Saturday, September 7, 2019

September 8 Radio HIstory

➦In 1907...➦In John 'Jack" Mather Born. (Died from heart attack at age 58 – August 16, 1966). He a radio and television actor, best known for playing The Cisco Kid on Mutual radio from 1947 to 1956. and for being the original voice of Wally Walrus.

➦In 1930...WBEN signed on in Buffalo, NY.  However, its history dates to the 1920s. WBEN initially used the facility built by the Norton Laboratories organization from Boston, as part of an experiment to send voice transmissions between Niagara Falls, New York, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, as WMAK.

When WMAK was launched in 1922 it operated initially from Lockport, New York at 833 kHz. The station later moved its transmitter to North Tonawanda, New York (broadcasting at 1130 kHz there) and then landing on 900 kHz, with 1000 watts of power, as a result of General Order 40, which realigned American AM radio allocations in 1927–28. In the late 1920s WMAK was acquired by the Buffalo Broadcasting Company, based at Buffalo's Rand Building, which also controlled WGR and WKBW in Buffalo. WMAK was a charter member of the CBS Radio Network, being one of the 16 stations that aired the first CBS network program on September 18, 1927.

WMAK was closed in the spring of 1930 as federal regulators began probing concentration of media ownership in the nation's largest radio markets. Buffalo Broadcasting Company chose to retain WGR and WKBW while shutting down WMAK and another daytime-only station, WKEN in suburban Kenmore, New York.

At the same time, the Buffalo Evening News was granted a broadcast license of its own, purchased the decommissioned transmitting facility of WMAK on Shawnee Road in Martinsville (North Tonawanda, New York) and re-licensed it as WBEN.

A new studio complex was built at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in downtown Buffalo (chosen primarily for access to the live orchestra there), and served WBEN, its sister FM station and sister television station (which opened in the spring of 1948) for more than 25 years.

In 1941, the station moved to its current position on the dial, at 930 kHz, as a result of the North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (NARBA).

The station also relocated its transmitter to Grand Island at during this time, increasing full-time power to its current 5,000 watts. The Grand Island transmitter and two towers are still in use today.

Click Here for more WBEN History.

The Hoboken Four with Major Bowes
➦In 1935...A singing group called the Hoboken Four, one of whose members is named Frank Sinatra, made their first national appearance, performing on WOR's radio show Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

The Hoboken Four won the contest that night. Bowes said: “They walked right into the hearts of their audience.” The prize was a 6-month contract to perform on stage and on radio and they were earning a lot more than before.

The Bickersons
➦In 1946...The Bickersons was a radio comedy sketch series debuted on NBC, moving the following year to CBS where it continued until August 28, 1951. The show's married protagonists, portrayed by Don Ameche and Frances Langford, spent nearly all their time together in relentless verbal war.

➦In 1954...Alan Freed departed Cleveland, Ohio for New York City and 1010 WINS radio.

The station eventually became an around-the-clock Top 40 rock and roll radio station, and would remain so until April 19, 1965—long after Freed left and three months after he had died— when it became an all-news outlet.

➦In 1969...the radio voice of Superman (and TV game show host)  Clayton “Bud” Collyer (Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth), died of a circulatory ailment at age 61.

Collyer's best-remembered radio starring role began in early 1940 in The Adventures of Superman on the Mutual Broadcasting System, a role he also performed in the subsequent Superman cartoons.

Collyer supplied the voices of both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent, opposite radio actress Joan Alexander as Lois Lane. Every Superman episode featured a scene in which Clark Kent changed into his Superman costume, an effect which Collyer conveyed by shifting voices while speaking the phrase "This is (or "looks like") a job for Superman!" his voice always dropping when becoming Superman.

Also pictured is Superman announcer Jackson Beck is on the left.

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