Saturday, October 23, 2021

October 23 Radio History

In 1904...David Ford Bond born (Died at age 57 – August 15, 1962). He was the announcer for several popular radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s, earning him a spot on the This Is Your Life television show.  For his work on radio, Bond has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6706 Hollywood Blvd.

Bond began working on radio at WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined NBC in 1928. For 20 years in the 1930s and 1940s, he was the announcer for several radio soap operas and other shows, including the advertising voice for a sponsor's product called Bab-O. He was also a sports announcer for NBC radio in the 1930s, calling college football games as well as the 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and 1934 World Series.

For almost 30 years, Bond was the spokesman for Cities Service petroleum company, "the longest sponsor-announcer association in the history of radio".

In 1928…RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company, more commonly known as RKO, with David Sarnoff (general manager of RCA) as its chairman of the board.

In 1932...the "Fred Allen Show" premiered on radio.  Allen's radio show (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

Fred Allen
His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored.

A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles), while developing routines whose style and substance influenced fellow comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson; his avowed fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

➦In 1940...Ellie Greenwich, songwriter with Jeff Barry on "Leader Of The Pack" by the Shangri-Las, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, "River Deep, Mountain High" for the Supremes & Four Tops and many others, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Ellie Greenwich
Joining forces with legendary producer Phil Spector, a string of legendary hits were created, including: "Be My Baby," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "And Then He Kissed Me," "Chapel Of Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High." With Barry, this trend continued with number one smashes, such as "Hanky Panky," "Do Wah Diddy" and the epic "Leader Of The Pack," co-written with Shadow Morton.

Also, during these years, Greenwich reigned as one of New York's top demo/session singers and vocal arrangers, working with artists ranging from Dusty Springfield and Lesley Gore to Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. One of her most exciting sessions was re-arranging the background vocals on Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools" and working with Cissy Houston and the 'Sweet Inspirations.'

During one of her many demo sessions, Greenwich met and "discovered" Neil Diamond and went on to co-produce all his early hits such as "Cherry, Cherry" and "Kentucky Woman," doing background vocals as well.

She died of a heart attack in New York City August 26, 2009.

In 1972...WOR 98.7 FM becomes WXLO. (Now WEPN 98.7 FM ESPN)

In 2001...Apple introduced the iPod.

➦In 2013…Longtime New York City Radio/TV sportcaster/program host "the Amazin'" Bill Mazer, who earlier in his career worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Buffalo, died at the age of 92.

Mazer's broadcasting career began in 1942, broadcasting in Grand Rapids, Michigan before joining the United States Military that same year.

His career as a sportscaster began in Buffalo, New York in 1947, where he signed on as a sportscaster on WKBW. In 1947, he was also the commercial announcer on the CBS William L. Shirer Newscast, as well as the commercial announcer for the soap opera, When a Girl Marries.

By 1948, he had also become the sports director for WGR radio and served as principal sports anchor for WGR-TV from the time that station signed on in 1954 through the early 1960s. Mazer dominated the airwaves in Buffalo, broadcasting the hockey and baseball Buffalo Bisons, the All-American Football Conference Buffalo Bills and Little 3 Basketball. With years of play-by-play and sports commentary in Buffalo under his belt, Mazer arrived in New York City in 1964 when WNBC (AM) went to its first all-talk format. His show was one of the pioneer examples of the modern sports talk show in America.

After filling in for Hugh Downs on the NBC game show Concentration, he was given his own show, Reach for the Stars, in January 1967, but the show was quickly cancelled. Mazer also filled in for segments of Monitor, even hosting on occasion.

Mazer served as a color analyst and intermission host, working alongside Dan Kelly on CBS' National Hockey League coverage from the late sixties until the early seventies, broadcasting the Stanley Cup playoffs a few times. Golf was another Mazer specialty on NBC, including the U.S. Open and Bing Crosby tournaments in the mid-1960s. ABC used Mazer for its regional New York football lineup in the late 1960s. Mazer also did sideline reporting for CBS coverage of the NFL in the late 1960s.

'Weird Al' Yankovic


  • Singer Barbara Ann Hawkins of The Dixie Cups is 78. 
  • Director Ang Lee is 67. 
  • Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 65. 
  • Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 65. 
  • Director-actor Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man” films) is 62. 
  • Singer “Weird Al” Yankovic is 62. 
  • Bassist Robert Trujillo of Metallica is 57. 
  • Singer David Thomas of Take 6 is 55. 
  • Drummer Brian Nevin of Big Head Todd and The Monsters is 55. 
  • Meghan McCain is 37
    Singer Junior Bryant of Ricochet is 53. 
  • Actor John Huertas (“Castle”) is 52. 
  • Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 49. 
  • Bassist Eric Bass of Shinedown is 47. 
  • “So You Think You Can Dance” host Cat Deeley is 45. 
  • Actor Ryan Reynolds is 45. 
  • Actor Saycon Sengbloh (TV’s “In The Dark”) is 44. 
  • Singer Matthew Shultz of Cage The Elephant is 38. 
  • Former “The View” host Meghan McCain is 37. 
  • Actor Masiela Lusha (“George Lopez”) is 36. 
  • Singer Miguel is 36. 
  • Actor Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) is 35. 
  • Actor Inbar Lavi (“Imposters,” ″Prison Break”) is 35. 
  • Actor Jessica Stroup (“90210”) is 35. 
  • Trumpeter Allen Branstetter of St. Paul and the Broken Bones is 31. 
  • Actor Taylor Spreitler (“Kevin Can Wait”) is 28. 
  • Actor Margaret Qualley (TV’s “Fosse/Verdon”) is 27. 
  • Actor Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) is 23.

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