➦In 1918...guitarist Tony Mottola was born in Kearney New Jersey.
Nicknamed ‘Mr. Big,’ he was one of the most prolific and respected studio musicians of the post-World War Two era. He played with the CBS studio orchestra, and with Raymond Scott backing up a young Frank Sinatra and Perry Como; was the arranger for Como’s TV variety show.
➦In 1925...actor Bob Hastings was born in Brooklyn.
In radio, his most memorable role was that of Archie Andrews in the light comedy series based on the Archie comic strip. In TV, he was Lt. Elroy Carpenter in the 1960’s sitcom McHale’s Navy. Among his many voicing credits was playing Commissioner Gordon on the Batman animated series.
He died of pancreatic cancer June 30 2014 at age 89.
➦In 1939…In Los Angeles, Gene Autry recorded "Back In The Saddle Again," a song he co-wrote with Ray Whitley. It was included in the Autry movie "Roving Tumbleweeds," then became the theme song for his "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch" radio series which aired on CBS from 1940 to 1956.
This is the original pilot episode that debuted on KNX Radio in Los Angeles as a private preview for the Doublemint Gum Merchants of America and was presented during the last 15 minutes of the final broadcast of Gateway to Hollywood on December 31, 1939.
➦In 1960...radio’s The Mutual Broadcasting System, which had been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since 1959, was sold to the 3M Company for $1.25 million. 3M ownership of the network lasted until 1966.
➦In 1983...KMO 1360 AM in Tacoma Wash changes call letters to KAMT (now KKMO)
➦In 1999...Last broadcast of the Mutual Broadcasting System
After a year on the air, the new network carried 40 hours of sustaining (non-advertiser-supported) programs and 20 hours of commercial programming per week. The network’s first coast-to-coast broadcast came in September 1936, and by 1940 Mutual had 160 affiliates, nearly 20 percent of the stations then on the air. As Mutual’s stations in rural areas often had less power than the affiliates of the older national networks, many stations held primary affiliations with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) or NBC and only a secondary relationship with Mutual. Nevertheless, Mutual had more affiliates than any other network—a record it held into the 1980s.
MUTUAL BROADCASTING TRIBUTE WEBSITE: Click Here
Mutual ended its cooperative operation in 1952 when the network was purchased by General Tire and set up in New York. In the late 1950s network ownership changed several times, often within months, and none of its owners had sufficient funding to move Mutual into television. On at least two occasions, a shortage of funds threatened to close network operations, and Mutual filed for bankruptcy in 1959. The number of employees dropped to only 50, compared with 350 at its peak in the 1940s. The network faced a scandal when it was discovered that one short-term owner had secretly accepted money from a Caribbean country in return for favourable comment on the air, and Mutual lost 130 of its affiliates.
Ownership changes continued as the network shifted its headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C., in 1971. In 1972 Mutual began special network feeds to African American and Spanish-programmed stations with news and sportscasts.
Jepko was briefly succeeded by Long John Nebel, before Mutual tapped a local talk show host at WIOD in Miami. Larry King made his network premiere on January 30, 1978; by the turn of the decade, he was being carried by 150 stations and credited with attracting many new affiliates to Mutual. King continued his Mutual call-in show for years, even as he began appearing on television in the mid-1980s. From 1970 through 1977, Mutual was the national radio broadcaster for Monday Night Football.
In 1977 then-owner Amway bought Mutual’s very first outlet owned and operated by the company, WCFL in Chicago, followed in 1980 by the purchase of WHN in New York. Mutual also signed a contract with Western Union to use its satellite facilities, thus becoming the first radio network to employ satellite distribution. Aided by its satellite network, Mutual served 950 affiliates by 1979, but the number slowly declined.
Mutual was purchased by Westwood One in 1985. In its last 15 years Mutual largely produced newscasts. Westwood One closed Mutual on April 18, 1999, but its newscasts continued under the marketing name of CNN Radio. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
➦In 2012…Radio/TV host Dick Clark died following a heart attack at 82. He had suffered a significant stroke in 2004.
While attending Syracuse, Clark worked at WOLF-AM, then a country music station. After graduation, he returned to WRUN for a short time where he went by the name Dick Clay. After that, Clark got a job at the television station WKTV in Utica, New York. His first television-hosting job was on Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders, a country-music program. He would later replace Robert Earle (who would later host the GE College Bowl) as a newscaster.
In 1952, Clark moved to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he took a job as a disc jockey at radio station WFIL, adopting the Dick Clark handle. WFIL had an affiliated TV station (now WPVI) with the same call sign, which began broadcasting a show called Bob Horn's Bandstand in 1952. Clark was responsible for a similar program on the company's radio station, and served as a regular substitute host when Horn went on vacation. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving and was subsequently dismissed. On July 9, 1956, Clark became the show's permanent host.
Bandstand was picked up by the ABC television network, renamed American Bandstand, and debuted nationally on August 5, 1957. The show took off, due to Clark's natural rapport with the live teenage audience and dancing participants as well as the non-threatening image he projected to television audiences. As a result, many parents were introduced to rock and roll music. According to Hollywood producer Michael Uslan, "he was able to use his unparalleled communication skills to present rock 'n roll in a way that was palatable to parents."
|Dick Clark interviews William Shatner 1958|
Clark moved the show from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in 1964. The move was related to the popularity of new "surf" groups based in Southern California, including The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. The show ran daily Monday through Friday until 1963, then weekly on Saturdays until 1987. Bandstand was briefly revived in 1989, with Clark again serving as host. By the time of its cancellation, the show had become longest-running variety show in TV history.