Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24 Radio History

Alice Faye and Phil Harris
➦In 1904...Bandleader/actor Phil Harris was born in Linton, Indiana.  He was an orchestra leader and a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with Jack Benny, then in a series in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye, for eight years. Harris is also noted for his voice acting in animated films. He played Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book (1967), Thomas O'Malley in The Aristocats (1970), and Little John in Robin Hood (1973).

In 1936, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show Starring Jack Benny (later renamed The Jack Benny Program), singing and leading his band, with Mahlon Merrick writing much of the show's music. When he showed a knack for giving snappy one-liners, he joined the cast, portraying himself as a hip, hard-drinking Southerner whose good nature overcame his ego.

He died of heart failure Aug. 11 1995 at age 91.

'A Date With Judy'
➦In 1941..."A Date With Judy" first aired NBC radio.  It was a comedy radio series aimed at a teenage audience which ran from 1941 to 1950.

The show began as a summer replacement for Bob Hope's show, sponsored by Pepsodent and airing on NBC from June 24 to September 16, 1941, with 14-year-old Ann Gillis in the title role. Mercedes McCambridge played Judy's girl friend. Dellie Ellis (later known as Joan Lorring) portrayed Judy Foster when the series returned the next summer (June 23 – September 15, 1942).

Louise Erickson, then 15, took over the role the following summer (June 30 – September 22, 1943) when the series, with Bristol Myers as its new sponsor, replaced The Eddie Cantor Show for the summer. Louise Erickson continued in the role of Judy over the next seven years as the series, sponsored by Tums, aired from January 18, 1944, to January 4, 1949. Ford Motors and Revere Cameras were the sponsors for the final season of the radio series on ABC from October 13, 1949, to May 4, 1950. Richard Crenna costarred on the series.

The series was so popular CBS developed a rival program Meet Corliss Archer featuring Janet Waldo, which also enjoyed a long run and proved to be equally successful.

➦In 1945...the 'Fitch Bandwagon Mysteries' starring Dick Powell as hardboiled detective Richard Rogue debuted as a summer replacement show on NBC radio.

The Fitch Bandwagon aired on NBC from 1938-1948. It was sponsored by the F.W. Fitch Shampoo Company, an Iowa-based manufacturer of hair care products. It aired on Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

The Fitch Bandwagon had three different incarnations over its decade on the radio.

Beginning with its premiere in fall 1938 through spring 1945, it was a bandstand style show. Freddy Martin, Jan Savitt, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and other top bandleaders appeared and played popular tunes.

From fall 1945 through spring 1946, it was a musical variety show starring Cass Daley and co-starring Francis “Dink” Trout and Henry Russell. Popular bands performed between skits.

The Fitch Bandwagon is best remembered for its final two seasons, from fall 1946 through spring 1948, as a situation comedy show starring real-life husband and wife Phil Harris of The Jack Benny Program and movie star Alice Faye.

➦In 1960…One of radio's longest running soap operas, "The Romance of Helen Trent" ended.

The Romance of Helen Trent aired on CBS from October 30, 1933 to June 24, 1960 for a total of 7,222 episodes. The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who were among the most prolific producers during the radio soap era.

The storyline revolved around a 35-year-old dressmaker who fascinates men as she works her way up to become the chief Hollywood costumer designer. Helen was played by three different actresses (Virginia Clark, Betty Ruth Smith and Julie Stevens). Virginia Clark did the role for 11 years, and Julie Stevens portrayed Helen for 16 years.

Stevens, who had recently finished playing the title role on the radio soap Kitty Foyle, was only 22 when she joined the cast. She continued in the role from 1944 to the show's cancellation in 1960.

During the 7,222 episodes (more than any other radio soap), Helen never married, and she always remained at the age of 35. However, she had a long-running beau, Gil Whitney.

An unusual incident occurred during a 1948 broadcast, as documented in Tune in Tomorrow (1968), the memoir by Mary Jane Higby, who portrayed Cynthia Carter on the program. As Gil attempted to convince Helen of his love for her, Helen again demurred and hesitated. Suddenly, a voice came over the airwaves, saying, "Ah, for chrissakes, lay the dame and get it over with!" As crew members tried to locate the voice inside the studio, the man proceeded to give sexually graphic examples of what Gil should do with Helen. In spite of the shock, there were few protests from listeners.

