Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April 15 Radio History

➦In 1898...Marian Irene Driscoll Jordan was born (Died from cancer at age 62 – April 7, 1961). She was an actress and radio personality. She was most remembered for portraying the role of Molly McGee, the patient, common sense, honey-natured wife of Fibber McGee on the NBC radio series Fibber McGee and Molly from 1935–1959. She starred on this series opposite her real-life husband Jim Jordan.
Jim and Marian Jordan
Jordan was first heard on radio with her husband Jim in 1924 after a bet that Jim made with his brother. The couple's performance was a success. They began performing at WIBO, a radio station in Chicago where they earned $10 a week.

Newspaper ad -circa he '30s
In 1927, Marian and Jim began their second radio show, The Smith Family which aired on WENR radio in Chicago. The show was a great boost to their career, ending in 1930.On April 16, 1935, Marian Jordan, her husband Jim, and writer Don Quinn, began broadcasting Fibber McGee and Molly, on the NBC Blue Network Chicago radio affiliate WMAQ. 

The series was a big hit. Marian played the role of Molly McGee, the patient and intelligent wife who supports husband Fibber McGee through various get rich quick schemes and misadventures.In 1938, the show and Jordan would both suffer major changes. During this time, Marian was drinking excessively. She entered a rehabilitation center in suburban Chicago and tried to get sober. "Molly" was written out of the radio show, and the program was renamed Fibber McGee and Company.

 Those who knew Marian doubted that she would ever return to radio, especially after the show moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1939. However, Marian astonished everyone by travelling alone from Joliet, Illinois to Pasadena, California in March 1939. She was able to return to the character of "Molly," and some listeners considered her better than before. The show received high ratings, from season three in 1938 until the end of its run. 

It also gave birth to a spin-off. In 1941, a recurring character, Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, (played by Harold Peary), began a new show called The Great Gildersleeve. The radio and television series Beulah was also a spin-off of Fibber McGee and Molly.

Marian Jordan's health began to deteriorate in the 1950s. This was the beginning of the end both for the show and for Jordan. The program officially ended in 1956 but the Jordans continued their roles as Fibber McGee and Molly in short skits on the NBC radio program Monitor until October 2, 1959, when her poor health made her unable to continue.

➦In 1912…After midnight, two wireless radio operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland heard the last of the RMS Titanic's distress calls.

At 2:27 a.m., the "unsinkable" ocean liner sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg the evening before.

There were 711 survivors. A total of 1,517 people died, of which 328 bodies were recovered. Those too badly damaged or deteriorated were buried at sea, and the remaining 209 were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they were claimed from the morgues or buried over an 11-day period starting May 3.

➦In 1970...Record Company Owner George Goldner died at age 52 (Born February 9, 1918).  He played an important role in establishing the popularity of rock and roll in the 1950s, by recording and promoting many groups and records that appealed to young people across racial boundaries. Among the acts he discovered were the Crows, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.

He established (or helped establish) a number of record labels, including Tico, Rama, Gee, Roulette, End, Gone, and Red Bird. It was said of him that he "discovered more talent, both in front of the microphone and behind the scenes, than most producers get to record in a lifetime.. Moreover, in the decades since, much of the music that Goldner recorded and released has retained an astonishing appeal to generations of listeners".

➦In 1994...In Cleveland, WMMS-FM's Jeff & Flash and the on-air staff, were fired.

The station's veteran programmer John Gorman had changed the WMMS format to alternative rock in 1994. To emphasize this change, WMMS was re-branded and aggressively promoted as "Buzzard Radio: The Next Generation", a reference to the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its continuation of the Star Trek franchise.  Gorman brought back the original Buzzard design. He also lured popular morning personalities Brian Fowler and Joe Cronauer away from rival WENZ – then an alternative rock station known as 107.9 The END – as the successors to Jeff and Flash (Jeff Kinzbach, Ed Ferenc) on The Buzzard Morning Zoo.

Emma Watson
  • Actress Emma Watson, 30.
  • Actor-writer Seth Rogen, 38.
  • Actor Luke Evans, 41.
  • Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, 42.
  • Actor Danny Pino, 46.
  • Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson, 61.
  • Columnist Heloise, 69.
  • Actress Amy Wright, 70.
  • Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, 73.

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