Saturday, October 9, 2021

October 9 Radio History

➦In 1890...Aimee Elizabeth Semple McPherson born (Died – September 27, 1944), also known as Sister Aimee or simply Sister, was a Canadian-American Pentecostal evangelist and media celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s, famous for founding the Foursquare Church.

McPherson has been noted as a pioneer in the use of modern media, because she used radio to draw on the growing appeal of popular entertainment in North America and incorporated other forms into her weekly sermons at Angelus Temple, one of the first megachurches.

In her time she was the most publicized Protestant evangelist, surpassing Billy Sunday and her other predecessors. She conducted public faith healing demonstrations before large crowds; testimonies conveyed tens of thousands of people healed.  McPherson's articulation of the United States as a nation founded and sustained by divine inspiration continues to be echoed by many pastors in churches today.

News coverage sensationalized her misfortunes with family and church members; particularly inflaming accusations she had fabricated her reported kidnapping, turning it into a national spectacle. McPherson's preaching style, extensive charity work and ecumenical contributions were a major influence on Charismatic Christianity in the 20th century

In 1935...the "Cavalcade of America" first aired on he CBS Radio Network.   It was initially broadcast on radio from 1935 to 1953, and later on television from 1952 to 1957. Originally on CBS, the series pioneered the use of anthology drama for company audio advertising.

Cavalcade of America documented historical events using stories of individual courage, initiative and achievement, often with feel-good dramatizations of the human spirit's triumph against all odds. The series was intended to improve DuPont's public image after World War I. The company's motto, "Maker of better things for better living through chemistry," was read at the beginning of each program, and the dramas emphasized humanitarian progress, particularly improvements in the lives of women, often through technological innovation.

In 1937...program director John Rook was born in Chillicothe Ohio. Beginning in the late 1960’s he took first WLS Chicago, then WCFL Chicago and then KFI Los Angeles to dominance in audience share, and consulted dozens of other stations to success. He died March 1 2016 at age 78.

In 1943...The radio fantasy series "Land of the Lost" began its five-year run, first on ABC Radio Network. It was written and narrated by Isabel Manning Hewson, about the adventures of two children who traveled underwater with the fatherly fish Red Lantern. Each week the show opened with the line, "In that wonderful kingdom at the bottom of the sea...", and then Red Lantern showed Billy and Isabel where different lost objects were stored beneath the waves.

The Land of the Lost radio series aired from 1943 to 1948 on the Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC. Betty Jane Tyler was the voice of the young Isabel, and Ray Ives was the voice of Billy. Several actors voiced Red Lantern, including Art Carney, Junius Matthews and William Keene. The announcer was Michael Fitzmaurice, and Cyril Armbrister directed.

With music by John Winters and lyrics by Barbara Miller, Peggy Marshall did the vocal arrangements. Organist Bob Hamilton provided background music.

In 1967...Legendary New York DJ Murray The K was fired from station WOR-FM, where he had moved to when the station switched from a locally programmed free form rock approach to a Drake Top 40 format heavily spiced with oldies. He was fired because of his "inability to live with direction" as the DJs were no longer allowed to pick their music and talk as much.

He did weekends on WMCA Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons in late 1968 and '69

Murray The K
In 1972, Murray the K left New York radio to host programs in Toronto - on CHUM 1050 AM -and on WHFS 102.3 FM in Bethesda, MD. He returned to New York after his short stint on WHFS on the weekend show NBC Monitor and as a fill-in morning personality, and then in 1972 moved to a regular evening weekend program on WNBC radio where Don Imus was broadcasting; he was joined there by the legendary Wolfman Jack, a year later. Although it was low-key, Murray's WNBC show featured his own innovative trademark programming style, including telling stories that were illustrated by selected songs, his unique segues, and his pairing cuts by theme or idiosyncratic associations.

In early 1975, he was brought on for a brief stint at Long Island alternative rock station WLIR, and his final New York radio show ran later that year on WKTU-FM after which — already in ill health — he moved to Los Angeles.   Kaufman died of cancer a week after his 60th birthday on February 21, 1982.

In 1979...Howard Stern began his first morning show on WCCC in Hartford Conn. Stern had spotted an ad in Radio & Records for a "wild, fun morning guy".   He used some morning air time to assemble an aircheck with more outrageous bits, including Robert Klein and Cheech and Chong records with added flatulence routines and one-liners.

It was at WCCC where Stern first met Fred Norris, the overnight disc jockey, who went on to become Stern's writer and producer since 1981. Stern left WCCC in early 1980 after he was denied a "lousy, stinking twenty-five-dollar-a-week raise".  At the same time, local rival station WHCN had assembled tapes and press clippings of Stern and forwarded them to Burkhart/Abrams, a radio consulting firm, to get Stern out of the Hartford market as a rise in his ratings increased his threat to the station's numbers. The tapes were received by Dwight Douglas, a consultant at Burkhart/Abrams, who offered Stern work in Columbus, Ohio, but Stern declined.

Fred Norris
From 1976 to 1982, Stern developed his on-air personality through morning positions at WRNW in Briarcliff Manor, New York, WCCC, WWWW in Detroit, Michigan, and WWDC in Washington, D.C. Stern worked afternoons at WNBC in New York City from 1982 until his firing in 1985.

