Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28 Radio History

Rudy Vallee
In 1901...singer/bandleader Rudy Vallee was born in rural Vermont.

In the 1920’s and 30’s he was host of radio’s first big variety show, The Fleischmann’s Yeast  Hour, which introduced to the American public the likes of Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor & Kate Smith. Both The Aldrich Family & We The People originated as sketches on the Vallee show before becoming radio hits on their own.

He died July 3, 1986 at age 84.

In 1910...announcer Bill Goodwin was born in San Francisco. He was for years the announcer on The Burns & Allen Show, and as well was incorporated into the script playing a ladies man.  He was spokesman for Swan Soap and Maxwell House Coffee, among others, on radio; Carnation Evaporated Milk on television.  His last job was on The Bob Hope Radio Show (1953-55.)  He died following a heart attack May 9 1958 at age 47.

Judy Garland
In 1914...bandleader Carmen Dragon was born in Antioch Calif. He conducted the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra on NBC Radio’s “Standard Oil Hour”  broadcast for elementary schools in the late 1940s. On a less cultural level he conducted the orchestra on Maxwell House Coffee Time, for the Bickersons, and The Railroad Hour starring Gordon Macrae. His son Daryl continues the family’s musical tradition as the Captain of The Captain & Tennille. Carmen died Mar 28, 1984 at age 69.

In 1939...Judy Garland recorded one of the most famous songs of the century with the Victor Young Orchestra. The tune became her signature song and will forever be associated with the singer-actress. Garland recorded “Over the Rainbow” for Decca Records. It was the musical highlight of the film, “The Wizard of Oz”.

In 1962...Westinghouse purchased then-Top40 WINS 1010 AM for $10 Million

In 1974...announcer Truman Bradley, who in radio’s “golden era” was the golden voice of Roma Wines on CBS Radio’s ‘Suspense,’ died at age 69.  His long career took him from baseball playbyplay to soap operas, from Lady Esther Cosmetics to Raleigh Cigarettes.

Jackson Beck
In George Seaton, who invented the cry ‘Hi-yo Silver’ as the first actor to play The Lone Ranger on radio, died of cancer at age 68.  Later he would also win Oscars for writing Miracle on 34th Street and The Country Girl.

In 2004...Jackson Beck, the man who introduced the Superman radio show with, “Faster than a speeding bullet!”, died at age 92. He also starred in the title roles of radio’s Cisco Kid and Philo Vance, and impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series.

In 2004…Actor (Twelve O'Clock High, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Escape to Witch Mountain, Operation Pacific, Captain Midnight, East Side Kids) Sam Edwards, who began his career on radio (One Man's Family, Meet Corliss Archer, Father Knows Best, Gunsmoke, Dragnet, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar, Suspense) and provided the voice of the adult Thumper in the Disney animated feature "Bambi," died at the age of 89.

In reporter Margot Adler, one of the signature voices on NPR for more than three decades, lost her battle with cancer at age 68.  Beginning in 1979 she covered everything from the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic to confrontations involving the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. More recently, she had reported on cultural affairs and the arts.

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