Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29 Radio History

Florence Freeman
In ‘soap opera queen’ Florence Freeman was born in New York City.

She starred for more than a decade in the title role of two longrunning daytime dramas, NBC’s Young Widder Brown and CBS’s Wendy Warren & the News, and was a prominent cast member of Pepper Young’s Family, John’s Other Wife and Valiant Lady. She was also a regular on Maxwell House Show Boat and Abie’s Irish Rose.

She died April 25 2000 at age 88.

In 1914...transcontinental telephone service began in the US with the first test phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.

In 1936...despite the very few TV sets in existence, in New York RCA showed the first real TV program, comprised of dancing, a film on locomotives, a Bonwit Teller fashion show, some comedy, and a monologue from the play Tobacco Road.  It would be more than a decade, after WWII, before commercial television really took hold.

In 1938...Reporter/anchor Peter Jennings was born in Toronto.  His father, Charles, was a CBC announcer and executive, and at age 9, Peter hosted a half-hour weekly children’s show on the network.

After dropping out of Trinity College School, he joined the CBC as host of a public-affairs program, then in 1962 co-anchored the CTV News. In 1964, he moved to New York and became a correspondent for ABC, then anchor of ABC Nightly News (1965-67). He returned to reporting in 1968, served as ABC’s chief foreign correspondent in London. He was appointed sole ABC anchor when the show moved to New York City in 1983.

He died of cancer Aug 7 2005 at age 67.

Clint Buehlmann
In 1977...Clint Buehlmann did his last show on WBEN 930 AM, Buffalo, New York. He had been a highly-rated morning personality for about 40 years.

In 1984...orchestra & chorale leader Fred Waring, who emceed the longrunning radio show Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, and continued the program for 6 years in early TV, died suddenly following a stroke at age 84.

In 1995...bandleader Les Elgart died of heart failure at age 76. Elgart’s recording of Bandstand Boogie was adopted by Dick Clark as the theme for American Bandstand. Elgart also had two top-selling albums in the 50’s: The Elgart Touch and For Dancers Also. He often jointly led a band with his brother Larry in the 1950s and 60s.

In 2005...the single-named society singer Hildegarde, one of the most popular vocalists on North American radio in the 1940’s, died at the age of 99.

Tom Snyder
In 2007...Newscater/Talk Host Tom Snyder died.

Snyder had loved radio since he was a child and at some point changed his field of study from pre-med to journalism. He once told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tim Cuprisin that broadcasting became more important to him than attending classes, and he skipped a lot of them.  Snyder began his career as a radio reporter at WRIT (unrelated to the present-day FM station) in Milwaukee and at WKZO in Kalamazoo (where he was fired by John Fetzer) in the 1950s. For a time he worked at Savannah, Georgia, AM station WSAV (now WBMQ).

Snyder at WRIT
After moving to television in the 1960s, he was a news anchor for KYW-TV in Cleveland (now WKYC-TV) and, after a 1965 station switch, Philadelphia, and WNBC-TV and WABC-TV in New York City.

He talked about driving cross country in an early Corvair from Atlanta to Los Angeles around 1963, where he landed a news job at KTLA, then on to KNBC-TV, also in Los Angeles, where from 1970 to 1974 he was an anchor for the 6 p.m. newscast working with KNBC broadcaster Kelly Lange, who was then a weather reporter before serving as a long-time KNBC news anchor.

Lange later became Snyder's regular substitute guest host on the Tomorrow program, prior to the hiring of co-host Rona Barrett in the program's last year. Even after attaining fame as host of Tomorrow, Snyder kept his hand in news anchoring with the Sunday broadcasts of NBC Nightly News during 1975 and 1976.

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