➦In 1910...James McCurdy sends first aircraft-to-ground wireless message.
➦In 1960…After almost 12½ years on the air, the series "Louisiana Hayride," known as "The Cradle of the Stars," presented its last performance on radio station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana.
|High Island as seen from Orchard Beach, Bronx County, NY|
|NY Times story|
The pilot died and a passenger died. The crash destroyed the antenna taking WCBS and WNBC off the air. The mishap occured just hours before WCBS was to have dropped its full-service format to go all news, challenging Westinghouse's two-year-old 1010 WINS format.
|WCBS, WFAN Doghouse|
The news format debuted instead on WCBS 101.1 FM, which had itself been readying a new "Young Sound" format. WNBC found a temporary home back in New Jersey, diplexing into the Lodi tower of rival WABC 770 AM, whose audio could be heard not so faintly behind WNBC's on 660 for a time.
WCBS accepted an offer from WLIB 1190 AM to use the site along the East River in Astoria, Queens that it had just abandoned in favor of a site in Lyndhurst, N.J. Within a few weeks, WCBS and WNBC were back on the air from High Island with a temporary tower; it would be the end of the year before both were back to 50 kilowatts from the current tower.
The taller of the towers is 548 ft. The shorter tower is 300 ft and was built in 2001 to replace the emergency tower erected in 1967.
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➦In 2003...Jinx Falkenburg, personality on WEAF/WRCA/WNBC died.
Known as "Tex and Jinx" to most American households, the glamorous couple pioneered and popularized the talk-show format, first on radio and then in the early days of television. They hosted a series of interview shows in the late 1940s and early 1950s that combined celebrity chit-chat with discussions of important topics of the day.
In 1941, Liebmann Brewery, the maker of Rheingold beer, decided it might sell a lot more of the brand if each year it bestowed on some attractive young woman the title Miss Rheingold. Miss Falkenburg was the first. It was a plum for any model, since, for starters, it put her name and face in every store in New York that sold beer.
Falkenburg first met John Reagan "Tex" McCrary when he came to photograph and interview her for a military publication after she opened in Hold On to Your Hats. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Air Forces. They were about to be engaged in 1942 but World War II intervened and, after a globe-trotting romance during the hostilities, they married on June 15, 1945, in a civil ceremony conducted by New York Supreme Court Judge Ferdinand Pecora, famous for investigating the 1929 stock market crash and its aftermath.
During the war Falkenburg traveled extensively on USO tours entertaining troops. The most arduous was a 42,000 mile 80-stop series of shows in the rugged China-Burma-India theatre of operations. In 1945 she was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal for her contributions.
Backed by some of his well-connected friends like millionaire statesman Bernard Baruch, McCrary convinced David Sarnoff, the chairman of RCA which owned NBC, to give the couple a morning show on the network's New York radio station, WEAF. The show was called "Hi, Jinx" and first aired on April 22, 1946. Reviews ranged from "sprightly" to "rather intense discussions of foreign affairs." In a cover story about the couple, Newsweek wrote: "A soft-spoken, calculating Texan, Tex McCrary, inched up to the microphone and drawled 'Hi, Jinx.' A voice with all the foam substance of a bubble bath answered, 'Hello Tex.'" Over time they came to be known as "Mr. Brains and Mrs. Beauty."
The McCrary's radio show was broadcast five mornings a week on New York radio station WEAF, and became a hit with critics and the public for tackling controversial issues like the A-Bomb, the United Nations and venereal disease along with talk about theatre openings and New York nightlife.
McCrary wrote the scripts and taught Falkenburg the art of interviewing and the basics of broadcast journalism. Over time she was considered the better interviewer, eliciting candid responses, often from the show's more intellectual guests. Her technique was to ask questions until she understood the answer and so presumably, did all the housewives at home listening to her.
In January 1947, McCrary and Falkenburg had their first network TV show, Bristol-Myers Tele-Varieties, also known as Jinx and Tex at Home, broadcast Sunday nights on NBC. The program combined film and live interviews of celebrities in their residences. In May 1947, The Swift Home Service Club combined household tips with breezy interviews. Another radio show, Meet Tex and Jinx got such a big audience that in 1947 and 1948 it became a summer replacement for one of radio's most popular shows, Duffy's Tavern.
Falkenburg informally retired from broadcasting in 1958.
She died in 2003 at the age of 84
For her contributions to the television industry, Jinx Falkenburg has a star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine St.
➦In 2016…Clinical psychologist/talk radio host Dr. Joy Browne died at the age of 71.
Her syndicated show was one of the longest-running call-in therapy shows in the United States.
Browne took a no-nonsense approach to callers, trying to zero in on a problem without getting caught up in a caller's long stories or digressions. Browne was also known for her "one-year rule", which states that people who have lost a spouse or long-time partner due to break-up, death, or divorce should wait at a minimum one year before resuming romantic relationships.
Browne's call-in therapy show was heard for two decades at WOR 710 AM in New York and was syndicated to other cities. She was released by WOR on December 20, 2012, after iHeartMedia bought the station and brought in its own network hosts.