Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15 Radio History

In 1679...Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz described binary numbering.

David Schoenbrun - 1950
In 1915...broadcast journalist David Schoenbrun was born in New York.  One of the second generation of ‘Ed Murrow’s Boys’ he was longtime chief of the CBS Paris bureau, and a regular contributor to radio’s ‘CBS World News Roundup.’  He died May 23 1988 at age 73.

In 1922...WSB, Atlanta, Georgia, began broadcasting becoming the fourth Southern radio station.

First Employees Walter Iller, Walter Tison
The call-sign "WSB" carried an infamous history before it was assigned to a land-based broadcaster in Atlanta.

In very early days of radio licensing, sea-based broadcasters were included in the call-sign assignment system. The first licensee of the call-sign "WSB" was the S.S. Francis H. Leggett. After foundering off the Oregon coast on September 18, 1914, taking a toll of two of the 67 lives aboard, the call "WSB" was reassigned to the Firewood, the name of which forms a grim coincidence with its fate: the ship burned off the coast of Peru on December 18, 1919, with 28 persons on board, all of whom were saved.

Because superstitious seafarers objected to being issued a call "used by that ship which went down with all hands last month", "tainted" calls like "WSB" were quietly issued to unsinkable land stations.

Lambdin Kay, First GM
Originally on 740 kHz until the 1936 FCC band plan, WSB was the fourth radio station in the South, behind the first AM station, WBT 1110 AM in Charlotte, licensed in December, 1920... WNOX 990 AM in Knoxville, Tennessee licensed in November, 1921... and WWL 850 AM in New Orleans, licensed 13 days before WSB in March, 1922.

They, among others, are all considered "clear channel" stations. That designation is given to frequencies on which only one or two stations are assigned to a frequency that allows full power transmission day and night.

The WSB broadcast callsign stands for "Welcome South, Brother". Founded by the Atlanta Journal newspaper (once a competitor of the Atlanta Constitution, now merged), the station began broadcasting on March 15, 1922, just a few days prior to Constitution-owned WGM 710 AM (eventually swapped to WGST 640 AM.

In 1945…Billboard magazine began listing a top albums chart. The first #1 album on the chart was "The Nat King Cole Trio."

In 1956..."Colonel" Tom Parker signed a management deal with Elvis Presley.

In 1964... Alan Freed indicted by Federal Grand jury for income tax evasion.

In 1971...CBS television made a major announcement, saying that it was dropping “The Ed Sullivan Show” from its program line-up after 23 years on the network. The Sullivan show, a Sunday night fixture, presented everyone from the Beatles and dancing bears to a talking mouse named Topo Gigio, plus anyone and anything in between. It was at the time the longest-running variety show in television history. (The final show aired June 6, 1971; Sullivan, below with The Beatles, died of esophageal cancer three years later at age 73.)

In 1972...Robert W. Morgan of Los Angeles radio station KHJ 930 AM played Donny Osmond's "Puppy Love" for 90 minutes straight. Police eventually raided the station fearing foul play, but discovered a publicity stunt instead.

In 1976...After 11 years as an AM Top 40 radio giant, WCFL 1000 AM Chicago, in its most recent years known as "Super 'CFL," changed to a Beautiful Music format.

In 2010... Air Personality Ron Lundy WABC 770 AM, WCBS 101.1 FM died at the age of 75.

Lundy was born June 25, 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, the only child of Fred Sr., a railroad engineer, and Mary Lundy. He served in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school.

Following the completion of his military stint, he returned to his hometown and attended a local radio broadcasting school on the G.I. Bill. At the same time, he worked across the street at WHHM-AM, where he got his first on-air experience one night when he substituted for the regular disc jockey who failed to report for his shift. This resulted in Lundy being hired as a full-time radio announcer by Hodding Carter for WDDT-AM, the latter's new station in Greenville, Mississippi.

After a stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at WLCS-AM, Lundy was brought to WIL-AM in St. Louis, Missouri in 1960 by Dan Ingram, who was the station's program director until the middle of the next year. Nicknamed the "Wil' Child", Lundy had a style which was described as a combination of "country and crawfish pie" by Bob Whitney, who also played a major role in the appointment.

Lundy was reunited with Ingram at WABC 770 AM in 1965. He made his New York radio debut on September 1, working the overnight shift as "The Swingin' Nightwalker."

Beginning in May 1966, he became the midday fixture at the station for the next sixteen years.  With his catchphrase "Hello, Love–this is Ron Lundy from the Greatest City in the World," he usually preceded Ingram's afternoon drive time program, and sometimes when Ingram was running late to the studio, Lundy would keep going until Dan arrived, doing impressions of The Shadow, where he would play Margo Lane and Lamont Cranston. The two best friends hosted "The Last Show" before WABC's format conversion from music to talk radio at noon on May 10, 1982.

In February 1984, Lundy resurfaced at New York's oldies station WCBS 101.1 FM in the mid-morning slot, following former WABC colleague Harry Harrison. According to program director Joe McCoy, the station created the slot especially for Lundy, reducing other shifts from four hours to three.

In June, 1997, Lundy's WCBS-FM show was awarded the 1997 "BronzeWorld Medal" at the New York Festivals Radio Programming Awards for the "best local personality".

Lundy retired from WCBS-FM on September 18, 1997. (Click Here to listen, courtesy of

During Ron's final show, he rests his hand on Dan Ingram's shoulder
Upon retiring from radio, Ron and his wife Shirley moved to the small town of Bruce, Mississippi.

Lundy's voice made two cameo appearances during his career. The first one was in an early scene in Midnight Cowboy, when Joe Buck, hearing a Lundy WABC broadcast while listening to his portable radio, realized that the bus he was riding soon approached New York City. The other was in Starship's 1985 hit "We Built This City."

Lundy was inducted the St. Louis Hall Radio Hall of Fame on January 1, 2006.

In 2015...longtime jazz radio host Bob Parlocha, best known for his 16-year run at Bay Area station KJAZ-FM (1978-94) and for his syndicated program thereafter, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 76.

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