Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 24 Radio History

➦In 1910...Public Law 262, titled "Act to require apparatus and operators for radio communication on certain ocean steamers," requires Commerce Dept. to license radio operators for ocean-going ships.

➦In 1904...bandleader/actor Phil Harris was born in Linton, Indiana. Orchestra leader of the 30’s & 40’s, and radio, film and TV actor who always seemed to imply allegiance to the former ‘Confederate States of America’. Was a principal of long standing among the comedian Jack Benny’s radio retinue, parlaying his popularity into his own memorable radio series on NBC, in which his movie star wife, Alice Faye, co-starred. He died of heart failure Aug. 11 1995 at age 91.

➦In 1941...A Date With Judy aired for the first time on NBC radio as a summer replacement for Bob Hope.  It would return two more summers before earning its own run 1944 to 1950, with Louise Erickson in the title role.

➦In 1945...the Fitch Bandwagon Mysteries starring Dick Powell as hardboiled detective Richard Rogue debuted as a summer replacement show on NBC radio.  Movie star Powell took the character to Mutual in the fall under the name Rogue’s Gallery.

➦In 1960…One of radio's longest running soap operas, "The Romance of Helen Trent" ended after 27 years and more than 7,200 episodes on the CBS Radio Network.

➦In 1972..."I Am Woman," by Helen Reddy, was released to Radio. "I Am Woman" played a large role in popular culture and became an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a "feminist poster girl" or a "feminist icon". "I Am Woman" reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 in December 1972.

➦In 1973...After an extensive two-year investigation, 19 major music label heads, including Clive Davis of Arista and the Gamble-Huff team behind Philadelphia International, are indicted by the state of New Jersey for "payola" practices and income tax evasion

➦In 1975…The U.S. Attorney in Newark, New Jersey handed down indictments of 19 music industry executives after a two-year investigation. Counts of income tax evasion and payola were leveled against Clive Davis, former president of Columbia Records, and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the Philadelphia sound of the 1970's. Fines and private settlements followed.

➦In 2005...longtime Atlanta Radio personality, Elmo Ellis, died of cancer at age 86. Ellis worked at WSB-AM from 1940 until his retirement in 1982.

Elmo Ellis
He began his career in radio as director of public relations for WSB Radio in 1940.  When World War Two broke out, Mr. Ellis joined the U.S. Air Force where he worked as a writer and producer for radio programs that aired on the major radio networks.  He rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force.  He returned to work in network radio in New York after the war and among his accomplishments in the years that followed, Mr. Ellis would work as a writer and producer for the famous "We The People" and other network radio shows.  He moved from radio to the infant industry of television in 1948 as production manager for WSB-TV.

He would stay in that role until 1952 when he was called on to revive WSB Radio - an era that became famous for Ellis's call to "remove the rust" from radio.  He was the Programming-Production Manager for WSB Radio from 1952 until 1964 - a time of innovation and pioneering that would serve as a guiding light for the rest of the radio industry in this period of time.  In 1964, Mr. Ellis was promoted to the job he is best known for in Atlanta and radio history, when he became General Manager of WSB-AM and WSB-FM.

He would be promoted during this time also to Vice President of the Cox Broadcasting Corporation. He retired from radio work in 1982 and went on to continue a career as the author of books and a newspaper columnist for local newspapers in Atlanta. Mr. Ellis was inducted into the GA Music Hall of Fame in 1995.

➦In 2005...Ron Chapman did his last show on KLUV 98.7 FM, Dallas.

Ron Chapman
In 1959, as “Irving Harrigan” he joined the staff KLIF/Dallas, where he teamed up with Jack Woods (a.k.a. Charlie Brown), playing records and providing character voices as stars of the popular Charlie and Harrigan Show.

In 1969, Chapman joined the staff of KVIL-FM/Dallas-Fort Worth as morning disc jockey, music director, and program director, bringing the “adult contemporary” format to FM radio. During his 31 years at KVIL, Chapman became famous for his upbeat humor and his participation in outrageous stunts and giveaways. At one point, Chapman broadcast live while skydiving from a plane. In one infamous stunt, Chapman told his listeners to each send $20 to the station; within three days, the station had received $200,000. (The money was donated to charity.)

He joined KLUV-FM in 2000. He suffered a stroke last December, but has recovered.

➦In 2010…Radio-television sports announcer (Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Chicago Bulls) Lorn Brown died of heart failure at age 71.

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