Monday, June 29, 2020

June 29 Radio History

➦In 1901...Ed Gardner born (Died of liver failure at age 61– August 17, 1963). He was a comic actor, writer and director, best remembered as the creator and star of the radio's popular Duffy's Tavern comedy series, which he created in 1941.

He found fame on radio with Duffy's Tavern, portraying the wisecracking, malaprop-prone barkeeper Archie. The successful radio program aired on CBS from 1941 to 1942, on the NBC Blue Network from 1942 to 1944, and on NBC from 1944 to 1951. Speaking in a nasal Brooklyn accent, and sounding like just about every working class New Yorker his creator had ever known, Gardner as Archie invariably began each week's show by answering the telephone and saying, "Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet to eat, Archie the manager speaking, Duffy ain't here—oh, hello, Duffy."

Duffy the owner never appeared, but Archie did, with Gardner assuming the role himself after he could not find the right actor to play the role. Regulars in the tavern included Duffy's airheaded, man-crazy daughter, droll waiter Eddie, barfly Finnegan and Clancy the cop. The daughter was played by several actresses but began with Shirley Booth, Gardner's first wife, with whom he remained friends even after their 1942 divorce.

Gardner also brought radio directing experience to Duffy's Tavern. He had previously originated the Rudy Vallee-John Barrymore radio show and directed shows for George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bing Crosby, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Al Jolson and Fanny Brice. In addition, Gardner was one of the show's writers and its script editor in all but name, though he had a staff that included Abe Burrows, Sol Saks, Parke Levy, Larry Rhine and Dick Martin. He was notorious for hiring as a writer anyone who sounded funny to him in passing, but Gardner ultimately had the final say on each show's script. In 1949, hoping to be able to take advantage of Puerto Rico's income-tax-free status for future media ventures, Gardner moved his radio show there.

➦In 1932...The radio program 'Vic and Sade' made its debut on NBC Blue Network.  It was created and written by Paul Rhymer. It was regularly broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1944, then intermittently until 1946, and was briefly adapted to television in 1949 and again in 1957.

It was the the second daytime dramatic serial on network radio.  Radio’s first daytime drama was Clara Lu and Em, which premiered on NBC in 1931.

During its 14-year run on radio, Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. For the majority of its span on the air, Vic and Sade was heard in 15-minute episodes without a continuing storyline. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks", were accountant Victor Rodney Gook (Art Van Harvey), his wife Sade (Bernardine Flynn) and their adopted son Rush (Bill Idelson). The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block

➦In 1947..."Strike It Rich" made its debut on CBS Radio.  It was a game show that aired radio and television from June 29, 1947, to December 27, 1957 on CBS and NBC.

People in need of money (such as for medical treatment or a destitute family) appeared and told their tale of woe, then tried to win money by answering four relatively easy questions. Each player would be given $30 and bet any of their bankroll on answering each question after being given the category. If the contestant didn't win any money, the emcee opened the "Heart Line", which was a phone line to viewers who wished to donate to the contestant's family.

The radio series aired on CBS from 1947 to 1950. On May 1, 1950, the show moved to NBC until December 27, 1957. Todd Russell was the host from 1947 to 1948, followed by Warren Hull. The television series premiered May 7, 1951, on CBS's daytime lineup and ran until January 3, 1958, including a prime time version from July 4, 1951, to January 12, 1955.

Some applauded Strike It Rich for helping out some less fortunate people, as well as showcasing the sincere charity and goodwill of viewers who donated through the Heart Line. Others found it a sickening spectacle that exploited the less fortunate.

➦In 1951...Bill Stern aired his last 15-minute program of sports features for NBC radio. Stern had been with NBC for 14 years. He later moved to ABC and Mutual to finish out a colorful sportscasting career.

Bill Stern
Born in Rochester, New York, Stern began doing radio play-by-play commentary in 1925, when he was hired by a local station, WHAM, to cover football games. Shortly after that, he enrolled at Pennsylvania Military College, graduating in 1930.

NBC hired him in 1937 to host The Colgate Sports Newsreel as well as Friday night boxing on radio. Stern was also one of the first televised boxing commentators.

He broadcast the first televised sporting event, the second game of a baseball doubleheader between Princeton and Columbia at Columbia's Baker Field on May 17, 1939. On September 30, he called the first televised football game.

During his most successful years, Stern engaged in a fierce rivalry with Ted Husing of the CBS Radio Network. They competed not only for broadcast position during sports and news events, but also for the rights to cover the events themselves. They both served for many years as their networks' sports directors as well as being on-air stars.

Some observers consider Stern's style a blueprint in the 1940s for the style of Paul Harvey, ABC Entertainment Network social commentator, who adapted both Stern's newscasting (transforming his Reel One to Page One) and his stories about the famous and odd (to Rest Of The Story), although Stern made no effort to authenticate his stories and, in later years, introduced that segment of his show by saying that they "might be actual, may be mythical, but definitely interesting." Harvey, on the other hand, said he told only stories he had authenticated in some way.