➦In 1975…The U.S. Attorney in Newark, New Jersey handed down indictments of 19 persons, three of them presidents of record companies, and six corporations in a nationwide payola investigation by the United States attorneys of Newark, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Charges in the seven indictments included, in addition to illegal payments to radio station personnel by record companies, income‐tax evasion, mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Among those indicted were the following:

Kenneth Gamble, president of Gamble‐Huff Records, one of the most successful companies in the sale of pop and soul music; Nat Tarnopol, president of the Brunswick Record Corporation; and Clive J. Davis, who was dismissed by CBS Records, where he was president.

In connection with the indictments against the first two, companies, officials were alleged to have been involved in payola, either directly or indirectly,

The single perjury indictment —against Paul Burke Johnson, programming director of WAOK-AM, Atlanta—charged that he lied when he denied receiving payola from Gamble.

Clive Davis
The indictment against Davis, handed up in the Southern District of New York, alleged that he had evaded taxes of more than $45,000 for three years and had filed false and fraudulent returns.

During that period—according to the indictment announced by United States Attorney Paul J. Curran—Davis, when president of the record company owned by the Columbia Broadcasting System, failed to report on goods, services and benefits from CBS, Inc., that were in excess of $90,000.

In the payola indictment against Brunswick, the indictment says that officials sold its records at less than wholesale in many parts of the country, “on the condition that said merchandisers would make payment in United States currency and in goods and services, including automobiles, household appliances and sporting goods.”

Many of these sales were said to have been concealed to the sum of $343,000, plus $28,000 in goods and services.

The payola indictments against the Gamble‐Huff company said that defendants went to New York, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland and other cities “in order to meet with, and pay in excess of $25,000 in United States currency to disc jockeys, music directors, program directors and other radio station employees.”

In addition, according to the indictment, this company arranged for disk jockeys, music directors, program directors and other radio‐station employes to travel to Philadelphia, where they received clothes worth more than $6,000.

Another part of the indictment said that these defendants had provided in excess of $2,300 in airline tickets “and other goods and services to disc jockeys, music directors, program directors and other radio station employees. Clothes and other services were allegedly made available by these defendants to employees of radio stations in Philadelphia.

Named in the Huff‐Gamble indictment, in addition to Mr. Gamble, were Leon Huff, Earl Shelton, Joseph Medlin, Edward Richardson, also known as “Lord Gas”; Harry J. Coombs, Benjamin Kress, Assorted. Music, Inc., Gamble‐Huff Records, Inc., Huge Management, Inc..., and Cheyenne Productions, Inc.

Fines and private settlements followed.

➦In 2005...Longtime Atlanta Radio personality, Elmo Ellis, died of cancer at age 86. Ellis worked at WSB-AM from 1940 until his retirement in 1982.

Elmo Ellis
He began his career in radio as director of public relations for WSB Radio in 1940.  When World War Two broke out, Mr. Ellis joined the U.S. Air Force where he worked as a writer and producer for radio programs that aired on the major radio networks.  He rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force.  He returned to work in network radio in New York after the war and among his accomplishments in the years that followed, Mr. Ellis would work as a writer and producer for the famous "We The People" and other network radio shows.  He moved from radio to the infant industry of television in 1948 as production manager for WSB-TV.

He would stay in that role until 1952 when he was called on to revive WSB Radio - an era that became famous for Ellis's call to "remove the rust" from radio.  He was the Programming-Production Manager for WSB Radio from 1952 until 1964 - a time of innovation and pioneering that would serve as a guiding light for the rest of the radio industry in this period of time.  In 1964, Mr. Ellis was promoted to the job he is best known for in Atlanta and radio history, when he became General Manager of WSB-AM and WSB-FM.

He would be promoted during this time also to Vice President of the Cox Broadcasting Corporation. He retired from radio work in 1982 and went on to continue a career as the author of books and a newspaper columnist for local newspapers in Atlanta. Mr. Ellis was inducted into the GA Music Hall of Fame in 1995.

➦In 2005...Ron Chapman did his last show on KLUV 98.7 FM, Dallas.

Ron Chapman
Chapman’s radio career began in 1953—the day he graduated from high school—when he became a disc jockey at station WHAV/Haverhill, MA. After working for two years with the Voice of the United Nations Command in Korea , Chapman moved to Connecticut and station WHNC New Haven. In 1959, as “Irving Harrigan” he joined the staff KLIF Dallas, where he teamed up with Jack Woods (a.k.a. Charlie Brown), playing records and providing character voices as stars of the popular Charlie and Harrigan Show.

