Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12 Radio History

In 1937..."Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons" debuted on the NBC Blue network, where the series continued until 1947 then moved to CBS. Bennett Kilpack was the first actor to play Mr. Keen. Phil Clarke stepped into the role late in the run. The series continued on the air until April 19, 1955.

In 1944...What would come to be known as the "Columbus Day Riot" takes place in New York City, when 35,000 hysterical teenage girls crowd the Paramount Theatre for a chance to see the return of crooner Frank Sinatra. The crowd of teen "bobbysoxer" girls halt traffic in Times Square, refuse to leave between shows to the extent of fainting from hunger, and ruin several seats in the theater when several urinate there rather than take a chance on going to the bathroom.

In 1950…After a 15-year run on radio, "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" made its television debut on CBS, where the series continued through September of 1958.

In 1955...Chrysler introduces the world's first in-car sound systems -- vinyl record players, complete with an assortment of classical records, mounted under the dashboard.

In 1968...The Hot 100..The count had reached three for weeks at #1 for "Hey Jude" by the Beatles.  Jeannie C. Riley was a distant second with "Harper Valley P.T.A." and "Fire" from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown was third.  O.C. Smith remained at 4 with "Little Green Apples".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Girl Watcher" from the O'Kaysions, the Grass Roots had their biggest song move from 17 to 6--"Midnight Confessions", the Vogues climbed into the Top 10 with "My Special Angel", the Bee Gees were at 8 with "I've Gotta' Get a Message To You", Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho & the Union Gap moved from 25-9 with "Over You" and Clarence Carter dropped with "Slip Away".

In 1969...the "Paul is Dead" hoax began when Tom Zarski, a student at Eastern Michigan University, calls WKNR in Detroit, MI, and informs DJ Russ Gibb on air of the rumor that Paul McCartney died in a car crash, perhaps as long ago as 1966. Zarski tells Gibb that by playing a section of the band's "Revolution 9" backwards, a clue emerges: the phrase "Turn me on, dead man." Gibb proceeds to do just that. Listeners are stunned.

Two days after the WKNR broadcast, The Michigan Daily published a satirical review of Abbey Road by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour under the headline "McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light".  It identified various "clues" to McCartney's death on Beatles album covers, including new clues from the just-released Abbey Road LP. As LaBour had invented many of the clues, he was astonished when the story was picked up by newspapers across the United States.WKNR-FM further fuelled the rumour with a special two-hour program on the subject, "The Beatle Plot", which aired 19 October 1969 (and in the years since on Detroit radio).

In the early morning hours of October 21, 1969, Roby Yonge, a disc jockey at New York radio station WABC, discussed the rumor on the air for over an hour before being pulled off the air for breaking format. At that time of night, WABC's signal covered a wide listening area and could be heard in 38 states and at times, other countries.

Later that day, the Beatles' press office issued statements denying the rumour which were widely reported by national and international media.

Various 'clues' were used to suggest the following story: three years previously (on November 9, 1966), McCartney, after an argument during a Beatles' recording session, had angrily driven off in his car. He had crashed it and died as a result. To spare the public from grief, the Beatles replaced him with "William Campbell", the winner of a McCartney look-alike contest.

In 1991...The Hot 100.."Emotions" became Mariah Carey's fifth consecutive #1 song to begin her career.  "Good Vibrations" from Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch was #2.  Natural Selection's "Do Anything", Color Me Badd with "I Adore Mi Amor" and Karyn White's "Romantic" trailed.

The rest of the Top 10:  "Something To Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt at #6, Extreme's follow-up to "More Than Words"--"Hole Hearted" was #7, Firehouse slowed things down with "Love of a Lifetime", Boyz II Men were on their way down with "Motownphilly" and Aaron Neville's remake of the Main Ingredient hit "Everybody Plays the Fool" was at #10.

In 1997...Singer/songwriter John Denver died in the crash of a small airplane he was piloting on this day in 1997. He was 53

In 2012...Disc jockey (KLIF-Dallas, KILT-Houston, WHK-Cleveland, WXYZ-Detroit, WNEW and WNSW-New York, WICC-Bridgeport, WAVZ-New Haven) Russ "The Weird Beard" Knight died.

He was age 80.

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