Monday, January 11, 2021

January 11 Radio History

➦In 1927...The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre opened.  It was formerly called the Royale Theatre and the John Golden Theatre, and is located at 242 West 45th Street (George Abbott Way) in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It opened with a musical entitled Piggy. Produced by William B. Friedlander, Piggy had a weak script, but the popular comedian Sam Bernard played the starring role and carried the show for 79 performances. Bernard died soon after the show closed.  Built as part of a three theater complex, alongside the 800-seat Theatre Masque, the 1,600-seat Majestic, and the Lincoln Hotel (now the RowNYC Hotel and previously the Milford Plaza Hotel), the theater features an ornate stone facade, with vaulted large windows above the street frontage. With a seating capacity just over 1,100, the theater has been home to both plays and musical productions in its 93-year history.

Producer John Golden leased the theatre and renamed it for himself from 1932 to 1937. The Shubert Organization then assumed ownership and initially leased the theatre to CBS Radio as the CBS Radio Playhouse. In 1940, the Royale was restored to use as a legitimate theater under its original name. On May 9, 2005, it was renamed for longtime Shubert Organization president Bernard B. Jacobs.

➦In 1947... “The Amazing Mr. Malone” (aka “Murder and Mr. Malone”) debuted on ABC radio. The half-hour weekly program starred Frank Lovejoy.

➦In 1964...‘Louie Louie’ by Seattle’s The Kingsmen was the number one song on the Cash Box music chart. For a while, the record was banned by a handful of US radio stations because of its indecipherable lyrics, which were rumored to contain some naughty words. Even the FBI investigated the song, but finally concluded that they could find nothing wrong.

➦In 1973...actress Isabel Randolph died at age 83.  She was best known as the prickly Mrs. Abigail Uppington on NBC Radio’s “Fibber McGee & Molly” in the 30’s & 40’s.  She played similar recurring characters in the TV sitcoms “Meet Millie,” “Our Miss Brooks,” “December Bride” & “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” plus dozens of guest spots.

➦In 2006...Mancow sidekick Cowboy Ray Hoffstatter died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident in November. The driver, described as a woman who appeared to be drag racing a black Honda Civic, has never been found.

The crew on Mancow's Morning Madhouse on Q101 mostly had fun at Ray's expense because he was mentally handicapped, but he was often the funniest part of the show. After the accident, Mancow offered $5,000 of his own money as a reward for the arrest of the driver.

➦In 2013…Pittsburgh/Los Angeles radio deejay Jimmy O’Neill, the host of ABC-TV’s Shindig in the 1960’s, lost his long battle with a diabetes-related heart condition and died three days after his 73rd birthday.

O'Neill was born in Enid, Oklahoma.  After taking a broadcasting class at Enid High School, he began his career in radio at WKY in Oklahoma City, OK. One year later O'Neill landed a job at KQV in Pittsburgh, PA at age 19.  He also worked at WCAE. He was hired at KRLA in Los Angeles, CA a year after working at KQV.

O'Neill was the first voice heard on KRLA-AM when it switched from a country-western format to top 40.  He worked at KRLA-AM from 1959-1962, then moved to KFWB from 1963 to 1967. He spent two years at KDAY from 1969 to 1971. He also hosted The Jimmy O'Neill Show on KCOP-TV.

After O'Neill moved to Los Angeles, Chuck Barris, then-ABC daytime programming executive, green-lit the pilot for Shindig!. The nationally syndicated show ran from 1964-1966.  He and his show were depicted on The Flintstones television animated sitcom in the season six episode "Shinrock A Go-Go," which originally aired on December 3, 1965. This episode featured O'Neill, as "Jimmy O'Neillstone", hosting the Bedrock analogue of Shindig, called "Shinrock"; that program featured as one of the guest performers The Beau Brummels (as "The Beau Brummelstones") performing their recent hit, Laugh, Laugh.

In the 1970s, he worked at KOB in Albuquerque, then it was on to Omaha, Nebraska, radio stations WOW (now KSXP) and KOIL. He returned to Los Angeles for two more stints at KRLA from 1984-1985 and from 1990-1993.

He retired in the mid 1990s and lived in West Hollywood, California. O'Neill died in his West Hollywood home five days after his 73rd birthday.

Ben Freedman
➦In 2013...Ben Freedman, owner of the oldest continuously operated radio ID jingle company, died  in Plano, TX at age 64.   Freedman was recovering from an October heart attack when he died.  He was also forced to cope with injuries sustained in a car accident a few years previously.

