Saturday, December 5, 2020

December 5 Radio History

➦In 1901...Walter Elias Disney born (Died at age 65 – December 15, 1966).  He was the founder of the Disney entertainment empire and an animator, voice actor and film producer. 

A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. As a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing. He took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. With Ub Iwerks, Walt developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success; he also provided the voice for his creation in the early years.

➦In 1902...Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first readable wireless radio signals 3,200 km across the Atlantic from his station at Glace Bay, Cape Breton to Poldhu in Cornwall, England.

➦In 1906...Radio, TV writer, producer and director William Spier was born in NYC (Died at age 66 - May 30, 1973). He is best known for his radio work, notably Suspense and The Adventures of Sam Spade.

Spier began his career on the editorial staff of Musical America magazine, eventually becoming its chief critic.   His radio career began in 1929, when he produced and directed The Atwater Kent Hour, an hour-long Sunday night presentation of Metropolitan Opera artists.

Spier was chief of the writers' department and director of development at CBS in 1940, when he was co-producer of Suspense and Duffy's Tavern. In 1947, he won a Mystery Writers of America award for The Adventures of Sam Spade. A 1949 magazine article said Spier "is generally rated radio's top-notch creator of suspense-type dramas."

➦In 1925...WIBX Utica NY signed-on. WIBX 1460 AM would move around the dial until 1948

According to the WIBX website,  at the time WIBX began transmitting, there were about 1,600 radio stations operating throughout the United States. It was estimated that when WIBX signed on the air, only about 19-percent of households actually had radio receivers and it wouldn't be until the late 1930s that radios would be considered standard features in cars. 

Over the years, WIBX's programming would change significantly. In the 1930s, WIBX would become an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and would broadcast programs from "the Golden Age of Radio" including dramas, comedies, soap operas, and sports; as well as newscasts which would become the standard for the top and bottom of every hour. In the 1950s, the sports talk program Sportswatch debuted and would continue until 2013, with many legendary hosts that would move on to the national scene. Through the 1960s and 70s, WIBX would become known for its Middle of the Road (MOR) format which would include a mixture of music and personality, sports, nationally syndicated programs and news. In the late-1980s, WIBX dropped music and moved towards the news-talk format that it runs today, that features Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated program and its affiliation with Fox News Radio.

Bing Crosby
➦In 1936...Bing Crosby started hosting the Kraft Music Hall radio show on NBC.

The program debuted June 26, 1933 as a musical-variety program featuring orchestra leader Paul Whiteman and served to supplement print advertising and in-store displays promoting Kraft products. During its first year the show went through a series of name changes, including Kraft Musical Revue, until it finally settled on Kraft Music Hall in 1934. Paul Whiteman remained the host until December 6, 1935. Ford Bond was the announcer.

Bing Crosby was host until May 9, 1946. Other entertainers who appeared regularly during Crosby's tenure included Connie Boswell, Victor Borge, and Mary Martin. A review in Billboard magazine commented, "It is a tribute to Bing Crosby, program's highlight, that the Music Hall seems to survive all talent change -- these changes simply pointing up the fact that the show is completely dependent on Crosby."

For the advertising managers at Kraft, it was imperative that advertising and entertainment be kept separate. For this reason, Kraft insisted that an announcer, not cast members, read its commercials.

➦In 1952..Mutual Radio broadcast “The Green Hornet” for the final time. The show left the air after 15 years on Mutual, NBC and ABC. “The Green Hornet” reappeared in 1966, this time on TV.

➦In 1955...Disc-Jockey Alan Freed‘s movie “Rock Rock Rock” (with Connie Francis singing for Tuesday Weld) opened to packed theaters in New York City. Other artists featured were Chuck Berry, LaVern Baker, Teddy Randazzo, The Moonglows, The Flamingos, and The Teenagers with Frankie Lymon.

➦In 1967... Top 40 WMCA 570 AM  was rated by Billboard magazine as the most influential in selling single records in New York.

A typical music meeting is held on Tuesday. Usually on hand - the station’s Program Director - Ruth Meyer, music assistants Joe Bogart and Frank Costa and several WMCA deejays.  WMCA says its policy is to select records that the station believes will become hits or those that are already established hits in other cities. WMCA says “it will not play dirty records.”

➦In 2011...Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith, who in the heyday of Monday Night Football shared the ABC broadcast booth with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford, suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage at age 72.

  • Actor Jeroen Krabbe (“The Fugitive”) is 76. 
  • Amy Acker is 44
    Opera singer Jose Carreras is 74. 
  • Singer Jim Messina (Loggins and Messina, Poco) is 73. 
  • Actor Morgan Brittany (“Dallas”) is 69. 
  • Actor Brian Backer (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”) is 64. 
  • Country singer Ty England is 57. 
  • Singer-guitarist John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls is 55. 
  • Country singer Gary Allan is 53. 
  • Comedian Margaret Cho is 52. 
  • Actor Alex Kapp Horner (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is 51. 
  • Actor Kali Rocha (TV’s “Man with a Plan”) is 49. 
  • Bassist Regina Zernay of Cowboy Mouth is 48. 
  • Actor Paula Patton (“Precious”) is 45. 
  • Actor Amy Acker (“Person of Interest,” ″Angel”) is 44. 
  • Actor Nick Stahl (TV’s “Carnivale,” film’s “Terminator 3”) is 41. 
  • Actor Adan Canto (“Designated Survivor”) is 39. 
  • Singer Keri Hilson is 38. 
  • Actor Gabriel Luna (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) is 38. 
  • Actor Frankie Muniz (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 35. 
  • Actor Ross Bagley (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) is 32.

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