Monday, August 10, 2020

August 10 Radio History

Ted Husing
➦In 1962...Edward Britt "Ted" Husing died from complications of a brain tumor at age 60 (Born - November 27, 1901).

He was an early radio sportscaster and was among the first to lay the groundwork for the structure and pace of modern sports reporting.

At age 16, he joined the National Guard and in World War I was assigned to stand watch over New York's harbor. Following the war, he floated between jobs such as carnival barker and payroll clerk.

After he won an audition over 500 other applicants for announcer at New York City radio station WHN, Husing found his life's calling. He was schooled under the tutelage of pioneer broadcaster Major J. Andrew White. There he covered breaking news stories and political conventions and assisted White during football commentaries.

By 1926, Husing was working at WJZ, which made him "its specialist in announcing dance programs." A newspaper article reported that Husing was selected for the job "out of 610 applications for the position of announcer at station WJZ."

As an announcer, his use of descriptive language combined with a commanding voice made his broadcasts must-listen events. By 1927, he was voted seventh most popular announcer in a national poll. Following a pay dispute, he moved to Boston, where he broadcast Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves) baseball games.

Later in 1927, he returned to New York and helped his mentor, J. Andrew White, start the new CBS chain. After cigar mogul William S. Paley bought the cash-strapped network in 1928, Ted Husing rose to new heights of glory and fame.

At CBS, Husing took on a wide variety of events. In 1929, he was named studio director of WABC (the CBS flagship station) in addition to continuing his work as an announcer for the network.

He was the original voice of the popular March of Time program and an announcer for shows such as George Burns and Gracie Allen. Above everything, his work on sports gave Husing the greatest prominence. He covered events as diverse as boxing, horse racing, track and field, regattas, seven World Series, tennis, golf, four Olympic Games, Indianapolis 500 motor racing, and especially college football.

In addition to his sports preeminence, Husing also did news/special events coverage for the CBS Radio Network. In the 1930s, he gave early tutelage to a budding CBS Radio announcer, Mel Allen, who, like Husing, would become a legendary sportscaster.

In 1946, Husing moved from CBS to WHN (later WMGM) to pursue a career as a disk jockey. Husing's popular music show the Ted Husing Bandstand ran from 1946 to 1954. He continued to busy himself with sports assignments, including boxing on CBS and DuMont television, one year (1950) as the radio voice of New York Giants football, and as host of DuMont's Boxing From Eastern Parkway from May 1952 to March 1953. Perhaps he was best known as the voice of Army football from 1947 to 1953. By that time, Husing's yearly salary was close to half a million dollars.

In the spring of 1954, an operation to treat a malignant brain tumor left him blind and forced him to retire.   In 1963, Husing became the second inductee of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.  In 1984, Husing was part of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame’s inaugural class which included sportscasting legends Red Barber, Don Dunphy, Graham McNamee and Bill Stern.

➦In 1964...Hooper ratings in Los Angeles had KRLA then-1110 AM leading rival top-40 station KFWB 980 AM:  KRLA 16.7....KFWB 13.6.  KFWB had recently tightened up their music playlist. KRLA jocks included Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi, Wink Martindale and others.

In 1965, KHJ started its “Boss Radio” Top 40 format, which launched it to the No. 1 position.  KRLA was the second-place Top 40 station.  KFWB abandoned music and flipped to all-news in 1968.

➦In 1964...R&B WYNR 1390 AM in Chicago was about to go all-news on September 3. The station, operated by Gordon McLendon, changed call letters to WNUS.

When WYNR suddenly switched to all-news WNUS in 1964, McLendon bought WFMQ 107.5 FM (now WGCI-FM) and changed the call letters to WNUS-FM, creating an FM simulcast of the all-news station. This 1966 advertisement is looking for WNUS “newsmen.”  McLendon was paying $88,800 a year in 2011 dollars.

All-news was catching on in big markets across the country. Westinghouse’s WINS 1010 AM in New York switched to all-news in 1965.  In 1968, CBS and Westinghouse decided to flip many of their stations to all-news.  In Los Angeles, KNX (CBS) and KFWB (Westinghouse) both switched to all-news.   McLendon’s All-News XTRA could not compete with the fully staffed news operations of KNX and KFWB.  He pulled the plug on the format.

The same happened in Chicago when CBS flipped powerful WBBM-AM to all-news.  WNUS-AM-FM became an easy-listening station.  Globetrotter Communications, the owners of soul music station WVON, bought WNUS-AM-FM in 1975.  It wanted to move WVON-AM to the more powerful 5,000-watt allocation that WNUS used at 1390 AM.

WNUS-FM became urban WGCI-FM, which is a very successful Chicago radio station today.  The AM station became WGCI-AM in 1984.  Today it’s WGRB, a gospel station.  Clear Channel owns both stations.

➦In 1964...WNBC 660 AM, New York morning man Big Wilson, joined Lynda B. Johnson to serve as master of ceremonies at the first Folk Music Concert ever presented under the auspices of The White House. Big Wilson was personally asked by President Johnson to emcee the folk concert with participants Theodore Bikel, Nancy Ames, the Serendipity Singers and the comedy team of Stiller and Meara.

➦In 2001...Chicago Cubs broadcaster/Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau died of cardiac arrest at age 84. Boudreau did play-by-play for Cub games in 1958–59 before switching roles with manager "Jolly Cholly" Charlie Grimm in 1960. But after only one season as Cubs manager, Boudreau returned to the radio booth and remained there until 1987. He also did radio play-by-play for the Chicago Bulls in 1966–68.

➦In 2008...Artist and WRKS NYC Personality Isaac Hayes died at his home in Memphis from an apparent stroke.

➦In 2016....Sportscaster John Saunders, who worked for ESPN for almost 30 years, died at age 61. Cause of death was an enlarged heart together with complications from diabetes.

➦In 2017...Taylor Swift testified in court that Denver radio personality David Mueller groped her.

Jennifer Hanson is 47
  • Actor Rhonda Fleming (“Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”) is 97. 
  • Singer Ronnie Spector is 77. 
  • Actor James Reynolds (“Days of Our Lives”) is 74. 
  • Singer-flutist Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull is 73. 
  • Mandolin player Gene Johnson of Diamond Rio is 71. 
  • Singer Patti Austin is 70. 
  • Actor Rosanna Arquette is 61. 
  • Actor Antonio Banderas is 60. 
  • Drummer Jon Farriss of INXS is 59. 
  • Actor Chris Caldovino (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 57.  
  • Singer Aaron Hall of Guy is 56. 
  • Singer Lorraine Pearson of Five Star is 53. 
  • Singer Michael Bivins (Bell Biv Devoe, New Edition) is 52. 
  • Actor-writer Justin Theroux is 49. 
  • Actor Angie Harmon (“Law and Order”) is 48. 
  • Country singer Jennifer Hanson is 47. 
  • Actor-turned-lawyer Craig Kirkwood (“Remember the Titans”) is 46. 
  • Actor JoAnna Garcia Swisher (“Kevin (Probably) Saves The World,” ″Reba”) is 41. 
  • Singer Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels and Rope is 41. 
  • Singer Nikki Bratcher of Divine is 40. 
  • Actor Aaron Staton (“Mad Men”) is 40. 
  • Actor Ryan Eggold (“The Blacklist: Redemption,” ″90210″) is 36. 
  • Actor Charley Koontz (“CSI: Cyber”) is 33. 
  • Actor Lucas Till (“Hannah Montana”) is 30. 
  • Actor Jeremy Maguire (“Modern Family”) is 9.

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