Wednesday, September 26, 2018

September 26 Radio History

➦In 1887…Emile Berliner, a German immigrant living in Washington, DC, applied for a patent for the gramophone he had invented which could play flat discs, as opposed to the wax cylinders used on Thomas Edison's apparatus for playing recorded sound.

Lewis Stone and Faye Holden
➦In 1895...actress Fay Holden was born in Birmingham England. She was Mother in the Andy Hardy films & MGM’s transcribed Hardy Family radio series.  She died June 23 1973 at age 77.

➦In 1901...bandleader Ted Weems was born in rural Pitcairn, PA.  His band moved to Chicago in 1925, where he started to make radio appearances; at one time in the 30’s he played on the Jack Benny Show.  Perry Como began his career as a Weems band vocalist.  Weems died May 6 1963 at age 61.

➦In 1908...The first stereo advertisement, for an Edison Phonograph, appears in the Saturday Evening Post.

➦In actress Barbara Britton was born in Long Beach Caifornia.  She played the female title role, an inquisitive amateur sleuth in the second half of the long network radio run of Mr. & Mrs. North (1954-55), and went on to play the role on TV as well.  She was widely known for her Revlon cosmetics commercials, appearing in live spots on CBS-TV’s The $64,000 Question.  She had a continuing role on TV’s One Life to Live from 1979 until her death due to pancreatic cancer Jan. 17 1980 at age 60.

➦In 1960…The first of the four televised presidential debates between hopefuls Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place at the studios of WBBM-TV in Chicago. Moderated by newsman Howard K. Smith, the debate was seen on TV by more than 69 million people, while another 17 million heard the debate on radio.

➦In 1962...The CBS radio network released a yearlong survey on the most popular radio features of the day. Note: these are not specific radio formats. Talk-Music (22%) - News, interviews, discussions, talks, sports and also have a minimum-to-moderate interest in music but do not tune in primarily for music. News only listeners - listen to newscasts. (12%) Classical/Semi-Classical Listeners (16%) Popular Music - Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Steve and Eydie, etc. (40%) Rock n Roll - (7%) The survey shows that rock n roll listeners have the lowest education and income levels of all listener groups.

Gary Owens
➦In 1962...Gary Owens moves from KFWB 980 AM to KMPC 710 AMLos Angeles. KFWB was playing Top40, KMPC played more adult pop like Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra etc.

Owens replaced previous host Johnny Grant and  he remained for the next two decades working the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift, Monday through Friday. A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady (played by Joan Gerber); the Rumor of the Day; myriad varieties of "The Nurney Song"; and the introduction of the nonsense word "insegrevious", which was briefly included in the Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary.

His regular on-air radio terms included "krenellemuffin," as in, "We'll be back in just a krenellemuffin." Gary always credited his radio engineer at the end of his broadcast: "I'd like to thank my engineer, Bob Jones, for creebling at the turntables." He also created the previously non-existent colors "veister" and "krelb".

➦In 1968...ABC radio says it will not run a radio commercial for the “Barberella” soundtrack album. The network says it won’t accept radioads because the film was given a condemned rating by the Legion of Decency - the official motion picture arm of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. The Paramount film stars Jane Fonda as “Barberella.”

➦In 1968...Progressive rock radio was making waves - Bill (Rosko) Mercer the 7p to midnight DJ on WNEW 102.7 FM in New York is getting 4 shares on his show and the third highest ratings among teens in the area (WABC and WMCA are first-second) . Says Rosko - “On a progressive rock program, it’s extremely important to think of the programming. Think before you do it, the same as any job requires. People are hungry for proper presentation of music. They don’t want “Ten Years After” or the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” thrown at them. They want it prepared for them. Anyone can play a stack of records at home. It’s a presentation that counts to a large extent.”

Gosden & Correll
➦In actor Charles Correll, the creator & voice of Andy Brown in the radio show “Amos ‘n’ Andy”, and the voice of the Colonel in the TV cartoon Calvin and the Colonel, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 82.  His Amos ‘n’ Andy co-star, Freeman Gosden, would live another ten years.

For 34 years Amos and Andy held a very singular place in the American old-time radio experience.In its early prime, the early 1930s, it was common for entire towns to be listening to the show. Stores would close, even movie theatres would stop the film while the Amos and Andy show was played instead for the movie audience. The national audience was estimated at 40 million, and that very large audience was made up of Americans of many races and national backgrounds.

➦In 1983... Falling star – KMET-FM Los Angeles, once the darling of album rock radio is falling apart. Seems that rival KROQ’s ascendance in the ratings has hurt the station. Gone is longtime program director Sam Bellamy. She believes that KROQ’s New Wave music and format would not have been accepted by her KMET audience even if she had chosen that direction. “Rock of the 80’s” programmer Rick Carroll is negotiating to bring his new hits format to New York (it never happened).

➦In 1983...WABC splits morning team “Ross and Wilson.” Actually, Ross Brittain got his walking papers. He says his firing came as a complete surprise. “Now I’m a member of the Dan Ingram Home For Unemployed Disk Jockeys.”

From December 1983, Brian Wilson solo on WABC...

➦In 1983...WFIL Philadelphia is bringing back Jim Nettleton for mornings on the oldies-based station.

Here's a terrific aircheck of WFIL 56 and WIBG 99, spaning the years 1970 thru 1983.  A ton of great Philly personalities including George Michael, Long John Wade, Don Wade, John Records Landecker, Don Cannon, Chuck Knapp, Hy Lit, Joe Niagra, Tony Mann, Dick Fennessy, & Jim Nettleton. (Courtesy of Ellis B. Feaster WPOZ Orlando)

Nettleton passed in 2009 from cancer.

➦In 1983...Jim Pewter is named program director of oldies KRLA Los Angeles.

➦In 1983...Sony introduced “Super Walkman.”

➦In 1984…Philadelphia television news anchor (WCAU-TV for 25 years)/NFL films narrator John Facenda died of lung cancer at the age of 71.

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