Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January 6 Radio History

➦In 1838...Morse Code privately demonstrated

➦In Danny Thomas was born Amos Muzyad Yahkoob in Deerfield Michigan.  His broadcast credits began in radio with Baby Snooks, the Bickersons (Drene Time) & The Big Show.  Besides his own successful TV sitcom Make Room for Daddy (later renamed the Danny Thomas Show) he had a hand in producing the Dick Van Dyke Show, the Andy Griffith Show, and the Mod Squad.  He founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

He died Feb 6, 1991 after a heart attack, at age 79.

➦In 1939...producer/journalist Carlton E Morse, premiered 'I Love A Mystery', which aired afternoon's on NBC's West Coast radio Network.

He is best known for his creation of the radio serial One Man's Family, which debuted in 1932 and ran until 1959 as one of the most popular as well as long-running radio soap operas of the time.

Carlton E Morse
A radio legend, he experimented with television and published three novels. Morse is considered by many to be one of the best radio scriptwriters.

After losing his newspaper job, Morse brought several scripts he had written throughout the 1920s to an interview with NBC. He soon was offered a job at KGO, the San Francisco outlet of NBC's Blue Network, and began his radio career scripting House of Myths. Morse began work on NBC Mystery Serial, which included such episodes as "Captain Post: Crime Specialist" and "Case of the One-eyed Parrot". Other mysteries scripted by Morse included The Witch of Endor, The City of the Dead, Captain Post: Crime Specialist, The Game Called Murder and Dead Men Prowl.

He also did four programs based on San Francisco Police Department files: Chinatown Squad, Barbary Coast Nights, Killed in Action and To the Best of Their Ability. Morse worked closely with San Francisco Police Chief William J. Quinn, who narrated all four series.

"One Man's Family" was a daily soap opera, targeted at housewives, and "I Love a Mystery" was an adventure serial for adolescents and lovers of the macabre. Both are regarded by radio historians as two of the all-time best radio serials.

➦In 1941...a young actor appeared for the first time in a new program on CBS Radio, 'Home of the Brave'. This marked Richard Widmark‘s professional acting debut.  His first film appearance was 6 years later.

➦In 1945...a new mystery drama ‘The Saint’ based on the Leslie Charteris novels, began a Saturday evening run on NBC radio. Vincent Price did not come to the lead role of Simon Templar until 1947 on CBS.

➦In 1957…Elvis Presley made his third and final appearance on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show, performing seven numbers over a 20-minute segment. Among them were “Peace in the Valley” and “My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again.” Sullivan called Presley a “fine boy” and said he was easy to work with.

Sullivan demanded that the cameramen shoot Elvis only from the waist up this time. Presley sang seven songs: "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Peace in the Valley" (at the request of the network), "Too Much," and "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again."

Joe O'Brien
➦In 1969...NYC personality Joe O'Brien started at WNBC 660 AM.  A Yonkers native, O'Brien began his career in 1935 when he got his first radio job with WMCA 570 AM in NYC. He worked at the station for 34 years and became one of the Good Guys team of DJs in the late 1960's. They played Top 40 hits and became nearly as popular as the music they played.

For a time, O'Brien was the No. 1 morning man in New York City.

O'Brien handled morning duties until he was replaced by Don Imus in 1972. Mr. O'Brien then went to WHUD in Peekskill, N.Y. He retired in 1986, but continued to do weekend specials for WHUD until 2000.

He died in a car accident in 2005 at age 90.

➦In 1971...WJRZ 970 AM sold to Pacific Southern.  It changed its call letters on May 16 and became WWDJ, known on the air as "97-DJ", attempting to take on WABC and replace WMCA as the New York market's second Top 40 outlet.

For a brief time, program director Mark Driscoll began imaging the station as "9-J", giving rise to a recorded parody of the station called "Nine" produced by a group that included future disk jockeys Howard Hoffman and Randy West.

The station was hampered by a directional signal that covered Manhattan and parts of New Jersey well but suffered in the rest of the Five Boroughs and was virtually nonexistent on Long Island and western New Jersey. Eventually, FM competition from WCBS-FM and adult top 40 station WXLO (now WEPN-FM), and an evolution to adult Top 40 by WNBC (now WFAN), began to eat into WWDJ's ratings. In November 1973 it was ranked 15th in the Arbitron ratings.

E G Marshall
➦In 1974...CBS returned to dramatic radio programming at night with the first broadcast of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, hosted by E.G. Marshall. The program debuted on 218 CBS stations and ran for nine years.

➦In of the last surviving announcers of bigtime radio, Bob LeMond died of complications from dementia at age 94.

He was best known as the voice who announced for the television shows Leave It to Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet. LeMond was also the announcer for the first radio sitcom by Lucille Ball, My Favorite Husband, as well as for the first television pilot episode of I Love Lucy. The peak of his announcing career spanned from the 1930s well into the 1960s.

LeMond first became involved in radio announcing during the 1930s. He was selling advertising for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner when his brother-in-law asked him to read a commercial for a radio show that his advertising agency was sponsoring. This audition was performed live on the air, and LeMond was hired on the spot for a salary of $20 a week. He worked at KEHE (later KECA) in Los Angeles in 1937-38 and at KYA in San Francisco in 1938-39 before being hired by CBS as one of its main announcers.

Bob LeMond
In 1942, LeMond was the announcer for The Second Mrs. Burton and Hollywood Showcase on radio. An October news report indicated that he would be the announcer for Lights Out, but military service intervened.

He continued to announce even after entering the U.S. Army during World War II, where he worked for Armed Forces Radio from 1942 until 1946. He ran the Mosquito Network, which broadcast to United States military personnel throughout the South Pacific. After the Japanese surrendered, he was named manager and officer in charge of Radio Tokyo.

LeMond returned to work at CBS after World War II, where he enjoyed the peak of his career. His most famed work came as the announcer for Lucille Ball's radio sitcom My Favorite Husband from 1948 until 1951. He continued to work with Ball as the announcer for the pilot episode of the television show which eventually became I Love Lucy.

LeMond's other blossoming television and radio credits during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s included Leave It to Beaver, The Red Skelton Show, Red Skelton, Bat Masterson, Our Miss Brooks, My Friend Irma, Spike Jones, Edgar Bergen's Do You Trust Your Wife? and Life with Luigi. He also announced for countless television special events including the Academy Awards (for sponsor General Motors' Oldsmobile division) and the Tournament of Roses Parade.

He officially retired from show business in 1971.

➦In 2012...Religious WFME 94.7 FM NYC (now Entercom-owned Country WNSH) license changed from non-commercial to commercial.

  • Kate McKinnon is 37
    Accordionist Joey, the CowPolka King, of Riders in the Sky is 72. 
  • Singer Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds is 70. 
  • Country singer Jett Williams is 68. 
  • Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson (“Mr. Bean”) is 66. 
  • Singer Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge is 62. 
  • Chef Nigella Lawson is 61. 
  • Singer Eric Williams of BLACKstreet is 61. 
  • Actor Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”) is 52. 
  • TV personality Julie Chen is 51. 
  • Actor Danny Pintauro (“Who’s the Boss”) is 45. 
  • Actor Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”) is 40. 
  • Actor Eddie Redmayne (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” ″The Theory of Everything”) is 39. 
  • Comedian Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) is 37. 
  • Actor Diona Reasonover (“NCIS”) is 37. 
  • Singer Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys is 35.

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