In 1897...the original Jimmie Rodgers was born. He was nicknamed “the Singing Brakeman” and “the Blue Yodeler” and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He died before his 36th birthday, from tuberculosis.
In 1930...WBEN signed on in Buffalo, NY. However, its history dates to the 1920s. WBEN initially used the facility built by the Norton Laboratories organization from Boston, as part of an experiment to send voice transmissions between Niagara Falls, New York, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, as WMAK.
WMAK was closed in the spring of 1930 as federal regulators began probing concentration of media ownership in the nation's largest radio markets. Buffalo Broadcasting Company chose to retain WGR and WKBW while shutting down WMAK and another daytime-only station, WKEN in suburban Kenmore, New York.
At the same time, the Buffalo Evening News was granted a broadcast license of its own, purchased the decommissioned transmitting facility of WMAK on Shawnee Road in Martinsville (North Tonawanda, New York) and re-licensed it as WBEN.
In 1941, the station moved to its current position on the dial, at 930 kHz, as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA).
The station also relocated its transmitter to Grand Island at during this time, increasing full-time power to its current 5,000 watts. The Grand Island transmitter and two towers are still in use today.
Click Here for more WBEN History.
|The Hoboken Four with Major Bowes|
The Hoboken Four won the contest that night. Bowes said: “They walked right into the hearts of their audience.” The prize was a 6-month contract to perform on stage and on radio and they were earning a lot more than before.
In 1954...Alan Freed left Cleveland, Ohio to go to New York City and 1010 WINS radio.
The station eventually became an around-the-clock Top 40 rock and roll radio station, and would remain so until April 19, 1965—long after Freed left and three months after he had died— when it became an all-news outlet. While in New York, Life magazine credited Freed as the originator of the rock 'n roll craze
In 1957...Pope Pius XII sent a letter to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world on motion pictures, radio and TV.
In 1969...the voice of Superman on radio.. and TV game show host Clayton “Bud” Collyer (Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth), died of a circulatory ailment at age 61.
A young Bud is pictured center behind the Mutual microphone, Superman announcer Jackson Beck is on the left, with Joan Alexander (Lois Lane) on the right.
In 1992...the Howard Stern radio show began broadcasting on KGEL-FM in Dallas