Tuesday, February 23, 2021

February 23 Radio History

➦In 1904...Print journalist and CBS Radio correspondent William Lawrence Shirer was born in Chicago (Died – December 28, 1993 at age 89).  He was was a journalist and war correspondent. He wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a history of Nazi Germany that has been read by many and cited in scholarly works for more than 50 years.

Originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the International News Service, Shirer was the first reporter hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a CBS radio team of journalists known as "Murrow's Boys". He became known for his broadcasts from Berlin, from the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II (1940). With Murrow, he organized the first broadcast world news roundup, a format still followed by news broadcasts.

➦In 1927...President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill into law that created the Federal Radio Commission, “to bring order out of this terrible chaos.” The president was speaking, of course, of the nation’s then unregulated radio stations. The name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 1, 1934. The FRC regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934.

The Commission was created to regulate radio use "as the public interest, convenience, or necessity" requires. The Radio Act of 1927 superseded the Radio Act of 1912, which had given regulatory powers over radio communication to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The Radio Act of 1912 did not mention broadcasting and limited all private radio communications to what is now the AM band.

➦In 1970...Jay Reynolds, who generated  huge ratings in PM Drive at WIFE 1310 AM, the market leader at that time in Indianapolis, started at 77 WABC in NYC.

Reynolds did the all-night show for six years - not only the longest consecutive tenure during the station's 21 and a half years with a music format, but nine months longer than the combined time that Charlie Greer spent on the all-night show during his two stints.  He died in March, 1996.

➦In 2010...‘Boss radio’ co-creator died of non-Hodgkins lymphona at age 90.Gene Chenault died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma at age 90.

Chenault, who with his business partner, Bill Drake, reshaped rock radio in the 1960s with prepackaged programming that delivered more music and fewer commercials to hundreds of stations, creating an automated format.

The programming, using reel-to-reel tapes of Top 40 hits, was primarily designed by Drake and marketed and syndicated by Chenault. It raised ratings at station after station and brought a certain big-city sound to many small towns.

The new format gave rise to the stock phrases “boss jock” and “boss radio,” which first took hold at 93KHJ in Los Angeles in 1965. (The word boss was derived from California surfer slang for good, as in “That’s a boss wave.”) Within a year KHJ leapt from 12th to first place in the Los Angeles ratings. Its slogan: “Much More Music.”

➦In 2017…Broadcaster Alan Colmes died from cancer at age 66 (Born-September 24, 1950). He was a radio and television host, liberal political commentator for the Fox News Channel, and blogger. He was the host of The Alan Colmes Show, a nationally syndicated talk-radio show distributed by Fox News Radio. From 1996 to 2009, Colmes served as the co-host of Hannity & Colmes, a nightly political debate show on Fox News Channel.

He developed his radio career in the Northeast, eventually working at stations such as WABC, WNBC, WHN, WMCA and WEVD in New York, WNHC in New Haven, Connecticut, and WEZE and WZLX in Boston.

His radio career took off when WABC hired him for the morning drive time slot. He was billed as "W. Alan B. Colmes," as in the station's call sign. He moved to WNBC in 1987, but his tenure there would be short when NBC announced in 1988 it would close its radio division. When WNBC went off the air for the last time on October 7, 1988, Colmes' was the last voice heard.

  • Steel guitarist Rusty Young of Poco is 75. 
  • Actor Patricia Richardson (“Strong Medicine,” ″Home Improvement”) is 70. 
  • Dakota Fanning is 27
    Guitarist Brad Whitford of Aerosmith is 69. 
  • Singer Howard Jones is 66.
  • Guitarist Michael Wilton of Queensryche is 59. 
  • Actor Kristin Davis (“Sex and the City”) is 56. 
  • Actor Marc Price (“Family Ties”) is 53. 
  • TV personality Daymond John (“Shark Tank”) is 52. 
  • Actor Niecy Nash (“The Soul Man,” “Reno 911!”) is 51. 
  • Bassist Jeff Beres of Sister Hazel is 50. 
  • Guitarist-keyboardist Lasse Johansson of The Cardigans is 48. 
  • Songwriter Robert Lopez (“Frozen”) is 46. 
  • Actor Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 45. 
  • Rapper Residente of Calle 13 is 43. 
  • Actor Josh Gad (“Frozen,” ″Jobs”) is 40. 
  • Actor Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation”) is 38. 
  • Actor Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) is 38. 
  • Actor Tye White (“Greenleaf”) is 35. 
  • Actor Dakota Fanning is 27.

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