➦In 1913...Les Tremayne born (Died at age 90 from heart failure - December 19, 2003). He was a radio, film and television actor.
In 1974, Tremayne commented, "I've been in more than 30 motion pictures, but it's from radio ... that most people remember me."
His radio career began in 1931, and during the 1930s and 1940s, Tremayne was often heard in more than one show per week. Replacing Don Ameche, he starred in The First Nighter Program from 1936 to 1942. He starred in The Adventures of the Thin Man and The Romance of Helen Trent during the 1940s. He also starred in the title role in The Falcon, and played detective Pat Abbott in The Abbott Mysteries in 1946–47. Tremayne was once named one of the three most distinctive voices on American radio. The other two were Bing Crosby and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In his later years, Tremayne was active in Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters as the group's historian and archivist. Those roles included interviewing people who were active in early radio to provide source material for researchers
Initially, the show, which ran through to 1951, was syndicated through the Mutual Broadcasting System's cornerstone station, WOR in New York, subsequently taken up by the Mutual network and finally to ABC.
Alexander also was heard on Dimension X and Philo Vance, Against the Storm and on Perry Mason, in the first portrayal of supporting character Della Street, secretary to defense attorney Mason. She also played Althea on The Brighter Day on radio. Alexander additionally provided Lois Lane's voice in the 1940s Fleischer Studios/Paramount Pictures (Famous Studios) animated Superman shorts. She reprised the role of Lois Lane for one season of the 1966 Filmation animated series The New Adventures of Superman.
➦In 1922....KFI (640 kHz) signed-on in Los Angeles. Currently owned and operated by iHeartMedia. It received its license to operate on March 31, 1922 and began operating on this date and after succession of power increases, became one of the United States' first high-powered, clear-channel stations. KFI is a Class A 50,000 watt, non-directional station.
|KFI Original 1922 50-Watt Transmitter|
From the time of its inception in 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) operated two networks, the Red Network and the Blue Network. The Red Network carried sponsored commercial programs, while the Blue Network carried the sustaining ones (those without commercial sponsors). The red and blue designations came from the colors of the lines drawn on network maps. In 1931, NBC reorganized its West Coast operations, creating Orange and Blue networks for that area to replace its previous Pacific Coast network. KFI was part of the Orange group, along with KGO, Oakland; KGW, Portland, KOMO, Seattle, and KHQ, Spokane.
KFI was an affiliate of the NBC Red Network and Early Anthony's other raido station KECA 1430 AM carried programming from the Blue Network. In 1939, KECA moved to 780 kHz, the frequency of the former KEHE. Anthony sold KECA in 1944 and it moved to 790 kHz and became KABC.
|KFI and KECA Building - 1939|
KFI's call letters were assigned sequentially but many people assumed that the "FI" stood for "Farmers Information." Every winter evening between 1924 and 1956, KFI would deliver a frost report at 8 pm that would tell citrus farmers whether to turn on wind machines or light "smudge pots" to keep their orange and lemon groves from freezing. The frost warnings moved to 7 pm until the late 1970s when they were removed from the schedule.
On November 29, 1944, KFI officials broke ground on Mount Wilson for construction of a new FM and TV transmitting facility. The ceremony was broadcast live over KFI (AM) from Mount Wilson from noon to 12:15 pm that afternoon. KFI-FM went on the air from that site at 105.9 megacycles (Megahertz today) in July 1946 with its first test program, though some later sources say the station went on the air in 1947. The station only lasted until 1951 when the owner, Earle C. Anthony, decided to turn off the FM station and returned the license to the FCC. This was common at the time, when some station owners saw no money from FM and no future in FM. In the early 1950s, while the audio quality was much better than AM, FM radios were not widely available, the AM-FM combination radios were expensive and stereo broadcasting on FM didn't exist until 1961.
➦In 1962...Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of the CBS Evening News.
The show was expanded from 15 to 30 minutes on September 2, 1963, making Cronkite the anchor of American network television's first nightly half-hour news program. Cronkite's tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News made him an icon in television news, known as "The Most Trusted Man in America."
