Saturday, March 4, 2017

March 4 Radio History

In 1877
...Emile Berliner, the man behind so many inventions, came up with a thing called the microphone. The Bell System, run by Alexander Graham Bell, came up with a compact way to put Mr. Berliner’s microphone on a wooden box, with a crank, an earpiece, a cradle hook for the earpiece and some wires, and called it thetelephone.

In 1910...DeForest conducted an experimental Radio broadcast from New York City.

Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. He named himself the "Father of Radio," with this famous quote, "I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite,".

In 1906 De Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger. The Audion, and vacuum tubes developed from it, founded the field of electronics and dominated it for 40 years, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. For this reason De Forest has been called one of the fathers of the "electronic age". He is also credited with one of the principal inventions that brought sound to motion pictures.

He was involved in several patent lawsuits, and spent a substantial part of his income from his inventions on legal bills. He had four marriages and 25 companies. He was indicted for mail fraud, but later was acquitted.

In 1925...President Calvin Coolidge was adminstered the oath of office in Washington, DC. as it was was broadcast over the Radio for the first time.

In 1930...“The Redhead”, sportscaster Red Barber, began his radio career on WRUF at the University of Florida in Gainsville. He soon became one of the best known sports voices in America.

In 1935..WOR-AM went to 50 Kw power.

1934 WOR Ad courtesy of Faded Signals

In 1942...teenager Shirley Temple had the starring role as Junior Miss debuted on CBS radio. The show, costing $12,000 a week, was found to be too expensive to produce and ended after 6 months.  But a 1948 version starring Barbara Whiting as Judy Graves stayed on network radio for 5 years.

In 1952...the first seagoing Radio broadcasting station, "Courier", was dedicated by President Harry Truman.

In 1955...the first radio facsimile was transmitted across the continent.

In 1959...The very first Grammy Awards are held in New York City, and the winners, to no one's surprise, have nothing to do with rock and roll, or, sometimes, even the categories they were nominated in: for some reason, the Champs' "Tequila" wins Best R&B Song, but Record of the Year goes to "Volare" by Domenico Modugno, while Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn soundtrack LP wins Album of the Year.

In 1966…In London, the Evening Standard newspaper published an article titled "How Does a Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This." In one small part of the story, Lennon was quoted as saying, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue that. I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus right now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary."

The English public didn't raise an eyebrow over his remarks, but they caused controversy and protest in America when they were reprinted later in the U.S. teen magazine DATEbook. Thousands of Beatles records were smashed at mass rallies and some radio stations quit playing their songs altogether in protest. Lennon later apologized, explaining that what he meant was "the way some people carry on, (screaming at their concerts) you'd think we were more popular than Jesus Christ."

In 1982...FCC allows industry to select AM stereo standard

In 2001…Singer (In The Navy, YMCA, Macho Man) Glenn Hughes of the Village People died of lung cancer at the age of 50. He was buried in his leather biker outfit.

In 2004...Clear Channel Communications paid a record $755,000 fine for indecent material aired during broadcasts of the "Bubba The Love Sponge" program. Today, Todd Alan Clem is the host of The Bubba the Love Sponge Show on WBRN 98.7 FM in Tampa as well as online via RadioIO.

Joel A. Spivak
In 2008...Radio program director Fred Horton died at age 56. He was born in Syracuse. In the 80s he hosted the Saturday Night Oldies Party on WYYY Y94 FM. He also worked at WBEE Rochester, NY, Country WGNA Album , WYNY NYC, WRUN 1150 Utica NY.

In 2009…Peter Tork of the Monkees underwent extensive surgery after being diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer. A preliminary biopsy discovered that the cancer had not spread beyond the initial site.

In 2011…Radio and TV host (WPTR, KILT, WPRO-AM/TV, WJAR, KLAC, WCAU-AM/TV, WWDB, KNBR, WRC/WWRC) Joel A. Spivak, one of the pioneers of talk radio, died of cancer at the age of 75.

In 2016…Tennis analyst/National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Famer/Tennis Hall of Famer Arthur Worth "Bud" Collins died at the age of 86.

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