Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 8 Radio History

➦In 1954…Radio disc jockey Dewey Phillips of WHBQ 560 AM Memphis played an acetate disc pressing of "That's All Right" on his "Red Hot & Blue" rhythm & blues show. Due to audience response, the song was immediately played 14 more times. Callers to the station insisted that the singer, a local boy named Elvis Presley, must be a black man. Presley, who knew of the planned airplay in advance, hid out at a local movie theater, but with the help of Elvis' parents, Phillips was able to track him down for a live radio interview later in the evening.

Dewey Phillips
Phillips started his radio career in 1949 on WHBQ, and was the city's leading radio personality for nine years and was the first to simulcas➦t his "Red, Hot & Blue" show on radio and television.

Phillips' on-air persona was a speed-crazed hillbilly, with a frantic delivery and entertaining sense of humor. However, he also had a keen ear for music the listening public would enjoy, and he aired both black and white music, which was abundant in post-World War II Memphis, a booming river city which attracted large numbers of rural blacks and whites (along with their musical traditions). He played a great deal of rhythm and blues, country music, boogie-woogie, and jazz as well as Sun Records artists.

Phillips briefly hosted an afternoon program on WHBQ-TV/13 in the mid-1950s. It mostly consisted of Phillips playing records while he and others clowned around in front of the camera.

Though Phillips was not involved in the payola scandals of the time, he was fired in late 1958 when the station adopted a Top 40 format, phasing out his freeform style. He spent the last decade of his life working at smaller radio stations, seldom lasting long. A heavy drinker and longtime drug user (mainly painkillers and amphetamines, which contributed to his manic on-air behavior), Phillips died of heart failure at age 42.

➦In 1957... Herb Oscar Anderson debuted at 77 WABC (1st time, before flipping to Top40)

➦In 1958…The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) presented the first Gold record album, signifying $1 million in sales, for the soundtrack of "Oklahoma!" Four months earlier, the RIAA had issued the first Gold single, representing the sale of one million records, for Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star."

➦In 1960...Storer Broadcasting Company purchased WINS radio in New York City for $10 million.

It was the highest price paid for a radio station (to that time). Many great radio personalities including Murray the K, Bruce Morrow and Alan Freed were stars on WINS Radio. WINS, under Storer ownership, also aired some very clever promotions, including the clay tablet, ostensibly of Egyptian origins, found in the back seat of a taxicab.  Upon closer examination, it read, “Everybody’s mummy listens to 10-10 WINS!”

➦In 1978...Exile released "Kiss You All Over" to radio

➦In 1979…Radio-TV quiz show host John Reed King died following a heart attack at 64.

On radio in the 1930s and '40s, he was the announcer for "Our Gal Sunday," "Duffy's Tavern," "Death Valley Days." In the 1960s and '70s, he was a news anchor on radio and TV in Pittsburgh (KDKA 1020 AM) and San Francisco (KGO 810 AM).

No comments:

Post a Comment