Monday, June 13, 2022

June 13 Radio History

➦In 1913...Ralph Livingstone Edwards born (Died at age 92 – November 16, 2005). He was a rado, TV host best known for his game show Truth or Consequences and This Is Your Life.

Ralph Edwards
Edwards worked for KROW Radio in Oakland, California while he was still in high school. Before graduating from high school in 1931, he worked his way through college at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a B.A. in English in 1935. While there, he worked at every job from janitor to producer at Oakland's KTAB, now KSFO. Failing to get a job as a high school teacher, he worked at KFRC and then hitchhiked across the country to New York, where, he said, "I ate ten-cent (equivalent to $2 in 2015), meals and slept on park benches".

After some part-time announcing jobs, he got his big break in 1938 with a full-time job for the Columbia Broadcasting System on WABC (now WCBS), where he worked with two other young announcers who would become broadcasting fixtures - Mel Allen and Andre Baruch.

He is best remembered as radio’s host for the audience particpation show Truth or Consequences, which he created in 1940, and the TV host of This Is Your Life. In his early years in radio he was announcer on as many as 45 shows a week.  In his later years he was one of TV’s most prolific producers.

➦In 1946...Edward Bowes died at age 71 (Born - June 14, 1874). He called himself Major Edward Bowes, and was a radio personality of the 1930s and 1940s.   His nickname sprang from his earlier military rank, though historians are divided on whether he was an active-duty officer in World War I or held the rank as a member of the Officer Reserve Corps. His Major Bowes Amateur Hour was the best-known amateur talent show in radio during its 18-year run (1935–1952) on NBC Radio and CBS Radio

Major Bowes
Bowes brought his best-known creation to New York radio station WHN in 1934. He had actually hosted scattered amateur nights on smaller stations while manager of the Capitol. Within a year of its WHN premiere, The Original Amateur Hour began earning its creator and host as much as $1 million a year, according to Variety.

The rapid popularity of The Original Amateur Hour made him better known than most of the talent he featured. Some of his discoveries became stars, including opera stars Lily Pons, Robert Merrill, and Beverly Sills; comedian Jack Carter; pop singer Teresa Brewer; and, Frank Sinatra, fronting a quartet known as the Hoboken Four when they appeared on the show in 1935.

The show consistently ranked among radio's top ten programs throughout its run.

Bowes's familiar catchphrase, "...around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows", spoken in the familiar avuncular tones for which he was so renowned, whenever it was time to spin its "wheel of fortune," the device by which some contestants were called to perform.

In the early days of the show, whenever a performer was simply too terrible to continue, Bowes would stop the act by striking a gong (a device that would be revived in the 1970s by Chuck Barris's infamous The Gong Show). Bowes heard from thousands of listeners who objected to his terminating these acts prematurely, so he abandoned the gong in 1936.

Bowes is credited for featuring more black entertainers than many network shows of the time.

➦In 1948...WBAM becomes WOR FM in NYC. WOR-AM's original owner was Bamberger's Department Store in Newark, New Jersey. In the early 1920s, the store was selling radio receivers and wanted to put a radio station on the air to help promote receiver sales as well as for general publicity.

Fran Allison
➦In 1989... Fran Allison died (Born - November 20, 1907). She was a television and radio comedian, personality and singer. She is best known for her starring role on the weekday NBC-TV puppet show Kukla, Fran and Ollie, which ran from 1947–57, occasionally returning to the air until the mid-1980s. The trio also hosted The CBS Children's Film Festival, introducing international children's films, from 1967-77.

In 1937, where she was hired as a staff singer and personality on NBC Radio. A July 26, 1937, newspaper item reported, "Fran Allison, singer of WMT, Waterloo, Ia., makes her network debut in the WJZ-NBC club matinee at 3."

Beginning in 1937, she was a regular performer on The Breakfast Club, a popular Chicago radio show, and was a fixture for 25 years as "Aunt Fanny", a gossipy small-town spinster.

In 1947, the director of WBKB-TV in Chicago asked Burr Tillstrom if he could put together a puppet show for children, and he asked Allison, whom he had met during a World War II war bond tour, to join the show. She was the only human to appear on the live series, filling the role of big sister and cheery voice of reason as the puppets, known as the Kuklapolitan Players, engaged each other.

➦In 2008...newsman Tim Russert, the NBC Washington Bureau Chief and respected host of ‘Meet the Press,’ suffered a massive heart attack and died at age 58.

Chips Moman and Ringo Starr

➦In 2016…Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman died at age 79 from emphysema (Born - June 12, 1937). He was an American record producer, guitarist, and Grammy Award-winning songwriter.

In the 1960s, Moman worked for Stax Records before founding the American Sound Studio in Memphis, TN. As a record producer, Moman was known for recording Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops. As a songwriter, he was responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas, including the Grammy-winning "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".

He was also a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, American Sound became one of the most successful recording studios in the country, producing more than 120 charting singles by pop, soul, and country artists and at one point contributing over a quarter of the hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Moman produced Elvis Presley's 1969 album, From Elvis in Memphis – described as best album" – and the hit songs "In the Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", and "Kentucky Rain".

Bob McGrath is 90


  • Actor Bob McGrath (“Sesame Street”) is 90. 
  • Actor Malcolm McDowell is 79. 
  • Singer Dennis Locorriere (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) is 73. 
  • Actor Stellan Skarsgard (“Mamma Mia”) is 71. Actor Richard Thomas is 71. 
  • Comedian Tim Allen is 69. 
  • Actor Ally Sheedy is 60. 
  • Ally Sheedy is 60
    TV anchor Hannah Storm is 60. 
  • Bassist Paul DeLisle of Smash Mouth is 59. 
  • Singer David Gray is 54. 
  • Singer Deniece Pearson of Five Star is 54. 
  • Musician Soren Rasted (Aqua) is 53. 
  • Actor-singer Jamie Walters is 53. 
  • Singer-guitarist Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is 52. 
  • Actor Steve-O (“Jackass”) is 48. 
  • Actor Ethan Embry (“Can’t Hardly Wait,” ″That Thing You Do!”) is 44. 
  • Actor Chris Evans (“The Fantastic Four”) is 41. 
  • Actor Sarah Schaub (“Promised Land”) is 39. 
  • Singer Raz B (B2K) is 37. 
  • Actor Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”) is 36. 
  • Actors Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are 36. 
  • Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass” films) is 32.

  • NBC journalist Tim Russert, the longtime host of Meet the Press, died of a heart attack while at work on this day in 2008. He was 58.

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