Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19 Radio History

➦In Martin Gabel was born in Philadelphia.

His signature work was on May 8, 1945 as narrator on the CBS radio broadcast of Norman Corwin’s epic poem On a Note of Triumph, a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of WW II in Europe. The broadcast was so popular that the CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks aired a second live production five days later.  He was the most frequent guest on TV’s Sunday night fixture What’s My Line, because he was married to regular panelist Arlene Francis.

He died after a heart attack May 22 1986 at age 73.

➦In 1934...Communications Act of 1934 created Federal Communications Commission

➦In 1962...WMCA 570 began using “The Good Guys”.   Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

➦In 1964...KDKA 1020 AM, Pittsburgh banned the song “Beans In My Ears” by the Serendipity Singers. The ban follows complaints from listeners and area doctors who claim that children have been putting foreign objects into their ears at an increased rate since the single was released.

➦In 1965...Since WINS went all-news in April, New York’s remaining rockershave been going at it - head to head. It’s the WMCA Goodguys vs. the WABC All-Americans. They’re the only two places on the New York dial to hear Top40.

The post-WINS Pulse ratings showed the stations neck-in-neck - WABC at a 16 and WMCA at a 16.3 rating. But WMCA has about one-third the signal of WABC, so it performs better with no WMCA competition - in the outlying suburbs.

WMCA was running a “Good Guy Derby” contest where you have the guess the WMCA Good Guy who will win his race “in the sport of kings.” Go-Go radio, WABC is doing a “prize of the day” A prize a day goes into the “Go Go Grab Bag” for end-week awarding.

Both stations were battling airplay of the new Beatles album -“Beatles VI” - and both stations were saying they had the exclusive on the album.  Actually, WABC had the album three hours before WMCA did - a rarity. WMCA usually scoops WABC on most records, including the Beatles.

➦In 1966...WOR 98.7 FM said it will drop duplicating talk WOR 710 AM on June 30 and go rock ‘n’ roll - the first FM station to go full-time rock . Robert S. Smith, vice president of both WOR AM/FMsays - “We will not have shouting disk jockeys on FM, but if there can be a quality rock station, that is, what we will be. We’re going after the WABC and WMCA audience.” The change in policy is a result of a recent FCC rule that FM stations in major cities may no longer duplicate more than 50% of their AM affiliates.

➦In 1966...comedian Ed Wynn, star of his own pioneering shows on radio & early TV, died of throat cancer at age 79.

➦In 1973...Wolfman Jack, heard on KDAY Los Angles announced he's going to WNBC, New York.

➦In 1973...Watermark has produced a three-hour special called “the 40 Greatest Disappearing Acts of the Rock Era.” Hosted by Casey Kasem, it will replace American Top-40 July 7-8.

➦In 1973...93 KHJ AM program director Paul Drew confirmed that the Real Don Steele and Mark Eliot have left the station.

Billboard 1973
➦In 1973...89 WLS  program director Tommy Edwards said the station is expanding its playlist and is cutting back on the use of jingles from 40 to five key jingles. Plus, - elimination of meaningless chatter by jocks, dayparting of music (more rock at night for example). WCFL was giving WLS a run in the ratings.

➦In 1973...KSFX 103.7 FM San Francisco launched a complete sound-alike format of WABC, New York, whose program director (Rick Sklar) is consulting the station. The first “Music Radio KSFX” playlists have been distributed to record stores.

Dixon's Wrecked Auto 
➦In 2005...legendary southern DJ, Mason Dixon, was injured in an auto accident which practically split his car apart.

Dixon suffered a collapsed lung, 2 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. Dixon has been affiliated with legendary stations including Tampa's WRBQ-FM, where he was still employed at the time of his accident.

When his wife finally showed him pictures of his prized 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible, split in half in a crash over the weekend, there were more tears.

"There were angels watching out for me," he told reporters huddled around his bed at St. Joseph's Hospital. "They wanted me to learn something, and I have. Now, I've got to go back out there and do their work. And I'll be happy to."

Dixon, 55, whose real name is Jimmie Crawford, was critically injured after leaving a Father's Day promotional event.

➦In 2009…Radio/TV announcer Ken Roberts died of pneumonia following a stroke at age 99. In 1935, he was one of the founders of the broadcast performers' union now known as AFTRA.

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