➦In 1924...WPOW NYC signs-on as WBBR. Judge Franklin Rutherford, successor to the Jehovah Witness founder, Charles Taze Russell, dedicated WBBR, at Rossville in southwestern Staten Island.
Judge Rutherford later expanded the radio operations into ownership of at least 7 stations in the United States and Canada, including outlets in the Chicago, Toronto, and Oakland areas.
On August 5, 1928, Rutherford broadcast on a chain of 96 stations, the largest radio network organized till that time, according to New York Radio History. But, Rutherford's attacks on other religions led many stations to drop his programs, sometimes cutting him off before he was finished.
WBBR started off on a frequency of 1230 AM in 1924, then moved to 1100 later that year. In 1925, the station moved to 720 AM, unauthorized. In 1927, WBBR moved again to 1170, and in 1928 to 1300 - in both instances, sharing time with other stations.
In 1941, WBBR's license was transferred to the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society, the religion's publishing arm, and in March of that year, WBBR (and its share-time partners) moved to 1330 AM. In 1946, power was increased to 5000 watts.
In 1957 the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society sold its station to H. Scott Killgore's Tele-Broadcasters Of New York Inc. for $133,000. Call letters were changed to WPOW on May 1, 1957, the religious talks and placid string and organ music disappeared, and the new station embarked on a series of changes that would repeatedly make it something of a pioneer in New York area radio.
On the morning of September 5, 1957, WPOW became the first New York station to play a form of rock music during most of its daily schedule.
The remainder of WPOW's schedule was filled with easy-listening music, paid religious programs including "Glad Tidings Tabernacle" and "The Hebrew Christian Hour".
Under its share-time arrangements, WPOW often broadcast at unusual times, occasionally signing on at 3a and then leaving the air while the morning drive-time audience was at its peak.
In February 1958, the station moved to foreign-language programming, mostly Spanish but also including some Polish, French, Armenian and Byelorussian.
In July 1959, Killgore sold WPOW for $250,000 to John M. Camp, an Illinois-based advertising agent and broker of religious broadcast time. In 1973, Camp purchased share-time station WHAZ in Troy NY and starting operating it as a daytimer, opening up Monday nights for WPOW.
In 1979, WPOW's other share-time station on 1330 AM, WEVD, was sold to Salem Media, and became WNYM. In the early 1980's, Salem bought out WPOW for $4 million, most of that sum simply for the Staten Island real estate.
On December 31, 1984, WPOW signed off without ceremony, and the last time-sharing arrangement in New York AM radio came to an end.
Today, the WBBR call letters are being used by Bloomberg on 1130 AM. The WPOW calls are being used by Beasley Broadcasting for one of its FM's in Miami. And WPOW's 1330 AM frequency in NYC is occupied by religious WWRV, 1330 is a Spanish Christian music and teaching station and serves the New York area. It is owned by Radio Vision Cristiana Management.
➦In 1942...the Voice of America (VOA) began broadcasting.
Voice of America (VOA) is a U.S. government-funded international multimedia Agency which serves as the United States federal government's official institution for non-military, external broadcasting, the largest U.S. international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in more than 40 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its leaders.
VOA was established in 1942, and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415) was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The charter contains its mission "to broadcast accurate, balanced, and comprehensive news and information to an international audience", and it defines the legally mandated standards in the VOA journalistic code.
VOA uses shortwave transmitters (many located in Greenville North Carolina).
➦In 1987...Radio, TV host/personality Larry King suffered a major heart attack and then had quintuple-bypass surgery. Since then, King has written two books about living with heart disease. Mr. King, You're Having a Heart Attack and How a Heart Attack and Bypass Surgery Changed My Life.
➦In 1987...Radio Personality Jim Connors died at age 47. He was killed in a car crash on I-95 in Greensville County, Virginia.
Connors also earned gold with Chuck Berry for "My Ding-a-ling," Wayne Newton for "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," Joe Simon for "Power of Love," and Mouth & MacNeal for "How Do You Do," along with many others, for exposing the songs to the mainstream audience.
Connors was well known among radio programmers of the 1960s and 1970s for his programming and promotional abilities along with his Think Sheet. The 'Think Sheet' was a monthly publication he wrote and distributed to fellow radio programmers making recommendations on airplay for new artists, along with jock jokes and trend analysis based on market research.
WJET Erie, Pennsylvania was his first official radio job outside of duties performed while serving in the U-S Air Force. At WJET, he held the title of Production Director for WJET Radio & WJET Television channel 24. Initially, he was the midday host for WJET and was rated #1 in the market ahead of the morning drive team. It wasn't long before JC was promoted to the AM drive shift.
After a long run at WJET, Connors was hired at WMEX in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was the Music Director and AM drive host. His daily program was consistently rated #1 in the New England marketplace in the early 1970s.
After having great success in Boston, and becoming nationally renowned by many record executives for his programming and promotional abilities, JC moved towards Erie, Pennsylvania to be closer to his children from his first marriage. The impact of Chapin's song "W*O*L*D" hit his ex-wife hard, as the local 'Jocks' in Erie would often take their shots at him and his life on air.
Soon he found an opening at WYSL in Buffalo, New York, where he could be closer to his children while working through some family concerns. Connors was the AM Drive host in Buffalo, NY. JC had great success in Western New York, and on WYSL he frequently featured many of the well-known performers with whom he had connections.
While in Buffalo, JC met his second wife, and the couple would find out they were pregnant with their first of two children shortly before moving to Rochester, New York for a job at WROC as Operations Manager & AM Drive Host.
