➦In 1914...Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow was born (Died at age 85 from heart failure – December 20, 1999). In a career that spanned more than 50 years, he recorded 140 albums and charted more than 85 singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980. His number-one hits include the self-penned songs "I'm Moving On", "The Golden Rocket" and The Rhumba Boogie and famous versions of "I Don't Hurt Anymore", "Let Me Go, Lover!", "I've Been Everywhere", "Hello Love", as well as other top 10 hits.
Snow was an accomplished songwriter whose clear, baritone voice expressed a wide range of emotions including the joys of freedom and travel as well as the anguish of tortured love. His music was rooted in his beginnings in small-town Nova Scotia where, as a frail, 80-pound youngster, he endured extreme poverty, beatings and psychological abuse as well as physically punishing labour during the Great Depression. Through it all, his musically talented mother provided the emotional support he needed to pursue his dream of becoming a famous entertainer like his idol, the country star, Jimmie Rodgers.
As a performer of traditional country music, Snow won numerous awards and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
In March 1933, Snow wrote to Halifax radio station CHNS asking for an audition. The rejection letter he received only made him more determined and later that year he visited the station, was given an audition and hired to do a Saturday evening show that was advertised as "Clarence Snow and his Guitar." Snow's audition with the Canadian division of RCA Victor in Montreal, Quebec, on October 29, 1936 led to the release of his first record with "The Prisoned Cowboy" coupled with "Lonesome Blue Yodel". He signed with RCA Victor, recording for the label until 1981. A weekly CBC radio show brought him national recognition and, he began touring Canada until the late 1940s when American country music stations began playing his records.
Snow moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1949, and "Hank Snow, the Singing Ranger" (modified from his earlier nickname, the Yodeling Ranger), began recording for RCA Victor in the United States in 1949.
A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a young Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Presley as his opening act and introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team, Hank Snow Attractions. This partnership signed a management contract with Presley but before long, Snow was out and Parker had full control over the rock singer's career. Forty years after leaving Parker, Snow stated, "I have worked with several managers over the years and have had respect for them all except one. Tom Parker was the most egotistical, obnoxious human being I've ever had dealings with."
➦In 1929...WJW-AM, Cleveland, Ohio signed-on.
The station was started in Mansfield, OH as WLBV sin 1926 under the ownership of John Weimer. The call letters became WJW in 1928, reflecting his initials. He sold it in 1931 to Mansfield Broadcasting Association.
WJW moved to Akron in 1932. William O’Neill purchased the station in 1943 and moved it to Cleveland. The station moved from 1210 kHz to 850 kHz and increased its power to 5,000 watts.
During its history, WJW aired Alan Freed's "Moondog" rock'n'roll show.
O'Neil sold WJW on 17 Nov. 1954 to Storer Broadcasting, which teamed it with its local television operation, WXEL. Storer dropped the ABC radio affiliation in 1957 to become independent, although the station later had a brief affiliation with NBC before becoming independent again.
During the 1960s the "Ed Fisher Show" was immensely popular during a 10-year run, as was the station's adult contemporary format of news, talk, and jazz. Sold to Erie Broadcasting in the fall of 1976, WJW began to highlight talk shows and adult popular music. It had begun separate FM programming in 1965 on a station that eventually passed into separate ownership as WGCL.
WJW was sold 1986 to Booth American Broadcasting, at which time it exchanged its long-familiar call letters for WRMR. In 1990 Booth sold the station to Independent Group Ltd., a local group that owned WDOK.
Today, the station's call sign is WKNR 850 AM and airs sportstalk. The station now has 50Kw-Day, 5Kw-Night.
➦In 1932...WFLA/WSUN, Clearwater, FL, tested first directional AM antenna.
➦In 1937…Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy started their own radio show on NBC. Their initial appearance (December 17, 1936) on the Rudy Vallee show was so successful that the following year they were given regular cast rolls as part of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. Under various sponsors (and two different networks), they were on the air from May 9, 1937 to July 1, 1956. The popularity of a ventriloquist on radio, when one could see neither the dummies nor his skill, surprised and puzzled many critics, then and now. Even knowing that Bergen provided the voice, listeners perceived Charlie as a genuine person, but only through artwork rather than photos could the character be seen as truly lifelike.
