Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September 14 Radio History

➦In 1814...Attorney Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the "Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Maryland during the War of 1812.

Key, accompanied by the British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, a resident of Upper Marlboro, MD, who had been arrested after jailing marauding British troops who were looting local farms.

Skinner, Key, and Beanes were not allowed to return to their own sloop because they had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and with the British intent to attack Baltimore. Thus, Key was unable to do anything but watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13–14, 1814.

At dawn, Key was able to see an American flag still waving.

Back in Baltimore and inspired, Key wrote a poem about his experience, "Defence of Fort McHenry", which was soon published in William Pechin's American and Commercial Daily Advertiser on September 21, 1814. He took it to Thomas Carr, a music publisher, who adapted it to the rhythms of composer John Stafford Smith's "To Anacreon in Heaven".  It has become better known as "The Star-Spangled Banner". Though somewhat difficult to sing, it became increasingly popular, competing with "Hail, Columbia" (1796) as the de facto national anthem by the time of the Mexican–American War and American Civil War.

More than a century after its first publication, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and then by a Congressional resolution on March 31, 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Cecil Brown
➦In 1907...Cecil Brown, radio newsman & commentator, was born in New Brighton, PA.  Some of his most important broadcasts were from the Pacific war front during the early days of World War II. One of the correspondents known as ‘Murrow’s Boys,’ he resigned from CBS in 1943 after being rebuked by CBS news director Paul White for expressing an editorial opinion during an August 25 news broadcast. Brown had stated that "a good deal of the enthusiasm for this war is evaporating into thin air." Announcing his resignation Brown said that he could not subscribe to what he characterized as CBS' policy of "non-opinionated" news.

Brown continued his commentaries with Mutual, NBC and ABC. For his contributions to radio he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died Oct. 25 1987 at age 80.

Jerry Coleman
➦In 1924...Gerald Francis Coleman born in NYC (Died at age 89 after a fall – January 5, 2014),  Jerry Coleman was a MLB second baseman for the New York Yankees and manager of the San Diego Padres for one year.

Coleman was named the rookie of the year in 1949 by Associated Press, and was an All-Star in 1950 and later that year was named the World Series Most Valuable Player. Yankees teams on which he was a player appeared in six World Series during his career, winning four times. Coleman served as a Marine Corps pilot in World War II and the Korean War, flying combat missions.

He later became a broadcaster, and he was honored in 2005 by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for his broadcasting contributions.

➦In 1928...singer Gene Austin  recorded one of the first million sellers, My Blue Heaven, for Victor Records, which eventually was #1 for 13 straight weeks.

 A jazz artist at heart, he was equally at home singing country ballads, blues and spirituals. His improvisational style apparent in his recordings, added a unique flavor to his interpretations.

Colonel Tom Parker, later to become Elvis Presley's manager, gradually worked his way into the music business when he began to promote Gene Austin in 1938.

➦In 1936...The radio soap opera 'John's Other Wife' aired for the first time on the NBC Red Network.  In March 1940, the show moved NBC-Blue Network, where it ran until March 20, 1942.

John's Other Wife centered around a store executive, his wife, and a woman who worked for him. The man in the title was John Perry, who owned Perry's Department Store. His insecure wife, Elizabeth, suspected John of being romantically involved with either Annette Rogers, his secretary, or Martha Curtis, his assistant.  The program was one of many soap operas created and produced by Frank Hummert and his wife, Anne.

Beginning on May 8, 1939, John's Other Wife was broadcast via electrical transcription on WMCA in New York City in addition to its regular network airings.

➦In 1966…Actress Gertrude Berg died (Born - October 3, 1899). She was a pioneer of classic radio, she was one of the first women to create, write, produce and star in a long-running hit when she premiered her serial comedy-drama The Rise of the Goldbergs (1929), later known as The Goldbergs. Her career achievements included winning a Tony Award and an Emmy Award, both for Best Lead Actress.

The Goldbergs aired on radio for 27 years (1929-1956) and television for two years (1949-1951).

