Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 11 Radio History

➦In 1942...Actress Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, and composer George Anthiel received U.S. patent for Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), a method of transmitting radio signals by rapidly switching a carrier among many frequency channels, using a pseudorandom sequence known to both transmitter and receiver. It is used as a multiple access method in the frequency-hopping code division multiple access (FH-CDMA) scheme. It eventually led to today's Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Spread-spectrum signals are highly resistant to deliberate jamming, unless the adversary has knowledge of the spreading characteristics. Military radios use cryptographic techniques to generate the channel sequence under the control of a secret Transmission Security Key (TRANSEC) that the sender and receiver share in advance.

By itself, frequency hopping provides only limited protection against eavesdropping and jamming. Most modern military frequency hopping radios also employ separate encryption devices such as the KY-57. U.S. military radios that use frequency hopping include the JTIDS/MIDS family, HAVE QUICK and SINCGARS.

In the US, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amended rules to allow frequency hopping spread spectrum systems in the unregulated 2.4 GHz band, many consumer devices in that band have employed various spread-spectrum modes.

Some walkie-talkies that employ frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology have been developed for unlicensed use on the 900 MHz band.

Lamarr died in Casselberry, FL on January 19, 2000, of heart disease, aged 85.

➦In 1966…The Beatles staged their fourth concert tour of America, and it was the last commercial tour they undertook.

Lasting a total of 19 performances, with 17 shows in American venues and two in Canada, it was plagued with backlash regarding the controversy of John Lennon's remark about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus", death threats, and the band's own dissatisfaction with the noise levels and their ability to perform live. Although it was a commercial success, ticket sales had declined since the group's previous visit, in August 1965. Late in the tour, the band returned to Shea Stadium in New York, where they performed to an audience of 45,000, compared with the 56,000 world record attendance they had achieved the previous year. After the 1966 tour, they would become a studio band and focused exclusively on record production.

In March 1966, Maureen Cleave interviewed John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles as part of a London Evening Standard series on the theme "How Does a Beatle Live?" During the Lennon interview at Kenwood, Cleave noted Lennon's interest in Christianity and religions, to which he replied:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first – rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Although the article went largely unnoticed in the United Kingdom, the American magazine Datebook printed the quote containing Lennon's words on the front cover of its August issue.

Fearful of the possibility that protesters or radicals would try to kill them for their supposed "anti-Christ" stance, the group's manager, Brian Epstein, contemplated cancelling the tour altogether. However, during the tour's stop in Chicago, he arranged for a press conference to address the controversy and for Lennon to explain himself. Lennon stated that he was only commenting on the decline among churchgoers, that he made a mistake in using the Beatles' following in comparison with that of organised religion, and that he "never meant it as a lousy anti-religious thing". Despite this explanation, Lennon continued to be asked about the topic in subsequent press conferences throughout the American tour, often visibly exasperating not only him, but his bandmates as well.

➦In 1968...The Beatles launch "Apple Records" label

➦In 1972...Long John Nebel aired his last show at WNBC 660 AM NYC.

Jim Harmon, author of “the Great Radio Heroes” appears on Long John Nebel’s show and discusses Old Time Radio. This broadcast is from 1967 and was heard on WNBC.

➦In 1984..."We begin bombing in five minutes" is the last sentence of a controversial, off-the-record joke made by US President Ronald Reagan in 1984, during the "second Cold War".

While preparing for a scheduled radio address from his vacation home in California, President Reagan joked with those present about outlawing and bombing Russia. This joke was not broadcast live, but was recorded and later leaked to the public. After some brief military confusion, the Soviet Union denounced the president's joke, as did Reagan's then-opponent in the 1984 United States presidential election, Walter Mondale. Reagan's impromptu comments have had significant staying power, being referenced, cited, and used as literary inspiration as recently as 2017.

It was prior to the speech itself, while the president was joking with the National Public Radio audio engineers during soundcheck, that he riffed on his own speech, saying:

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

This sort of levity was not uncommon for Reagan; he was known to inject soundchecks, outtakes, and downtime with his humor throughout his career in both show business and politics.

