Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17 Radio History

➦In 1931...RCA Victor unveiled an early version 33 1/3 rpm long-playing or "LP" record.

RCA Victor introduced "Program Transcription" discs, as Victor called them, played at 33 1⁄3 rpm and used a somewhat finer and more closely spaced groove than typical 78s. They were to be played with a special "Chromium Orange" chrome-plated steel needle. The 10-inch discs, mostly used for popular and light classical music, were normally pressed in shellac, but the 12-inch discs, mostly used for "serious" classical music, were normally pressed in Victor's new vinyl-based Victrolac compound, which provided a much quieter playing surface. They could hold up to 15 minutes per side. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, performed by the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski, was the first 12-inch recording issued.

Unfortunately for Victor, it was downhill from there. Many of the subsequent issues were not new recordings but simply dubs made from existing 78 rpm record sets. The dubs were audibly inferior to the original 78s. Two-speed turntables with the 33 1⁄3 rpm speed were included only on expensive high-end machines, which sold in small numbers, and people were not buying many records of any kind at the time. Overall record sales in the US had crashed from a high of 105.6 million records sold in 1921 to 5.5 million in 1933, because of competition from radio and the effects of the Great Depression.  The failure of the new product left RCA Victor with a low opinion of the prospects for any sort of long-playing record, influencing product development decisions during the coming decade.

The new format to lie dormant for years until Columbia revived it in 1948.

Kate Smith
➦In 1936..the Kate Smith Hour began a decade-long run on CBS radio network. It was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy, music, and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–1945). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in 1940.

Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, and NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960.

Yvonne Daniels
In 1937...Yvonne Daniels born in Jacksonville, FL (Died of breast cancer- June 21, 1991).

She started her broadcasting career in 1956 working at WOBS in Jacksonville, she soon moved to East St. Louis IL amd worked at WBBR. In the mid 60s Daniels moved to Chicago, where she had stints at WYNR and WCFL (hosting an overnight jazz show before the station flipped to Top40).

On June 9 1973, she became the first female DJ on blowtorch 89 WLS working overnights and fill-in.

In 1982, she left to do morning drive for WVON before moving to afternoons in 1984 when WVON changed it’s calls to WGCI. She stayed until 1989 when she became morning drive host at jazz station WNUA.

In late '91, Chicago's Dearborn Street Bridge was renamed Yvonne Daniels Way in her honor. In 1995, she was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

➦In 1967...The Who performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Drummer Keith Moon rigged his drum set to explode at the conclusion of "My Generation".  He rigged the normal amount of explosives used at other concerts, and didn't tell the rest of the group.  The result of the stunt was a massive explosion on stage.  One of Moon's drum cymbals shattered, causing cuts to Moon's leg and arms was cut.  Guitarist Pete Townshend was closest to the blast, had his hair singed.

➦In 1976...Jay Thomas aired first show on WXLO NYC, now ESPN Sports WEPN 98.7 FM.

➦In 1989...Now owned by Salem Media Group, former Top40 giant WMCA 570 AM NYC flipped format to religious.

The WMCA Good Guys Meet The Beatles

Throughout the 1960s, WMCA beat other radio stations on most Beatles' promotions, scoring firsts, causing headaches in particular for rival WABC - most notably when Capitol Records printed a photograph of the "Good Guys" line-up - on the back of a limited edition record sleeve for the single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (Side 2: "I Saw Her Standing There"). WMCA's Good Guys were also featured at both of the Beatles' concerts at Shea Stadium, on August 15, 1965 and on August 23, 1966.

WABC responded in different ways, scoring a success during the Beatles' second New York visit in August 1964 - when the band stayed at the Delmonico Hotel, rousing thousands of teenage fans into a frenzy - while broadcasting from one floor above the Beatles' rooms.  WABC later went against its own music policies, promising promoter Sid Bernstein that it would play a new group he was handling before any other New York City radio station - if it could get exclusive access to the Beatles. WABC never added records "out of the box" - but it did for Sid Bernstein when it played The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Going To Eat Out My Heart Anymore" - before other radio stations.

Since WABC knew WMCA already had a relationship with the Beatles, with tapes of the group promoting the station - what could WABC do to achieve the same? In August 1965, WABC came up with what it thought was a brilliant idea - issuing "medals" called "The Order of the All-Americans" - tied to its own DJs. The strategy was to present the medals to each of the Beatles the next time they were in New York. Everything was set.