During the early part of his tenure anchoring the CBS Evening News, Cronkite competed against NBC's anchor team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who anchored the Huntley-Brinkley Report. For much of the 1960s, the Huntley-Brinkley Report had more viewers than Cronkite's broadcast. A key moment for Cronkite came during his coverage of John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Another factor in Cronkite and CBS' ascendancy to the top of the ratings was that, as the decade progressed, RCA made a corporate decision not to fund NBC News at the levels that CBS provided for its news broadcasts. Consequently, CBS News acquired a reputation for greater accuracy and depth in coverage. This reputation meshed well with Cronkite's wire service experience, and in 1967 the CBS Evening News began to surpass The Huntley-Brinkley Report in viewership during the summer months.
➦In 1987...the Federal Communications Commission warned radio stations to watch the use of indecent language on the airwaves. This was directed at shock jocks, like Howard Stern. Some stations, the FCC noted, had gone way beyond the seven dirty words made famous by comedian George Carlin in a routine from the early 1970s.
➦In 1999…Regis John "Rege" Cordic died from brain cancer at age 72 (Born - May 15, 1926).
In 1954, "Cordic & Company" moved to KDKA-AM on Labor Day, one of the first times that an American radio station had hired a major personality directly from a local competitor. Popular Bette Smiley had decided to retire from her full-time KDKA wake-up show "Radio Gift Shoppe of the Air" and move to a Sunday-only condensed version on WCAE in August 1954 in order to raise her young son Robbie. Cordic's immediate predecessor in the morning slot was the "Ed and Rainbow" show, featuring Ed Schaughency with Elmer Waltman cast in the role of Rainbow, the janitor. Waltman was dropped, and Schaughency was moved to the afternoon with a show called "Schaughency's Record Cabinet."
Schaughency lasted less than two years in that role before he was replaced by Art Pallan, who also came over from WWSW. Schaughency took on a new role as a news reader and moved back to mornings, delivering the newscasts during "Cordic & Company." The Cordic show's ratings continued to grow until, at some points, it had an 85 share—meaning that 85% of all radios in Pittsburgh were tuned to "Cordic & Company" while it was on. By the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh, Cordic was reportedly earning $100,000 a year, a huge sum for a radio host at the time.
One of Cordic's most memorable running gags at both WWSW and KDKA were fake advertisements for "Olde Frothingslosh", "the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom." The beer was supposedly brewed by Sir Reginald Frothingslosh at Upper Crudney-on-the-Thames. In 1955, Pittsburgh Brewing Company began issuing special Christmas-season cans and bottles of Olde Frothingslosh filled with real beer. Since the Cordic ad read "The foam is on the bottom", the bottles & cans were packed upside down in the cases. The humorous labels changed every year and became favorites of collectors. The brewery (as well as a few other small local Pittsburgh breweries such as Tech Beer) released new editions of Olde Frothingslosh even after Cordic left Pittsburgh, continuing until 1982 and then reviving the brand in 1998, and more recently in 2007.
In 1965, CBS Radio offered Cordic the morning drive-time spot at KNX-AM in Los Angeles. The spot was being vacated by Bob Crane, who was leaving radio to star in Hogan's Heroes. Cordic accepted the offer in July 1965, but KDKA owner Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation refused to release Cordic from his contract until it ended in November 1965. KNX's morning ratings dropped precipitously during the four months that the show had no permanent host. They improved somewhat when Cordic arrived, but not enough to offset the drop, and the station switched to an all-news format after 18 months with Cordic as the morning host. The flair for Pittsburgh-centered satire, it seems, was difficult for Cordic to import to the more sophisticated Los Angeles radio market, despite the successes of similar personalities like Jim Hawthorne.
Cordic returned to morning radio for a brief time in late 1981, taking over at oldies station KRLA/Pasadena. He signed on for a year, but left the job after just four months. He spent the rest of his career in the lucrative voiceover field, lending his voice to many national commercials.
➦In 2013…Sportscaster and former NFL player George Allen "Pat" Summerall died from cardiac arrest (Born - May 10, 1930). He was a football player and television sportscaster, having worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst.
|Pat Summerall - 2008|
He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994
In the early 1960s, Summerall was the morning host on WCBS 880 AM in New York City. He left the job when WINS went all-news in 1965. He also co-hosted the syndicated NFL Films series This Week in Pro Football in the late 1960s and early 1970s.