In the minutes before the president gave his speech, a live feed from Rancho del Cielo was still being transmitted to radio stations around the United States. Many broadcasters were already recording the feed, and therefore the president's pre-speech joke, to be ready for the official transmission. While many in the media heard the president's impromptu remarks as he gave them, they were not broadcast live.
Alice Faye and Phil Harris
➦In 1995...Philip Harris died from a heart attack at age 91 (Born June 24, 1904). He was a comedian, actor, singer, and jazz musician. 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. 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. In 1946, Harris and wife Alice Faye began co-hosting The Fitch Bandwagon, a comedy-variety program that followed the Jack Benny show on Sunday nights.

The Fitch Bandwagon started as a showcase for big bands, including Harris's, but then it became a situation comedy, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. Harris played a vain, stumbling husband, while Faye played his sarcastic but loving wife. Gerald Nachman has written that Harris was a soft-spoken, modest man off the air. In On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio John Dunning wrote that Harris's character made the show popular. The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show appeared until 1954. Harris continued to appear on Jack Benny's show from 1948 to 1952.

➦In 2010…Nelson Joseph "Nellie" King died at age 82 from Parkinson's disease(Born March 15, 1928). He was a professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and later a member of the Pirates' radio announcing team with Bob Prince.

Nellie King
After his retirement from baseball, King moved into sports broadcasting in 1959 for radio stations in Greensburg and Latrobe, both small cities near Pittsburgh. He was hired as the third member of the Pirates' broadcasting team for the 1967 season, joining Bob Prince and Jim Woods. King replaced Don Hoak, who had moved back onto the field as a major league coach. Woods left the Pirates after the 1969 season and was replaced by Gene Osborn. When Osborn was fired after one year, the Pirates went with a two-man team, Prince and King.

The broadcasting duo remained in place until 1975, when Prince and King were told their contracts would not be renewed. Prince had issues with management at KDKA, which held the broadcast rights. King was swept out in the station's desire to start with a completely new team. The Pirates offered King a job heading the team's speakers bureau, but he declined. He was hired as sports information director at Duquesne University, and started a career that lasted more than 20 years at the university. King also served as color commentator on Duquesne basketball broadcasts and coached the golf team from 1988 until 2004.

King continued to do freelance broadcasting work and was employed by various radio stations, including KDKA, WWSW, WEEP, WTAE, and WEDO. He also served as color analyst on radio broadcasts of Carnegie–Mellon football.

King returned to the Pirates' broadcast booth as a guest commentator for a game in the final season at Three Rivers Stadium on October 1, 2000. In 2009, he published a book titled Happiness Is Like A Cur Dog: The Thirty-Year Journey of a Major League Baseball Pitcher and Broadcaster.

Alyson Stoner is 27
  • Country singer John Conlee is 74. 
  • Singer Eric Carmen is 71. 
  • Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 67. 
  • Singer Joe Jackson is 66. 
  • Actor Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder,” ″The Help”) is 55. 
  • Actor Joe Rogan (“Fear Factor,” ″NewsRadio”) is 53. 
  • Actor Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”) is 52. 
  • Actor Ashley Jensen (“Ugly Betty”) is 52. 
  • Actor Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”) is 52. 
  • Guitarist Charlie Sexton is 52. 
  • Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad (Lucy Pearl, A Tribe Called Quest) is 50. 
  • Actor Nigel Harman (“Downton Abbey”) is 47. 
  • Actor Will Friedle (“Boy Meets World”) is 44. 
  • Singer Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie is 44. 
  • Actor Rob Kerkovich (“NCIS: New Orleans”) is 41. 
  • Actor Merritt Wever (“Nurse Jackie”) is 40. 
  • Actor Chris Hemsworth (“Tron,” ″The Avengers”) is 37. 
  • Guitarist Heath Fogg of Alabama Shakes is 36. 
  • Singer J-Boog (B2K) is 35. 
  • Rapper Asher Roth is 35. 
  • Actor Alyson Stoner (“Cheaper By The Dozen,” ″Camp Rock”) is 27.
  • Actor-TV personality Arlene Dahl (“What’s My Line?”) is 95. 
  • Songwriter Kenny Gamble of Gamble and Huff is 77. 
  • Bassist Jim Kale of the Guess Who is 77. 

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