Saturday, January 15, 2022

January 15 Radio History

➦In 1899...Goodman Ace born Goodman Aiskowitz (Died  – March 25, 1982).  He was a humorist, radio writer and comedian, television writer, and magazine columnist.

Goodman Ace and wife Jane
"Goody" (as he was known to friends) is not always the most recognizable writer/performer of his era by today's reader or listener, but his low-key, literate drollery and softly tart way of tweaking trends and pretenses made him one of the most sought after writers in radio and television during the 1930s through the 1960s.

In 1930, Ace took on a job reading the Sunday comics on radio station KMBC in Kansas City and hosting a Friday night film review and gossip program called Ace Goes to the Movies. Ace was not initially a volunteer for the job. An editor at the Kansas City Journal-Post had the idea that having an employee read the newspaper's comics on the air for children would increase circulation for the paper. Taking the job meant an extra $10 per week in one's paycheck, but none of the newsroom staff was interested.

One night the recorded fifteen-minute show scheduled to air after Ace's timeslot failed to feed. With an immediate need to fill fifteen minutes' more airtime and his wife having accompanied him to the station that night, Ace slipped into an impromptu chat about a bridge game the couple played the previous weekend and invited Jane to join the chat which soon enough included discussion of a local murder case in which a wife murdered her husband over an argument about bridge. Loaded with Goodman's wry wit and Jane's knack for malaprops, the couple's surprise improvisation provoked a response enthusiastic enough to convince KMBC to hand them a regular fifteen-minute slot, creating and performing a "domestic comedy" of their own.

At first, the show that became known as Easy Aces centered around the couple's bridge playing, according to John Dunning in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): "Ace was not wild about Jane's bridge game, on the air or off, and he kept picking at her until she lost her temper and threatened to quit. The show settled into a new niche, a more universally based domestic comedy revolving around Jane's improbable situations and her impossible turns of phrase."

Written by Goodman Ace, who cast himself as a harried real estate salesman and the exasperated but loving husband of deceptively scatterbrained, malaprop-prone Jane ("You've got to take the bitter with the better"; "Time wounds all heels"), Easy Aces became a long-running serial comedy (1930–1945) and a low-keyed legend of old-time radio for its literate, unobtrusive, conversational style and the malaprops of the female half of the team.

While writing Easy Aces, Ace also wrote for other radio shows, earning $3,000 per week.

➦In 1945...Canadian-born Art Linkletter starred on the CBS radio debut of “House Party”. The show continued on the air for 22 years, including a long stint on CBS television. Linkletter wrote books about experiences with kids on the show. Remember, “Kids Say the Darndest Things?” This segment of the show — and Art’s resulting books — were among the most popular of early daytime television, and were also syndicated on Canadian radio.

➦In 1953...Harry S. Truman became the first U.S. President to use Radio and TV to deliver his farewell upon leaving office.

➦In 1955...At the "Louisiana Hayride" in Shreveport, "Colonel" Tom Parker got his first look at a young singer named Elvis Presley singing "Hearts Of Stone," "That's All Right," and "Tweedle Dee."

➦In 1955...Billboard magazine reports that "music with an R&B beat is not longer regarded as a passing phase by major recording firms," citing the recent success of white pop covers of R&B hits.

➦In 1961...Motown Records signed The Supremes. Originally called the Primettes and a quartet, Barbara Martin departed within a year.

➦In 1967...The Rolling Stones performed on The Ed Sullivan Show under one condition -- they change the lyric of their 1967 hit "Let's Spend The Night Together" to the more family-friendly "let's spend some time together." It was reported that Sullivan's exact words were, "Either the song goes, or you go."

Lead singer Mick Jagger complied, but deliberately called attention to the censorship by rolling his eyes and mugging when he uttered the new words.

After the performance, the Stones went backstage, then came back out dressed in Nazi uniforms with swastikas, which caused an angry Sullivan to tell them to return to their dressing rooms and change back into their performing outfits. Instead the Stones left the studio and Sullivan banned the group from ever appearing on his show again.

➦In 1974...the sitcom “Happy Days” began an 11 year run on ABC.

➦In 1994...Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson died in his sleep at age 52. Nilsson never fully recovered from a heart attack the previous February. He had his first hit with the No. 6 song “Everybody’s Talkin’ ” from the 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy.” His biggest hit was the million-selling 1971 song “Without You,” which topped Billboard’s singles chart for four weeks.

➦In 1996...orchestra leader/arranger Les Baxter died of heart and kidney failure at age 73.  On radio he was musical director for “The Halls of Ivy, ” and the Bob Hope & Abbott and Costello Shows.

As leader & arranger for Capitol records in the ’50’s he arranged many of Nat Cole’s hits, and produced his own instrumental successes “Ruby”, “Unchained Melody” and “The Poor People Of Paris”.  Early in his career he sang with Mel Torme’s Meltones.

➦In 2015...retired sportscaster Bob Wilson, the longtime radio voice of the NHL’s Boston Bruins (1971-94), died from lung cancer at age 85.

➦In 2017....North Carolina radio veteran Pat Patterson died following a long period of declining health at age 81.   The witty morning deejay and program director had worked in radio for six decades, most of them at various stations in the Triangle, including WQDR and WDNC. But he remains best-known for his time at top-40 station WKIX-AM, which brought him to Raleigh in 1969. His other stops included WHDH Boston, KULF-Houston, WCOP-Boston, WPRO and WICE in Providence, WGR-Buffalo, WPTR-Albany.

Margaret O'Brien


  • Actor Margaret O’Brien (“Meet Me In St. Louis”) is 84. 
  • Actor Andrea Martin is 75. 
  • Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is 65. 
  • Guitarist Adam Jones of Tool is 57. 
  • Actor James Nesbitt (“Waking Ned Devine”) is 57. 
  • Actor Chad Lowe is 54. 
  • Actor-director Regina King is 51. 
  • Actor Dorian Missick (“For Life”) is 46. 
  • Actor Eddie Cahill (“Conviction,” ″CSI: New York”) is 44. 
  • Rapper Pitbull is 41. 
  • Actor Victor Rasuk (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 37. 
  • Actor Jessy Schram (“Nashville,” ″Once Upon a Time”) is 36. 
  • Electronic dance musician Skrillex is 34. 
  • Actor Dove Cameron (“Liv and Maddie,” ″The Descendants”) is 26.

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