In 1921...musician Nelson Riddle was born in Oradell New Jersey. He became one of the most admired and versatile arranger/composers of the post-war era, with major radio, television, film, and recording successes to his credit. Some of his best work was in backing Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee & Nat Cole on Capitol records. He died of liver ailments Oct 6, 1985 at age 64.
In 1936...the NBC Blue network’s Lux Radio Theater moved from New York City to Hollywood. On the first show from Tinseltown, program host and “producer” Cecil B. DeMille introduced Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich in The Legionnaire and the Lady. It attracted a remarkable (for the era) listening audience of 40 million.
In 1961..WVNJ 100.3 FM signed-on (now WHTZ). 100.3's origins date back to 1942 when it was WMGM, licensed to New York. The station went off the air in February 1955. During 100.3's down time, the frequency was allocated to WFHA in Red Bank. On June 1, 1961, 100.3 was ressurrected as WVNJ, now licensed to Newark. WVNJ featured an easy listening/jazz format that continued until August 2, 1983, when WHTZ "Z100" was born.
In 1961...FM stereo begins. At 12:01 a.m., GE's WGFM 99.5 FM (now WRVE) Schenectady, NY became the first FM station in the United States to broadcast in stereo. The station, which had been simulcasting WGY 810 AM, aired classical music.
The first commercial FM broadcasting stations were in the United States, but initially they were primarily used to simulcast their AM sister stations, to broadcast lush orchestral music for stores and offices, to broadcast classical music to an upmarket listenership in urban areas, or for educational programming.
By the late 1960s FM had been adopted by fans of "Alternative Rock" music ("A.O.R.—'Album Oriented Rock' Format"), but it wasn't until 1978 that listenership to FM stations exceeded that of AM stations in North America.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Top 40 music stations and later even country music stations largely abandoned AM for FM. Today AM is mainly the preserve of talk radio, news, sports, religious programming, ethnic (minority language) broadcasting and some types of minority interest music. This shift has transformed AM into the "alternative band" that FM once was.
In 1967...the Beatles released the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In 1968..."Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel hit Number One
In 1968...Don Imus started in radio at KUTY in Palmdale, CA. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air. After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California.
His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.
In 1969...Tobacco advertising was banned on Radio and TV stations in Canada.
In the U-S, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio effective January 2, 1971.
Bob Crane had been called a genius in radio by his radio colleagues at WICC in Bridgeport, CT, and KNX and KMPC in Los Angeles. All sound effects, gimmicks, and voices are performed by Bob Crane (who was also known in radio as the Man of 1,000 Voices), either as pre-recordings or live right at the mic. Bringing all the pieces together, Bob transforms an otherwise bland commercial reading into a dazzling comedic performance.
In this commercial for Winston Cigarettes, he sounds as if he is carrying on a full conversation with his engineer. But in all actuality, it's all Crane.
In 1980...CNN debuted on cable as TV's first all-news station.
In 2014…Radio production company executive (American Top 40) Tom Rounds, founder of the radio program syndication companies Watermark in the late 1960s and Radio Express in 1985, died of complications following surgery at 78.