Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21 Radio History

In 1877…At a gathering of friends and colleagues, Thomas Edison unveiled his new "talking machine," later called the phonograph. The first thing recorded on Edison's new invention was the song "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  Recording made by Thomas A. Edison on August 12, 1927, at the Golden Jubilee of the Phonograph ceremony. In this recording Edison demonstrates how in 1877 he made the first record on his tinfoil phonograph. The original 1877 recording was not saved and no longer exists.

In 1944…The first episode of "The Roy Rogers Show," featuring the Whippoorwills and the Sons of the Pioneers, was broadcast by radio stations of the Mutual Broadcasting System. It began as a western music and variety show and evolved into an action-drama series during its 10-year run. "The Roy Rogers Show" on television ran for six seasons beginning in December of 1951.

Roy's radio show lasted 11 seasons and the Roy Rogers Show On TV stayed on the air for 6 seasons! Roy also made a ton of movies and appeared on numerous other radio and TV shows as a guest star! In addition, Roy had a successful recording career for several years with songs that made it to the top of the charts! His, perhaps, best known song was "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" although most people probably remember him and Dale Evans singing "Happy Trails to You" at the end of each show!

In 1955…In Memphis, Sun Records owner and producer Sam Phillips sold Elvis Presley's contract to RCA for an unheard-of $35,000, at that time the largest amount ever paid to sign a recording artist and topping the offer of $25,000 for Presley's contract made by Atlantic Records. Elvis received $13,500 of the total. Phillips invested his proceeds from the deal in a two-year-old Memphis-based hotel chain called Holiday Inn.

In 1963…U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, arrived in San Antonio, Texas. They were starting a two-day visit to Texas that would end in Dallas.

John B. Gambling
In 1974...longtime WOR 710 AM NYC Morning personality John B. Gambling died.

He was a member of the The Gambling family, 3 generations of whom - John B., John A. and John R. - were hosts of WOR Radio's morning show Rambling with Gambling (now known as The John Gambling Show) over the course of over 75 years.

John B. was the host from 1925 to 1959, when he retired in favor of his son, John A. Gambling. With his Musical Clock, his all-in-fun setting-up exercises, cheerio music, wheezy gags, weather information and news scraps, John B. Gambling was a WOR fixture.

In 1979…morning man Harry Harrison did his last show on WABC 770 AM, New York. Here's an January 1979 aircheck of Harry.

In & TV announcer Harry Von Zell died of cancer at age 75.  Best known as the announcer on the George Burns/Gracie Allen Show both radio & TV, he also made his mark as actor in several TV guest spots, and screenwriter on a number of series such as Wagon Train.

In 1983…In Los Angeles, movie theaters premiered Michael Jackson's 14-minute "Thriller" video. The Guinness Book of World Records later named it the "most successful music video" of all time, selling more than 9 million copies.

In 1993…Jim McLaughlin, radio newsman for WYSL, WKBW, WBEN, Buffalo, died at age 59.

In the early 1960s, he worked as a deejay for KNBA in Vallejo, California taking the air name "Lucky Jim" because he didn't have to study and always knew instinctively what to say. He began delivering the news at KFOG-FM in San Francisco. In 1963, he moved back east and became the news director at WRVM in Rochester in 1964. Jim continued his career working in Buffalo as the news director of WYSL in the late 1960s, WKBW from 1970 to 1978 and then at WBEN until he was forced to retire due to health issues in 1987.

Jim was the first news director to hire a full-time street reporter, a female news staff member, to use co-anchors and to use short wave radio to cover international stories. In 1979, he won the New York State Associated Press Award for WBEN's "Newsday," being the best radio news program. Jim was also the only radio reporter allowed to cover the 1971 Attica Prison riot from inside the prison.

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