Tuesday, November 12, 2019

November 12 Radio History

➦In 1917...Singer Jo Stafford was born in Coalinga Calif.

Jo Stafford - 1948
With her mother's encouragement, Stafford originally planned to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child, taking private lessons from Foster Rucker, an announcer on California radio station KNX.  Because of the Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her older sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group the Stafford Sisters. The two older Staffords were already part of a trio with an unrelated third member when the act got a big booking at Long Beach's West Coast Theater. Pauline was too ill to perform, and Jo was drafted in to take her place so they could keep the engagement. She asked her glee club teacher for a week's absence from school, saying her mother needed her at home, and this was granted. The performance was a success, and Jo became a permanent member of the group.

The Staffords' first radio appearance was on Los Angeles station KHJ as part of The Happy Go Lucky Hour when Jo was 16, a role they secured after hopefuls at the audition were asked if they had their own musical accompanist. Christine Stafford said that Jo played piano, and the sisters were hired, though she had not previously given a public piano performance.  The Staffords were subsequently heard on KNX's The Singing Crockett Family of Kentucky, and California Melodies, a network radio show aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System. While Stafford worked on The Jack Oakie Show, she met John Huddleston—a backing singer on the program, and they were married in October 1937.  The couple divorced in 1943.

The sisters found work in the film industry as backup vocalists, and immediately after graduating from high school, Jo worked on film soundtracks. She died July 16 2008 at age 90.

➦In 1931…In London, the Abbey Road recording studios opened.

 It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music took control of part of EMI in 2013.

Abbey Road Studios is most notable as being the 1960s' venue for innovative recording techniques adopted by the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Hollies, among others. One of its earliest world-famous-artist clients was Paul Robeson, who recorded there in December 1931 and went on to record many of his best-known songs there.

In 2009, the studio came under threat of sale to property developers. However, the British Government protected the site, granting it English Heritage Grade II listed status in 2010, thereby preserving the building from any major alterations.

Originally a nine-bedroom Georgian townhouse built in 1831.  In 1929, the Gramophone Company acquired the premises and converted it into studios. Pathé filmed the opening of the studios in November 1931 when Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions of his music.

The Gramophone Company merged with Columbia Graphophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries (EMI) in 1931, and the studios later became known as EMI Recording Studios.

In 1958, Studio Two at Abbey Road became a center for rock and roll music when Cliff Richard and the Drifters (later Cliff Richard and the Shadows) recorded "Move It" there, and later pop music material.

The studio was renamed Abbey Road Studios in 1970 after the Beatles album had made it famous.

➦In 1947...KPO-AM San Francisco changed its call sign to KNBC. (Today the station is KNBR)

KNBR began life on April 17, 1922, as KPO, a 100-watt station owned by the Hale Brothers department store. In 1925, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper bought half-interest in the operation.  Originally located in the Hale store at Market and 5th (now the site of Nordstrom), its horizontal wire antenna on the roof was so efficient it immediately attracted the attention of audiences all over the Pacific Coast.

In 1927, KPO became an affiliate of the new NBC radio network.

In 1933, KPO was sold to NBC's parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA),  and its operation was consolidated into that of its co-owned KGO at the Hunter-Dulin Building, 111 Sutter Street. From there, NBC operated its West Coast network, feeding dozens of stations and operating a news bureau to serve NBC. As NBC's flagship station on the West Coast, it had a full-time orchestra, five studios, and produced many live shows. During the rise of Hollywood, NBC's radio operation was moved to Los Angeles.

In 1941, just before World War II, NBC constructed Radio City at 420 Taylor Street, considered one of the best radio facilities built during radio's golden age. However, with the network control having been moved to Los Angeles, the San Francisco NBC building was never fully utilized.

During World War II, KPO's news bureau was the major source for NBC of news about the war in the Pacific, and operated shortwave radio stations (transmitters located in Dixon) serving the world. It was at the KPO (RCA) shortwave facility that the message was received that Japanese emperor Hirohito had surrendered, ending World War II.

On November 12, 1947, the FCC approved NBC's application to change the call sign from KPO to KNBC, to shore up its reputation as an NBC station (and the only radio station NBC ever owned on the West Coast). This change lasted until 1962, when the network moved the call sign to its television station in Los Angeles and the radio station was renamed KNBR.

Singleton as Blondie with Arthur Lake
➦In 2003...Actress Penny Singleton died at age 95 after a stroke. During her 60-year career, Singleton appeared as the comic-strip heroine Blondie Bumstead in a series of 28 motion pictures from 1938 until 1950 and the popular Blondie radio program from 1939 until 1950. Singleton also provided the voice of Jane Jetson in the animated series The Jetsons from 1962–1963 and 1985–1987.

➦In 2005...Paul McCartney became the first musician to broadcast live music into space when a segment of his Anaheim concert was beamed, via NASA, to the International Space Station 220 miles above the Earth.

➦In 2012…Veteran Los Angeles personality Sam Benson died at age 90.

He got his job in radio working for Earle C. Anthony, the car dealer turned broadcaster whose most enduring claim to fame is probably that he imported the first neon sign to the West Coast. Benson went on to work for 40 years at KLAC radio and Metromedia, ending as the editorial director for KTTV Channel 11 from 1984-87. At KLAC, "Sam...was the only constant through management, ownership and format changes," writes Don Barrett at Los Angeles Radio.

➦In 2017...Liz Smith, the syndicated gossip columnist who climbed the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered, died at age 94. Earlier in her career she was a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio, spent five years as a news producer for NBC-TV, and appeared for 11 years on WNBC-TV’s Live at Five.

➦In 2018...Stan Lee, the comic book artist and for two decades the creative force behind Marvel Comics which gave radio & TV some of their most memorable superheroes, died at age 95

No comments:

Post a Comment