➦In 1910...actor Paul Sutton was born in Albuquerque. He played Sgt. Preston on Mutual radio’s ‘Challenge of the Yukon’ from about 1943 (when he replaced the original Preston, Jay Michael) until 1954, when he abandoned acting and ran unsuccessfully for congress. The show’s title had changed to ‘Sgt. Preston of the Yukon’ in 1951. He died of muscular dystrophy Jan. 31 1970 at age 59.
➦In 1916...musician/bandleader Skip (Lloyd) Martin was born in Robinson Ill. He began on staff at radio station WLW in Cincinnati, before playing alto and baritone sax for a series of big bands, including Charlie Barnett, Jan Savitt, Glenn Miller, and Benny Goodman. He had stints with NBC & CBS radio in New York before arranging the theme and incidental music for the 1958-59 TV series, “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.” He died in Feb 1976 at age 59.
➦In 1970..actress/comedienne Billie Burke, best remembered as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, who had her own Saturday morning CBS radio sitcom (1943-46), died of heart failure at age 85.
➦In 1976...Lowell Thomas ended a 46-year career as a network radio reporter.
He hosted the first-ever television-news broadcast in 1939 and the first regularly scheduled television news broadcast (even though it was just a simulcast of his radio broadcast), beginning on February 21, 1940, on NBC Television. While W2XBS New York carried every TV/radio simulcast, it is not known if the two other stations capable of being fed programs by W2XBS, W2XB Schenectady and/or W3XE Philadelphia carried all or some of the simulcasts.
In the Summer of 1940, Thomas anchored the first live telecast of a political convention, the 1940 Republican National Convention, which was fed from Philadelphia to W2XBS and on to W2XB. Reportedly, Thomas wasn't even in Philadelphia, instead anchoring the broadcast from a New York studio and merely identifying speakers who were about to or who had just addressed the convention.
However, the television news simulcast was a short-lived venture for him, and he favored radio. Indeed, it was over radio that he presented and commented upon the news for four decades until his retirement in 1976, the longest radio career of anyone in his day (a record later surpassed by Paul Harvey). His signature sign-on was "Good evening, everybody" and his sign-off "So long, until tomorrow," phrases he would use in titling his two volumes of memoirs.
➦In 1984...Ron Lundy started at WCBS 101.1 FM
➦In 2006...Lew Anderson, the Howdy Doody Show's final Clarabell the Clown, died at the age of 84. Earlier in his career, he sang on radio with a group known as the Honey Dreamers.
|Lew Anderson as Clarabell The Clown|
➦In 2015…Blues singer/guitarist (The Thrill Is Gone, I Like To Live The Love, Rock Me Baby, 3 O'Clock Blues)/nightclub owner/former radio disc jockey (WDIA-Memphis)/Blues Hall of Famer/Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Riley "B.B." King died of complications from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes at 89. Circa 1950, his nickname on the radio was Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to Blues Boy, then B.B.