WABC's Bruce Morrow interview The Beatles August 1965

The goal was to get each Beatle to comment on the "medal" - and then to get each to say the station's call letters, "W-A-B-C." These in turn could be used in station IDs and promotions, etc. - thus matching WMCA's success at getting the Beatles to promote WMCA and its Good Guys. But WABC's plan backfired. The station got its interviews, but none of the band's members would utter WABC's call letters. According to Beatles' historian Bruce Spizer, manager Brian Epstein ordered the Beatles to stop "giving away valuable promotional spots to radio stations for free."

Red Skelton
➦In 1997…Richard Bernard Eheart died at age 84  (Born - July 18, 1913). He was  professionally known as Red Skelton and was a comedy entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and television acts between 1937 and 1971, and as host of the television program The Red Skelton Show. He has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and television, and also appeared in burlesque, vaudeville, films, nightclubs, and casinos, all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.

Skelton's first radio appearance on Rudy Vallée's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour on August 12, 1937. Vallée's program had a talent show segment and those who were searching for stardom were eager to be heard on it. Vallée also booked veteran comic and fellow Indiana native Joe Cook to appear as a guest with Skelton. The two Hoosiers proceeded to trade jokes about their home towns, with Skelton contending to Cook, an Evansville native, that the city was a suburb of Vincennes.

On October 1, 1938, Skelton replaced Red Foley as the host of Avalon Time on NBC; and his wife Edna also joined the show's cast, under her maiden name.  She developed a system for working with the show's writers: selecting material from them, adding her own and filing the unused bits and lines for future use; the Skeltons worked on Avalon Time until late 1939.  Skelton's work in films led to a new regular radio show offer; between films, he promoted himself and MGM by appearing without charge at Los Angeles area banquets. A radio advertising agent was a guest at one of his banquet performances and recommended Skelton to one of his clients.

Skelton went on the air with his own radio show, The Raleigh Cigarette Program, on October 7, 1941. The bandleader for the show was Ozzie Nelson; his wife, Harriet, who worked under her maiden name of Hilliard, was the show's vocalist and also worked with Skelton in skits.

➦In 2011…TV entertainment reporter, ESPN sports reporter and radio show host on WCCO Minneapolis Eleanor Mondale died from brain cancer at age 51.  He was also an actress and daughter of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale.

➦In 2012…Fashion model and radio personality Tedi Thurman died at age 89.  She was "Miss Monitor" on the NBC weekend radio series Monitor.

Tedi Thurman

Her gig on Monitor made her the most recognizable female voice on radio during the 1950s-1960s. Notably, not only does Tedi have one of the most iconic voices in radio history, and her weather girl antics influenced the entire profession.

➦In 2015…Milo Hamilton died (Born September 2, 1927). He was a sportscaster who called play-by-play for seven different MLB teams starting in 1953. He received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

LaMonte McLemore is 86
  • Singer-turned-photographer LaMonte McLemore of the Fifth Dimension is 86. 
  • Singer Fee Waybill of The Tubes is 73. 
  • Actor Elvira is 70. 
  • Comedian Rita Rudner is 68. 
  • Puppeteer Kevin Clash (formerly Elmo on “Sesame Street”) is 61. 
  • Actor-director Paul Feig is 59. 
  • Director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) is 59. 
  • Singer BeBe Winans is 59. 
  • Denyse Tontz is 27
    Businessman Robert Herjavec (“Shark Tank”) is 58. 
  • Actor Kyle Chandler (“Early Edition”) is 56. 
  • Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 55. 
  • Actor Malik Yoba (“New York Undercover”) is 54. 
  • Singer Anastacia is 53. 
  • Actor Matthew Settle (“Gossip Girl”) is 52. 
  • Rapper VinRock of Naughty by Nature is 51. 
  • Actor Bobby Lee (“MADtv,” ″Harold and Kumar” films) is 50. 
  • Singer Marcus Sanders of Hi-Five is 48. 
  • Singer-actor Nona Gaye (“The Matrix” films) is 47. 
  • Drummer Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan is 42. 
  • Actor Billy Miller (“General Hospital,” ″The Young and the Restless”) is 42. 
  • Actor Danielle Brooks (“Orange Is the New Black”) is 32. 
  • Gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds is 32. 
  • Actor Denyse Tontz (“All My Children,” ″Big Time Rush”) is 27.

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