Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24 Radio History

In station KSL of Salt Lake City, Utah, took over the airwaves at AM 1160.  As of 1932 its 50,000 watt signal would become one of the most widely heard across western North America.

In 1932...the first Radio transmission from a moving train occurred as Belle Baker hosted a radio variety program on WABC-AM.

In 1935...In 1935, Major Bowes’ Original “Amateur Hour” went national on the NBC Radio Network, after a year airing locally on WHN New York. In 1952, the show, now hosted by Ted Mack, made it to NBC-TV. It would run on various networks until 1970.

In 1945... Billboard begins publishing its first album chart. The first Number One: A Collection Of Favorites by Nat King Cole.

In 1958...At 6:35 a.m., Elvis Presley reported to Local Draft Board 86 in Memphis, accompanied by his parents, Gladys and Vernon, as well as longtime friend Lamar Fike. Elvis and 12 other recruits were soon bused to Kennedy Veterans Memorial Hospital and inducted into the U.S. Army, where starting pay was $78 a month.

In 1968…Announcer Howard Petrie died at age 61.

Howard Petrie
After he graduated from Somerville High School in 1924, Petrie worked briefly as a bank clerk and a securities salesman. While on a sales call to a radio station, his sonorous bass voice landed him a job. He joined WBZ Radio in Boston in 1929 as a junior announcer. After ten months at the WBZ studios, Petrie left for New York City in June, 1930 where he joined the staff of NBC. Petrie soon became the head announcer for many of the network's shows. His first major network assignment was on Everything Goes, starring Garry Moore. He was the announcer for scores of shows including Abbie's Irish Rose, Big Sister, Camel Caravan, Blondie, The Ray Bolger Show, The Judy Canova Show, The Jimmy Durante Show, and The Garry Moore Show.

In 1977...Jean Shepherd did last show at WOR.

Jean Shepherd
Shepherd began his broadcast radio career on WSAI in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. From 1951 to 1953 he had a late-night broadcast on KYW in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after which he returned to Cincinnati for a show on WLW. After a stint on television, he returned to radio. "Shep," as he was known, settled in at WOR 719 AM  New York City on an overnight slot in 1956, where he delighted his fans by telling stories, reading poetry (especially the works of Robert W. Service), and organizing comedic listener stunts.

The most famous of the last involved creating a hoax about a non-existent book, I, Libertine, by the equally non-existent author "Frederick R. Ewing", in 1956. During a discussion on how easy it was to manipulate the best seller lists, which at that time were based not only on sales but demand, Shepherd suggested that his listeners visit bookstores and ask for a copy of I, Libertine which led to booksellers attempting to purchase the book from their distributors. Fans of the show eventually took it further, planting references to the book and author so widely that demand for the book led to it being listed on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Shepherd, Theodore Sturgeon and Betty Ballantine later wrote the actual book, with a cover painted by illustrator Frank Kelly Freas, published by Ballantine Books.

Throughout his radio career, he performed entirely without scripts. His friend and WOR colleague Barry Farber marveled at how he could talk so long with very little written down. Yet during a radio interview, Shepherd once claimed that some shows took several weeks to prepare.

He died October 16, 1999 at the age of 78.

In 2005, Shepherd was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, and in November 2013 he was posthumously inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame

In 1980...Harry Harrison started at WCBS-FM in NYC

Ray Goulding, Bob Elliott
In 1990...Ray Goulding, personality at WINS, WHN, WOR died.

Bob Elliott (born 1923) and Ray Goulding (1922–1990) were an American comedy team whose career spanned five decades. Their format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting radio or television interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as though it were a serious broadcast.

Elliott and Goulding began as radio announcers (Elliott a disc jockey, and Goulding a news reader) in Boston with their own separate programs on station WHDH-AM, and each would visit with the other while on the air. Their informal banter was so appealing that WHDH would call on them, as a team, to fill in when Red Sox baseball broadcasts were rained out. Elliott and Goulding (not yet known as Bob and Ray) would improvise comedy routines all afternoon, and joke around with studio musicians.

Elliott and Goulding's brand of humor caught on, and WHDH gave them their own weekday show in 1946. Matinee with Bob and Ray was originally a 15-minute show, soon expanding to half an hour. (When explaining why Bob was billed first, Goulding claimed that it was because "Matinee with Bob and Ray" sounded better than "Matinob with Ray and Bob".) Their trademark sign-off was "This is Ray Goulding reminding you to write if you get work"; "Bob Elliott reminding you to hang by your thumbs".

They continued on the air for over four decades on the NBC, CBS, and Mutual networks, and on New York City stations WINS, WOR, and WHN. From 1973 to 1976 they were the afternoon drive hosts on WOR, doing a four-hour show. In their last incarnation, they were heard on National Public Radio, ending in 1987.

Ray Goulding died of kidney failure at his home in Manhasset on New York's Long Island in 1990 at the age of 68.

Bob and Ray were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Bob and Ray were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the radio division.

In 2005...Former WCCO Radio show host Jim Rogers has died at age 64. Rogers hosted various programs between 1982 to 1994 including "Jim Rogers at Large."

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