After the passing of his father, JC wanted to be back in New England with the rest of his family. He was offered a position with WCIB in Falmouth, Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he was appointed Vice President of Operations and AM Drive Host, with multiple levels of on-air production responsibility.
His career in the northeastern United States soon came to an end, as he packed up and headed for another new beginning, on the Gulf Coast of Florida. While living in the Bay Area of Tampa, Florida JC frequently recorded commercials and appeared in numerous local spots.
➦In 1991…Radio, TV newsman and host John Daly died of cardiac arrest at 77, four days after his birthday.
➦In 1994...Dinah Shore, star of radio, T-V, records and movies, died in Beverly Hills, of ovarian cancer, just 5 days short of her 78th birthday. She joined the Eddie Cantor radio show in 1941, and two years later had her own program. She began her T-V career in 1951, with “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show.”
She once said that people identified her most with the slogan from that show — “See the U-S-A in your Chevrolet.”
She rose to prominence as a recording artist during the Big Band era, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.
After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman, and both Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Shore struck out on her own to become the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She had a string of 80 charted popular hits, spanning 1940–1957, and after appearing in a handful of feature films, she went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows from 1951 through 1963 and hosting two talk shows in the 1970s. TV Guide ranked her at number 16 on their list of the top 50 television stars of all time. Stylistically, Shore was compared to two singers who followed her in the mid-to-late 1940s and early 1950s, Doris Day and Patti Page.
In March 1939, Shore debuted on national radio on the Sunday-afternoon CBS radio program, Ben Bernie's Orchestra. In February 1940, she became a featured vocalist on the NBC Radio program The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, a showcase for traditional Dixieland and Blues songs. With Shore, the program became so popular, it was moved from 4:30 Sunday afternoon to a 9:00 Monday night time slot in September. In her primetime debut for "the music of the Three Bs, Barrelhouse, Boogie-Woogie, and the Blues", she was introduced as "Mademoiselle Dinah 'Diva' Shore, who starts a fire by rubbing two notes together!" She recorded with the two Basin Street bands for RCA Victor; one of her records was the eponymous "Dinah's Blues".
Shore's singing came to the attention of Eddie Cantor. He signed her as a regular on his radio show, Time to Smile, in 1940. Shore credits him for teaching her self-confidence, comedic timing, and the ways of connecting with an audience.
Shore soon became a successful singing star with her own radio show, Call to Music, which was broadcast on CBS February 13, 1948 – April 16, 1948, and on NBC April 20, 1948 – June 29, 1948. Also in 1943, she appeared in her first movie, Thank Your Lucky Stars, starring Cantor. She soon went to another radio show, Paul Whiteman Presents. During this time, the United States was involved in World War II and Shore became a favorite with the troops. She had hits, including "Blues In the Night", "Jim", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", and "I'll Walk Alone", the first of her number-one hits. "Blues In the Night" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
To support the troops overseas, she participated in USO tours to Europe. She appeared in person, on radio, and on record with a number of British and American stars, including Major Glenn Miller and his large Army Air Force Band. She met George Montgomery, a young actor ready to go into military service. They married on December 3, 1943, shortly before he went into service.
Shore continued appearing in radio shows throughout the 1940s, including Bird's Eye-Open House and Ford Radio Show. In early 1946, she moved to a new label, the CBS-owned Columbia Records. At Columbia, Shore enjoyed the greatest commercial success of her recording career, starting with her first Columbia single release, "Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy", and peaking with the most popular song of 1948, "Buttons and Bows", (with Henri René & Orchestra) which was number one for ten weeks. Other number-one hits at Columbia included "The Gypsy" and "The Anniversary Song".
One of her most popular recordings was the holiday perennial "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Buddy Clark from 1949.
➦In 2004...Clear Channel Communications fired syndicated radio host Bubba (Clem) The Love Sponge. He was based in Tampa.
In February 2002, Clem was faced with animal cruelty charges. The show involved the on-air castration and killing of a feral hog that had been captured by a hunter in the station's parking lot, and sound effects of hogs feeding were broadcast to have listeners believe it was being harassed and aggravated. The hog was then cooked and eaten by the crowd present. Clem, his executive producer Brent Hatley, and two others present were charged with felony animal cruelty. The three were acquitted by a jury in March.
- Actor Dominic Chianese (“Boardwalk Empire,” ″The Sopranos”) is 90.
- Singer Joanie Sommers is 80.
- Actor Jenny O’Hara (“Transparent,” ″The Mindy Project”) is 79.
Actor Barry Bostwick is 76.
Bonnie Somerville is 47
- Singer-producer Rupert Holmes is 74.
- Actor Edward James Olmos is 74.
- Musician George Thorogood is 71.
- Actor Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”) is 70.
- Actor Helen Shaver (“The Color of Money”) is 70.
- News correspondent Paula Zahn is 65.
- Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 63.
- Actor Mark Moses (“Desperate Housewives”) is 63.
- Actor Beth Broderick (“Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”) is 62.
- Actor Emilio Rivera (“Mayans M.C.”) is 60.
- Singer Michelle Shocked is 59.
- Actor Billy Zane is 55.
- Actor Bonnie Somerville (“NYPD Blue”) is 47.
- Jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene is 46.
- Singer Brandon Brown of Mista is 38.
- Drummer Matt McGinley of Gym Class Heroes is 38.
- Actor Wilson Bethel (“Hart of Dixie”) is 37.
- Actor Alexander Koch (“Under the Dome”) is 33.
- Actor Daniel Kaluuya (“Black Panther,” ″Get Out”) is 32.
- Rapper-actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”) is 30.