In 1897...Reuben Larson was born. Larson was a missionary pioneer who co-founded the World Radio Missionary Fellowship in 1931. The organization has been located in Opa Locka, Florida since 1969.
In 1946...Edward Bowes, who was the Radio host on "Major Bowes Amateur Hour", died at age 71.
|Maj. Edward Bowes|
He became managing director of New York's imposing Capitol Theatre, which he ran with military efficiency and bearing. He insisted on being addressed as "Major Bowes". His nickname sprang from his earlier military rank, though historians are divided on whether he was an active-duty officer in World War I or held the rank as a member of the Officer Reserve Corps.
In 1934, Bowes brought his best-known creation to New York radio station WHN in 1934. He had actually hosted scattered amateur nights on smaller stations while manager of the Capitol. Within a year of its WHN premiere, The Original Amateur Hour —its original name, according to historian Gerald Nachman, was Major Bowes and His Capitol Family — began earning its creator and host as much as $1 million a year, according to Variety. The show lasted on radio until 1952. It lasted on television from 1948 to 1970.
The show consistently ranked among radio's top ten programs throughout its entire run. Bowes's familiar catchphrase, "...around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows", spoken in the familiar avuncular tones for which he was so renowned, whenever it was time to spin its "wheel of fortune," the device by which some contestants were called to perform. In the early days of the show, whenever a performer was simply too terrible to continue, Bowes would stop the act by striking a gong (a device that would be revived in the 1970s by Chuck Barris's infamous The Gong Show). Bowes heard from thousands of listeners who objected to his terminating these acts prematurely, so he abandoned the gong in 1936. Nachman recorded that Bowes, "a businesslike fellow with a mirthless chuckle who, unlike most emcees, had a gift for nongab," went out of his way to make contestants feel at ease, habitually taking them out to dinner before their appearances. Nachman credits Bowes for featuring more black entertainers than many network shows of the time.
In 1948...WBAM becomes WOR FM in NYC
In Media Confidential one year ago...
Boston Radio: CCM+E Has Gone Country On 101.7 FM: Click Here