Monday, August 23, 2021

August 23 Radio History

Art Van Harvey, Clarence Hartzell, Bernadine Flynn, Billy Idelson
➦In 1883...Radio actor Art Van Harvey was born in Chicago.  He is best known for playing the role of  Vic in the memorable daytime radio series Vic & Sade.

Vic and Sade was an American radio program created and written by Paul Rhymer. It was regularly broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1944, then intermittently until 1946, and was briefly adapted to television in 1949 and again in 1957.

During its 14-year run on radio, Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. For the majority of its span on the air, Vic and Sade was heard in 15-minute episodes without a continuing storyline. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks", were accountant Victor Rodney Gook (Art Van Harvey), his wife Sade (Bernardine Flynn) and their adopted son Rush (Bill Idelson). The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block

 Van Harvey died Sept. 7 1957 at age 74.

➦In 1923....Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, “The Happiness Boys”, first aired on New York’s WEAF radio.  The two were billed as radio’s first comedians and were also credited with creating and performing the first singing commercial.

They began on radio October 18, 1921 on WJZ (Newark, New Jersey), where they were sponsored by the chain of Happiness Candy stores. Listeners mailed in their comments about the singers on cards supplied to retailers by Happiness Candy.

The Happiness Boys aired on WEAF, moving to NBC from 1926 to 1929. The duo sang popular tunes, mostly light fare and comic songs, and they engaged in humorous repartee between numbers. Their theme song was "How Do You Do" (1924). However, only the words to this song were new at that time. The melody had been used for a variety of other songs in the past and is still used in the camp favorite "If You're Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands)".

By 1928, Jones and Hare were the highest paid singers in radio, earning $1,250 a week. The partnership ended with Ernie Hare's death on March 9, 1939.

➦In 1989...The music died on the Big 89 WLS in Chicago.

In June , WLS 890 AM had announced they were going all talk by the end of the summer. Many expected that to happen on September 1.

By 1988, WLS was airing adult contemporary music, liberally laced with oldies and standards, with talk programming at night.  Air personalities were becoming more talk intensive anyway and midday talk was added as well.

Then with no warning, on August 23, 1989 at 7 pm, WLS stopped playing music altogether. Phil Duncan was the last DJ to play music on WLS, and as Phil finished up his show.  The last song was "Just You 'n' Me" by Chicago.

WLS then became a 24/7 all talk statiom featuring high-rated talk talents from around the country, such as Bob Lassiter from Tampa Bay, Stacy Taylor from San Diego and their biggest hit, Rush Limbaugh out of New York.

In 1975, The Big 89 WLS celebrated its 25th anniversary of playing Top40  with this retrospective TV show that aired on Channel 7 WLS TV Chicago in 1985. Most of the disc jockeys of the past (and some of the present at the time) appear on this program.  The program is hosted by the late super jock Larry Lujack.

For More on WLS: Click HERE And HERE.

Martha Rountree
➦In 1991
...Seattle radio station KNDD 107.7 FM “The End” was born, billing its music as “The Cutting Edge of Rock.”  It first gave airplay to local bands Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden.  This launched the Seattle “grunge” movement internationally. The End's first song was "It's The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.

➦In 1999...Martha Rountree, the journalist/producer who originated Meet the Press on Mutual radio, died at age 87.  She was the first moderator of what has become the longest running program on US TV.

➦In 2010…Veteran San Francisco Radio, TV newsman  Dave McElhatton died after a stroke at age 81.  (Born - December 8, 1928). He retired in 2000.   McElhatton was sometimes called "Mac"
Dave McElhatton

McElhatton worked for KCBS Radio in San Francisco for 25 years, starting two weeks after college graduation. Early in his career, he hosted an all-night radio show, "Music Till Dawn".

In the early 1960s, he was the host of "McElhatton In The Morning", a blend of news and comedy, with his sidekick Homer "Friendly Clyde" Welch.

He later hosted a radio program called "Viewpoint", which was the area's first telephone talk show. McElhatton later became news director of KCBS radio, where he helped change the format of the station to an all-news format.

While working in radio at KCBS, McElhatton (along with Friendly Clyde) hosted TV Bingo, a daytime show on KTVU Channel 2.

McElhatton became a television news anchor for KPIX-TV Channel 5, the first television station in San Francisco starting in 1977 upon leaving KCBS radio. The hiring of McElhatton, a radio broadcaster, was noted by some to be a bold stroke. He remained as a news achor with KPIX until his retirement in 2000. He was noted, along with that of CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, to be among two good reporters during a forum by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

At his peak, his salary as a newscaster was reportedly approximately $750,000 per year. In 2006, the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame was created. McElhatton was among the inaugural inductees.

Richard Sanders is 81
  • Actor Vera Miles is 91. 
  • Actor Barbara Eden is 90. 
  • Satirist Mark Russell is 89. 
  • Actor Richard Sanders (“WKRP In Cincinnati”) is 81. 
  • Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 74. 
  • Singer Linda Thompson is 74. 
  • Actor David Robb (“Downton Abbey”) is 74. 
  • Country fiddler-singer Woody Paul of Riders in the Sky is 72. 
  • Kimberly Matula is 33
    Actor Shelley Long is 72. 
  • Singer-actor Rick Springfield is 72. 
  • Actor-producer Mark Hudson (The Hudson Brothers) is 70. 
  • Actor Skipp Sudduth (“The Good Wife”) is 65. 
  • Guitarist Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots is 60. 
  • Singer-bassist Ira Dean of Trick Pony is 52. 
  • Actor Jay Mohr is 51. 
  • Actor Ray Park (“X-Men,” ″The Phantom Menace”) is 47. 
  • Actor Scott Caan (“Hawaii Five-0”) is 45. 
  • Singer Julian Casablancas of The Strokes is 43. 
  • Actor Joanna Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”) is 41. 
  • Actor Jaime Lee Kirchner (“Bull”) is 40. 
  • Musician Sky Blu of LMFAO is 35. 
  • Actor Kimberly Matula (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 33.

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