Saturday, July 24, 2021

July 25 Radio History

Hal Peary
➦In 1908...Harold (Hal) Peary born in San Leanadro, CA (Died  at age 76 – March 30, 1985). He was an actor, comedian and singer in radio, films, television, and animation remembered best as Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a supporting character on radio's Fibber McGee and Molly that moved to its own NBC radio hit, The Great Gildersleeve, the first known spinoff hit in American broadcasting history.

Born as José Pereira de Faria in San Leandro, California, to Portuguese parents, Harold Peary (pronounced "Perry") began working in local radio as early as 1923, according to his own memory, and had his own show as a singer, The Spanish Serenader, in San Francisco, but moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1937. While in San Francisco, he also had "several parts" in Wheatenaville, a program broadcast on NBC's Pacific network beginning September 26, 1932

Peary worked as a disc jockey at radio station WMGM 1050 AM in New York City. Beginning in 1953, he had a one-hour program Monday-Saturday.

➦In 1922...AT&T Western Electric began broadcasting WBAY New York City, the predecessor of WEAF, WNBC, WRCA and the current WFAN.  AT&T broadcast assets within a few years were early NBC properties.

➦In 1925...2XAG (now WGY 810 AM) in Schenectady, NY became the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast with a 50,000-watt transmitter.

Birthday Boy Scott Shannon with mini-Scott (2018)
➦In 1947...Radio personality-programmer Michael Scott Shannon was born.  Presently hosting the morning show for Audacy's Classic Hits WCBS 101.1 FM in New York City, and host America's Greatest Hits syndicated nationally with United Stations. He has also worked for WHTZ, WPLJ, The True Oldies Channel, and he is the voice for the syndicated Sean Hannity Show.

He began his radio career during an Army stint at WFBS 1450 AM in Spring Lake, North Carolina (later WFBX). From there he moved to WCLS 1580 AM in Columbus, Georgia. After leaving the army, Shannon worked full-time in radio at WABB in Mobile, Alabama, where he acquired the name Super Shan.  After a brief stint at WMPS in Memphis he moved to Nashville, where he was the evening disc jockey at WMAK 1300 AM, later becoming that station's program director.

Shannon left Nashville to take a job as a record promoter with Casablanca Records.  Scott returned to radio in Washington, D.C. as program director of WPGC 95.5 FM, taking that station to the #1 spot in the Arbitron ratings. From there, he moved to WQXI 790 AM in Atlanta. Then, in Tampa, Florida, Scott, along with partner Cleveland Wheeler, he developed the 'morning zoo' radio format while at WRBQ 104.7 FM Q105.

Shannon is particularly known within the radio broadcasting industry for his work on WHTZ 100.3 FM Z100 in New York City in the mid to late 1980's. Along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's "Ross & Wilson Show", he founded the "Z Morning Zoo." He was the driving force in helping Z100 go from worst-to-first in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure.

In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ 95.5 FM. This station had also been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized. On February 7, 2014, he announced he was exiting WPLJ effective immediately.

On February 25, 2014, WCBS FM announced that Scott Shannon would be hosting a brand new Morning Show entitled Scott Shannon in the Morning in New York starting on March 3.

Shannon is one of several disc jockeys honored in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois.

In September 2010, Shannon was named Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Awards.

➦In 1999....Broadcast journalist Martin Agronsky, who joined NBC Radio as a foreign correspondent in 1940, and went on to a distinguished career with all three U-S TV networks, died of congestive heart failure at age 84.

Bruce Woodley is 79

    • Singer-guitarist Bruce Woodley of The Seekers is 79. 
    • Drummer Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds is 78. 
    • Bassist Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire is 70. 
    • Guitarist Jem Finer of The Pogues is 66. 
    • Supermodel Iman is 66. 
    • Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 64. 
    • Guitarist Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth is 63. 
    • Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian is 62. 
    • Country singer Marty Brown is 56. 
    • Actor Illeana Douglas is 56. 
    • Actor Matt LeBlanc (“Joey,” ″Friends”) is 54. 
    • Linsey Godfrey is 33
      Actor Wendy Raquel Robinson (TV’s “Grand Hotel,” “The Steve Harvey Show”) is 54. 
    • Cellist Paavo Lotjonen of Apocalyptica is 53. 
    • Actor D.B. Woodside (“24”) is 52. 
    • Actor Miriam Shor (“Swingtown,” ″Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) 50. 
    • Actor David Denman (“Parenthood,” ″The Office”) is 48. 
    • Actor Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”) is 47. 
    • Actor James Lafferty (“One Tree Hill”) is 36. 
    • Actor Shantel VanSanten (“One Tree Hill”) is 36. 
    • Actor Michael Welch (“Twilight” films, TV’s “Joan of Arcadia”) is 34. 
    • Actor Linsey Godfrey (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 33. 
    • Classical singer Faryl Smith is 26. 
    • Actor Mason Cook (TV’s “Speechless”) is 21. 
    • Actor Pierce Gagnon (“One Tree Hill”) is 16.

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