Friday, March 8, 2019

March 8 Radio History

➦In 1925...John Bradley Gambling started on-air at WOR NYC. Bernard McFadden was a physical culturist who had a radio show in New York City. When McFadden failed to show up for his daily morning program, Gambling, a studio engineer,  was forced to ad-lib on the air for a solid hour. Thus, WOR decided to gtive the time slot to Gambling.

John B. Gambling
John Bradley Gambling (April 9, 1897 – November 21, 1974) became the first of the Gambling family, 3 generations to host mornings on WOR. John B., John A. and John R. - were hosts of WOR Radio's 'Rambling with Gambling' over the course of over 80 years (1925–2000 and 2008–2013).

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 1945...George Michael Dolenz Jr. born.  He is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as a vocalist and drummer of the 1960s pop/rock band the Monkees.

On January 10, 2005, Dolenz replaced Dan Taylor as the morning disc jockey at oldies radio station WCBS-FM in New York. On June 3, 2005, Dolenz celebrated his 100th show with a special morning show at B.B. King's. In an ironic and controversial twist, that was also his last regular show at the station; at 5:00 pm, WCBS-FM announced that the station would replace its oldies format with a "Jack" format.

However, WCBS-FM had since returned to its oldies format on July 12, 2007, with Taylor re-assuming his role again as the morning disc jockey the following day. Several months later, Dolenz was invited back to do his long-postponed 101st show, and his final in-studio appearance there at the station, by guest-hosting on a three-hour broadcast stint during its Sunday evening New York Radio Greats program on February 3, 2008.

➦In 1949...WBAP 96.7 FM, Fort Worth Texas, signed-on. Today the station is Sports KTCK-FM, owned by Cumulus Media.

➦In 1979...Compact Disc Digital Audio, also known as Audio CD, is the standard format for audio compact discs, was first demonstrated.

➦In 1994...Jack Spector died at age 65 (Born - September 15, 1928). He was a longtime New York City radio personality.

Jack Spector
Spector began his career in 1955 and in 1961 became one of the original WMCA Good Guys.  In late December 1963, WMCA, with Spector, earned the distinction of being the first New York City radio station to play the Beatles' Capitol Records' single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand." (Outside New York, the single's broadcast debut is widely accepted to have occurred earlier at WWDC in Washington, D.C.)

After WMCA moved to a talk format, Spector went to WHN, then a vocal-based easy listening station. He remained for a while after WHN became a Country music station in 1973. In 1974, Spector left WHN to go to WCBS-FM where he hosted a 1955-1964 based Oldies show called "The Saturday Night Sock Hop" and another regular weekend shift. He was also a full-time swing host there, filling in for various airstaffers over the years. In 1983, Cousin Brucie began doing every third Saturday night of the month. Spector remained at WCBS-FM until the Spring of 1985.

In 1985, Spector was at WNBC as the original host of "Sports Night". He went then to WPIX-FM, which was playing an adult contemporary format. Upon their change to NAC and soon after to smooth jazz, he became one of the first air personalities on CD 101.9. Spector also worked as an optician when he was not on the air.

Late in 1988, Spector left WQCD and joined the staff of WHLI on Long Island, NY playing an Adult Standards format. That station began mixing in more rock and roll oldies by the early '90s. After a few Radio Greats Weekends at WCBS-FM, Jack Spector returned as a part-time swing announcer there in 1993 while working full-time at WHLI.

On March 8, 1994, shortly after starting a recording of Louis Prima's "I'm In The Mood For Love", he suffered an apparent fatal heart attack and collapsed.

➦In  2016… Ronald Herbert Jacobs died in Hawaii (Born - September 3, 1937). He is best known as the program director of KHJ radio in Los Angeles during its ground-breaking "Boss Radio" period (1965–1969), and as co-creator of the countdown show American Top 40, and the seminal radio program The History of Rock and Roll (1969).

At 23, Jacobs moved to the U.S. mainland. In 1962, he was promoted to vice president of programming for the Colgreene Corporation. From there he programmed San Bernardino’s KMEN Radio, and then, Fresno’s KMAK.

In Fresno, Jacobs found himself competing head on with radio consultant Bill Drake. They soon combined their talents to program RKO General’s KHJ Radio in Los Angeles. Within six months, the Drake-Jacobs’ “Boss Radio” format was Number One in America’s second largest radio market, garnering national recognition for creating pop radio’s most influential sound of the 1960s.

Jacobs produced the 48-hour-long History of Rock and Roll. Radio’s first "rockumentary," which aired on KHJ and subsequently other stations in the RKO chain, and was accepted into the Library of Congress as the “first aural history of rock and roll music.”

While programming the RKO radio chain from KHJ, Jacobs teamed again with Moffatt and Tom Rounds to form Charlatan Productions to produce films featuring recording artists in strange but eye-catching settings.

After four years atop the L.A. radio ratings, Jacobs left KHJ to co-found and become vice president of Watermark Inc. In 1970, with Tom Rounds and veteran LA deejay Casey Kasem, Jacobs co-created the syndicated radio program, American Top 40.

At Watermark, Jacobs also produced the award-winning Elvis Presley Story, written by rock author Jerry Hopkins and narrated by broadcast personality, Wink Martindale. Next, Jacobs produced a 15-album record series of legendary top-40 DJs re-creating their station's sound with the original music, commercials and jingles. The albums covered 1955 through 1969 and were titled "CRUISIN': A History of Rock 'n' Roll Radio."

Jacobs then went to San Diego to program KGB AM/FM Radio. It was there that Jacobs conceived and produced the original Home Grown album. The KGB Chicken, later known to the nation as "The San Diego Chicken" was also hatched from Jacobs' imagination.

In 1972, Ron Jacobs was honored by Billboard as Program Director of the Year. Jacobs’ documentary about Max Yasgur, on whose farm the Woodstock festival was staged, won Program of the Year honors and two years later, Billboard named KGB, Station of the Year.

During this time, Ron Jacobs continued concert promotions with Tom Moffatt, Tom Rounds and Mel Lawrence. In 1964, the four men formed Arena Associates, staging the first rock show in the Honolulu International Center (now, the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena). In 1968, Arena Associates produced the Miami Pop Festival. Jacobs produced concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles Sports Arena, Orange County Fairgrounds (first US appearance of the Rolling Stones), San Diego Stadium, in conjunction with KMEN, KHJ and KGB radio stations, which he served as program director.

In July 1976, Jacobs returned to an on-air position doing morning drive on KKUA Radio, in Honolulu, as “Whodaguy Ron Jacobs.” It was at KKUA that Jacobs introduced Home Grown, a radio station promotion in which contest winners had the opportunity to record their winning songs for release on a compilation album with the proceeds being donated to Habilitat, a drug/alcohol rehabilitation facility in Honolulu. Jacobs did three albums, Home Grown (1976), Home Grown II and Home Grown III, that featured a track named " Kona Winds " that introduced singer Marvin Franklin, while he was at KKUA.

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