➦In 1876...Alexander Graham Bell made the first succesful telephone transmission of clear speech using a liquid transmitter when Bell spoke into his device, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." and Watson heard each word distinctly.
➦In 1920...Kenneth Charles "Jethro" Burns born (Died - February 4, 1989), He was an American mandolinist and one-half of the comedy duo Homer and Jethro with Henry D. "Homer" Haynes.
Burns was born in Conasauga, Tennessee. His family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee when he was three. In 1936, he auditioned for a talent contest at Knoxville radio station WNOX where he met Henry Haynes, also 16. The two formed a duo and WNOX program director Lowell Blanchard gave them the stage names Homer and Jethro after forgetting their names on the air.
Burns was drafted into the US Army and served in Europe during World War II and reunited with Haynes, who had served in the Pacific, in Knoxville in 1945. By 1947, the duo moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and were working at WLW on the station's Midwestern Hayride. They signed with King Records, where they worked as a house band and recorded singles on their own, and two years later signed with RCA Records. The pair were fired along with other stars by new management at WLW in 1948, and after a brief tour, they moved to Springfield, Missouri and performed on KWTO with Chet Atkins, the Carter Family and Slim Wilson.
In 1949, they moved to Chicago, Illinois and played at the Chicago Theatre. Between shows, they would go to WLS to appear live on National Barn Dance.
In 1959, they won a Grammy for the best comedy performance in 1959 for "The Battle of Kookamonga", a parody of Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans".
➦In 1922...Flashback: From Variety...1M radio receivers in use...
➦In 1922...KLZ-AM, Denver, Colorado began broadcasting.
Two years earlier, Dr. William "Doc" Reynolds, a dentist, founded Colorado's first experimental radio station, 9ZAF, at his 1124 S. University home in Denver.
The studio was on the front porch and the transmitter was in the back yard.
On March 10, 1922, the station's call sign changed to KLZ, then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover granted Reynolds one of the first commercial broadcasting licenses in the country, and KLZ became Colorado's first commercial radio station.
|1920s-Era Radio Receiver|
➦In 1949…In 1949, Nazi propaganda broadcaster, 48-year-old Mildred E. Gillars, also known as “Axis Sally,” was convicted of treason following a six-week trial in Washington, DC. Gillars was sentenced to 10-to-30 years in prison; she was paroled after serving 12.
Gillars' remained in Berlin until the end of the war. Her last broadcast was on May 6, 1945, just two days before the German surrender. Having converted to Roman Catholicism while in prison, Gillars went to live at the Our Lady of Bethlehem Convent in Columbus, Ohio, and taught German, French, and music at St. Joseph Academy, Columbus.
Gillars died of colon cancer in Columbus on June 25, 1988.
➦In 1955..."The Silver Eagle" program aired for the last time. ABC Radio began broadcasting The Silver Eagle during the summer of 1951. The stories centered on Sergeant Jim West of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, played by Jim Ameche (Don's kid brother). The show followed the traditions of Fran Striker's The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon.
The Silver Eagle often dealt with the native Indian tribes in Western Canada. Usually the Indians were victimized by the greedy whites they encountered. It fell to Sergeant West to protect “the noble savages”, who were imbued with all the stereotypes of the B-Western matinées.
Jim Ameche both looked and sounded a good deal like his older brother Don. Jim was radio's original Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy. When Don Ameche left the Chase and Sanborn Hour in the early forties, younger brother Jim stepped in. When the children's book The Story of Mankind was brought to the big screen in 1957, Jim was cast as Alexander Graham Bell, one of the roles that helped to catapult Don to stardom in 1939.
➦In 1962...First New York Mets radio broadcast on 77 WABC.
In the very early stages of their Top 40 history of 1962-1963, most of their pieces of their heyday were in place; Dan Ingram, Scott Muni, Cousin Brucie Morrow, and Bob Lewis, WABC served as the original radio flagship of the National League New York Mets.
A notable aspect of WABC's Mets coverage was Howard Cosell and former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca handling the pre- and post-game shows. Under PD Sam Holman, WABC achieved No. 1 ratings during much of 1962, after WMGM reverted to WHN. By the summer of 1963, WMCA led the pack, with WABC at No. 2 and WINS slipping to third place.
WABC aired the Mets for these two years only. The station lost those rights to WHN following the 1963 season.
➦In 1980…Radio-TV personality and the creator of the Ronald McDonald character for McDonald's Corporation, Willard Scott became the weather forecaster on NBC-TV's "Today" show. After more than a decade in that role, he is now the substitute for weatherman Al Roker on the program.
From 1955 to 1972, Scott teamed with Ed Walker as co-host of the nightly Joy Boys radio program on WRC 980 AM (now Sports-WTEM). (This was interrupted from 1956-1958 when Scott served on active duty with the U.S.Navy.)
In a 1999 article recalling the Joy Boys at the height of their popularity in the mid-1960s, The Washington Post said they "dominated Washington, providing entertainment, companionship, and community to a city on the verge of powerful change". The Joy Boys show played on WRC until 1972 when they moved to cross-town station WWDC 1260 AM (now Talk-WWRC) for another two years. Scott wrote in his book, The Joy of Living, of their close professional and personal bond, saying that they were "closer than most brothers".
n late 2015, Walker was diagnosed with cancer and retired from The Big Broadcast on non-com WAMU-FM in DC to focus on his health and spend more time with his family. His last show aired from 7:00 to 11:00 PM on October 25, 2015. It was recorded the week before from his room at Sibley Memorial Hospital where he had been receiving treatment. He died just three hours after that last broadcast concluded.
➦In 2003...The Dixie Chicks attempted career suicide. During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Dixie Chicks performed in concert in London on March 10, 2003, at the Shepherd's Bush Empire theatre in England. This concert kicked off their Top of the World Tour. During the introduction to their song "Travelin' Soldier", Natalie Maines, who along with Robison and Maguire is also a native of Texas, said:
"Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."The comment about United States President George W. Bush, who had served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000 before his election to the presidency, was reported in The Guardian's review of the Chicks concert. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. media picked up the story and controversy erupted.
Maines's remark sparked intense criticism. The comment by Maines angered many country music fans and was financially damaging. Following the uproar, a boycott of the Dixie Chicks' music caused the Dixie Chicks' cover of the Fleetwood Mac song "Landslide" to fall sharply from No. 10 down to 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week. It dropped out of the entire chart the following week.
➦In 2013…For WGN-AM Newsman Marty McNeeley died at the age of 86.
McNeeley grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. His first broadcasting job, while he was still in high school, was with a small Youngstown radio station, WFMJ-AM.
He studied at what is now Youngstown State University before being drafted into the Navy, where he wound up with Armed Forces Radio in San Francisco. After the war, he took a job as an announcer in Cleveland. He then worked in radio in Detroit and Philadelphia, moving into TV as an anchorman in the 1960s.
McNeeley joined WGN in 1969 as the primary news anchor of the overnight news show "Night Beat," which would last for 20 or 30 minutes before the station signed off at 1:30 a.m.
McNeeley resigned from WGN in 1986 and moved to New York. After brief stints at news stations WNEW 1130 AM and WINS 1010 AM, he found a home as an anchor for ABC Radio, where he worked until retiring in 1993.
➦In 2014…Former radio station owner Jospeh Zingale died of Parkinson's disease at the age of 80. He was one of the owners of WIXY AM, and WDOK AM & FM in Cleveland.