Freedman established WAY Productions and started producing jingles when he was just 14-years-old in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.

Ben had formed an admiration for the truly great jingle companies PAMS, Pepper and CRC, while serving as a "go-for" at WKBW 1520 AM with the famous jocks including Joey Reynolds, Dan Neaverth, Rod Roddy, Jay Nelson, Jeff Kaye, Stan Roberts and others.

In 1966, he landed his first air shift at Gordon McLendon’s WYSL FM in Buffalo under direct supervision of the Old Scotsman himself.

He first visited Texas in the late 70s and formed a new marketing association with several other audio producers including International Programming Services in Los Angeles, Tommy Calandra Productions in Buffalo, House Q Studios in Buffalo and ATB Productions in London. The new association is called Creative Productions Marketing Group or CPMG Incorporated for short.

➦In 2013...Cumulus Media took control of WFME 94.7 FM with simulcast of WPLJ in NYC

The 94.7 FM frequency signed on in 1947 as WAAT-FM, and was owned by the Bremer Broadcasting Company along with sister station WAAT (970 AM, now WNYM).

On January 6, 2012, Family Radio applied to the FCC  to change the license of WFME from noncommercial to commercial. This move followed the sales by Family Radio of stations in the Philadelphia (WKDN-FM, now WKVP) and Washington-Baltimore (WFSI, now WLZL) markets, and quickly prompted conjecture from radio industry monitors that WFME would be sold next. The application was approved on February 7, 2012.

The sale rumors were confirmed on October 16, 2012, when Family Radio announced that it would sell WFME to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media; the originally undisclosed price was later confirmed to be $49.5 million. In addition, Family Radio acquired Cumulus' WDVY 106.3 FM in Mount Kisco, NY. The FCC approved the sale/station trade January 4, 2013, making 94.7 FM a sister station to Cumulus' two existing New York market stations, WABC and WPLJ. Four days later, on January 8, 2013, Cumulus completed the purchase of WFME.  Family Radio programming on 94.7 FM ended on January 11, 2013; prior to signing off of the frequency, station manager Charlie Menut stated that the network's programming would be transferred to 106.3 FM, which became the new WFME on January 15, and that efforts to acquire an AM frequency that would cover the New York City area were being made.  Family Radio would announce in 2014 its acquisition of WQEW 1560 AM, the former East Coast flagship of Radio Disney, which is set to end terrestrial distribution.)

WNSH 94.7 FM (23.5 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area
On January 11, 2013, under Cumulus's new ownership, 94.7 FM began a simulcast of WPLJ, which broadcasts a HotAC format. The frequency's call sign was changed three days later to WRXP, a call sign previously used on the 101.9 FM facility in New York City under two different owners and two different stints as an alternative rock station. The WPLJ simulcast ended on January 18 in favor of stunting with a self-described "Wheel of Formats."

The stunting continued until January 21, when WRXP adopted a new country music format branded as Nash FM 94.7.  The first song on "Nash FM" was "How Country Feels" by Randy Houser.  Today, the station continues to air a Country format and is owned by Entercom Communications.

  • Actor Mitchell Ryan (“Dharma and Greg”) is 87. 
  • Actor Felix Silla (Cousin Itt on “The Addams Family,” ″Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”) is 84. 
  • Amanda Peet is 49
    Director Joel Zwick (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) is 79. 
  • Country singer Naomi Judd is 75. 
  • Musician Robert Earl Keen is 65. 
  • Actor Phyllis Logan (“Downton Abbey”) is 65. 
  • Guitarist Vicki Peterson of The Bangles is 63. 
  • Actor Kim Coles (“Living Single”) is 59. 
  • Former child actor Dawn Lyn (“My Three Sons”) is 58. 
  • Guitarist Tom Dumont of No Doubt is 53. 
  • Singer Mary J. Blige is 50. 
  • Musician Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers is 50. 
  • Actor Amanda Peet is 49. 
  • Actor Rockmond Dunbar (“Heartland,” “Soul Food”) is 48. 
  • Actor Aja Naomi King (“How To Get Away With Murder”) is 36. 
  • Reality star Jason Wahler (“Laguna Beach,” ″The Hills”) is 34. 
  • Singer Cody Simpson is 24.

No comments:

Post a Comment