Saturday, August 28, 2021

Aug 29 Radio History

➦In 1892...Broadcast Pioneer Harry Read was born in Seattle, WA.. He was a co-founder  of KXL Portland OR. Read was Secretary-Treasurer of KXL Broadcasters and, General Manager & Chief Technician KXL Radio.  Today KXL is known as KXTG 750 AM and airs a sports talk format.  It's sister-FM station uses the KXL calls and airs news/talk. Both are now owned by Alpha Media Group.

Willard Waterman
➦In1914...Radio actor Willard Waterman was born in Madison Wisconsin (Died at age 80 - February 2, 1995).  He was versatile supporting actor. He  replaced Harold Peary, on "The Great Gildersleeve," radio program after Peary was unable to convince sponsor and show owner Kraft Cheese to allow him an ownership stake in the show.

He began his radio career at WIBA in Madison, singing in a quartet that performed "musical interludes between programs." and moved to NBC in Chicago in early 1936.

➦In 1936...ABC news anchor Peter Jennings was born in Toronto (Died was age 68 - August 7, 2005). The son of a CBC newsman/exec he had his own half-hour Saturday radio program at age 9.  Before his 30th birthday he anchored briefly for CTV and ABC TV, but was considered too young with insufficient gravitas.  After much reporting from world hot spots he became sole anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in 1983, an assignment he continued until just before his death from lung cancer.

➦In 1943...summertime replacement show 'Paul Whiteman Presents' was heard on NBC radio for the last time. The hostess was Dinah Shore, and Whiteman led a 35-piece orchestra. His well-known theme song was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Bwanna Johnny
➦In 1946...Bwana Johnny was born in Oregon (Died at age 59 in 2005).  Bwana, whose real name was Richard Johnson, had been a popular disc jockey at the old 1260/KYA back in the late 1960s. Most recently, he had worked in production with Jones Radio Networks in Seattle before his illness forced him into a care facility.

Before coming to the Bay Area in 1969, "Beautiful Bwana" worked at KLOG/Kelso, Wash., WUBE/Cincinnati and KJR/Seattle.

He moved on to WWDJ/New York as music director and afternoon-drive jock (1971-1973) and spun records for a year at WFUN/Miami before returning to his hometown, Portland, Ore., as "Crazy Dick Simms" on the Rose City's legendary KISN in 1975.

➦In 1957...The ABC radio network purchased KQV 1410 AM in August 29, 1957 for $700,000. ABC hired two executives from Storz Broadcasting to launch the top 40 format in Pittsburgh  They hired Dale Maudy who had been an executive engineer for the Stroz group and Ralph Beaudin, who had been a KOWH sales executive, as the KQV general manager.

The station was one of the oldest in the U-S and went silent on December 31, 2017 For more on KQV: Click Here.

➦In 1966...The Beatles played what would prove to be their last concert before a paying audience at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, to a sold-out crowd of 25,000. John and Paul, knowing what the fans do not (that this will be the last concert ever) brought cameras on stage and took pictures between songs. (Their lone remaining public performance was the 1969 rooftop appearance in London).

➦In 1972..Even back then...Guess who was #1 in Knoxville, TN?

➦In 1979...Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchased the Mutual Black Network

The Mutual Black Network or MBN was founded by the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1972, as the first national full-service radio network aimed at African Americans. It broadcast an hourly 5 minute newscast at 50 minutes past the hour. It also aired sports and feature programs, and for one year beginning in the spring of 1974, a 15-minute daily soap opera called Sounds Of The City. Some of its special programing focused on African American history, much of which was researched, written and narrated by MBN news anchor Ben Frazier.

Programming is what separated the Mutual Black Network from the rest of the pack. But its highest mark was made in the coverage of hard news and it’s savvy advocacy style of journalism. This was the genre of journalism, practiced by news anchors Ben Frazier, Glen Ford, John Askew and others. They would interview black news-makers who had previously been ignored by the traditional mass media outlets.

The Mutual Black Network was later sold to Sheridan Broadcasting which was a minority stockholder in MBN, becoming the Sheridan Broadcasting Network. By 1991, it would merge with the National Black Network, forming the present-day American Urban Radio Networks.

Lowell Thomas
➦In 1981...Lowell Jackson Thomas died at age 89 (Born - April 6, 1892). He was a writer, actor, broadcaster, and traveler, best remembered for publicizing T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). He was also involved in promoting the Cinerama widescreen system.

In 1930, he became a broadcaster with the CBS Radio network, delivering a nightly news and commentary program. After two years, he switched to the NBC Radio network but returned to CBS in 1947.

In contrast to today's practices, Thomas was not an employee of either NBC News or CBS News. Prior to 1947, he was employed by the broadcast's sponsor Sunoco. He returned to CBS to take advantage of lower capital-gains tax rates, establishing an independent company to produce the broadcast which he sold to CBS.

He hosted the first-ever television news broadcast in 1939 and the first regularly scheduled television news broadcast (even though it was just a camera simulcast of his radio broadcast) beginning on February 21, 1940 over local station W2XBS (now WNBC) New York.  The television news simulcast was a short-lived venture for him, and he favored radio.

Indeed, it was over radio that he presented and commented upon the news for four decades until his retirement in 1976, the longest radio career of anyone in his day (a record later surpassed by Paul Harvey).

Thomas is also known for two television programs: 'High Adventure', a series of travelogue specials filmed in the late 1950s for CBS; and 'Lowell Thomas Remembers', a 1970s PBS series that reviewed major news events from 1919 through 1975 on a year-by-year basis using newsreel footage, including some that Thomas originally narrated for Movietone.

Later in his career, Thomas formed a group of broadcast stations that would become known as Capital Cities. The company expanded through the years, and bought ABC in 1985. ABC is now owned by Disney.

Thomas was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

Lea Michele is 34

  • Actor Betty Lynn (“The Andy Griffith Show”) is 95. 
  • Movie director William Friedkin is 86. 
  • Actor Elliott Gould is 83. 
  • Actor Deborah Van Valkenburgh (“Too Close For Comfort”) is 69. 
  • Keyboardist Dan Truman of Diamond Rio is 65. 
  • Deborah Van Valkenburgh is 69
    Actor Rebecca DeMornay is 62. 
  • Bassist-singer Me’Shell NdegeOcello is 53. 
  • Singer Carl Martin of Shai is 51. 
  • Actor Carla Gugino is 50. 
  • Guitarist Kyle Cook of Matchbox Twenty is 46. 
  • Actor John Hensley (“Nip/Tuck”) is 44. 
  • Actor Kate Simses (“Dr. Ken”) is 42. 
  • Bassist David Desrosiers of Simple Plan is 41. 
  • Actor Jennifer Landon (“As the World Turns”) is 38. 
  • Actor Lea Michele (“Glee”) is 34. 
  • Actor Charlotte Ritchie (“Call the Midwife”) is 32. 
  • Singer Liam Payne who got his start in One Direction is 28.

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