Wednesday, December 9, 2020

December 9 Radio History

➦In 1902...Brace Beemer born  (Died from a heart attacked at age 62 – March 1, 1965). He was a radio actor and announcer at radio station WXYZ-AM, Detroit.

He is best known as the radio voice of the Lone Ranger.  Beemer became the third radio voice of the Lone Ranger on April 18, 1941, and remained so until the series' last new episode on September 3, 1954. During the 13 years and 3,000 episodes that Beemer played the title character, he was required by contract to restrict his radio acting to that one role until the program left the air.

The experienced and popular Western film actor, Clayton Moore, was chosen to take over the role for the TV series. Although Beemer had the right voice and had made many public appearances as the Ranger, he had no experience as a film actor, as he preferred live action to television. However, Beemer's voice as the character was so familiar that Moore imitated his sound in the earliest TV episodes.

Beemer also portrayed "Sergeant William Preston" of the Yukon on Challenge of the Yukon, for a brief time after the Lone Ranger series ended.

Beemer's last TV appearance, was an interview in 1965 with former film actor, Bill Kennedy on his "At the Movies" show on CKLW TV9 from Windsor, Ont., Canada. Brace Beemer died the very next day.

➦In 1921...Ted Rogers Sr., who would later invent the first alternating-current vacuum radio tube, and give birth to Toronto’s CFRB Radio, became the first amateur radio operator in Canada to successfully transmit a signal across the Atlantic. He was taking part in a competition sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

➦In 1933...Talk show host Morton Downey Jr. was born in Los Angeles.  Unsuccessful as a pop & country singer, in the 1960’s he turned to deejaying at radio stations in Bakersfield, San Diego, and Miami as “Doc Downey the DJ.”

He perfected the abrasive, right-wing populist style of talk radio at Sacramento’s KFBK before transferring it to TV out of New York. (He was replaced at KFBK by Rush Limbaugh.)

Downey died from lung cancer Mar 12, 2001 at age 67.

➦In 1940...the radio panel show that originated with joke-telling sessions at the Friar’s Club, 'Can You Top This' debuted on WOR New York.  It would hit the networks 22 months later, and run on first NBC, then Mutual, ABC, and then NBC again, until 1954.

➦In 1940... the Longines Watch Company signed for the first FM radio advertising contract — with experimental station W2XOR in New York City. The ads ran for 26 weeks and promoted the Longines time signals.

➦In 1968...Early computer pioneer Douglas Carl Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) first demonstrated the computer mouse.  He is best known for his work on founding the field of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, which resulted in creation of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. 

➦In 1977...Gene Klavan last show at WNEW 1130 AM NYC.

Klavan is most known for his time as half of the morning program "Klavan and Finch." The program ran from 1952 to 1968; prior to 1952, Dee Finch had co-hosted the show with Gene Rayburn. Co-host Finch departed and Klavan continued solo until 1977.

He wrote a biography in 1964, "We Die at Dawn", that largely focused on the morning show. He followed it up in 1972 with "Turn That Damned Thing Off", a book about the news media industry. In 1977 he moved to 710 WOR and left radio in 1980. He later became a commentator at WCBS-TV, a host for the AMC channel, and a columnist for Newsday.

➦In 1998...CBS Corp. raised $2.9 billion by selling a 17 percent stake in Infinity Broadcasting Corp., its radio and outdoor advertising business. The initial public offering of stock was the largest ever in the media industry.

➦In 2004...David Barry Brudnoy died at age 64 (Born -- June 5, 1940) was an American talk radio host in Boston from 1976 to 2004. He was known for espousing his libertarian views on a wide range of political issues, in a manner that was courteous. Thanks to wide signal reach of WBZ 1030 AM, he gained a following from across the United States as well as Canada. On December 9, 2004, he succumbed to Merkel cell carcinoma after it had metastasized to his lungs and kidneys.

David Brudnoy
Brudnoy began a career in broadcast commentary in 1971 on Boston's local PBS television station, WGBH-TV.

In 1976, David Brudnoy took over as host of his friend Avi Nelson's radio show on WHDH, in the midst of the city's unrest over forced busing and desegregation in schools. From 1981 to 1986, he appeared on former Top 40 WRKO, which was now news and talk, before moving to WBZ. The top-rated talk radio host in New England, he appeared in a regular weekday evening slot until his retirement. At the end of his career, Brudnoy was among the most-listened-to evening talk hosts in the United States.

Over the years, Brudnoy also appeared as a news commentator and host on local TV stations besides WGBH, including WCVB-TV (ABC), WNAC-TV, and WBZ-TV (CBS). He also appeared nationally on the CBS Morning News. He wrote movie reviews for Boston magazine and local community newspapers. During the 1970s he wrote articles for the National Review, and befriended its editor William F. Buckley.  He also wrote for The Alternative (later known as The American Prospect) in the early 1970s, but quit because of the editor's unwillingness to adopt a more liberal position on gay rights.

In 1990, his WBZ show was canceled, but a mass public response, including a letter writing campaign sponsored by The Boston Globe, helped lead to his quick return to the station's lineup.

His popularity in Boston was so great that when he returned to the air in early January 1995, after his first battle with HIV/AIDS kept him off the air for ten weeks, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino formally declared January 5 as "David Brudnoy Day."

Brudnoy was awarded the Freedom of Speech Award from the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts, and nominated for the "Personality of the Year" Marconi Award, both in 1997.

Cliff St. James
➦In 2016…Cliff St. James, a TV weatherman and radio broadcaster for KSD and KWK, died at age 91 from pneumonia.

In 1962, he became a freelance announcer at KSD-TV, St. Louis’ only television station. He later became the TV personality Corky The Clown loved by children of the era. His show, “Corky’s Colorama,” aired seven days a week and at one time there was a three-year waiting list to attend the live television show.  It was the first locally produced color program in St. Louis. 

  • Lori Greiner is 51
    Actor Judi Dench is 86. 
  • Actor Beau Bridges is 79. 
  • Football player-turned-actor Dick Butkus is 78. 
  • Actor Michael Nouri is 75. 
  • Singer Joan Armatrading is 70. 
  • Actor Michael Dorn (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) is 68. 
  • Actor John Malkovich is 67. 
  • Country singer Sylvia is 64. 
  • Singer Donny Osmond is 63. 
  • Bassist Nick Seymour of Crowded House is 62. 
  • Comedian Mario Cantone (“Sex and the City”) is 61. 
  • Actor David Anthony Higgins (“Malcolm in the Middle,” “Ellen”) is 59. 
  • Actor Joe Lando (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) is 59. 
  • Actor Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives,” ″Sports Night”) is 58. 
  • Keyboardist Jerry Hughes of Yankee Grey is 55. 
  • Singer-guitarist Thomas Flowers of Oleander is 53. 
  • Guitarist Brian Bell of Weezer is 52. 
  • Singer-guitarist Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers is 51. 
  • Businesswoman and TV personality Lori Greiner (“Shark Tank”) is 51. 
  • Actor Allison Smith (“The West Wing,” ″Kate and Allie”) is 51. 
  • Former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi is 50. 
  • Country singer David Kersh is 50. 
  • Actor Reiko Aylesworth (“24″) is 48. 
  • Drummer Tre Cool of Green Day is 48. 
  • Rapper Canibus is 46. 
  • Singer Imogen Heap is 43. 
  • Actor Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”) is 42. 
  • Actor Simon Helberg (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 40. 
  • Actor Jolene Purdy (“Under the Dome,” ″Donnie Darko”) is 37. 
  • Actor Joshua Sasse (“Galavant”) is 33. 
  • Actor Ashleigh Brewer (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 30.

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