➦In 1986...Radio pioneer and station owner Gordon Barton McLendon died (Born - June 8, 1921. He was nicknamed "the Maverick of Radio." McLendon is widely credited for perfecting, during the 1950s and 1960s, the commercially successful Top 40 radio format created by Todd Storz. He nicknamed himself "The Old Scotchman", founded Liberty Radio Network (noted for its daily national broadcasts of Major League Baseball) in the 1940s. Liberty was the second largest radio network in the U.S. at the time with over 458 affiliated stations. Most of Liberty's MLB broadcasts were re-creations of games.

McLendon and his father founded radio station KLIF (The Mighty 1190) in Dallas, TX in 1947, and introduced the Top 40 format there in the early 1950s to great success.  KLIF enjoyed a long run at the top of the Dallas radio ratings in the 1950s and 1960s, but its standing in the market fell in the early 1970s thanks to growing competition from FM radio. One of the FM stations most instrumental in the downfall of KLIF was its former sister station KNUS (now KLUV), of which McLendon retained ownership after selling KLIF and revamped as a rock-oriented Top 40.

The McLendon family built a communications empire that included radio stations across the United States. In addition to KLIF, McLendon owned KNUS–FM in Dallas, KOST in Los Angeles, WYNR (later WNUS) & WNUS-FM in Chicago, WWWW–FM in Detroit, KEEL in Shreveport, WAKY in Louisville, KABL in Oakland, KABL–FM in San Francisco, KILT in Houston, KTSA in San Antonio, and KELP in El Paso. McLendon introduced the all-news format to Southern California through XETRA in Tijuana. McLendon was one of the originators of the "beautiful music" format on his KABL in Oakland, California in 1959; and as the founder of the first all-news radio station (WNUS in Chicago) in the 1960s.

He is credited by most broadcast historians with having established the first mobile news units in American radio, the first traffic reports, the first jingles, the first all-news radio station, and the first "easy-listening" programming. He also was among the first broadcasters in the United States to editorialize.

The McLendon family sold KLIF in 1971 to Fairchild Industries of Germantown, MD, for $10.5 million, then a record price for a radio station. By 1979 the family had sold all of its broadcasting properties, including fourteen radio and two television stations, worth approximately $100 million. By 1985 Forbes magazine estimated McLendon's net worth at $200 million.

Joey Heatherton is 77
  • Actor Walter Koenig (“Star Trek”) is 85. 
  • Singer-actor Joey Heatherton is 77. 
  • Actor Sam Neill is 74. 
  • Singer John “Bowzer” Baumann of Sha Na Na is 74. 
  • Actor Robert Wisdom (“Nashville,” ″The Wire”) is 68. 
  • Saxophonist Steve Berlin of Los Lobos is 66. 
  • Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 65. 
  • Country singer John Berry is 62. 
  • Actor Mary Crosby is 62. 
  • Singer Morten Harket of A-ha is 62. 
  • Actor Melissa Leo is 61. 
  • Actor Faith Ford (“Faith and Hope,” ″Murphy Brown”) is 57. 
  • Actor Michelle Stafford (“The Young and the Restless”) is 56. 
  • Faith Ford is 57
    Actor Dan Cortese is 54. 
  • Singer Mark Hall of Casting Crowns is 52. 
  • Actor Tyler Perry is 52. 
  • Actor Ben Garant (“Reno 911!”) is 51. 
  • Actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim”) is 50. 
  • Actor Andrew Lincoln (“The Walking Dead”) is 48. 
  • Rapper Nas is 48. 
  • Actor Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) is 45. 
  • TV chef Katie Lee (“The Kitchen”) is 40. 
  • Actor Adam Lamberg (“Lizzie McGuire”) is 37. 
  • Singer Alex Clare is 36. 
  • Actor Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”) is 34. 
  • Actor-singer Logan Henderson (“Big Time Rush”) is 32. 
  • Actor Emma Kenney (“The Connors,” ″Shameless”) is 22.

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