➦In 1888...Radio, film actor Earle Ross born (Died of cancer at age 73 – May 21, 1961).
While in school he became interested in dramatics and was usually cast as a villain or an old man because of his unusual voice characteristics. In 1908 he worked with Colonel Bill Selig in his first 5-reel movie film The Holy Cross. In 1912, he ventured to the East Coast and worked on Broadway in such shows as Where the Trail Divides and Cost of Living. From there, he started his own chain of theaters but went broke in the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Ross became a radio broadcast pioneer and had his own show, The Earle Ross Theater of the Air and also starred in Inspector Post, a continuing radio drama. Ross's most memorable roles were on radio: that of Judge Horace Hooker on The Great Gildersleeve and Howie MacBrayer on Point Sublime.
Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934 with Frank Black leading the band. He continued with The General Tire Revue for the rest of that season, and in the fall of 1934, for General Foods as The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny (1934–42) and, when sales of Jell-O were affected by sugar rationing during World War II, The Grape Nuts Flakes Program Starring Jack Benny (later the Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program) (1942–44).
On October 1, 1944, the show became The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny, when American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes took over as his radio sponsor, through the mid-1950s. By that time, the practice of using the sponsor's name as the title began to fade.
The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's "raid" of NBC talent in 1948-49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of previous 1953-55 radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny for State Farm Insurance, who later sponsored his television program from 1960 through 1965.
➦In 1937...The radio soap opera Our Gal Sunday made its first national broadcast on CBS. It continued until January 2, 1959. The origin of this radio series was a 1904 Broadway production, Sunday, which starred Ethel Barrymore. This play was the source of the catchphrase, "That's all there is, there isn't any more."
➦In 1941...WPAT AM NYC Market signed-on.
For many years, the station (along with its FM counterpart) would broadcast a beautiful music format under the slogan "Easy 93".
The WPAT stations were purchased by Capital Cities Communications in 1961. In the 1970s, WPAT began integrating some baby boomer soft vocals such as the Carpenters, Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick, and others, still playing one vocal per 15 minutes. In 1982, the stations began playing soft rock songs mixed into the format a couple times an hour and cut back on pop standards artists and songs.
In 1985, Capital Cities announced that it would buy ABC. As a result of Federal Communications Commission regulations at the time, the company decided to sell WPAT and WPAT-FM because ABC already owned WABC and WPLJ in New York City. The WPAT stations would be sold to Park Communications.
In January 1996, WPAT-FM was sold to Spanish Broadcasting System and switched to a Spanish-language adult contemporary format. Around the same time, WPAT was sold to Heftel Broadcasting and switched to an automated Classic Salsa/Tropical music format on March 26. Heftel tried buying the FM station but was narrowly outbid by SBS. Heftel bought WPAT with plans to sell it to Multicultural Broadcasting and buying an FM station.
Weeks later, the station would start adding ethnic and paid programming. By the next year, the station's ownership would change finally when its current owners, Multicultural Broadcasting, would buy the station in exchange for WNWK plus Multicultural was paid some cash for WNWK as well. (WNWK subsequently would become WCAA, then in 2009 would switch frequencies with WQXR-FM, New York. It is now known as WXNY-FM and broadcasts at 96.3 FM.) The new owners of WPAT would soon modify the station to its current paid ethnic programming format, moving Radio Korea to WZRC.
➦In 1941...Under the provisions of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement, stations assigned to 760 kHz were shifted to 770 kHz, which has been WJZ / WABC's dial position ever since. WABC started off as WJZ when it signed on October 1, 1921.
➦In 1967...AFTRA members called the union’s first national strike, after negotiations broke down over staff announcer contracts at owned-and-operated stations in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles and over first-time contracts for “Newsmen” at networks and owned-and-operated stations.
The 13-day strike involved all 18,000 members in more than 100 locations across the country. Many familiar faces were absent from the TV screen, including that of Walter Cronkite of CBS News whose temporary replacement was Arnold Zenker, formerly a radio announcer in Wilmington, Delaware.
AFTRA strike begins at WABC NYC.
From March 29 to April 10, 1967 there was a strike called by AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). This meant that all the union talent, including the WABC airstaff, was taken off the air and replaced by management personnel. It was all very strange. But, according to the tribute site, musicradio77.com, PD Rick Sklar could turn anything into a promotion, and the strike was no exception.
Listen to an aircheck which features a brief montage compiled from hours of tape. It includes:
- The "strikebound sound" jingle that Rick Sklar ordered from PAMS (Series 31).
- Hal Neal, president of ABC Radio, filling in as a newsman giving background on the strike.
- The "super pickets" promo. This was, of course, a take-off on the station's weekly "superhit sounds" promo which featured excerpts from the week's top 5 songs. It's a promotion masterpiece and it worked. Whenever one of the All Americans tried to take part in the picket line outside the ABC building, they'd be mobbed by autograph seekers!
- Rick Sklar worked as the booth announcer in the evening.
|Gene Klavan, Dee Finch|
From 1947 to 1952, he teamed up with Gene Rayburn in a zany disk-jockey show known for an irreverence toward commercials and a penchant for inserting incongruous material in the music being broadcast. He retired in 1968.
