Saturday, January 22, 2022

January 22 Radio History

➦In 1889...The Columbia Phonograph Company began selling Edison phonograph cylinders and players in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. It derived its name from the District of Columbia, which was its headquarters.

➦In 1940...“The Right to Happiness” written by radio soap diva Irna Phillips was first aired on the CBS Radio Network. The daytime serial had begun on NBC Blue three months earlier. And it would switch between CBS & NBC two more times during its 21 year run.

➦In 1956..."Fort Laramie", a CBS Radio Western series starring Raymond Burr as Captain Lee Quince, debuted.. It aired Sunday afternoons January 22–October 28, 1956, at 5:30pm ET. The 41 episodes starred Raymond Burr as Lee Quince, captain of the cavalry. One year later, Burr became a television star as Perry Mason.

➦In 2011...Radio Pioneer Ruth Ann Myer WMCA (PD), WMGM, WHN (PD), WNEW (PD) NYC died at age 80.

Ruth Ann Meyer
In 1960, WMCA began promoting itself by stressing its on-air personalities, who were collectively known as "The Good Guys". Led by program director Ruth Meyer, the first woman to hold the position in New York City radio, this was the era of the high-profile Top 40 disc jockey with an exuberant personality aimed at a certain audience segment. With the advent of the Good Guys format, WMCA became more "on top" of new music and started to become known for "playing the hits."

In the early 1960s, the top 40 format was still young, and the field was crowded in New York City. Two major 50,000-watt stations, WMGM 1050 AM (frequency now occupied by WEPN-AM) and 1010 WINS, had battled each other, playing pop music for years. Then in 1960, WABC joined the fray and started featuring top 40 music. Ultimately, it was WMCA's earnest competition with rival WABC that forced WMGM (in early 1962) and then WINS (in spring 1965) to abandon the top-40 format. There was so much attention on the high-profile WMCA-WABC battle that WMGM and WINS were each summarily forced to find new formats.

➦In 2012...Sportscaster Andy Musser, voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 26 years, died at age 74.

Andy Musser
He was part of a team, with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas, which broadcast Phillies games on both radio and television for 21 consecutive seasons from 1976 to 1997. He retired after the 2001 season.

Musser worked for WCAU radio and television in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1971. During this time, he served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Eagles football as well as 76ers and Villanova Wildcats basketball. One of the youngest lead broadcasters in the National Football League at the time, he covered the Eagles games with Charlie Gauer for four years until the station lost the broadcast rights to WIP-AM in 1969. Musser also called various events for CBS Radio, including Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl VIII.

Musser was the lead voice for Chicago Bulls telecasts on WSNS from 1973 through 1976, pairing with Dick Gonski in the first two seasons and Lorn Brown in the third. Musser would call New York Knicks games with Cal Ramsey on WOR-TV (away) and Manhattan Cable Television (home) for the next four seasons from 1976 to 1980. He handled all the matches in the first three years, but only the home ones in the fourth.

Jim Irwin
➦In 2012...WTMJ Milwaukee Sportscaster Jim Irwin died from kidney cancer at age 87. (Born - February 7, 1934). He is probably best known as having been the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers for 30 years. He worked with former Packer Lionel Aldridge, and was paired for 20 seasons with Super Bowl I hero Max McGee. Irwin also called Milwaukee Brewers baseball, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball games.

He joined the Packers radio broadcasts as a color commentator in 1969 and assumed play by play duties in 1975, a position he held until his retirement after the 1998 season, along with morning sportscasting and commentary duties on WTMJ's morning program. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2003. Irwin continued to contribute occasionally to WTMJ after he retired.

Prior to his longtime career as the voice of the Packers, Irwin began his broadcast career in 1964 as sports director at WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

➦In 2016…Chicago broadcasting pioneer Jim Conway, who for nearly 40 years worked in both radio and early television, died at age 94. His career included stints in news anchoring and program hosting at WBBM and WMAQ Radio, as well as TV at WBBM, WLS and WGN. He co-anchored the first half-hour nightly news show on WGN, and hosted the first local morning talk show on WLS.

Steve Perry is 73


  • Actor Piper Laurie is 90. 
  • Singer Steve Perry (Journey) is 73. 
  • Bassist Teddy Gentry of Alabama is 70. 
  • Beverly Mitchell is 41
    Actor John Wesley Shipp (“The Flash,” ″Dawson’s Creek”) is 67. 
  • Actor Linda Blair is 63. 
  • Actor Diane Lane is 57. 
  • Country singer Regina Nicks of Regina Regina is 57. 
  • Rapper-actor DJ Jazzy Jeff is 57. 
  • Celebrity chef Guy Fieri is 54. 
  • Actor Olivia D’Abo (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” ″The Wonder Years”) is 53. 
  • Actor Katie Finneran (“The Michael J. Fox Show”) is 51. 
  • Actor Gabriel Macht (“Suits”) is 50. 
  • Actor Balthazar Getty is 47. 
  • Actor Christopher Kennedy Masterson (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 42. 
  • Jazz singer Lizz Wright is 42. 
  • Singer Willa Ford is 41. 
  • Actor Beverley Mitchell (“Seventh Heaven”) is 41. 
  • Guitarist Ben Moody of The Fallen (and formerly of Evanescence) is 41. 
  • Actor-singer Phoebe Strole (“Glee”) is 39. 
  • Rapper Logic is 32. 
  • Actor Sami Gayle (“Blue Bloods”) is 26.

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