In 1985, Stern began a 20-year run at WXRK in New York City; his morning show entered syndication in 1986 and aired in 60 markets and attracted 20 million listeners at its peak.

Stern won numerous industry awards, including Billboard’s Nationally Syndicated Air Personality of the Year eight consecutive times, and is the first to have the number one morning show in New York City and Los Angeles simultaneously. He became the most fined radio host when the Federal Communications Commission issued fines totaling $2.5 million to station owners for content it deemed indecent. Stern became one of the highest paid radio figures after signing a five-year deal with Sirius in 2004 worth $500 million.

In 2011…New York City personality (WCBS 101.1 FM for parts of five decades) Bill Brown died at age 69.

In 1969, WCBS-FM traded in their easy listening 'Young Sound' format for an album rock format similar to WABC-FM (later WPLJ) and WNEW-FM. Brown was on the original air-staff.

Unfortunately, WCBS-FM did could not lay claim to sizable ratings in the New York City radio market while other stations such as WNEW-FM and WPLJ gained most of the rock n'roll radio audience. After research and several years of very low ratings WCBS-FM dropped the AOR format on July 7, 1972 at 6 AM and began playing Oldies from 1955 to then current product. Initially the station played both rock and roll songs and non rock songs of the 1950s and early 60's and only softer rock and pop hits of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Brown stayed on with the Oldies format. By the end of 1972, Brown was on the station weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

In 1975, Brown also became Program Director of WCBS-FM. For a few months he gave up his midday airshift. By the end of 1976, Brown was on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays along with his Saturday morning shift. Under Brown, WCBS-FM moved away from easy listening and began to play more 60's rock. In 1978, Brown gave up his program director position but retained his airshifts. His shift was still 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays.

In 1984, when Ron Lundy arrived, Brown was moved to 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. while Ron moved to the 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. slot. Harry Harrison now aired from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. (vs 6 to 10 a.m.). Bill's Saturday shift was then 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every second week. Bill Brown also continued doing voiceovers for many commercials airing on WCBS FM and other radio stations.

Brown continued on consistently from noon to 3 p.m until 2005, when his air-shift was moved to 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. With his years of service, age, and retirements of other well known staffers it was speculated that his retirement was not far off.

Bill Brown remained at WCBS-FM until June 3, 2005. Although ratings were decent and the station was profitable, CBS executives abruptly laid off the entire airstaff at 4 p.m. that day.

Bill Brown was the last live air personality to sign off several minutes before 4 p.m.. He came out of Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett and played Rescue Me by Fontella Bass. It was unclear whether or not he knew the end was happening from his last statement, though he did not say a typical goodbye. His last words were, "CBS-FM 101.1, Fontella Bass... Do you ever feel the urge to just kinda scream, "RESCUE ME!?"... I'm beginning to get that feeling, here's Fontella Bass."

Brown then retired from CBS-FM after 33 years of playing oldies, as well as nearly 36 years of service. He is the only air personality to be with the station through their entire first run using live on-air personalities. He did one of their first shifts the day WCBS-FM adopted the rock format in 1969 and the very last live air-shift doing oldies in 2005.

In 2012…Longtime Detroit radio, TV announcer Budd Lynch died as age 95. He had on-air stints  at WWJ, WXYZ, WJR, CKLW and  was the Detroit Red Wings' public address announcer, a position he held from 1985 to 2012. He began his career in 1949 as the team's radio play-by-play announcer.  He is also a member of  Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Jackson Browne is 73


  • R&B singer Nona Hendryx (LaBelle) is 77. 
  • Singer Jackson Browne is 73. 
  • Actor Gary Frank (“Family”) is 71. 
  • Actor Robert Wuhl (“Arli$$”) is 70. 
  • Manager-TV personality Sharon Osbourne is 69. 
  • Actor Tony Shalhoub (“Monk,” ″Wings”) is 68. 
  • Accordion player James Fearnley of The Pogues is 67. 
  • Actor Scott Bakula is 67. 
  • Actor John O’Hurley (“Dancing with the Stars,” ″Seinfeld”) is 67. 
  • Actor-turned-producer Linwood Boomer (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 66. 
  • Actor Michael Pare (“Eddie and the Cruisers”) is 63. 
  • Jazz saxophonist Kenny Garrett is 61. 
  • Singer-guitarist Kurt Neumann of The BoDeans is 60. 
  • Country singer Gary Bennett (BR549) is 57. 
  • Melissa Villasenor is 34
    Director Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water,” ″Pan’s Labyrinth”) is 57. 
  • Singer P.J. Harvey is 52. 
  • Director Steve McQueen (“12 Years A Slave”) is 52. 
  • Actor Steve Burns (“Blues Clues”) is 48. 
  • Singer Sean Lennon is 46. 
  • Musician Lecrae is 42. 
  • Actor Brandon Routh (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” ″Superman Returns”) is 42. 
  • Actor Zachery Ty Bryan (“Home Improvement”) is 40. 
  • Actor Spencer Grammer (“Greek”) is 38. 
  • Comedian Melissa Villasenor (“Saturday Night Live”) is 34. 
  • Actor Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 29. 
  • Country singer Scotty McCreery (“American Idol”) is 28. 
  • Actor Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”) is 24.

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