Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February 10 Radio History

➦In 1893...
singer/comedian Jimmy Durante was born in New York City.  His distinctive vocal personality made him a natural star in bigtime radio, and later TV.  He was still headlining a weekly TV show as late as 1969 when he was in his late 70’s (Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters.) Famous for the sign-off, “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”  He died of pneumonia Jan 29, 1980 at age 86.

➦In 1925...WTIC-AM in Hartford, CT signed-on.

WTIC AM dates back to 1925 when it came on the air with 500 watts of power from the 6th floor of the Travelers 26 Grove St bulding in Hartford where there were seven studios, most or all with control rooms. The station was licensed to the Travelers Insurance Company ("TIC") and had studios in downtown Hartford.

The 1931 CT State Register shows WTIC, owned by Travelers Broadcasting Service, operating on 1060 Khz with 50,000 watts, the most powerful station in the state.  The transmitter, referred to as "old number one" was the first 50,000 watt transmitter ever manufactured by RCA and has serial number 001. This RCA 50 transmitter was the first high power commercial transmitter to use 100-kilowatt tubes, the first to use mercury-vapor type rectifiers throughout, and the first capable of true 100 percent modulation of its full rated 50-kilowatt carrier output.

By 1941 they had changed frequency to 1080 khz.  WTIC is now owned by Entercom Communications.

Bob Steele
WTIC was known for its historic time tone, which is a broadcast of the Morse code letter "V" every hour on the hour since 1943. This makes it one of the oldest continuously broadcasting radio time tones in the world. WTIC employs a GPS master clock system that fires the custom-built time-tone generator shortly before the top of the hour, timed such that the final tone of the sequence occurs precisely on the hour (Even though everything else heard on the station is on a 10-second delay), and listeners have been setting their watches to WTIC for many years. The notes of the sequence were pitched to mimic the famous opening sequence of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, whose "short-short-short-long" rhythm matches that of the Morse code letter "V". The Morse code letter "V" for Victory was selected during the height of WWII.

WTIC's best-known personality was Bob Steele, who started with the station in 1936 and stayed with WTIC for his entire sixty-six year career, ending with his death on December 6, 2002 at the age of 91.

Steele continued to broadcast a 5:30 - 10:00 AM Monday-Saturday morning show for WTIC for fifty-five years, scaling back to Saturdays only after September 1991; by the time of his last broadcast in November 2002, he was only heard on the first Saturday morning of every month. Despite WTIC's various format changes over the years, Steele's show (which featured musical standards, farm news and prices early in the morning, novelty songs, silly jokes, horrible puns ("...and the weather for Mexico City is chili today, hot tamale") and a regular "Word of the Day" segment - even long after WTIC itself had abandoned music for a focus on news/talk remained unchanged throughout its run, making it perhaps the longest-running radio program in history to have never undergone a significant format change.

➦In 1964...Personality Johnny Holliday started at 1010 WINS.  He hosted the station's final music broadcast in 1965. This led him west to Top 40 giant KYA in San Francisco where in 1965, Holliday was named America's number one disc jockey by the Bill Gavin Radio "Gavin Report." His radio work is featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In connection with the station he hosted record hops and concerts, including co-hosting the final concert by the Beatles at Candlestick Park in 1966.

Holliday moved to Washington, D.C., in 1969, handling morning drive time duties for WWDC until 1978, and sports for WMAL from 1978 to 1991.

➦In 1996...“The New” WKTU officially debuted at 103.5 FM.

At 6 p.m. on February 9, 1996, WYNY, which had dropped it's Country Format,  switched its stunting to a heartbeat sound effect, promoting the launch of a new format coming the following day at Noon. At that time, WKTU was relaunched on 103.5 FM with a dance-based CHR format; WKTU's first song was "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory.  The station instantly skyrocketed to number one in the Arbitron ratings.

Drag performer RuPaul co-hosted mornings with Michelle Visage, Lisa Taylor and Freddie Colon around this period, further helping their ratings. Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton and Goumba Johnny made their debut at night and after much success were moved to mornings in 1998.

By 2002, the moderate amount of rap played on the station was gone and the station evolved into more of a Rhythmic Hot AC.

➦In 2004...Rick Dees announced he was leaving the morning show at KIIS 102.7 FM, Los Angeles, after 22 years.  The issue was a contract dispute.   Click Here for his final KIIS-FM Show.

➦In 2015…NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months from the broadcast for misrepresenting his experience in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. At the time, his salary was $10 million a year. He was replaced by Lester Holt.  Williams now appears on MSNBC.

  • Actor Robert Wagner is 91. 
  • Guitarist Don Wilson of The Ventures is 88. 
  • Singer Roberta Flack is 84. 
  • Singer Jimmy Merchant of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers is 81. 
  • Bassist Bob Spalding of The Ventures is 74. 
  • Emma Roberts is 30
    Keyboardist Cory Lerios of Pablo Cruise is 70. 
  • Actor Kathleen Beller (“Dynasty”) is 65. 
  • Country singer Lionel Cartwright is 61. 
  • “Good Morning America” co-host George Stephanopoulos is 60. 
  • Actor Laura Dern is 54. 
  • Country singer Dude Mowrey is 49. 
  • Actor Jason Olive (“For Better or Worse) is 49. 
  • Actor Elizabeth Banks is 47. 
  • Actor Julia Pace Mitchell (“The Young and the Restless”) is 43. 
  • Reggaeton singer Don Omar is 43. 
  • Actor Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) is 40. 
  • Actor Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) is 40. 
  • Actor Max Brown (“Beauty and the Beast,” ″The Tudors”) is 40. 
  • Actor Barry Sloane (“Revenge”) is 40. 
  • Singer Eric Dill (The Click Five) is 39. 
  • Keyboardist Ben Romans of The Click Five is 39. 
  • Actor Trevante Rhodes (“Moonlight”) is 31. 
  • Actor Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story,” ″We’re the Millers”) is 30. 
  • Actor Makenzie Vega (“The Good Wife”) is 27. 
  • Actor Chloe Grace Moretz is 24. 
  • Actor Yara Shahidi (“black-ish”) is 21.

No comments:

Post a Comment