Monday, October 18, 2021

October 18 Radio History

In 1922…The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was established to monitor the development of the radio in Great Britain.

In 1928...Keith Max Jackson born in Roopville, GA.(Died at age 89 – January 12, 2018). Jackson was a sports commentator, journalist, author and radio personality, known for his career with ABC Sports (1966–2006). While he covered a variety of sports over his career, he is best known for his coverage of college football from 1952 until 2006, and his distinctive voice, "a throwback voice, deep and operatic. A voice that was to college football what Edward R. Murrow's was to war. It was the voice of ultimate authority in his profession. His trademark expression?  “Whoa Nelly!”

Keith Jackson
The son of a dirt farmer, Jackson was born in Roopville, Georgia and grew up on a farm outside Carrollton, near the Alabama state line.  He was the only surviving child in a poor family and grew up listening to sports on the radio. After enlisting and serving as a mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he attended Washington State University in Pullman under the G.I. Bill.[8] Jackson began as a political science major, but he became interested in broadcasting.He graduated in 1954 with a degree in speech communications.

Though best known for his college football broadcasts, Jackson announced numerous other sports for ABC throughout his career, including Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, boxing, auto racing, PGA Tour golf, the USFL, and the Olympic Games. He briefly worked college basketball with Dick Vitale. Jackson also served as the pregame, halftime, and postgame anchor for ABC's coverage of Super Bowl XXII in 1988. During his on-air tenure, he is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl as "The Grandaddy of them All" and Michigan Stadium as "The Big House".

Jackson began his career as a broadcaster in 1952, when he called on radio a game between Stanford and Washington State. He then worked for KOMO radio in Seattle, and later for KOMO-TV from 1954 to 1964 as co-anchor for their first news team.

Jackson became a radio news correspondent for ABC News Radio and sports director of ABC Radio West in 1964 before joining ABC Sports in 1966.

In 1931…Inventor Thomas Alva Edison died at age 84 (Born February 11, 1847). He has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world.  He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison was raised in the American Midwest; early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, NJ, where many of his early inventions were developed. He later established a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, FL in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died of complications of diabetes.

In 1943...Perry Mason was first heard on CBS Radio Network. The 15-minute continuing series aired weekdays until December 30, 1955. Geared more towards action than courtroom drama, it mixed mystery and soap opera, with attorney Perry Mason sometimes even exchanging gunfire with criminals.

Erle Stanley Gardner's literary success with the Perry Mason novels convinced Warner Bros. to try its hand, unsuccessfully, with some motion pictures. However, the Perry Mason radio show stayed on the air for 12 years.  Mason was played by Barlett Robinson, Santos Ortega, Donald Briggs and finally & most memorably by John Larkin as Perry Mason and Joan Alexander as Della Street. Larkin played the role the longest and was reportedly very disappointed when Raymond Burr got the role for TV in 1957.

In 1954…Six years after Bell Laboratories developed the first prototype, Texas Instruments announced the first production model of a transistor radio.  The small portable radio receiver used transistor-based circuitry. The mass-market success of the smaller and cheaper Sony TR-63, released in 1957, led to the transistor radio becoming the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. Transistor radios are still commonly used as car radios. Billions of transistor radios are estimated to have been sold worldwide between the 1950s and 2012.

The pocket size of transistor radios sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went. Beginning in the 1980s, however, cheap AM transistor radios were superseded by devices with higher audio quality such as portable CD players, personal audio players, boomboxes, and (eventually) smartphones.

In 1954...WNBC 660 AM, New York City, became WRCA-AM (as a tie-in to their parent company RCA). Six years later, call letters were changed back to WNBC on June 1, 1960.

In 1957...Paul McCartney made his debut appearance with the Quarry Men (led by  John Lennon) in Liverpool, England.

In 1959...Sports personality Christopher Michael Russo known as was born.   Known as Mad Dog, he is best known as the former co-host of the Mike and the Mad Dog sports radio program with Mike Francesa, which was broadcast on WFAN in New York City and simulcast on the YES Network. Russo joined Sirius XM Radio in August 2008 and operates his own channel, Mad Dog Radio. He also hosts an afternoon radio show, Mad Dog Unleashed, SiriusXM Ch. 82 Mad Dog Sports Radio.

Chris Russo
Russo was born in Syosset on Long Island, New York. He went to Rollins College in Orlando graduating with a degree in history.

Prior to joining WFAN, Russo worked for WKIS in Orlando between 1984 and 1987 and WMCA in New York City between 1987 and 1988. During his career at WKIS, when it became clear that the people of Central Florida were having difficulty understanding his accent, the station sent him to see a speech therapist twice a week. He received the "Mad Dog" nickname from New York Daily News Sports TV and Radio critic Bob Raissman, who said Russo's approach to radio reminded him of former professional wrestler Maurice Vachon, who was also known as "Mad Dog."

Russo is known for his quick manner of speaking, his whistles, and his trademark greeting of "Good afternoon everybody!"

In 1997…Journalist Nancy Dickerson, the first female correspondent at CBS, died after a stroke at age 70. She reported for NBC News from 1963 to 1970 and is the mother of John Dickerson, who works for CBS.

➦In 2005...Sportscaster Wilbur "Bill" King died (Born - October 6, 1927). He was the radio voice of the Oakland Athletics baseball team for 25 years (1981–2005), the longest tenure of any A's announcer since the team's games were first broadcast in Philadelphia in 1938, as well as the longtime radio play-by-play announcer for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders football team and the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors basketball team.

Earlier in his career, he had been a member of the San Francisco Giants' original broadcasting team (together with Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons) when the Giants moved west from New York in 1958, and had called University of California football and basketball games.

King was widely recognized by his distinctive handlebar moustache and Van Dyke beard, as well as his broadcasting catchphrase, "Holy Toledo!"  In 2016, the National Baseball Hall of Fame named King recipient of the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award, the highest honor for American baseball broadcasters.

In 2013…Chicago broadcast journalist Hugh Hill died at the age of 89.  The son of a coal miner from the southern Illinois town of Gillespie, Hill graduated on the G.I. Bill from the University of Missouri journalism school and worked at radio stations in St. Charles, Aurora and Hammond before joining WBBM 780 AM in 1953.

Pam Dawber is 71


  • Singer Russ Giguere of The Association is 78. 
  • Actor Joe Morton is 74. 
  • Actor Pam Dawber is 71. 
  • Gospel singer Vickie Winans is 68. 
  • Actor Jon Lindstrom (“General Hospital”) is 64. 
  • Joy Lauren is 32
    Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 61. 
  • Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is 60. 
  • Actor Vincent Spano is 59. 
  • Bassist Tim Cross (Sponge) is 55. 
  • Singer Nonchalant is 54. 
  • Actor Joy Bryant (“Parenthood”) is 47. 
  • Guitarist Peter Svensson of The Cardigans is 47. 
  • Actor Wesley Jonathan is 43. 
  • Singer Ne-Yo is 42. 
  • Country singer and “American Idol” contestant Josh Gracin is 41. 
  • Country musician Jesse Littleton (Marshall Dyllon) is 40. 
  • Actor Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) is 37. 
  • Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding is 37. 
  • Actor Zac Efron (“High School Musical,” ″Hairspray”) is 34. 
  • Actor Joy Lauren (“Desperate Housewives”) is 32. 
  • Actor Tyler Posey is 30. 
  • Actor Toby Regbo (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”) is 30.

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