➦In 1912...actor/announcer Jackson Beck was born in New York City.
He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for The March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, starred in the dramatic anthology Brownstone Theater on Mutual, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
Beck also co-starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. He died July 28 2004, two days after his 92nd birthday.
➦In 1937...legendary Top 40 Personality Robert W. Morgan was born.
As a youth growing up in Galion, Ohio, Morgan's interest was piqued while listening to his favorite DJs on Cleveland's top forty giant KYW which would eventually lead to his first on-air job was at Wooster College in 1955 on WWST & WWST-FM, for an initial salary of $1 per hour.
In 1959 Morgan moved from college radio to KACY Port Hueneme, California where he hosted the over night show called Kegler's Spare Time with Bob Morgan live from the Wagon Wheel Bowl before moving on to a succession of brief stints beginning in 1961 at KTEE Carmel as the second half of a two-man classical music announcer on KTEE with Bob Elliott, a Marine Corps Heavyweight Champion who later went on to radio fame as "K.O. Bailey," then a short time later as the morning drive DJ and mid-day board op for the Arthur Godfrey Show at KMBY, Monterey, then a jump to KOMY Watsonville, then back to KMBY Monterey followed in 1962 at "K-MAKE", KMAK, Fresno where he first worked with program director Ron Jacobs. This was followed in 1963 by an eight-month stay at KROY Sacramento before finally landing his first major-market job in 1964 at KEWB, San Francisco. It was here that he met and worked with his lifelong friend "The Real" Don Steele.
On April 27, 1965 the careers of Morgan, Steele and programmer Ron Jacobs would gain superstar status almost overnight when they joined the staff of KHJ-AM, Los Angeles. Programming genius Bill Drake along with a staff of talented DJs called "Boss Jocks" had transformed a sleepy giant into the city's most dominant radio station.
It was here that Morgan enjoyed his greatest on-air success as one of the original "Boss Jocks" on 93/KHJ which dominated the Top 40 radio market in Southern California from 1965 to 1973.
Morgan's signature, "Good Morgan Boss Angeles!" to his devoted morning drive time audience would stay with him until the end of his career. It was also Morgan that voiced much of the "Boss Radio/93 KHJ station promos and imagery. It was also during this time that Morgan co-produced and narrated the 48-hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969, a definitive on-air encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. It was the first-ever "rock-umentary" aired worldwide as a definitive history of the Rock & Roll genre—a "rockumentary," as producers Drake and Gene Chenault would call it—that would stretch from the early 1950s to 1989.
In 1970 Morgan made a surprise move from Los Angeles to WIND Radio Chicago where he remained in the morning slot until finally being enticed back to his KHJ morning show in 1972.
Until his departure from KHJ in October 1970, Morgan had commanded unparalleled radio ratings in Los Angeles. Morgan's return to his former time slot in L.A., which saw a significant spike upward for KHJ until he departed just a year later.
Morgan was heard in 1973 on Saturday night segments of the long-running NBC Radio program Monitor, an attempt to freshen that program's image. While with KMGG, he was at one time heard as a substitute host of American Top 40. During the mid to late 70s, Morgan also did his own one-hour radio weekly special highlighting one artist or group per show. "Robert W. Morgan's Special of the Week" was often played on radio stations that also carried Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as the same company, Watermark, distributed both.
The year 1992 would signal the twilight years of Morgan's distinguished radio broadcast career when he signed on as morning show host of "oldies" K-EARTH 101, where he again enjoyed solid ratings in the Los Angeles market before announcing in May 1997 that he was suffering from lung cancer. According to L.A. radio personality Bob Shannon, Morgan told his listeners, "It could have something to do with the two-packs-a-day cigarette habit I had for the last 35 years."
In an emotional on-air statement, Morgan stated that he was taking some time off to fight the disease full-time. His friend and colleague Don Steele died, also of lung cancer, in August 1997. Morgan continued to do broadcasts from his home studio until 1998.
He died from cancer May 22, 1998 at age 60. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame the following year.
➦In 1940..Don Imus born.
|Imus - 1970|
He served in the Marine Corps as a bugler from 1957 to 1960.
Imus was a brakeman on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Upon winning a talent contest at Johnny Otis's nightclub, he began working as a singer/songwriter, managed by Otis. After hearing a morning disc-jockey, he went to the nearby radio station and persuaded the owner to hire him. Thus he began his career as a radio disc jockey on June 28, 1968 at radio station KUTY in Palmdale, California. He stayed at the station until 1969 when he left for a job at KJOY, a small radio station in Stockton, California. He was later fired for saying "hell" on air.
After being fired in Stockton, he went to KXOA in Sacramento, California. His on-air pranks, such as calling up a restaurant and ordering 1200 hamburgers to go, made his show immensely popular and boosted ratings. He was inspired to pursue a career in radio by listening to California radio personality Don MacKinnon.