Klavan commented on Dee Finch in 1984: “He was spectacular. He was more than a straight man. People say a straight man, but he had a marvelous sense of humor. A great voice and a fetching laugh. I mean if he laughed even I couldn’t help it, I would break up, basically he was a really good actor. He adlibbed, we never prepared anything, even though I used to hope we would sometimes. He had a great understanding of what we were doing. We were two minds without any.”
➦In 2003…Longtime radio personality Bob Anderson died after a heart attack in Portland, ME at age 59.
Rose was born Donald Duane Rosenberg in North Platte, Nebraska, and got his first experience in broadcasting at age 15 while reporting on his trip to the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for KODY in his hometown.
He began his career in 1955 at KWBE in Beatrice, Nebraska, while majoring in accounting at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He moved to KLMN/Lincoln shortly thereafter, and then was hired by KOIL/Omaha, a job that appeared to be so promising that he dropped out of college in his senior year. He was fired by the station four weeks later.
His next job, at KTSA/San Antonio, also lasted only four weeks. Returning to Nebraska, he held an announcing position at KRNY/Kearney for about 15 months before being terminated again. His next employer, the Union Pacific Railroad, offered only manual labor — pounding spikes into the railbed — but he continued to pursue work in radio, and acquired a job at KTUL/Tulsa.
His next broadcasting position was in KWMT/Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he first complemented his jokes with cowbells and other barnyard sounds. His stay in Fort Dodge wasn't lengthy, but it was there that he met his future wife, Kae, to whom he remained married for the next 45 years of his life.
From Iowa it was on to WEBC/Duluth, Minn., followed by his first taste of big-market success, as morning host at WQXI/Atlanta ("Quixie In Dixie"), his fame made ever-lasting by his inclusion as the 1967 entry in the popular series of "Cruisin’" LP records. Originally hired for the nine-to-noon slot, he was shifted to morning drive shortly after his arrival, and soon became the number one deejay in town.
With Dr. Don as morning anchor, KFRC was voted "Station of the Year" four times by Billboard Magazine.
He was considered by many to be the king of radio in the Bay Area during the final decade of AM's musical dominance.
He was named by Billboard Magazine as Disc Jockey of the Year on both the East Coast (while with WFIL Philadelphia) and on the West Coast (while with KFRC San Francisco). One of Rose's characteristic "sound bite" mannerisms when he was at KFRC was to state the words "that's right" in a continuous fashion that was intended to sound "crazy" or funny, which also served to represent the overall morning zoo radio format, style and "feel" of his show.
"I'm married to radio," he told The Chronicle (San Francisco) in 1975, "and I'm thinking about suing it for nonsupport. I would describe my show as therapy, for myself."
Dr. Don Rose raised a total of over $10 million by hosting March of Dimes Superwalks for 20 years. As well, he emceed many golf tourneys, including his own, with proceeds going toward Special Olympics and special education.
Despite his cheerful persona, Rose suffered over three decades of debilitating pain from assorted medical problems. In 1972, he underwent a botched heart surgery, which caused chronic knee infections that required 11 more operations and led to his losing his kneecap. He broadcast his daily radio show flat on his back from his home hospital bed for months. In 1984, after a fall made the knee problems worse, one leg was amputated.
Dr. Don Rose last Top40 Show On KFRC-AM:
Rose had to alter his on-air act in 1986 when KFRC changed its format to Big Band Music and its imaging to Magic 61. He left KFRC permanently by the end of the year.
His departure from KFRC was followed by a short stint at KKIS/Concord-Walnut Creek beginning in 1987, where his son, Jay, was chief engineer. After a failed attempt at buying the station, Dr. Don moved to mornings at San Francisco's K101 (KIOI); four months later, he suffered a heart attack while on the air. He never returned to broadcasting on a full-time basis.
- Jennifer Capriati (tennis player) (44)
- Vangelis (musician, "Chariots of Fire") (77)
- Walt "Clyde" Frazier (Naismith Memorial Hall Of Fame basketball player) (75)
- Eric Idle (British comedian, Monty Python's Flying Circus, mastermind of the Broadway musical Spamalot) (77)
- Lucy Lawless (actress, Xena: Warrior Princess) (52)
- Elle MacPherson (supermodel) (56, disputed)
- Brendan Gleeson (actor, Braveheart, Gangs of New York, Cold Mountain, Troy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, In Bruges) (65)
- John Popper (singer of Blues Traveler) (53)
- Amy Sedaris (actress, Strangers With Candy) (59)
- Perry Farrell (singer of Jane's Addiction) (61)
- Marina Sirtis (actress, Star Trek: The Next Generation's Deanna Troi) (65)
- Christopher Lambert (actor, Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes, the Highlander movies) (63)
- Bobby Kimball (singer, Toto) (73)
- Terry Jacks (singer, "Seasons In The Sun") (76)
- Chris D'Elia (actor/comedian, Undateable, Whitney) (40)
- Singer Astrud Gilberto (The Girl from Ipanema) is 80.