Monday, July 25, 2016

July 24 Radio History

In 1916...big band singer Bob Eberly was born in Mechanicsville, New York.

He first caught the public ear & eye by winning the “Allen Amateur Hour” on Fred Allen’s radio show. He spent much of his career with Jimmy Dorsey”s Orchestra, while his brother Ray Eberle sang with Glenn Miller.  Bob’s hits include Green Eyes, Tangerine & Amapola with Helen O’Connell, and The Breeze and I.  He recorded Besame Mucho with Kitty Kallen & was featured in the early 50’s on TV’s Top Tunes.

He died after a heart attack Nov 17, 1981 at age 65.

In 1933...the first broadcast of “The Romance of Helen Trent” was heard on midwest regional radio before becoming a CBS network staple three months later. The melodramatic soap continued on the air for 7,222 episodes and 27 years. Amazingly, Helen stayed at 35 years of age throughout the entire series!  Helen Trent was played by just two actresses over the years …Virginia Clark (for 11 years) and Julie Stevens (for 16 years).

In 1933...during his fourth Fireside Chat, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed why the homey, warm, comfortable discussion was, indeed, a fireside chat. The President stopped the discussion on the air (remember folks, this was radio) and asked for a glass of water, which he then sipped. Newsman Robert Trout is credited with coming up with the name, Fireside Chat, because of real moments like this.

In 1943...the program Foreign Assignment, was first heard on Mutual radio. The title role of Brian Berry was played by Jay Jostyn, who also headlined another popular radio drama, Mr. District Attorney.

In 1978...WKTU 92.3 FM NYC changed to disco

In 2005... Joe O'Brien, a disc jockey who was one of the WMCA Good Guys on WMCA Radio in New York City, was killed at age 90 in a car crash in the Berkshire Hills, NY

O'Brien began his career in 1935 when he got his first radio job with WMCA-AM in New York City.

He worked at the station for 34 years and became one of the Good Guys team of disc jockeys in the late 1960's.   In 1970 he left for WNBC-AM, where he handled morning duties until he was replaced by Don Imus in 1972. Mr. O'Brien then went to WHUD in Peekskill, N.Y. He retired in 1986, but continued to do weekend specials for WHUD until 2000.

In 2015…Writer/actress Peg Lynch, who wrote and starred in one of television's earliest situation comedies, died at the age of 98. Her sitcom began on radio as "The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert," co-starring Richard Widmark, in 1944 and became a weekly TV series with Alan Bunce playing Albert from 1953 to 1956.

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