➦In 1907... Eddie “Rochester” Anderson was born in Oakland Calif. He was an essential member of the Jack Benny cast on radio & TV for more than 30 years. He died Feb 28, 1977 at age 71.
➦In 1927...the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System debuted with a network of 16 radio stations. (Although other sources say 18.) The name was later changed to Columbia Broadcasting System, CBS.
The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with the creation of the "United Independent Broadcasters" network in Chicago by New York City talent-agent Arthur Judson. The fledgling network soon needed additional investors though, and the Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927; as a result, the network was renamed the "Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System" on September 18 of that year. Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18, 1927, with a presentation by the Howard Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, and fifteen affiliates.
During Louchenheim's brief regime, Columbia paid $410,000 to A.H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Company for a small Brooklyn station, WABC (no relation to the current WABC), which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was quickly upgraded, and the signal relocated to 860 kHz. The physical plant was relocated also – to Steinway Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where much of CBS's programming would originate. Other owned-and-operated stations were KNX in Los Angeles, KCBS in San Francisco (originally KQW), WBBM in Chicago, WCAU in Philadelphia, WJSV in Washington, D.C. (later WTOP, which moved to the FM band in 2005; the AM facility is now WFED, also a secondary CBS affiliate), KMOX in St. Louis, and WCCO in Minneapolis. These remain the core affiliates of the CBS Radio Network today, with WCBS (the original WABC) still the flagship (relocated in 1941 to 880 AM), and all except WTOP and WFED (both Hubbard Broadcasting properties) owned by CBS Radio. By the turn of 1929, the network could boast to sponsors of having 47 affiliates.
Much of the increase was a result of Paley's second upgrade to the CBS business plan – improved affiliate relations. There were two types of program at the time: sponsored and sustaining, i.e., unsponsored. Rival NBC paid affiliates for every sponsored show they carried and charged them for every sustaining show they ran. It was onerous for small and medium stations, and resulted in both unhappy affiliates and limited carriage of sustaining programs. Paley had a different idea, designed to get CBS programs emanating from as many radio sets as possible: he would give the sustaining programs away for free, provided the station would run every sponsored show, and accept CBS's check for doing so. CBS soon had more affiliates than either NBC Red or NBC Blue.
Paley was a man who valued style and taste, and in 1929, once he had his affiliates happy and his company's creditworthiness on the mend, he relocated his concern to sleek, new 485 Madison Avenue, the "heart of the advertising community, right where Paley wanted his company to be" and where it would stay until its move to its own Eero Saarinen-designed headquarters, the CBS Building, in 1965. When his new landlords expressed skepticism about the network and its fly-by-night reputation, Paley overcame their qualms by inking a lease for $1.5 million.
➦In 1942...the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was authorized for radio service.
The rest of the Top 10: The instrumental "The 'In' Crowd" from the Ramsey Lewis Trio, the McCoys slipped into the Top 10 with "Hang On Sloopy", the Turtles were moving slower with "It Ain't Me Babe", Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" came in ninth and the Yardbirds reached the list with "Heart Full of Soul".
➦In 1967...Longtime NYC radio personality Martin Block WNEW, WABC, WOR died.
Block purchased five Clyde McCoy records, selecting his "Sugar Blues" for the radio show's initial theme song.
Because Block was told by the station's sales staff that nobody would sponsor a radio show playing music, he had to find himself a sponsor. Block lined up a producer of reducing pills called "Retardo"; within a week, the sponsor had over 3,000 responses to the ads on Block's radio show. Martin Block's style of announcing was considerably different than the usual manner of delivery at the time. Instead of speaking in a voice loud enough to be heard in a theater, Block spoke in a normal voice, as if he was having a one-on-one conversation with a listener. When one of Block's sponsors offered a sale on refrigerators during a New York snowstorm, 109 people braved the elements for the bargain Block advertised; by 1941 potential sponsors for his show had to be put on a waiting list for availabilities.
➦In 1968...Gary Stevens does last show at WMCA 570 AM
➦In 1970...Jimi Hendrix died in his apartment from an overdose of sleeping pills in London at the age of 27. Hendrix was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Mary Abbott's Hospital in London. Hendrix had left a message on his manager's answering phone earlier in the evening--"I need help man."
The rest of the Top 10: The self-titled Carpenters, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon by James Taylor, the Soundtrack to "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes, Black Sabbath with Master of Reality and the epic What's Going On by Marvin Gaye.
➦In 1974...John Lennon was a guest DJ on WNEW 102.7 FM in New York City.
➦In 1978…"WKRP in Cincinnati," starring Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Tim Reid, Jan Smithers, Richard Sanders, and Frank Bonner, started a four-season run on CBS-TV.
➦In 1983...For an MTV publicity stunt to promote KISS' new album, Lick It Up , the band appear in public for the first time without makeup.
➦In 1997....Ron Lundy retired from WCBS 101.1 FM in NYC. Aircheck from January 1990..
Lundy was born June 25, 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, the only child of Fred Sr., a railroad engineer, and Mary Lundy. He served in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school. Following the completion of his military stint, he returned to his hometown and attended a local radio broadcasting school on the G.I. Bill. At the same time, he worked across the street at WHHM-AM, where he got his first on-air experience one night when he substituted for the regular disc jockey who failed to report for his shift. This resulted in Lundy being hired as a full-time radio announcer by Hodding Carter for WDDT-AM, the latter's new station in Greenville, Mississippi.
After a stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at WLCS-AM, Lundy was brought to WIL-AM in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 by Dan Ingram, who was the station's program director until the middle of the next year. Nicknamed the "Wil' Child", Lundy had a style which was described as a combination of "country and crawfish pie" by Bob Whitney, who also played a major role in the appointment.
In February 1984, Lundy resurfaced at New York's oldies station WCBS-FM in the mid-morning slot, following former WABC colleague Harry Harrison. According to program director Joe McCoy, the station created the slot especially for Lundy, reducing other shifts from four hours to three.
On the following aircheck, Ron is working morning drive for Harry Harrison who was taking a few days off. Dan Ingram stops-by, at 10:10 into the audio, prior to doing Ron's regular late morning shift...
In June, 1997, Lundy's WCBS-FM show was awarded the 1997 "BronzeWorld Medal" at the New York Festivals Radio Programming Awards for the "best local personality".
Lundy retired from WCBS-FM on September 18, 1997. Upon retiring from radio, Ron and his wife Shirley moved to the small town of Bruce, Mississippi. However, during this time, Lundy did occasional interviews with Mark Simone on The Saturday Night Oldies Show for his former station, WABC.
Lundy was inducted the St. Louis Hall Radio Hall of Fame on January 1, 2006.
Lundy died of a heart attack at age 75 on March 15, 2010 in Oxford, Mississippi. He had been recovering from a previous heart attack after being dehydrated.
➦In 2006...WIYY-FM, Baltimore, becomes the 1,000th station to commence HD Radio transmissions.
➦In 2009…After 72 years on radio and television, the soap opera "Guiding Light," titled "The Guiding Light" until 1975, aired the last of its 18,262 episodes.