Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5 Radio History

Don Dunphy
➦In 1908...boxing’s reknowned blow-by-blow ace broadcaster Don Dunphy was born in New York City.  For more than 50 years he was America’s foremost announcer of boxing matches on radio and TV. He called more than 2,000 fights, many of them over a 19 year span when he was the voice of Gillette’s Friday Night Fights on NBC. He called the Joe Louis-Billy Conn title bout in 1941 and the famous Muhammad Ali-George Foreman match in Zaire in 1974.   He died July 22, 1998 at age 90.

➦In 1929...WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana went back on the air - one day after its transmitter burned down.

➦In 1935...the first broadcast of "Hawaii Calls" occurred.

Hawaii Calls was a radio program on the Mutual Broadcasting System that ran from 1935 through 1975 that featured live Hawaiian music conducted by Harry Owens, the composer of "Sweet Leilani". It was broadcast each week, usually from the courtyard of the Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach but occasionally from other locations, and hosted by Webley Edwards for almost the entire run.

The first show reached the West Coast of the continental United States through shortwave radio. At its height, it was heard on over 750 stations around the world. However, when it went off the air in 1975, only 10 stations were airing the show. Because of its positive portrayal of Hawaii, the show received a subsidy for many years—first from the government of the Territory of Hawaii, and then from the State of Hawaii.

➦In 1943...After a three-month run with J.B. Williams in the title role on the New England Network, the detective series "The Adventures of Nero Wolfe," now starring Santos Ortega, moved to ABC Radio. Luis Van Rooten succeeded Ortega the following year. Between 1943 and 1982, Wolfe was portrayed in four radio series on five different networks.

➦In 1945...Ann Southern starred on CBS Radio as Maisie for the first time, based on the MGM movie series. The 2-year network run was followed by a 4-year syndicated version, featuring a who’s who of Hollywood radio veterans.

Lucille Ball, Richard Denning
➦In 1948...“My Favorite Husband”, with Lucille Ball, became the gifted redhead’s first regular radio program on CBS. Lee Bowman, and later, Richard Denning, co-starred with Lucy as “two people who live together and like it.” She would use the character as a stepping stone to TV’s iconic classic “I Love Lucy” three years later.

➦In 1951..."The Silver Eagle," a radio series starring Jim Ameche as Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, began its four-year run on ABC.

➦In 1951...Dr. William Shockley made the announcement that he had invented a junction transistor.

A junction transistor is a type of transistor that relies on the contact of two types of semiconductor for its operation. BJTs can be used as amplifiers, switches, or in oscillators. BJTs can be found either as individual discrete components, or in large numbers as parts of integrated circuits.

➦In’s announced that CONELRAD, a means ofwartime communication among the civilian population via AM radio frequencies 640 and 1240Khz, will be going away on August 5 to make way for a new system.

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to the public of the United States in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes: to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and to provide essential civil defense information. U.S. President Harry S. Truman established CONELRAD in 1951.

After the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles reduced the likelihood of a bomber attack, CONELRAD was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System on August 5, 1963, which was later replaced with the Emergency Alert System in 1997; all have been administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Unlike its successors, the EBS and EAS, CONELRAD was never intended to be used for severe weather warnings or local civil emergencies.

Ben Alexander, Jacb Webb
➦In Ben Alexander, who was Officer Frank Smith, Sgt. Joe Friday’s  partner on both radio & TV versions of Dragnet, died at age 58.

➦In 2008...Rush Limbaugh signed a lucrative deal, believed to be $38 million a year with Premiere Radio Networks that keeps on the air until 2016.

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