Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15 Radio History

➦In 1926...Mary Lee Robb Cline was born. She  was a radio actress during the 1940s and 1950s.

Robb made her radio debut in 1947 on the Lum and Abner program.
She is best known for playing Marjorie, Gildersleeve's niece, on The Great Gildersleeve, replacing Louise Erickson in that role. A small role in a 1948 episode led to the full-time role of Marjorie, which she played until 1954. She also appeared on The Penny Singleton Show and with Burns & Allen.

She died of heart failure Aug. 26 2006 at age 80.

➦In 1932…George burns & Gracis became regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show on CBS. When Lombardo switched to NBC, Burns and Allen took over his CBS spot with The Adventures of Gracie beginning September 19, 1934,  Burns and Allen's radio show was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.

➦In 1943…The radio drama 'My True Story' made its debut  ABC Radio Network. It was the start of a 19-year run on daily radio.  

➦In 1965…Singer Nat King Cole died in 1965 from cancer at age 45.

On November 5, 1956, The Nat 'King' Cole Show debuted on NBC TV . The variety program was one of the first hosted by an African American, and started at a length of fifteen-minutes but was increased to a half-hour in July 1957. Rheingold Beer was a regional sponsor, but a national sponsor was never found.

The show was in trouble financially despite efforts by NBC, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, and Mel Tormé.  Cole decided to end the program. The last episode aired on December 17, 1957. Commenting on the lack of sponsorship, Cole said shortly after its demise, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark."

➦In 2002...former CBS Radio correspondent and ABC TV anchorman Howard K. Smith died of pneumonia at age 87.  He was one of the original members of the team of WW2 correspondents known as the Murrow Boys.

Upon graduating, Smith worked for the New Orleans Item, with United Press in London, and with The New York Times. In January 1940, Smith was sent to Berlin, where he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System under Edward R. Murrow. He visited Hitler's mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden and interviewed many leading Nazis, including Hitler himself, Schutzstaffel or "SS" leader Heinrich Himmler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. When Smith refused to include Nazi propaganda in his reports, the Gestapo seized his notebooks and threw him out of the country. He left for Switzerland on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

He was one of the last American reporters to leave Berlin before Germany and the United States went to war.

➦In 2014…Journalist and Detroit radio personality (WCHB 1200 AM) Angelo Henderson, died at the age of 51. At the time of his death he was recovering from surgery conducted a month earlier. Henderson died from venous thromboembolism – a blood clot that starts in a vein – that included pulmonary embolism, when the clot breaks free and travels to the lung.

In 1999, Henderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Feature Writing. Henderson remains the only African American journalist to win the Pulitzer Prize for The Wall Street Journal.

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