➦1938…'The Big Broadcast of 1938' opened in theaters. It is a Paramount Pictures musical comedy film featuring W. C. Fields, Martha Raye and Bob Hope.
The film is the last in a series of Big Broadcast movies that were variety show anthologies. This film featured the debut of Hope's signature song, "Thanks for the Memory" by Ralph Rainger. He and Leo Robin won the 1939 Oscar for Best Song for the song. In the movie they song was performed by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross.
➦In 1940... NBC radio presented “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” for the first time. The famous Blue network series included several distinguished alumni — among them, Dinah Shore and Zero Mostel. The chairman, or host, of “The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street” was Milton Cross.
➦In 1941...Glenn Miller's 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' was released on RCA Records. It was originally recorded as a big band/swing tune and featured in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. It was the first song to receive a gold record for sales of 1.2 million copies.
➦In 1949...the private-eye radio drama Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar debuted on CBS Radio, with Charles Russell in the title role. It amazingly survived five changes in the lead actor during its 13 year run.
➥In 1960...The Payola scandal reached a new level of public prominence and legal gravity, when President Eisenhower called it an issue of public morality and the FCC proposed a new law making involvement in Payola a criminal act, according to History.
As the Payola hearings got under way in February 1960, the public was treated to tales of a lavish disk-jockey convention in Miami bought and paid for by various record companies. One disk jockey, Wesley Hopkins of KYW in Cleveland, admitted to receiving over the course of 1958 and 1959 $12,000 in “listening fees” from record companies for “evaluating the commercial possibilities” of records.
Another DJ named Stan Richard, from station WILD in Boston, also admitted to receiving thousands of dollars from various record promoters, and though like Hopkins he denied letting such fees affect his choice of which records to play on the air, he also offered a vigorous defense of Payola, comparing it to “going to school and giving the teacher a better gift than the fellow at the next desk.”
He practically likened it to Motherhood and Apple Pie: “This seems to be the American way of life, which is a wonderful way of life. It’s primarily built on romance—I’ll do for you, what will you do for me?” It was this comment that prompted President Eisenhower to weigh in on February 11, 1960, with his condemnation of Payola.
|Dick Clark Testifies|
|The Beatles in Concert, Washington DC|
The band had traveled from New York to Washington, DC early in the day by rail, as an East Coast snowstorm had caused all flights to be cancelled. Upon arrival at Washington's Union Station The Beatles were greeted by 2,000 fans who braved the eight inches of snow on the ground. They gave a press conference before visiting WWDC, which had been the first US radio station to play a Beatles record.
Also on the bill at the Coliseum were The Chiffons and Tommy Roe. However, The Chiffons were unable to make it due to the previous day's snowstorm. Instead, the opening acts were Jay & The Americans, The Righteous Brothers and Tommy Roe.
The Beatles took to the stage at 8.31pm, and performed 12 songs: Roll Over Beethoven, From Me To You, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man, Please Please Me, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Twist And Shout and Long Tall Sally.
The group were performing in the round, and Ringo Starr's drum riser was turned 180 degrees after the third song by Mal Evans, to allow the audience behind them to watch the performance. This was repeated again after I Wanna Be Your Man, and following She Loves You they turned 45 degrees.
➦In 1994…Actor William Conrad died after a heart attack at age 73. He’d been an extremely busy member of the Hollywood talent pool for bigtime radio, notably playing Marshall Matt Dillon in CBS Radio’s Gunsmoke. On TV he starred in two series, “Cannon” & “Jake and the Fat Man,” and also was greatly in demand for narration.
Conrad estimated that he played more than 7,500 roles during his radio career, including providing the voice of Marshal Matt Dillon in the radio version of 'Gunsmoke'. At KMPC L-A, the 22-year-old Conrad produced and acted in The Hermit's Cave (circa 1940–44), the Los Angeles incarnation of a popular syndicated horror anthology series created at WJR Detroit
In January 1956, Conrad was the announcer on the debut broadcast of The CBS Radio Workshop, a two-part adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World which Huxley himself narrated.
➦In 2012…singer Whitney Houston was found dead submerged in her bath tub at a posh LA hotel. Cause of death was a lethal combination of prescription drugs and liquor. She was 48. An L-A Coroner's report concluded Houston drowned accidentally and autopsy results revealed heart disease. Chronic cocaine use was a contributing factor.
➦In 2013...Tom Aspell, a veteran foreign correspondent for NBC News, died after a two-year battle with lung cancer at age 62.
|Bob Simon - 2010|