After a stint at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland, Ohio, Imus moved to New York City and WNBC radio in December 1971. During this first stint at WNBC 660 AM, Imus recorded three record albums, two for the RCA Victor label (1200 Hamburgers to Go, including some of his more popular humor from KXOA, WGAR and WNBC broadcasts, and One Sacred Chicken to Go with Anthrax, a primarily studio-created album centering on his satirical character, The Right Rev. Dr. Billy Sol Hargis) and one for the Bang label (This Honky's Nuts, an album of his stand up comedy act at the Manhattan nightclub "Jimmy's". There was also a 1973 RCA Victor single, "Son of Checkers," issued by Imus. The single reached #123 in the Record World survey.
"Imus...In The Morning...In The Evening" aired nationally in the fall of 1973, part of NBC Radio's attempt to revive "Monitor", it's long-running weekend magazine. The Saturday night segment rotated popular hosts Imus, Wolfman Jack, and Robert W. Morgan
Imus was fired from WNBC in August 1977 along with several of the station's other personalities, in an effort to revamp the station's sound and boost ratings. In 1978 he returned to Cleveland radio as afternoon drive host on WHK.
In a surprise change of fortune Imus was rehired by WNBC in September 1979, and revived his morning drive show. From 1982 to 1985, the station also employed talk-radio host Howard Stern, and WNBC heavily promoted the pair in print and television ads, which often featured the slogan "If We Weren't So Bad, We Wouldn't Be So Good." Although Stern's show aired later in the day, Imus and Stern often made brief appearances on each other's shows, giving the audience an occasional glimpse of an on-and-off-air rivalry that continued for many years.
During this period, Imus was best known for character Billy Sol Hargis, a radio evangelist whose name was a cross between infamous real-life radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and real-life Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes. As Hargis, Imus touted on-air the merits of the "First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship".
Imus was also the utility announcer for Geraldo Rivera's monthly TV series Good Night, America, which aired as a recurring segment of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment program, and he was one of the inaugural video jockeys for the launch of the VH-1 cable network in 1985.
In 1988, WNBC radio was sold to Emmis Broadcasting; on October 7, 1988, WNBC permanently signed off the air and Emmis' WFAN was moved from 1050 AM to WNBC's former spot, 660 AM. Imus in the Morning remained at 660 AM among WFAN's sports programs with his music and comedy bits as the staples of the program and the beginnings of a political forum.
The radio show became nationally syndicated in 1993, and began simulcasting on MSNBC in 1996. He wore his signature cowboy hat during his broadcasts.
Imus won four Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality (1994).
The KRLA line-up is Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quillin and Bob Hudson.
➦In 1963...New York City is the nation’s largest radio market and competitionis fierce. Most of the larger stations are owned by corporations - WOR - RKO, WABC-ABC, WNBC-NBC, WCBS-CBS, WINS-Group W (Westinghouse), WHN-Storer, WNEW-Metropolitan. Each is 50,000 watts and all have rather goodsignals. There’s another competitor - this one’s only 5,000 watts and is family owned and operated - WMCA 570 AM - which is owned by the Straus family.
The ratings are in and for the first time ever, WMCA is on top. The station has adopted adifferent concept to their DJ lineup - personality and team togetherness and itshows on the air and in person - more than any other station in the United States.
Thanks to program director Ruth Meyer,the WMCA Goodguys are taking NewYork by storm. The WMCA Goodguys show up at events together, as many as possible - all with their sweatshirts and black pants. WMCA’s music policy is to play the hits and be the first to jump on music trends. It considers itself a very competitive radio station.
➦In 1966...Coca-Cola launched the biggest radio spot campaign in its history, featuring top recording artists in an all-out drive for the teen market. Each artist is spotlighted in a different version of the “ Things Go Better With Coke ” jingle. Coke was the seventh largest radio time buyer last year, will now vault to the number one buyer of national radio commercials. Artists signed by ad agency McCann-Erickson for showcasing include Petula Clark, the Coasters, the Four Seasons, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mind Benders, Jan and Dean, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, the Shirelles, the Supremes and Sue Thompson.
The jingle was written by William Backer of McCann-Erickson. Backer says each commercial will strive to retain the artist’s individuality in the recording of each version of “Things Go Better With Coca-Cola.” In that way, the artist’s unique singing style and basis for his appeal is harnessed to capture the listener’s attention.
➦In 1966...KBLA 1500 AM in Burbank, Calif, fires its staff of DJ’s in order to give listeners more music. According to general manager Mel Leeds, the Top-40station would now be able to play more music than those stations with air personalities. The policy now for KBLA will be to play two-three or more records without DJ interruptions. This is unheard of in top-40 radio. Released by the station were DJ’s Chet Douglas, Larry Tyler, Jim Wood, and Tom Clay. Leedssays that by eliminating talk, the commercial messages are showcased moredramatically and effectively.
➦In 1966...Both WMCA and WABC, NewYork pull ‘They’re Coming To Take MeAway” by Napoleon XIV off the air. WMCA says they have received various complaints about the record, which lampoons mental illness. Even though the record is #1 on theWMCA Goodguy survey, they’re not playing it! Teens picketed WMCA carrying such signs as “We’re coming to take WMCA Away! Unfair to Napoleon in Everyway.” Aplane flying a banner over popular JonesBeach over the weekend, protested WMCA’s banning of the record. WABCProgram Director Rick Sklar said his station had letters from doctors and institutions saying the record hurt their image.
➦In 1982...KTSA 550 AM San Antonio goes stereo