➦In 1951…The radio sitcom, "The Life of Riley," starring William Bendix as Chester A. Riley, ended after a 10-year run. The radio program initially aired on the Blue Network (later known as ABC) from January 16, 1944, to July 8, 1945, it then moved to NBC, where it was broadcast from September 8, 1945, to June 29, 1951.

A version for TV aired for a total of six years between 1949 and 1958, with Jackie Gleason as Riley in the first year and Bendix in the title role from 1953 to 1958.

In front Jackie Wilson and Dick Clark
➦In 1959..."American Bandstand" host, Dick Clark, announced he was going to join with Irvin Feld for a number of "Dick Clark Caravans" to be staged in various cities highlighting pop stars.

➦In 1974...Wolfman Jack aired last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC

➦In 1978...Radio Personality and Hogan's Heroes TV star Bob Crane was murdered at age 49.  The crime remains unsolved. Prime suspect John Henry Carpenter was tried — and acquitted — in 1990.

In 1950, Crane started his broadcasting career at WLEA in Hornell, New York. He soon moved to WBIS in Bristol, Connecticut, followed by WICC in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This was a 1,000-watt operation with a signal covering the northeastern portion of the New York metropolitan area where he remained until 1956.

At that time CBS radio network executives plucked Crane out partly to help stop his huge popularity from affecting the suburban ratings of their New York flagship WCBS 880 AM, and partly to re-energize their flagging West Coast flagship KNX in Los Angeles. Crane moved his family to California to host the morning show at KNX 1070 AM. He filled the broadcast with sly wit, drumming, and guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope. It quickly became the number-one rated morning show with adult listeners in the Los Angeles area, with Crane known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves."

Crane, Valdis
Crane's acting ambitions led to his subbing for Johnny Carson on the daytime game show Who Do You Trust? and appearances on The Twilight Zone, Channing, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and General Electric Theater. When Carl Reiner appeared on his show, Crane persuaded him to book him for a guest shot on The Dick Van Dyke Show, where he was noticed by Donna Reed, who suggested him for the role of neighbor Dr. Dave Kelsey in her sitcom from 1963 through 1965.

In 1965, Crane was offered the starring role in a television comedy pilot about a German P.O.W. camp. Hogan's Heroes became a hit and finished in the Top Ten in its first year on the air. The series lasted six seasons, and Crane was nominated for an Emmy Award twice, in 1966 and 1967. During its run, he met Patricia Olson, who played Hilda under the stage name Sigrid Valdis. He divorced his wife of twenty years and married Olson on the set of the show in 1970.

Trivia: It's Bob Crane playing the drums on Hogan's Heroes theme song.

Ron Lundy, Joe McCoy
➦In 1981...Joe McCoy started as Program Director at Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM, New York.

When Joe McCoy took over as program director in 1981, WCBS-FM began to gradually shift its focus to the 1964–1969 era, but would also feature a more pre-1964 oldies than most other such stations. The station continued to also feature hits of the 1970s and some hits of the 1980s while cutting future gold selections to one per hour.

Also in the 1980s, after WABC and later WNBC abandoned music in favor of talk, WCBS-FM began employing many disc jockeys who were widely known on other New York City stations, most notably Musicradio WABC alumni Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram, Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Chuck Leonard and Harry Harrison, as well as Dan Daniels and Jack Spector.

Camilia Mendes is 26
  • Actor Gary Busey is 76. 
  • Comedian Richard Lewis is 73. 
  • Drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple is 72. 
  • Actor-turned-Congressman-turned-radio host Fred Grandy is 72. 
  • Singer Don Dokken of Dokken is 67. 
  • Singer Colin Hay of Men At Work is 67. 
  • Actress Maria Conchita Alonso is 65. 
  • Actress Sharon Lawrence (“Fired Up,” ″NYPD Blue”) 59. 
  • Actress Amanda Donohoe is 58. 
  • Actress Judith Hoag (“Nashville”) is 57. 
  • Singer Stedman Pearson of Five Star is 56. 
  • Actress Kathleen Wilhoite (“Gilmore Girls,” “ER”) is 56. 
  • Actress Melora Hardin (“The Office”) is 53. 
  • Broadway actor Brian d’Arcy James (“Hamilton”) is 52. 
  • Actress Christina Chang (“The Good Doctor”) is 49. 
  • Rapper DJ Shadow is 48. 
  • Actor Lance Barber (“Young Sheldon”) is 47. 
  • Musician Sam Farrar of Maroon 5 is 42. 
  • Actor Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is 42. 
  • Guitarist Todd Sansom of Marshall Dyllon is 42. 
  • Singer Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls) is 42. 
  • Comedian Colin Jost (“Saturday Night Live”) is 38. 
  • Actress Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) is 38. 
  • Singer Aundrea Fimbres of Danity Kane is 37. 
  • Actress Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”) is 26.

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