➦In 1921...in an experiment, Western Union transmitted by radio its first halftone photograph. AT&T followed in 1924, and RCA sent a Radiophoto in 1926. The Associated Press began its Wirephoto service in 1935 and held a trademark on the term AP Wirephoto between 1963 and 2004. The first AP photo sent by wire depicted the crash of a small plane in New York's Adirondack Mountains.
Technologically and commercially, the wirephoto was the successor to Ernest A. Hummel's Telediagraph of 1895, which had transmitted electrically scanned shellac-on-foil originals over a dedicated circuit connecting the New York Herald and the Chicago Times Herald, the St. Louis Republic, the Boston Herald, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
➦In 1925...rock `n’ roll pioneer Bill Haley (William John Clifton Haley Jr.) was born in Highland Park, near Detroit (Died of a brain tumor at age 55 – February 9, 1981).
In 1929, the four-year-old Haley underwent an inner-ear mastoid operation which accidentally severed an optic nerve, leaving him blind in his left eye for the rest of his life. It is said that he adopted his trademark kiss curl over his right eye to draw attention from his left, but it also became his "gimmick", and added to his popularity. As a result of the effects of the Great Depression on the Detroit area, his father moved the family to Bethel, Pennsylvania.
One of his first appearances was in 1938 for a Bethel Junior baseball team entertainment event, performing guitar and songs when he was 13 years old.
The anonymous sleeve notes accompanying the 1956 Decca album Rock Around The Clock describe Haley's early life and career: "For six years Bill Haley was a musical director of Radio Station WPWA in Chester, PA, and led his own band all through this period. It was then known as Bill Haley's Saddlemen, indicating their definite leaning toward the tough Western style. They continued playing in clubs as well as over the radio around Philadelphia, and in 1951 made their first recordings on Ed Wilson's Keystone Records in Philadelphia." The group subsequently signed with Dave Miller's Holiday Records and, on June 14, 1951 the Saddlemen recorded a cover of "Rocket 88".
During the Labor Day weekend in 1952, the Saddlemen were renamed Bill Haley with Haley's Comets (inspired by the supposedly official pronunciation of Halley's Comet, a name suggested by WPWA radio station program director, Bob Johnson, where Bill Haley had a live radio program from noon to 1 p.m.), and in 1953, Haley's recording of "Crazy Man, Crazy" (co-written by him and his bass player, Marshall Lytle, although Lytle would not receive credit until 2001) became the first rock and roll song to hit the American charts, peaking at number 15 on Billboard and number 11 on Cash Box. Soon after, the band's name was revised to "Bill Haley & His Comets".
In 1954, Haley recorded "Rock Around the Clock". Initially, it was relatively successful, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard pop singles chart and staying on the charts for a few weeks. On re-release, the record reached #1 on July 9, 1955.
➦In 1925...Merv Griffin born (Died at age 82 of prostate cancer – August 12, 2007). He was a TV host and media mogul.
He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986, Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show. He also created the internationally popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment.
Griffin started as a singer on radio at age 19, appearing on San Francisco Sketchbook, a nationally syndicated program based at KFRC.
Griffin had an un-credited role as a radio announcer in the 1953 horror/science fiction classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
By 1945, Griffin had earned enough money to form his own record label, Panda Records, which produced Songs by Merv Griffin, the first U.S. album ever recorded on magnetic tape. In 1947, he had a 15-minute Monday–Friday singing program on KFRC in San Francisco.
He became increasingly popular with nightclub audiences, and his fame soared among the general public with his 1950 hit "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts". The song reached the number one spot on the Hit Parade and sold three million copies.
At one of his nightclub performances, Griffin was discovered by Doris Day. Day arranged for a screen test at the Warner Bros. Studios for a role in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Griffin did not get the part, but the screen test led to supporting roles in other musical films such as So This Is Love in 1953. The film caused a minor controversy when Griffin shared an open mouthed kiss with Kathryn Grayson. The kiss was a first in Hollywood film history since the introduction of the Production Code in 1934.
Griffin would go on to film more pictures (The Boy from Oklahoma and Phantom of the Rue Morgue), but soon became disillusioned with movie-making. Griffin bought his contract back from Warner Bros. and decided to devote his attention to a new medium: television.
From 1958 to 1962, Griffin hosted a game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman called Play Your Hunch. The show appeared on all three networks, but primarily on NBC. He also hosted a prime time game show for ABC called Keep Talking. Additionally, he substituted for a week for the vacationing Bill Cullen on The Price Is Right, and also for Bud Collyer on To Tell the Truth. In 1963, NBC offered him the opportunity to host a new game show, Word for Word, which Griffin produced. He also produced Let's Play Post Office for NBC in 1965; Reach for the Stars for NBC in 1967; and One in a Million for ABC in 1967.