Here's audio from a 1944 show...
➦In 1942...Graham McNamee died at age 53 (Born - July 10, 1888). He was pioneering radio sportscaster. He originated play-by-play sports broadcasting for which he was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Radio broadcasting of sporting events was a new thing in the 1920s. The announcers were a rotating group of newspaper writers. At the time baseball was America's most popular sport, and the reporters were at the games to write stories about them for print newspapers. Their descriptions were matter-of-fact, boring at best, had a lot of dead air, and were given in the past tense after a play was completed.
|The Babe and McNamee|
McNamee broadcast numerous sports events, including several World Series, Rose Bowls, championship boxing matches, and Indianapolis 500s. He was broadcast the national political conventions, the presidential inaugurations, and the arrival of aviator Charles Lindbergh in New York City following his transatlantic flight to Paris, France in 1927. He opened each broadcast by saying, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience. This is Graham McNamee speaking."
➦In 1958…Disc Jockey Alan Freed resigned from 1010 WINS in New York City, claiming his bosses refused to "stand by my policies and principles."
➦In 1958...William Nettles Goodwin died at age 47 (Born - July 28, 1910). He was the announcer and a recurring character of the Burns and Allen radio program, and subsequently The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show on television from 1950-1951. Upon his departure, he was replaced by Harry von Zell.
➦In 1990…Pauline Frederick died at age 84 from a heart attack (Born - February 13, 1908). She was a journalist for newspapers, radio and television. Her career extended from the 1930s until 1981; she is considered one of the pioneering women in journalism.
Pauline Frederick's paid journalism career had begun and she started writing articles for the Washington Star. In 1938, with her interest in electronic communications, she accepted a job as a part-time aide assisting in writing scripts for ABC radio reporter H. R. Baukhage. Her journalism career in radio began in 1939, when NBC Radio's director of women's programs, Margaret Cuthhert, heard of Frederick's interviews with diplomats’ wives and thought they would make a good radio feature.
In 1948, Pauline Frederick finally received the opportunity she had been waiting for. Early that year she was the only reporter available to cover a breaking story at the United Nations, and later that same year she was selected to cover the first televised political convention, an experience that gained her instant credibility. In 1949, after years of struggle, Pauline Frederick became the “first women ever to work full-time for a U.S. television Network,” ABC.
She covered the United Nations for NBC for twenty-one years, reporting daily on the most critical world issues.
➦In 2012…Boston radio sportscaster Carl Beane, for the previous nine years the public address announcer for the Red Sox at Fenway Park, suffered a heart attack while he was driving in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. His car crashed into a tree and a rock wall. He was killed at age 59. The following day's Red Sox game was played with no PA announcements, as a tribute to him.
- Actor-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 85.
- Guitarist Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly and The Crickets is 84.
- Producer-director James L. Brooks is 84.
- Singer Tommy Roe is 79.
- Singer-guitarist Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) is 77.
- Singer Clint Holmes is 75.
- Actor Candice Bergen is 75.
- Actor Anthony Higgins (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”) is 74.
- Musician Billy Joel is 72.
- Bassist Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick is 71.
- Actor Alley Mills (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” “The Wonder Years”) is 70.
- Actor Amy Hill (“Magnum P.I.”) is 68.
- Actor Wendy Crewson (“Revenge”) is 65.
- Actor John Corbett (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” ″Northern Exposure”) is 60.
Rachel Boston is 39
Singer David Gahan of Depeche Mode is 59.
- Actor Sonja Sohn (“Body of Proof,” ″The Wire”) is 57.
- Rapper Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan is 51.
- Guitarist Mike Myerson of Heartland is 50.
- Actor Chris Diamantopoulos (“Episodes,” ″24″) is 46.
- Singer Tamia is 46.
- Trombonist Dan Regan of Reel Big Fish is 44.
- Singer Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan is 42.
- Actor Rosario Dawson is 42.
- Musician Andrew W.K. is 42.
- Actor Rachel Boston (“Witches of East End,” ″In Plain Sight,” ″American Dreams”) is 39.
- TV personality Audrina Patridge (“The Hills”) is 36.
- Actor Grace Gummer (“American Horror Story,” ″The Newsroom”) is 35.