Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 11 Radio History

➦In 1904...Actor Paul McGrath born in Chicago (Died  at age 74 – 13 April 1978). He was a film, TV, Broadway, and radio actor best known for his radio appearances in the 1940s and 1950s. McGrath was a regular on the soap operas Big Sister and Young Doctor Malone. He also played the host on Inner Sanctum Mystery.  On TV he had recurring roles on The Edge of Night & Guiding Light.

➦In 1907...Paul Douglas Fleischer born (Died from a heart attack at age 59 − September 11, 1959).  He worked originally as an announcer for CBS radio station WCAU in Philadelphia, relocating to network headquarters in New York in 1934.

Paul Douglas
Douglas co-hosted CBS's popular swing music program, The Saturday Night Swing Club, from 1936 to 1939.

He also appeared on the CBS network broadcast of the 1937 World Series between the New York Giants and New York Yankees alongside France Laux and Bill Dyer.

He made his Broadway debut in 1936 as the Radio Announcer in Doty Hobart and Tom McKnight's Double Dummy at the John Golden Theatre.  Douglas began appearing in films in 1949. He may be best remembered for two baseball comedy movies, It Happens Every Spring (1949) and Angels in the Outfield (1951).

Douglas was host of the 22nd annual Academy Awards in March 1950. Continuing in radio, he was the announcer for The Ed Wynn Show, and the first host of NBC Radio's The Horn & Hardart Children's Hour. In April 1959 Douglas appeared on The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show as Lucy Ricardo's television morning show co-host in the episode "Lucy Wants a Career".

In 1955 he appeared in the play "The Caine Mutiny" but his union placed him on probation for allegedly saying, "The South stinks. It's a land of sowbelly and segregation," which offended southern audiences. Douglas claimed that he was misquoted.[4]

Douglas was originally cast in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Mighty Casey", a role written for him by Rod Serling based on his character in Angels in the Outfield. Douglas died the day after production of the episode had been completed. He had been in his last stages of illness during filming, and his severe physical state was apparent on film. (The crew incorrectly assumed that his condition was the result of heavy drinking.) The episode – which was a comedy – was deemed unairable. It was, however, resurrected some months later, and Douglas's scenes were re-shot with Jack Warden.

➦In 1912...John Larkin born (Died from a heart attack at age 52 — January 29, 1965). He was an actor whose nearly 30-year career was capped by his 1950s portrayal of two fictional criminal attorneys — Perry Mason on radio and Mike Karr on television daytime drama The Edge of Night.

John Larkin
After having acted in an estimated 7,500 dramatic shows on radio, he devoted his final decade to television and, from April 1962 to January 1965, was a key member of the supporting cast in two prime-time series and made at least twenty major guest-starring appearances in many of the top drama series of the period.

Larkin developed a distinctively resonant voice perfectly suited to radio, the prime entertainment venue in American homes during the Depression 1930s. By the latter part of the decade, when he was in his mid-twenties, Larkin had worked for a number of stations, including KCKN and WHB in the Kansas City, later, in Chicago, where he became known for versatility in performing announcing and hosting duties in addition to acting in front of the microphone for numerous scripted shows, including Vic and Sade, one of network radio's most popular programs of the 1930s, and the one for which he received his first major credit as a radio actor.

Following military service in World War II, he became one of the radio's top dramatic voices. He was offered, in 1947, the title role in CBS Radio Network's three-and-a-half-year-old afternoon crime serial, Perry Mason which, as was the case with all radio daytime dramas, consisted of an 11-minute script, broadcast Monday through Friday in a 15-minute time slot, including commercials, promos and credits.

Larkin's familiar authoritative voice had soon come to symbolize the Perry Mason radio persona and he remained with the role for eight-and-a-half years until the program's conclusion in December 1955.

➦In 1921...The first known boxing match on radio between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee was broadcast live on KDKA, Pittsburgh with sport writer Florent Gibson as announcer.

In 1924...the retailer Sears ended three days of  test transmissions using the call sign WES (for "World's Economy Store"). Sears originally operated its station at the company's corporate headquarters on Chicago's West Side, which is also where the company's mail order business was located. On April 12, 1924, the station commenced officially, using the call letters WLS (for "World's Largest Store"). On April 19, the station aired its first National Barn Dance. The station shared time on the frequency with WCBD until November 11, 1928, at which point it began sharing time with WENR.

➦In 1924...KLO-AM, Ogden, Utah signed-on as KFUR. Its current calls came about in the 1930s in honor of Mt. Lomond located near Ogden. KLO was the flagship of the Interstate Broadcasting Corporation, later the Intermountain Network.  The station trasmits at 1430 AM and airs standards.

Helen Choate, Lon Clark-Master Detective
➦In 1943...Nick Carter, Master Detective first aired on Mutual.  The show was a crime drama based on tales of the fictional private detective Nick Carter from Street & Smith's dime novels and pulp magazines first introduced in 1896. Nick Carter aired in many different timeslots for well over a decade. Between October 1944 and April 1945, it was heard as a 30-minute program on Sunday afternoons at 3pm, sponsored by Acme Paints and Lin-X, with a 15-minute serial airing four or five times a week in 1944 from April to September. In April 1945, the Sunday series moved to 6pm, continuing in that timeslot until June 1946, and it was also heard in 1946 on Tuesday from March to August.

The series finally settled in on Sundays at 6:30pm for broadcasts from August 18, 1946 to September 21, 1952. Libby Packing was the sponsor when the drama aired on Sundays at 6pm (1952-53). In the last two years of the long run (1953-55), the show was heard Sundays at 4:30pm.

