Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13 Radio History

➦In 1941...Pop singer Ritchie Valens, remembered for the hits "La Bamba" and "Donna," was born. He died in a plane crash with singers Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson on Feb. 3, 1959 at 17. the middle of WWII. Herr Adolph Hitler and his Nazi occupiers of the Netherlands and other European countries confiscated all radios.

➦In 1956... after 16 years as a Sunday feature on CBS Radio, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch,” aired its final episode. The half-hour  broadcast for Wrigley’s Gum featured 10 to 15 minute western action skits featuring Autry and his sidekick Pat Buttram, plus musical selections by “the ‘Singing Cowboy.” Autry went on to be owner of a chain of West Coast radio stations, Golden West Broadcasters, and LA TV station KTLA.

➦In 1963...Dave Kurtz and Jerry Lee signed on the Philadelphia station now known as WBEB 101.1

Previously called WDVR (Delaware Valley Radio) and WEAZ, the station pioneered the Beautiful Music format beginning in 1963.

The station was known for playing Beautiful Music featuring pop tunes reworked in the form of instrumentals. They played two vocalists per hour, as the instrumentals would be based on the works of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond and The Carpenters. By the 1980s, the station increased the amount of music with vocalists to four per hour as they also added more artists suited to an adult contemporary format. Also in 1980, WDVR changed its call letters to WEAZ, and began using the slogan EAZY 101 with Patrick O'Neal (later Robert Urich) as its spokesperson. By 1984, EAZY 101 became the #1 rated station in Philadelphia.

In 1988, the station dropped Beautiful Music for a soft adult contemporary format. This format change came after research tests showed that people who grew up after the advent of rock and roll did not like instrumental music. With the format change, the station was satellite-delivered, but by the next year, some of the airstaff returned. By 1990, the station's name was shortened to "EZ 101". The station would shift to a mainstream adult contemporary format in 1993, and its call letters would eventually change to WBEB, B101.

Airchecks form 1982-84...

On December 10, 2013, WBEB announced they would be rebranding as "MoreFM at 101.1". The DJs and format would stay the same. The name change took place on December 26. With the name change, the station dropped their "Saturday Night 80's" program.

➦In 1969...The Beatles, now with beards and long hair, met at EMI House in London to replicate the cover of their first album for the cover of their current album project, "Get Back." When that project evolved into "Let It Be," the photograph was put aside until its eventual use for the cover of the compilation release, "The Beatles 1967-1970," nicknamed the "blue album."

➦In of the most prolific organists in the Golden Age of Radio, Rosa Rio died at age 107.  During her 22 years in radio, the “Queen of the Soaps” provided the organ background music for 24 soap operas and radio dramas, and played for an average of five to seven shows per day, including Bob and Ray, Ethel and Albert, Front Page Farrell, Lorenzo Jones, My True Story, The Shadow and When a Girl Marries.

…Retired advertising executive Bill Backer died at the age of 89. He wrote the lyrics to the Coca-Cola jingle/hit song "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)," and ad slogans "The Real Thing" and "Things go better with Coke" for the same client, "Everything you ever wanted in a beer … and less" and "Miller Time" for the Miller Brewing Company, and "Soup is good food" for Campbell's brand.

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