➦In 1938...32-year-old Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's 'God Bless America' on her CBS radio network show. Smith was a major star of radio. She began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings (quickly expanded to six shows a week), followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music (1931–33), sponsored by La Palina Cigars; The Kate Smith Matinee (1934–35); The Kate Smith New Star Revue (1934–35); Kate Smith's Coffee Time (1935–36), sponsored by A&P; and The Kate Smith A&P Bandwagon (1936–37).
The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.
Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.
"God Bless America" is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938. The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song.
Irving Berlin wrote the song in 1918 while serving the U.S. Army at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, but decided that it did not fit in a revue called Yip Yip Yaphank, so he set it aside.
In 1938, with the rise of Adolf Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish and a first-generation Russian immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song," and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938, sung by Kate Smith on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer." (In her first broadcast of the song, Kate Smith sang "that we're far from there" rather than "for a land so fair".)
➦In 1950...a radio comedy series The Magnificent Montague starring Monty Woolley debuted on NBC. It may rank as radio’s last original sitcom. Ironically, its final airing was exactly one year later, as TV continued to steal the radio audience.
➦In 1956...Billboard magazine's DJ survey reveals that Elvis Presley is the country's number one male artist on both the pop and country charts.
➦In 1966...British newspapers break the news that the Beatles were ending their live concerts.
Struggling to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans, the band had grown increasingly bored with the routine of performing live. Recognizing that their shows were no longer about the music, they decided to make the August 1966 tour their last. The last US concert was at Candlestick Park, San Francisco on August 29, 1966. A crowd of 25,000 saw the Beatles final concert which began at 8:00 pm.The support acts,in order of appearance,were The Remain, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle and the Ronettes. The Beatles played from 9:27 pm until precisely 10:00 pm on a stage five feet high surrounded by security and police
The famous and very final Beatles concert would be the famous Rooftop concert January 30, 1969.
➦In 1992...First AM HD Radio broadcast with audio codec.
➦In 2003…Irving "Irv" Kupcinet died at age 91 (Born - July 31, 1912). He was a newspaper columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, television talk-show host, and radio personality based in Chicago. He was popularly known by the nickname "Kup".
His daily "Kup's Column" was launched in 1943 and remained a fixture in the Sun-Times for the next six decades. He also was Chicago Bears radio color commentator.
➦In 2010...David Arnold Niehaus died (Born - February 19, 1935). He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the MLB's Seattle Mariners from their inaugural season in 1977 until his death after the 2010 season. In 2008, the National Baseball Hall of Fame awarded Niehaus the Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor for American baseball broadcasters. Among fans nationwide and his peers, Niehaus was considered to be one of the finest sportscasters in history.
Niehaus graduated from Indiana University in 1957, entered the military, and began his broadcasting career with Armed Forces Radio. He became a partner of Dick Enberg on the broadcast team of the California Angels in 1969. Niehaus also broadcast the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL and UCLA Bruins football and basketball during this period.