➦In 1937...The soap opera "Stella Dallas" made its debut on WEAF in New York City.
It aired until December 23, 1955. The New York Times described the title character as "the beautiful daughter of an impoverished farmhand who had married above her station in life."
She was played for the entire run of the series by Anne Elstner (1902–1982). Her husband Stephen Dallas was portrayed by various actors. The series was created and produced by the husband and wife team of Frank and Anne Hummert, based on the 1923 novel Stella Dallas by Olive Higgins Prouty. The 15-minute drama began on October 25, 1937, as a local show on WEAF in New York City, in the wake of the successful movie version starring Barbara Stanwyck, and it was picked up by the NBC Radio network beginning June 6, 1938, running weekday afternoons.
➦In 1959...Chicago-based announcer & host Bob Murphy (not to be confused with sportscaster Bob Murphy) died at age 42. He was best known nationally for his announcing & substitute hosting on Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club on ABC Radio.
➦In 1984...The summer ratings book…
Los Angeles – KIIS-FM (top-40) gets a 10.0 share. Rival KKHR is up to a 3.0. Talk KABC is up to a 7.9. Easy JOI – 4.4 and Easy KBIG – 4.1. Rock KLOS down to a 3.5 from a 3.9. Nostalgia KMPC at a 3.4 and AC KOST gets a 2.7. Rock KMET is at a #.1, All news KNX and KFWB are tied at a 2.9. A/C KFI is up to a 1.8 from a 1.4. KHTZ is at a 2.0.
In New York – WHTZ – 6.6 and rival WPLJ – 5.3. WRKS gets a 5.4. WOR – 4.7. WINS – 4.4 and Easy WRFM – 3.7. Urban WBLS at a 3.5. WBLS is the “Quiet Storm” at night. WKTU – 3.1. WNBC – 3.0 and Country WHN – 2.9. WNEW AM and WNEW-FM both at a 3.1. WLTW and WYNY are tied at a 2.8. WABC gets a 2.6. WAPP – 2.4 and WMCA – 1.5
Chicago – Top-4- WBBM FM – 5.0. WGN-AM – 11.4 share. Easy WLOO – 6.8.
Boston – Rock WBCN – 8.6. A/C WHDH – 8.4. Top-40 WXKS – 7.5. WBZ – 7.4. Top-40 WHTT – 6.6. Talk WRKO – 4.7
Out was long-time music director Rosalie Trombley who served in that capacity since CKLW’s influential heyday in the ‘60’s. In the summer ratings book, CKLW dropped again, from a 1.2 to a .7.
Many believe that CKLW started to decline in popularity after Canadian content regulations went into effect. Although having to play some "CanCon" songs that generated little in the way of sales put the station at a competitive disadvantage compared to its U.S.-based competition, CKLW still managed to help break a number of Canadian songs and artists in the United States.
Just as, if not more, responsible for the decline in CKLW's ratings as the 1970s wore on was the rise of FM radio as an outlet for contemporary music, as the station gained a direct FM Top 40 competitor, WDRQ, in 1972, and its listening audience was also fragmented between album oriented rock outlets such as WWWW, WRIF and WABX and adult contemporary stations like WNIC and WMJC.
The Canadian government's initial unwillingness to licence FM frequencies with pop or rock formats stranded Canadian stations on AM while an entire demographic of listeners began the exodus to US-based FM outlets anywhere the signals were in range. For many younger listeners by 1978, CKLW was the station they listened to only if they had an AM-only radio in their cars.
As a result, like many other powerhouse AM Top 40 stations, CKLW evolved during the late 1970s into an Adult Top 40 sound. The station's music softened to the point where by 1982 it gave no airtime to harder-rocking songs like Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", and jingles were initially phased out, with new jingles and a new slogan ("The Great Entertainer") being introduced in 1979.
Dick Purtan joined the station for mornings in 1978, coming over from WXYZ-AM. Largely due to Purtan's popularity, CKLW remained a moderately popular station into the early 1980s, but after Purtan departed at the start of 1983 for FM competitor WCZY, the station quickly tumbled to the bottom of Detroit's Arbitron ratings (its last appearance in the Top 10 was in 1981). In an attempt to go after longtime "full service" powerhouse WJR, CKLW converted to AM stereo in 1982 and even got the rights to broadcast University of Michigan football and NASL soccer.
In 1984, the station's owners (Baton Broadcasting) sold CKLW-AM-FM to Russwood Broadcasting Ltd. Also in 1984, CKLW made an attempt to transfer its CHR format to its FM sister station, big band and jazz standards-formatted CKJY. These hopes were dashed when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) refused to approve the format change on anything more than an "experimental" basis, reasoning that FM was for "fine" music and that Top 40 music belonged on AM.
CLICK HERE for more about CKLW
The final death knell for the "Big 8" came in October 1984, when the station fired 79 staffers (including most of the remaining announcers and Rosalie Trombley), closed its American sales office in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, and announced that it would soon change format to Al Ham's "Music of Your Life" format of Jazz standards and big-band music and go completely automated.
|Morton Downey - 1933|
➦In 1987...CBS radio correspondent Cecil Brown, one of Ed Murrow’s “boys” who reported from the Pacific front during WWII, died at age 80. In September 1943, Brown resigned from CBS after being rebuked by CBS news director Paul White for expressing an editorial opinion during an August 25 news broadcast. Brown had stated that "a good deal of the enthusiasm for this war is evaporating into thin air." Announcing his resignation Brown said that he could not subscribe to what he characterized as CBS' policy of "non-opinionated" news.
After leaving CBS Brown covered the rest of the war at home, in the United States, for the Mutual Network. When World War II ended, Brown continued to work in broadcast journalism as a correspondent for Mutual, NBC and ABC. He retired from broadcasting in 1967.
➦In 1991...Rock promoter Bill Graham died in a helicopter crash at age 60.
He was killed in a helicopter crash west of Vallejo, CA, while returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Concord Pavilion. Graham had attended the event to discuss promoting a benefit concert for the victims of the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm. Once he had obtained a commitment from Huey Lewis to perform, he returned to his helicopter.
Among other events produced by Graham were the Live Aid concert, Amnesty International tour and US Festival.
At times he managed the careers of the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Santana.