Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 11 Radio History

➦In 1902...journalist/war correspondent/broadcaster Quentin Reynolds was born in New York City. He was prominent on radio during & after WWII, and worked on TV during its formative years.  Writing & narration was his forte. He published 25 books, and wrote as many as 20 magazine articles a year. He died March 17 1965 at age 62.

➦In 1904...actor Paul McGrath was born in Chicago. For most of the long run of radio’s Inner Sanctum (and much more briefly on TV) he was the delightful but unctiously eerie host with the leer in his voice.  Also on radio he played the husband of the lead on the soap Big Sister.  On TV he had recurring roles on The Edge of Night & Guiding Light.  He died two days after his 74th birthday April 13 1978.

Paul Douglas
➦In 1907...actor Paul Douglas was born in Philadelphia.  He did some prominent announcing during the Golden Days of Radio, notably as the sponsor spokesman on NBC’s Chesterfield Supper Club.  On TV he was a frequent guest star on series such as Your Show of Shows, Climax, Damon Runyan Theatre, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Chrysler Shower of Stars, Studio One, etc.  He suffered a heart attack & died Sep 11, 1959 at age 52.

➦In 1912...actor John Larkin was born in Oakland Calif.  He had a perfect voice for radio, and played the lead in the daytime drama Perry Mason. On TV he was in The Road of Life, the original cast of Edge of Night, and played a lead in prime time’s Twelve O’Clock High. He suffered a heart attack and died Jan 29 1965 at age 52.

➦In 1921...KDKA-AM became the site of the first live sporting event to be broadcast on Radio. It was a boxing match featuring Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.

➦In 1924...KLO-AM, Ogden, Utah began broadcasting.

KLO originally signed on in the mid-20s as KFUR. Its current calls came about in the 1930s in honor of Mt. Lomond located near Ogden. KLO was the flagship of the Interstate Broadcasting Corporation, later the Intermountain Network.

Today, KLO is a Talk station at 1430 AM with power of 25Kw-D, 5 Kw-N.

Helen Choate, Lon Clark-Master Detective
➦In 1943...the long running melodrama Nick Carter, Master Detective debuted on Mutual radio. The show was based on a New York Weekly character who was first introduced in 1886.

➦In 1947...the Cy Howard radio comedy My Friend Irma started its seven year run on CBS.  Marie Wilson played the ditzy blonde, Cathy Lewis was her best friend Jane who narrated the series, which also featured John Brown and Hans Conreid.

➦In 1964…The Beatles set another music industry record by having 14 songs simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100.

➦In 1973...Norm N. Nite did his first show on WCBS-FM, New York, New York. Nite was instrumental in bringing the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

➦In 1976…The first commercially available Apple computer, later known as the Apple I, was released.

➦In 1985...WJMK-FM, Chicago, Illinois held its "Rock 'N' Roll Reunion."

A year earlier WJMK "Magic 104" flipped to oldies. Initially, it was similar to what RKO's 103.5 WFYR was playing, except that WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985, all songs released after 1972 were dropped.

The station focused primarily on songs released between 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. In 1991, the station's moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3".

WJMK dropped the moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001, and returned to their former moniker "Magic 104.3".

In 1998, they began to add more '70s music to the format. In 1999, with new competition from the new "Jammin Oldies format of WUBT "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and more '70s and early '80s songs to the playlist.

After WUBT dropped Jammin' Oldies for CHR in 2001, WJMK continued with their oldies format, though they modified the playlist over the years, dropping older music in favor of more recent material. In 2003, the station once again changed monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and began airing Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits" to Saturday nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s"). By the winter of 2004/05, the station dropped the "oldies" moniker and became known as just "104.3 WJMK".

Today, WJMK is playing Classic Hits branding as  'K-Hits'.

➦In 1986...KXA-AM in Seattle WA changes call letters to KRPM

➦In 1991...New York's "Museum of Broadcasting" changed its name to the "Museum of Radio & Television"

➦In 1991...Scott Shannon started at WPLJ 95.5 FM.  WPLJ had been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host. At the outset, the station's direct rival was Z100, and used the slogan "Mojo Radio," downplaying the WPLJ call letters, but the approach was eventually changed. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill (from WFLY Alabany NY) to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized.

➦In 1992…America's first commercially-licensed radio station, 50,000-watt KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh, replaced its 72-year-old music format with news, talk and information.

➦In 2007...the cable simulcast of Don Imus' nationally syndicated radio show was canceled by MSNBC after Imus became embroiled in a controversy over racial comments made about the Rutgers women basketball team.

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