks.

In 1959...At the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper played their final show. Admission was $1.25. The last song of the night was the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace."
Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly
Holly, Valens and Richardson left The Surf immediately after the show, going to the nearby Mason City airport and chartering a small plane to take them to Fargo, North Dakota to prepare for their next show at the Moorhead Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota.

The plane took off at 12:55 AM Central Time on Tuesday February 3, 1959. Shortly after takeoff, young pilot Roger Peterson, in a combination of spatial disorientation and misinterpretion of a flight instrument, flew the plane into the ground, killing everyone aboard. According to the report, Peterson was not certificated to fly commercially at night, nor was he qualified to fly in the adverse weather (IFR) conditions which prevailed at the time of the flight. Although Peterson underwent formal IFR training, he failed his final checkride weeks before the accident.

A concrete monument was erected outside The Surf, and the ballroom is adorned with large pictures of the three musicians. A street flanking the facility's east property line is named Buddy Holly Place in his honor.

In 1975...Joe McCoy started as a disc jockey at WCBS 101.1 FM in NYC.

He eventually became Program Director.  In his 23 years as Program Director at WCBS-FM in New York City the station was # 1 (12+) 5 times as well as a leader for many years in the all-important 25-54 demo.

He's now retired enjoying traveling, jazz and baseball.

In 1985...FLASHBACK...From The Pages of Radio&Records R&R....

Birch Advances

In host Bert Parks lost his battle with lung cancer at age 77.  He was an early announcer on radio for Eddie Cantor, and hosted both the Break the Bank & Stop the Music game shows on radio & Tv.  But he is best remembered as the singing host of The Miss America Pageant on TV for 25 years. (“There she is, Miss America….”)

In 1995...Actor Willard Waterman, the second person (after Harold Peary) to play the lead in the radio sitcom "The Great Gildersleeve," died at age 80. Waterman was a founding member of the radio union now known as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).

In 2009...Laurie Cantillo started as PD at WABC.  She moved on to  PD at News WTOP-FM in Washington.  As Cantillo told the Business Journals May 2014, "When I was a victim of consolidation after working in New York at WABC, the very first email I got after the story came out in Radio Inc. was from Jim Farley, and he said, “Anything I can do to help?” And I said, “Sure, hire me,” with a smiley-face, kinda just kidding. He wrote back and said, “Well, we may have something, why don’t you come down to see us.” So I jumped on the train. I was so impressed with the team here, and what they told me was a transition plan that would allow him to retire."

Cantillo now works for NASA in DC

In 2009...WODS-FM Boston launches 1,000th HD Radio multicast stream.

In 2016…Radio and television writer/comedian (The Bob and Ray Show, Monitor)/actor (Get a Life, Quick Change, Author! Author!, Cabin Boy, Cold Turkey) Bob Elliott, surviving half of the Bob and Ray comedy duo and father of actor Chris Elliott, died of throat cancer at 92. Ray Goulding died in 1990.

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