Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1 Radio History

Alice Frost
➦In 1905...actress Alice Frost was born in Minneapolis. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Pam North on Mr. and Mrs. North for nearly 13 years,  first on NBC, then on CBS radio. She also appeared in scores of other radio shows including The Shadow, Grand Central Station, Big Sister, Orson Welles Playhouse, What Would You Have Done, On Broadway, Famous Jury Trials, Al Pearce and His Gang, David Harum, Lorenzo Jones, Suspense, Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories, etc.  She died Jan. 6 1998 at age 92.

➦In 1937...Mutual radio debuted “The Goodwill Hour”, with its familiar phrase, “You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony.”   A Bob & Ray spoof kept the ‘tales of woe’ concept alive for a later generation in the 50’s & 60’s

➦In 1940...WOR FM signed-on as W2XOR

➦In 1942…Responding to what its leaders saw as a threat from phonograph records, members of the American Federation of Musicians went on strike, but only for recording, not for live performances.

➦In 1960…in 1960, Billboard reported the findings of a Seventeen Magazine survey; that the average teenage girl listens to the radio two hours and thirteen minutes a day and plays records two hours and twelve minutes a day.

➦In 1962...NYC's WMCA 570 AM prints first “Good Guy” music survey

➦In 1963...First stereo broadcast on WABC 95.5 FM.

In the early 1960s, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily. Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market.

➦In 1964...the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" goes #1 on Radio.

Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss
➦In 1973…"American Graffiti," starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, and Wolfman Jack, had its world premiere in Los Angeles, ten days before it opened in movie theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada.

➦In 1973...DJ John R. did his last show on WLAC 1510 AM, Nashville, Tennessee after refusing to go along with a format change from R&B to Top 40. He resigned.

John R
In the mid-1950s, John R. began attracting Euro-American listeners again—young people. Teenagers listened to the programs featuring blues music and "street talk", some as an act of adolescent rebellion. Richbourg became an influential figure in the fledgling black music trade by featuring ground-breaking R&B and early rock performers like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on his program. Later John R (real last named: Richbourg) capitalized on his reputation by becoming a manager to several artists, an occasional record producer, and later entrepreneuir in Nashville's booming studio industry. Nashville has long had a national reputation for country music. It. also has always had studio facilities devoted to soul, R&B, and gospel.

Richbourg may have gained his most enduring reputation as a pitchman who used "down-home" phrasing to ad-lib copy for advertisers. One example: Now, friends, I know you got some soul. If you didn't, you wouldn't be listenin' to ol' John R., 'cause I got me some soul. I'll tell you somethin', friends. You can really tell the world you got soul with this brand-new Swinging Soul Medallion, a jewelry pendant.

John R sold exotic or unusual products, such as baby chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, family Bibles, hot-rod mufflers, and so on. According Wes Smith's book, The Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the 50s and 60s (Longstreet Press, 1989), many such products turned out to be defective and/or scams, but few irate customers ever sought action against the station or manufacturers. One legitimate sponsor was Ernie's Record Mart, owned by a record label entrepreneur who specialized in recording local Nashville R&B acts.

John R. featured artists such as James Brown, 'Baby' Washington, Otis Redding, and other popular soul acts of the 1960s. Despite the popularity of newer Euro-American performers such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Richbourg continued to play chiefly African-American artists. He only played mainstream pop when Ernie's Record Mart required him to do so in a commercial hour long radio show. On that nightly show titled "Ernies Record Parade", John R would announce, "now this six record special the big Blues special from Ernie's Record Mart is just two dollars ninety eight ($2.98) plus shipping and handling a total of just 3.99 from Ernie's Record Mart 179 3rd Avenue Nashville, Tennessee when you order ask for the Big Blues special or simply say offer number two, now lets dig this.." and he'd go on to the next set of offers on the Ernie's Record Parade Radio Show.

➦In 1981...MTV premiered. "Video Killed The Radio Star".

MTV's pre-history began in 1977, when Warner Cable (a division of Warner Communications from Warner Bros.), and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (WASEC) launched the first two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs; with the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC in the late 1970s.

Pittman's boss, WASEC Executive Vice President John Lack, had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format by the late 1970s.  The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network, Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge (few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live).

The first images shown on MTV were a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia, which took place earlier that year, and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit.  Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", this was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC changes call letters to WRKS

➦In 1988...WPIX 101.9 FM NYC changes format to jazz

➦In 1988…Cincinnati's WCVG-AM became the first all-Elvis radio station. The format lasted for a little more than a year.

➦In 1988...Rush Limbaugh goes into syndication based at flagship station 77 WABC.

Rush Limbaugh
In 1984, Limbaugh started as a regular talk show host on AM radio station KFBK in Sacramento, California, after several years of employment with the Kansas City Royals and in the music radio business, which included hosting a program at KMBZ in Kansas City. He succeeded Morton Downey, Jr. in the time slot.

Based on his work in Sacramento, Limbaugh was signed to a contract by EFM Media Management, headed by former ABC Radio executive Edward McLaughlin. Limbaugh became syndicated on August 1, 1988 through EFM and his show was drawing five million listeners after two years of syndication. Lacking a name for the network during the early years, he coined the name "EIB Network," which has remained associated with the show even after joining an actual radio network.

In 1997, EFM was acquired by Jacor Communications, a publicly traded company.  Later that year, Jacor merged with Premiere Radio Networks.  In 1999, Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications.  Currently, Clear Channel Communications through its Premiere Radio Networks subsidiary is the syndicator for Limbaugh's radio show.

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