Tuesday, June 14, 2022

June 14 Radio History

➦In 1908...John Scott Trotter born (Died at age 67 from cancer – October 29, 1975). He was an arranger, composer and orchestra leader, best known for conducting the John Scott Trotter Orchestra which backed singer and entertainer Bing Crosby on record and on his NBC Kraft Music Hall show on NBC Radio from 1937 to 1946.  He also worked with Vince Guaraldi scoring some of the early Peanuts cartoons for TV.

Burl Ives

➦In 1909...Burl Ives born (Died from oral cancer at age 85 – April 14, 1995) was an singer and actor of stage, screen, radio and television.

Ives began as an itinerant singer and banjoist, and launched his own radio show, The Wayfaring Stranger, which popularized traditional folk songs. He also performed  on WBOW radio in Terre Haute, Indiana.  In 1942 he appeared in Irving Berlin's This Is the Army, and then became a major star of CBS radio.

In the 1960s he successfully crossed over into country music, recording hits such as "A Little Bitty Tear" and "Funny Way of Laughin'". A popular film actor through the late 1940s and '50s, Ives's best-known film roles included parts in So Dear to My Heart (1949) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), as well as Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country (1958), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Ives is often remembered for his voice-over work as Sam the Snowman, narrator of the classic 1964 Christmas television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which continues to air annually around Christmas.

Warren Harding -1922 (AP Photo)
➦In 1922...President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for the composer of the “Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, became the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio, via WEAR Baltimore. The broadcast heralded a revolutionary shift in how presidents addressed the American public. It was not until three years later, however, that a president would deliver a radio-specific address. That honor went to President Calvin Coolidge.

➦In 1924...WOKO signed on in 1924 IN New York City.  The station moved to Mount Beacon, N.Y., in 1928.  In 1930, moved to Albany, N.Y.  WOKO was the first radio station licensed to that city.

The station picked up he CBS affiliation in the city.  In the early 1940s, CBS moved to rival WTRY.  WOKO adopted a locally-based independent format, focused largely on music. It carried a middle-of-the-road music format in the 1960s before flipping to country.  In 1978, WOKO flipped to a disco format.  As the disco fad passed, WOKO returned to country in 1980.

WOKO tried an all-news format in 1982, changing its call letters to WWCN.  The station flipped back to the WOKO call letters in 1987 with an oldies format.

Barnstable Broadcasting bought the station in 1988 and used it to simulcast WGNA.  ABC Radio purchased the station in 2002 and flipped it to the Radio Disney format as WDDY.  The station went silent in 2013.

Harold Peary
➦In 1950...After 13 years on radio, Harold Peary played the title character in "The Great Gildersleeve" for the final time. It was a radio situation comedy broadcast from August 31, 1941 to 1958.

The series was built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular character from the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly. The character was introduced in the October 3, 1939 episode (number 216) of that series. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1940s. Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in four feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.

After Peary. Willard Waterman took over the role for the next eight years on radio and for several years on TV.

➦In 1965...Pioneering newscaster/commentator H.V. Kaltenborn died (Born July 9, 1878). He was a pioneering radio commentator, heard regularly on the radio for over 30 years, beginning with CBS in 1928. He was known for his highly precise diction, his ability to ad-lib, and his depth of knowledge of world affairs.

A good example of that is in the last part of the YouTube in Marlin Taylor's Musings for D-Day ... where NBC was to go to London for a couple of reports but couldn't connect. After those, H. V. was to do a 5-minute summary. Instead, he stepped in and talked for something like 13 minutes without missing a beat, according to Taylor.

Kaltenborn began his career as a newspaper reporter, but moved to radio when it began to establish itself as a bona fide source of news. When he was 19, he ran away from home and joined the armed forces to fight in the Spanish–American War. After that he spent some time in Europe, returning to take a job with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. At 24, he went to college, enrolling as a special student at Harvard University. When he finished, he returned to the Eagle, traveling during summers to distant locales.

Kaltenborn was one of the first news readers to provide analysis and insight into current news stories. His vast knowledge of foreign affairs and international politics amply equipped him for covering crises in Europe and the Far East in the 1930s. His vivid reporting of the Spanish Civil War and the Czech crisis of 1938 helped establish the credibility of radio news in the public mind and helped to overcome the nation's isolationist sensibilities. Kaltenborn reported on the Spanish Civil War "while hiding in a haystack between the two armies. Listeners in America could hear bullets hitting the hay above him while he spoke."

Radio historian James F. Widner described Kaltenborn's skill as a news analyst: Kaltenborn was known as a commentator who never read from a script. His "talks" were extemporaneous[ly] created from notes he had previously written.

Kaltenborn joined NBC in 1940. On election night in 1948, he and Bob Trout, a former CBS colleague, were at the NBC news desk to broadcast the returns of the White House race between President Harry S. Truman and challenger Thomas E. Dewey. Throughout the evening, the returns were too close to call. As the evening progressed, Kaltenborn could see a swing in Dewey's favor. It was enough for him to project Dewey the winner, although the returns were still close. What Kaltenborn did not foresee was another swing in the votes going to Truman. As evening turned to early morning, Kaltenborn retracted his original projection and announced Truman as the winner.

Though Kaltenborn left full-time broadcasting in 1953, he provided analyses during NBC's television coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions in 1956. Those live newscasts were anchored by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley in their first on-air pairing. Kaltenborn was in his mid-seventies when the television age arrived.

➦In 1983...The FCC's Docket 80-90 created new FM Stations.  In 1980, as the non-com band started to fill up in most major metropolitan areas there was a little pressure on the FCC and Congress to make room.

The rule grandfathered the existing short spaced stations and reduced minimum mileage separation between new changes. It also limited new licenses to a maximum ERP of 3 KW, HAAT being 328' or 100 meters. Weaker stations = more stations crammed in. But it did not increase the spacing requirements between Class A and second- and third-adjacent channel Class B stations. It also allowed full-power stations to move-in on Class D stations. forcing some off air.

➦In 1986...after 29 years of what was considered North America’s longest-running continuously-published radio station survey, CHUM Radio in Toronto published its last weekly music chart.  It’s last #1 song was “Live to Tell” by Madonna.

Rod Argent is 77

  • Actor Marla Gibbs is 91. 
  • Singer Rod Argent of The Zombies and Argent is 77. 
  • Singer Janet Lennon of The Lennon Sisters is 76. 
  • Guitarist Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish is 75. 
  • Actor Will Patton is 68. 
  • Lucy Hall is 33
    Jazz bassist Marcus Miller is 63. 
  • Singer Boy George of Culture Club is 61. 
  • Actor Traylor Howard (“Monk,” ″Two Guys And A Girl”) is 56. 
  • Actor Yasmine Bleeth is 54. 
  • Actor Faizon Love (“The Parent ’Hood”) is 54. 
  • Actor Stephen Wallem (“Nurse Jackie”) is 54. 
  • Actor Sullivan Stapleton (“Blindspot”) is 45. 
  • Screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”) is 44. 
  • Actor Lawrence Saint-Victor (“The Bold and the Beautiful,” ″Guiding Light”) is 40. 
  • Actor Torrance Coombs (“Reign,” “The Tudors”) is 39. 
  • Actor J.R. Martinez (“All My Children”) is 39. 
  • Actor Kevin McHale (“Glee”) is 34. 
  • Actor Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 33. 
  • Singer Jesy Nelson of Little Mix is 31. 
  • Actor Daryl Sabara (“Spy Kids”) is 30.

  • American Revolutionary War general and traitor Benedict Arnold died in Britain on this day in 1801. He was 60.

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