Griffin scored a coup when Tonight Show host Jack Paar accidentally emerged onto the set of Play Your Hunch during a live broadcast, and Griffin got him to stay for a spontaneous interview. After Paar left The Tonight Show, but before Johnny Carson took over (Carson was still hosting Who Do You Trust? for ABC), Griffin was one of the many guest hosts who presided over Tonight in the interim. Griffin was considered the most successful of the guest hosts, and was rewarded with his own daytime talk show on NBC in 1962. This live, 55-minute program was not successful however, and was cancelled in 1963.
CBS gave Griffin a late-night show opposite Carson in 1969, a move which proved disastrous. The network was uncomfortable with the guests Griffin wanted, who often spoke out against the Vietnam War and on other taboo topics.
Sensing that his time at CBS was ending, and tired of the restrictions imposed by the network, Griffin secretly signed a contract with rival company Metromedia. The contract with Metromedia would give him a syndicated daytime talk show deal as soon as CBS canceled Griffin's show. Within a few months, Griffin was fired by CBS. His new show began the following Monday and ran until the mid-1980s. By 1986, Griffin was ready to retire and ended his talk show run. Thanks to profits from his highly successful game shows, Griffin had become one of the world's wealthiest entertainers.
He became enormously wealthy after selling his two successful TV quiz creations, Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune.
In 1947...a hidden microphone eavesdropped on unsuspecting people aired for the first time, as Candid Microphone. Allen Funt hosted of the ABC radio show, which was the forerunner of the long-running TV version, Candid Camera. Candid Microphone aired one year on ABC, taking a two year hiatus and returning in 1950 on CBS Radio for a three-month summer run.
➦In 1950...the CBS Radio answer to NBC’s Dragnet aired for the first time. The Lineup had a distinguished three-year run in the waning days of big time radio.
➦In 1957...Liverpool teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time after a performance by Lennon's band, The Quarrymen.
Originally consisting of Lennon and several schoolfriends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of Quarry Bank High School, which they attended. Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon, taught her son to play the banjo and then showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars in a similar way to the banjo, and taught them simple chords and songs.
Lennon started a skiffle group that was very briefly called the Blackjacks, but changed the name before any public performances. Some accounts credit Lennon with choosing the new name; other accounts credit his close friend Pete Shotton with suggesting the name. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, cinemas and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined the band in October 1957. George Harrison joined the band in early 1958 at McCartney's recommendation, though Lennon initially resisted because he felt Harrison (still 14 when he was first introduced to Lennon) to be too young. Both McCartney and Harrison attended the Liverpool Institute.
The group made an amateur recording of themselves in 1958, performing Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and "In Spite of All the Danger", a song written by McCartney and Harrison. The group moved away from skiffle and towards rock and roll, causing several of the original members to leave. This left only a trio of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who performed under several other names, including Johnny and the Moondogs and Japage 3 before returning to the Quarrymen name in 1959. In 1960, the group changed its name to the Silver Beetles, but soon changed its name to The Beatles and went on to have a historically successful musical career.
➦In 1963...Dick Biondi - the once-popular evening DJ on WLS 890 AM in Chicago, began on KRLA 1110 AM in Pasadena, Calif. He walked out on WLS about 2 months ago in a disagreement.
KRLA is in a top-40 battle with KFWB. Even though KFWB was #1 - the new KRLA lineup looks like this - Reb Foster, Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, Ted Quilin.
KRLA overtook KFWB by the mid-1960s. In 1965, 93KHJ start its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position. KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station. KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.
As music listeners moved to FM, KRLA evolved to adult contemporary by 1982. It became an oldies station in 1983. That lasted until 1994, when KRLA moved to urban oldies. In 1998, KRLA went to an all-talk format before flipping to all-sports KSPN in 2000. Today, it’s KRDC, a family-targeted country-formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Pasadena, California, serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. The station is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company.
When KRLA became KSPN in 2000, the KRLA call letters went to 870 AM, which carries a Salem Media's conservative talk format as 870 AM, The Answer.
➦In 1974..."A Prairie Home Companion," a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor made its debut on Minnesota Public Radio.
➦In 1998...Actor and singer Roy Rogers died (born Leonard Franklin Slye, November 5, 1911).
He was one of the most popular Western stars of his era. Known as the "King of the Cowboys", he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. In many of his films and television episodes, he appeared with his wife, Dale Evans; his golden palomino, Trigger; and his German shepherd dog, Bullet. His show was broadcast on radio for nine years and then on television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often Pat Brady, Andy Devine, George "Gabby" Hayes, or Smiley Burnette. In his later years, Rogers sold his name to the franchise chain of Roy Rogers Restaurants.