➦In 1947...The radio show My Friend Irma aired for the first time.  It became a media franchise that was spawned by a top-rated, long-running radio situation comedy created by writer-director-producer Cy Howard.

The radio show was so popular in the late 1940s that its success escalated the films, television, a comic strip and a comic book that comprise the franchise. Marie Wilson portrayed the title character Irma Peterson on radio, in two films and the television series. The radio series was broadcast on CBS from April 11, 1947 to August 23, 1954

➦In 1973...Norm N. Nite aired his first show on Oldies WCBS 101.1 FM, NYC.  Nite was instrumental in bringing the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame to Cleveland.

Nite began his career as a DJ at WGAR 1220 AM in Cleveland and later at WMJI there. Later he would host shows at WCBS-FM and WNBC in New York City. His historical interest in Rock & Roll led him to compile, as the first volume of "Rock On" describes it, "an exhaustive array of data on more than 1,000 of the most popular artists of the fifties and early sixties.

Subsequently, due to the popularity of this volume, first released in 1974, he authored a second volume in 1978, covering, as described on the dust jacket, "The Modern Years: 1964-Present" with an introduction by Wolfman Jack. In 1985 Rock On Volume 3 was released and billed "Rock On Volume 3 – The Video Revolution: 1978 – Present". During 1988 he narrated the radio program, Solid Gold Scrapbook.

In July 2005 Nite began broadcasting live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 5, now known as Sirius XM 50s on 5. In February 2014, SiriusXM made a sudden management move to drop live deejays from virtually all of its 50s on 5 programming, ending Nite's broadcasts accordingly without the chance to have a farewell broadcast.

➦In 1976…Apple I The Apple I, also known as the Apple-1, went on sale. It was designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple's first product.

➦In 1985...Oldies WJMK-FM, Chicago held its "Rock 'N' Roll Reunion."  A year earlier WJMK "Magic 104" flipped from AC to oldies. Initially, it was similar to what RKO's 103.5 WFYR, except that WJMK played more '50s and early '60s music. WJMK initially also played '70s and '80s music along with a new song every hour. By early 1985, all songs released after 1972 were dropped.

The station focused primarily on songs released between 1964-1969 with a good amount of '50s music as well. In 1991, the station's moniker was changed from "Magic 104" to "Oldies 104.3".

WJMK dropped the moniker "Oldies 104.3" by 2001, and returned to their former moniker "Magic 104.3".

In 1998, they began to add more '70s music to the format. In 1999, with new competition from the new "Jammin Oldies format of WUBT "The Beat", WJMK added a few disco songs and more '70s and early '80s songs to the playlist.

After WUBT dropped Jammin' Oldies for CHR in 2001, WJMK continued with their oldies format, though they modified the playlist over the years, dropping older music in favor of more recent material.

In 2003, the station once again changed monikers, going from "Magic 104.3" back to "Oldies 104.3" and began airing Dick Bartley's syndicated "Rock and Roll's Greatest Hits" to Saturday nights (which they'd drop at the beginning of June 2004 to return the 70s show "Saturday Night 70s"). By the winter of 2004/05, the station dropped the "oldies" moniker and became known as just "104.3 WJMK".

On June 3, 2005, at 4 p.m., WJMK switched to an adult hits format known as "Jack FM" at the same time veteran oldies station WCBS-FM in New York City made the same switch. The station had a 1980s centric playlist, along with some titles from the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s. It usually had no live DJs.

On March 14, 2011, at 1:04 p.m., after playing "Goodbye to You" by Scandal, WJMK switched to a classic hits format branded "K-Hits", playing hits from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  Following a montage of songs and pop culture clips from 1966 to 1989, "K-Hits" was launched with "Beginnings" by Chicago

Today, the station is owned by Audacy  and airs an Urban format at WBMX, Jamz 104.3.

In 1986...KXA-AM in Seattle WA changes call letters to KRPM.

➦In 1991...Personality Scott Shannon started at WPLJ 95.5 FM.  WPLJ had been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host.

At the outset, the station's direct rival was Z100, and used the slogan "Mojo Radio," downplaying the WPLJ call letters, but the approach was eventually changed. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill (from WFLY Alabany NY) to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized.

➦In 1992…The first commercially-licensed station in the U-S, 50,000-watt KDKA 1020 AM in Pittsburgh, ended its 72-year-old 'full-service' music format and flipped to local News/Talk.

➦In 2007...MSNBC stopped the cableTV  simulcast of Don Imus' nationally syndicated radio show.  The change was made after Imus became embroiled in a controversy over racial comments made about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

  • Kaitlyn Jenkins is 29
    Actor Joel Grey is 89. 
  • Actor Louise Lasser is 82. 
  • Actor Peter Riegart (“Animal House”) is 74. 
  • Actor Bill Irwin (“Law and Order: SVU”) is 71. 
  • Singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 64. 
  • Guitarist Nigel Pulsford (Bush) is 60. 
  • Country singer Steve Azar is 57. 
  • Singer Lisa Stansfield is 55. 
  • Actor Johnny Messner (“Killer Instinct,” ″The O.C.”) is 52. 
  • Bassist Dylan Keefe of Marcy Playground is 51. 
  • Actor Vicellous Shannon (“The Hurricane”) is 50. 
  • Rapper David Banner is 47. 
  • Actor Tricia Helfer (“Lucifer”) is 47. 
  • Drummer Chris Gaylor of All-American Rejects is 42. 
  • Actor Kelli Garner (“Taking Woodstock,” ″Lars and the Real Girl”) is 37. 
  • Singer Joss Stone is 34. 
  • Actor Kaitlyn Jenkins (“Bunheads”) is 29.

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