Thursday, February 27, 2014

R.I.P.: Radio/TV Personality Jim Lange

Jim Lange
Jim Lange, original host of the popular game show “The Dating Game,” has died Tuesday from an apparent heart attack.

He was 81.

He was known to listeners in the San Francisco and Los Angeles radio markets with stints at several stations in both markets, racking up over 45 years on the air. Lange was also known to television viewers as the host of several game shows, including The Dating Game, which he hosted from its debut in 1965 until the late '70s.

Lange began his radio broadcasting career in the Twin Cities after winning an audition as a teenager. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and serving in the Marines, Lange moved to San Francisco. After making his Bay Area broadcast debut as "The All-Night Mayor" on KGO, he moved to afternoons on KSFO in 1960.

His network television career began in San Francisco with The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show in 1962, where Lange was announcer and sidekick to Ford. Three years later he would sign on to host The Dating Game.

While still on-air at KSFO, he commuted to Los Angeles to tape the TV program.

His other game shows include $100,000 Name That Tune, Bullseye and The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, as well as short-lived shows including, Spin-Off, Triple Threat and Give-n-Take.

He also appeared as himself on Bewitched, Laverne & Shirley, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Moesha. He also appeared during December 2002 on Hollywood Squares for their "Game Show Week".

Lange  was introduced to Los Angeles local radio audiences on KMPC in 1970, in order to limit his commute while taping "The Dating Game". He returned to Gene Autry/Golden West station KSFO by 1971 and remained there till the station was sold in 1983. He then returned to KMPC, where he did mornings and afternoons (at different times) until the end of the decade.

In the early 1990s, he returned to full-time radio in the Bay Area, when he originally worked afternoons on KFRC 610 AM and eventually accepted an offer to broadcast weekday mornings on "Magic 61," by then owned by real estate magnate Peter Bedford (Bedford Broadcasting). Magic 61 was formatted as American pop standards.

The "Lange Gang" aired for much of the next decade.

After the sale of KFRC 610 AM / 99.7 FM, Jim and the show decamped for a run on KKSJ, San Jose. In 1997, Lange became morning host of The Lange Gang on KABL in San Francisco.

Lange retired in 2005

No comments:

Post a Comment