Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 29 Radio History

➦In actor/writer/director Ed Gardner was born in Astoria, New York.  He began his career in advertising, but found fame on radio with the comedic weekly half-hour Duffy’s Tavern, portraying the wisecracking, malaprop-prone barkeep/manager Archie. The successful radio program, his creation, aired on CBS from 1941 to 1942, on the NBC Blue Network from 1942 to 1944 and NBC from 1944 to 1952. His liver gave out Aug. 17 1963 and he died at age 62.

➦In 1932...the second daytime serial on network radio made its debut on the NBC Blue network, Vic and Sade.  Radio’s first daytime drama was Clara Lu and Em, which premiered on NBC in 1931.
During its 14-year run on radio, Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. For the majority of its span on the air, Vic and Sade was heard in 15-minute episodes without a continuing storyline. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks", were accountant Victor Rodney Gook (Art Van Harvey), his wife Sade (Bernardine Flynn) and their adopted son Rush (Bill Idelson). The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block."

Unlike any other soap, Vic & Sade was a slight concoction with very humurous overtones written by Paul Rhymer.  A natural predecessor of Seinfeld, this was the original show about nothing much.  Pictured are Vic, Sade & adopted son Rush. (Art Van Harvey, Bernadette Flynn, and Billy Idelson.)

➦In 1947..."Strike It Rich" made its debut on CBS Radio with Todd Russell as the host. Warren Hull took over host duties a few years later.

➦In 1951...Bill Stern did his last 15-minute program of sports features for NBC radio. Stern had been with NBC for 14 years. He later moved to ABC and Mutual to finish out a colorful sportscasting career.

Bill Stern
Born in Rochester, New York, Stern began doing radio play-by-play commentary in 1925, when he was hired by a local station, WHAM, to cover football games. Shortly after that, he enrolled at Pennsylvania Military College, graduating in 1930.

NBC hired him in 1937 to host The Colgate Sports Newsreel as well as Friday night boxing on radio. Stern was also one of the first televised boxing commentators.

He broadcast the first televised sporting event, the second game of a baseball doubleheader between Princeton and Columbia at Columbia's Baker Field on May 17, 1939. On September 30, he called the first televised football game.

During his most successful years, Stern engaged in a fierce rivalry with Ted Husing of the CBS Radio Network. They competed not only for broadcast position during sports and news events, but also for the rights to cover the events themselves. They both served for many years as their networks' sports directors as well as being on-air stars.

Some observers consider Stern's style a blueprint in the 1940s for the style of Paul Harvey, ABC Entertainment Network social commentator, who adapted both Stern's newscasting (transforming his Reel One to Page One) and his stories about the famous and odd (to Rest Of The Story), although Stern made no effort to authenticate his stories and, in later years, introduced that segment of his show by saying that they "might be actual, may be mythical, but definitely interesting." Harvey, on the other hand, said he told only stories he had authenticated in some way.

➦➦In 1951…The radio sitcom, "The Life of Riley," starring William Bendix as Chester A. Riley, ended after a 10-year run. The TV version of the show ran for for a total of six years between 1949 and 1958, with Jackie Gleason as Riley in the first year and Bendix in the title role from 1953 to 1958.

➦In 1959...DJ turned "American Bandstand" host, Dick Clark, announced he was going to join with Irvin Feld for a number of "Dick Clark Caravans" to be staged in various cities highlighting pop stars.

➦In 1974...Wolfman Jack did last show at WNBC 660 AM

➦In 1978...Radio Personality and Hogan's Heroes TV star Bob Crane died in a still unsolved murder. He was 49.

In 1950, Crane started his broadcasting career at WLEA in Hornell, New York. He soon moved to WBIS in Bristol, Connecticut, followed by WICC in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This was a 1,000-watt operation with a signal covering the northeastern portion of the New York metropolitan area where he remained until 1956.

At that time CBS radio network executives plucked Crane out partly to help stop his huge popularity from affecting the suburban ratings of their New York flagship WCBS 880 AM, and partly to re-energize their flagging West Coast flagship KNX in Los Angeles. Crane moved his family to California to host the morning show at KNX 1070 AM. He filled the broadcast with sly wit, drumming, and guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope. It quickly became the number-one rated morning show with adult listeners in the Los Angeles area, with Crane known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves."

Crane, Valdis
Crane's acting ambitions led to his subbing for Johnny Carson on the daytime game show Who Do You Trust? and appearances on The Twilight Zone, Channing, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and General Electric Theater. When Carl Reiner appeared on his show, Crane persuaded him to book him for a guest shot on The Dick Van Dyke Show, where he was noticed by Donna Reed, who suggested him for the role of neighbor Dr. Dave Kelsey in her sitcom from 1963 through 1965.

In 1965, Crane was offered the starring role in a television comedy pilot about a German P.O.W. camp. Hogan's Heroes became a hit and finished in the Top Ten in its first year on the air. The series lasted six seasons, and Crane was nominated for an Emmy Award twice, in 1966 and 1967. During its run, he met Patricia Olson, who played Hilda under the stage name Sigrid Valdis. He divorced his wife of twenty years and married Olson on the set of the show in 1970.

Trivia: It's Bob Crane playing the drums on Hogan's Heroes theme song.

Ron Lundy, Joe McCoy
➦In 1981...Joe McCoy became the Program Director at WCBS 101.1 FM, New York.

When Joe McCoy took over as program director in 1981, WCBS-FM began to gradually shift its focus to the 1964–1969 era, but would also feature a more pre-1964 oldies than most other such stations. The station continued to also feature hits of the 1970s and some hits of the 1980s while cutting future gold selections to one per hour.

Also in the 1980s, after WABC and later WNBC abandoned music in favor of talk, WCBS-FM began employing many disc jockeys who were widely known on other New York City stations, most notably Musicradio WABC alumni Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Chuck Leonard and Harry Harrison, as well as Dan Daniels and Jack Spector.

➦In 1998...George Harrison announced he was undergoing treatment for cancer caused by smoking. The ex-Beatle said he’d been given a clean bill of health and wryly added “I’m not going to die on you folks just yet.” Cancer eventually did claim Harrison three years later.

No comments:

Post a Comment