In 1969, Chapman joined the staff of KVIL-FM/Dallas-Fort Worth as morning disc jockey, music director, and program director, bringing the “adult contemporary” format to FM radio. During his 31 years at KVIL, Chapman became famous for his upbeat humor and his participation in outrageous stunts and giveaways. At one point, Chapman broadcast live while skydiving from a plane. In one infamous stunt, Chapman told his listeners to each send $20 to the station; within three days, the station had received $200,000 (the money was donated to charity).

In 2000, Chapman moved to KLUV Dallas, an “oldies” station where he stayed until announcing his retirement from radio in 2005.

He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2012.

➦In 2010…Radio-television sports announcer Lorn Brown died of heart failure at age 71. He worked for baseball's AAA Iowa Oaks 1973–1974 (St. Louis Cardinals September 1974 fill-in), Chicago White Sox (1976–1979, 1983–1988), Milwaukee Brewers (1980–1981), and New York Mets (1982), among other jobs. He once said that he changed the spelling of his first name from Lorne to Lorn because he didn't want to be confused with the actor Lorne Greene.

Brown's career included working alongside such baseball broadcasters as Harry Caray, Bob Uecker, and Bob Murphy, each a recipient of the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor in the field. While a member of the Mets' TV broadcast team (WOR Channel 9), many Mets fans referred to him as "The Professor" because of his appearance[citation needed]; beside his greying beard and glasses, he would often choose to wear a vest or a Tweed Jacket on air.

➦In 2018...Daniel Trombley Ingram died (Born - September 7, 1934. 'Big Dan' was the epitome of a radio personality and enjoyed a fifty-year career on radio stations such as WABC and WCBS-FM in New York City.

He started broadcasting at WHCH Hofstra College, Hempstead, New York; WNRC, New Rochelle, New York; and WALK-FM, Patchogue, New York.

Ingram was noted for his quick wit and ability to convey a humorous or satiric idea with fast pacing and an economy of words, a skill that rendered him uniquely suited to, and successful within, modern personality-driven music radio. He was among the most frequently emulated radio personalities, cited as an influence or inspiration by numerous current broadcasters. One of Ingram's unique skills was his ability to "talk up" to the lyrics of a record, meaning speaking over the musical introduction and finishing exactly at the point when the lyrics started.

Read Much More, Click Here.

Ingram was also featured prominently in his son Chris's book, Hey Kemosabe! The Days (and Nights) of a Radio Idyll, a fictionalized account of the Musicradio WABC era.

Mindy Kaling is 41

  • Actress Michele Lee is 78. 
  • Singer Arthur Brown is 78. 
  • Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 77. 
  • Guitarist Jeff Beck is 76. 
  • Singer Colin Blunstone of The Zombies is 75. 
  • Drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is 73. 
  • Actor Peter Weller is 73. 
  • Bassist John Illsley of Dire Straits is 71. 
  • Reggae singer Derrick Simpson of Black Uhuru is 70. 
  • Actress Nancy Allen (“RoboCop”) is 70. 
  • Actor Joe Penny (“Jake and the Fatman,” ″Riptide”) is 64. 
  • Singer Astro of UB40 is 63. 
  • Singer-keyboardist Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark is 61. 
  • Musician Siedah Garrett is 60. 
  • Actor Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”) is 59. 
  • Bassist Curt Smith of Tears for Fears is 59. 
  • Actress Danielle Spencer (“What’s Happening”) is 55. 
  • Actress Sherry Stringfield (“ER”) is 53. 
  • Singer Glenn Medeiros is 50. 
  • Actress Carla Gallo (“Bones”) is 45. 
  • Actor Amir Talai (“LA to Vegas”) is 43. 
  • Actress Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project,” ″The Office”) is 41. 
  • Actress Minka Kelly is 40. 
  • Actress Vanessa Ray (“Blue Bloods”) is 39. 
  • Actor Justin Hires (2016′s “MacGyver,” ″Rush Hour”) is 35. 
  • Singer Solange Knowles is 34. 
  • Actor Max Ehrich (“The Young and the Restless,” ″Under the Dome”) is 29. 
  • Actress Beanie Feldstein (“Lady Bird”) is 27.

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