Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 26 Radio History

➦In Vic Perrin was born in smalltown Wisconsin.

He was a much-in-demand member of the west coast radio actor’s pool, and for a time in the 1940’s was chief announcer at the Blue Network.  He had a recurring role on NBC radio’s ‘One Man’s Family,’ and in 1956 he played Sgt. Gorst opposite star Raymond Burr on CBS Radio’s ‘Fort Laramie.’  Uncredited and unknown to listeners in the early 50’s he played the star of ‘The Clyde Beatty Show,’ and scored many many supporting roles on CBS radio’s ‘Gunsmoke.’  He played supporting roles on TV, many of them as a voicist on cartoons, for more than 30 years.

He succumbed to cancer July 4, 1989 at age 73.

➦In 1921…WEW in St. Louis was the first radio station to broadcast weather news and forecasts.

Saint Louis University established the station 9YK around 1912, using Morse code to communicate seismological and weather information. Brother George E. Rueppel, assistant director of the Meteorological Observatory at SLU, worked with 9YK before he founded WEW in 1921.  Audio transmissions began at 10:05 a.m. on April 26, 1921; the first voice heard was SLU president Rev. William Robison. The station received radio license #560 to broadcast on 618.6 kHz (wavelength 485 meters) as WEW on 23 March 1922.

➦In 1924...WHO Des Moines began broadcasting.

The actual on-air start date is in dispute.   A WHO memo from June 14, 1951 states that the first broadcast was on April 10, 1924; this is contradicted by Barry Mishkind Database which states that the First Broadcast License was effective on April 10, 1924 (the FCC's records indicate that the license took effect on April 15, 1924) with the first broadcast on April 26, 1924.

In any event, the station was originally owned by Bankers Life, which is now the Principal Financial Group.

After the FRC's General Order 40 reallocated frequencies in 1928, WHO (We Help Others) ended up sharing time on the same frequency with WOC in Davenport.

In 1930, B. J. Palmer, owner of WOC, bought WHO, and the two stations operated together as WOC-WHO until a new 50,000-watt transmitter near Mitchellville began operating on November 11, 1933. (WOC ceased broadcasting that day but returned on another frequency a year later.)

WHO moved from 1000 AM to the current 1040 AM on March 29, 1941, as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement. Today WHO is one of only two 50,000-watt AM radio stations in Iowa (KXEL in Waterloo is the other, however, it is not on a "1928 Band Plan" clear channel like WHO, but is on a NARBA band plan clear channel, dually allocated to The Bahamas (Class I-A) and to Waterloo, IA (Class I-B)), though WHO's signal is non-directional and KXEL's is directional, as are most, but not all Class I-Bs.

Ronald Reagan
WHO was owned by the Palmer family until Jacor Broadcasting purchased the station in 1997; Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications a year later. WHO and the other Clear Channel radio stations in Des Moines (KDRB, KPTL, KKDM, and KXNO) continued to share a building with WHO-TV until they moved into a new facility in 2005.

For many years, WHO has used an owl as its mascot—an apparent play on its call letters.

United States President Ronald Reagan worked as a sportscaster with WHO from 1932 to 1937. Among his duties were re-creations of Chicago Cubs baseball games as did many radio stations in those days when sports networks had not yet become widespread.

Broadcasting ad 1960
➦In 1931...The Ozarks comedy Lum & Abner was broadcast for the first time on Arkansas radio station KTHS. The popular program starring Norris Goff and Chester Lauck, began on NBC from Chicago three months later and continued on various networks for 22 years.  Lum and Abner and their ‘Jot-em Down Store’  hailed from the fictitious town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas. Fictitious, that is, before 1936, when Waters, Arkansas, changed its name to Pine Ridge.

Ed Wynn
➦In 1932...Ed Wynn was heard on radio’s Texaco Star Theater for the first time.

Wynn, a popular vaudeville performer, demanded a live audience to react to his humour if he was to make the switch to radio. The network consented and Wynn became radio’s first true superstar. Less than two decades later he would make the switch to TV.

➦In 1937...the initial broadcast of the daytime drama Lorenzo Jones was heard over NBC radio.

➦In’s first adult western Gunsmoke were heard for the first time on CBS. Radio veteran William Conrad starred as Marshall Matt Dillon

➦In 1976…CBS Radio newsman Allan Jackson died at the age of 60. For over 25 years he was the head anchor at CBS Radio News in New York, reading the 6:00 PM (Eastern) national evening news (then the network’s main news program) and anchoring coverage on much of their “Breaking News” events of the times.  He presided over CBS coverage of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, of the joining of US and Soviet forces in April of 1945, and of V-E Day in May of that year.

➦In 1982...the CBS Radio Network began “Radio Radio“, a youth-oriented series of broadcasts.

➦In 1995...Bob Dayton - NYC Radio personality WABC, WPIX FM, WCBS FM died.

Hired from WIL in St. Louis where he had worked under the air name of "Rockin' Robin Scott", Bob arrived at WABC in 1963. According to the tribute website, He was known for his acerbic wit which ultimately resulted in his firing on August 6, 1965 after his "Happy Birthday Hiroshima" introduction to the Crests "16 Candles".

Dayton might have gotten away with that comment had not the wife of ABC Chairman Leonard Goldenson been listening while she was in her office receiving the "Hiroshima Maidens" who were ladies horribly burned in the bombing. She was furious and that was it for Bob Dayton on WABC; he was fired immediately after his show that day.

He shifted to Los Angeles' KRLA. Bob later returned to New York and worked at two New York radio stations; WPIX-FM and WCBS-FM.

In an ironic twist, Bob was supposed to be part of ABC's "SuperRadio" satellite format which was initiated by Rick Sklar. However, SuperRadio never debuted so, unfortunately, Bob was never reunited with his old WABC boss.

➦In 2005...veteran radio/TV actor and voiceover specialist Mason Adams died at age 86.  Besides his best known role as Charlie Hume in TV’s Lou Grant series, Adams was a veteran of radio’s golden age, playing the title role for 14 years in NBC’s Pepper Young’s Family, and parts in as many as four radio shows a day.  In the TV era  his voice was heard on commercials all over the dial, notably for Chiffon margarine, Crest toothpaste & Smucker’s preserves.

➦In 2012...Pete Fornatale, WNEW FM, WXRK died

He is considered a "pioneer of FM rock," who played an important role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting. He was the first person to host a rock music show on New York City's FM band, commencing November 21, 1964 on WFUV. By broadcasting progressive rock and long album tracks, he was noted for introducing a musical alternative to Top 40 AM radio in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Billboard called his station "a legend, affecting and inspiring people throughout the industry."

He gave early exposure to country-rock bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco, and did one of the first American interviews with Elton John.  In 1991 he was co-host of "Paul Simon Live in Central Park" and was often called to be an expert guest commentator on PBS specials, including those featuring Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Orbison, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and others.

He had suffered a brain hemorrhage April 15, 2012

➦In 2014…Pro wrestling ring announcer/radio newsman (KABC-Los Angeles, KHJ-Los Angeles, WOR-New York, KCBQ-San Diego, CKLW-Windsor-Detroit, KRIZ-Phoenix) Lee Marshall, the voice of "Tony the Tiger" for Frosted Flakes since 2005 when he replaced the late Thurl Ravenscroft, died of cancer at 67.  Marshall is at 1:31 on this terrific CKLW Radio News video.

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