Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 17 In Radio History

In 1908...Hall of Fame baseball announcer Red Barber was born. He died Oct. 22, 1992 at 84.

In 1947...VOA begins transmissions to Soviet Union

In 1967...At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles began recording a new John Lennon composition "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite." The track was completed on March 31. It was one of three songs from the "Sgt. Pepper" album banned from airplay on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase "Henry the horse" combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied the connection.

In 1972...After obtaining tapes of unreleased material stolen from producer Marshall Chess' home, KDAY-Radio in Los Angeles played two new Rolling Stones tracks non-stop for 18 hours.

In 1979…Garrison Keillor's radio variety show "Prairie Home Companion" was first broadcast nationally as part of National Public Radio's "Folk Festival America."

In 1986...Howard Stern's radio show returned to morning Radio in New York City on WXRK-FM.

In 1991…DJ/personality Gary Gears (KQV-Pittsburgh, WCFL-Chicago, WLS-Chicago, WDAI-Chicago, CHUM-Toronto, AFVN South Vietnam 1968)/commercial voiceover announcer died after a heart attack at 46.

Gary Gears AFVN circa 1969
Gary Gears may have had one of the best voices of all. According to Jeff Roteman's WLS Tribute website, The "Big G" joined WLS in 1971 after a brief stop at WCFL. Gary started at the Big 89 doing the 1-5 am overnight shift. By 1972, Gary had moved to middays working 9 til 12 noon replacing Joel Sebastian. In 1973, Gary was replaced by J.J. Jeffrey.

Gary Gears spent time at the legendary KOIL in Omaha before joining and serving in the US Armed Services. Gary was heard on AFVN radio in Vietnam. After his time in the service, Gary went to KQV in Pittsburgh from Minneapolis St Paul. After leaving Pittsburgh , Gary spent most of his career in Chicago at legendary stations WCFL, WLS and many others including  WDAI, WIND, WJEZ, WJJD, WKQX, WMAQ and WRQX.  He also spent time at CHUM in Toronto.

Gary Gears , Fred Winston, and Kris Erik Stevens all worked in Pittsburgh at ABC owned and operated KQV before joining WLS.

Gary's voice was heard on commercials all over the country in the 70's.  You'll remember his voice from the many spots he did for Sears Auto Centers.  You may have even bought tires or a battery after hearing Gary.

In 1994...Radio personality Barney Pip, WCFL Chicago, WGLI Long Island WPIX FM NYC, died at the age of 57 in a car accident in Indianapolis.

Pip also worked at WJET Erie, Pa., WEEP Pittsburgh, WGLI Babylon, N.Y., WOKY Milwaukee, WIFE Indianapolis, WHHY Montgomery, Ala.

In 2004...Syndicated Radio personalities, Don and Mike, returned to the airwaves after a two-week unpaid suspension. They apologized for saying the word "Bullshit".

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