Saturday, June 30, 2018

July 1 Radio History

➦In 1897…Three years after the first issue of Billboard Advertising was published, the publication was renamed The Billboard.

➦In sportscaster Bill Stern was born in Rochester NY.  From his first football game over WHAM in his home town, his flair for the dramatic was present in all his work, including the Colgate Sports Newsreel & the Gillette Friday Night Fights on NBC Radio. Later he joined ABC, and was the announcer on the first televised boxing match. He died after a heart attack Nov 19 1971 at age 64.

➦In 1911…Radio Division of Department of Commerce created

➦In 1920…GE and AT&T signed cross-license agreement.

➦In 1923...the first permanent radio network, the AT&T web, was set up between WEAF New York and WMAF near Boston.

➦In 1934…The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) became the new regulator of U.S. broadcasting, replacing the Federal Radio Commission.

➦In 1941...marked the beginning of commercial television broadcasting. The Federal Communications Commission licenses went into effect, allowing broadcasters to transmit programs and advertising. The first channels to receive FCC licenses were WNBT in New York (the precursor to WNBC), operated by the National Broadcasting Company; and WCBW (now CBS), operated by the Columbia Broadcasting System. Any broadcasting before that date was considered "experimental".

➦In 1956...NBC's Steve Allen Show capitalizes on the outrage engendered by Elvis Presley's recent version of "Hound Dog" on The Milton Berle Show by winkingly presenting a new, "clean" Elvis, dressed in a tuxedo and singing "Hound Dog" to an actual basset hound perched on a stool.

Backstage, a humiliated Elvis explodes in fury at the Colonel for agreeing to the stunt. The next day, however, fans protest the show, demanding "The REAL Elvis."

➦In 1968…CHUM 104.5 FM changed formats from classical to progressive rock. The station now airs a HotAC format.

➦In 1970...Casey Kasem begins his weekly Billboard countdown on the nationally syndicated radio show American Top 40.

American Top 40 began on the Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations, the very first being KDEO in El Cajon, California (now KECR), which broadcast the inaugural show the evening of July 3, 1970. The chart data broadcast actually included the top 40 songs from the week ending July 11, 1970. The very first show featured the very last time both Elvis Presley and The Beatles had songs simultaneously in the Top 10.

It was originally distributed by Watermark Inc., and was first presented in mono until it started recording in stereo in September 1972.  In early 1982, Watermark was purchased by ABC Radio and AT40 became a program of the "ABC Contemporary Radio Network". The program was hosted by Casey Kasem and co-created by Kasem; Don Bustany, Kasem's childhhood friend from Detroit, MI; radio veteran Tom Rounds; and 93/KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs, who produced and directed the various production elements.

The show began as a three-hour program written and directed by Bustany, counting down the top 40 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. The show quickly gained popularity once it was commissioned, and expanded to a four-hour-program on October 7, 1978, to reflect the increasing average length of singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

➦In 1987…WFAN-AM, New York became the first 24/7 All-Sports Radio station

At 3:00 p.m. on July 1, 1987, Emmis Communications-owned WFAN signed on at 1050 kHz, replacing country music station WHN, and billing itself as the world's first 24-hour-per-day sports talk station. (The WFAN call sign was suggested by the wife of "The Fan's" first program director, John Chanin.   The first voice heard on WFAN was that of Suzyn Waldman, with a sports update,  followed by the first show, which was hosted by Jim Lampley. Waldman reported for the station, covering the New York Yankees and New York Knicks for 14 years.

Other hosts besides Lampley during WFAN's fifteen months at 1050 kHz included Bill Mazer, Pete Franklin, Greg Gumbel, Art Shamsky, and Ed Coleman. Ann Liguori is also one of the original hosts and was the first woman to host a show on the station. WFAN also inherited broadcast rights to the defending World Series champion New York Mets from WHN, who had held the rights for several years.

In early 1988 General Electric, which now owned NBC through its purchase of RCA two years earlier, announced that it would close the NBC Radio division and sell its stations. In February of that year GE made a multi-station deal with Emmis and, in New York, the WNBC license for 660 was included in the sale. On October 7, 1988 at 5:30 p.m., WFAN moved down the radio dial to replace WNBC at 660 kHz. 

Wolfman Jack
➦In 1995…Wolfman Jack died at his home in North Carolina at age 57.

Wolfman Jack had finished broadcasting his last live radio program, a weekly program nationally syndicated from Planet Hollywood in downtown Washington, D.C. 

Wolfman Jack said that night, "I can't wait to get home and give Lou a hug, I haven't missed her this much in years." Wolfman had been on the road, promoting his new autobiography. 

"He walked up the driveway, went in to hug his wife and then just fell over," said Lonnie Napier, vice president of Wolfman Jack Entertainment.

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