Monday, August 1, 2022

August 1 Radio History

➦In 1905...Radio actress Alice Dorothy Margaret Frost born (Died  at age 92 – January 6, 1998). She was an inaugural member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre on radio and the stage, she later performed the role of Pamela North on the radio series Mr. and Mrs. North for nearly 10 years

Alice Frost

Frost debuted on radio at age 16 as a singer, participating in a duet with a friend on a Minneapolis station. By 1933, she was a member of the cast of The Criminal Court. In 1934, she was "one of the ghost voices during CBS-WABC's Forty-Five Minutes In Hollywood."

➦In 1937...Mutual radio debuted “The Goodwill Hour”, with its familiar phrase, “You have a friend and advisor in John J. Anthony.”  The show began in 1932 as a 30-minute talk program, possibly  the first advice program of any kind. He offered advice and counseling on domestic problems. It was loosely based on a radio show called the Goodwill Court.

➦In 1940...WOR-FM NYC signed-on as W2XOR

➦In 1963...WABC 95.5 FM first aired stereo programming.

In the early 1960s, WABC-FM began to program itself separately from WABC-AM. During the 1962–63 New York City newspaper strike, the station carried an news format for 17 hours daily. Two-and-a-half years before WINS launched its own around-the-clock, all-news format in April 1965, it was the first attempt at an all-news format in the New York market.

Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss

➦In 1973…"American Graffiti" premiered in Los Angeles.  It starred Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, and Wolfman Jack.

➦In 1973...DJ John R Richbourg aired his final show on WLAC 1510 AM, Nashville, Tennessee after refusing to go along with a format change from R&B to Top 40. He resigned.

John R
In the mid-1950s, John R. became an influential figure in the fledgling black music trade by featuring ground-breaking R&B and early rock performers like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on his program. Later John R capitalized on his reputation by becoming a manager to several artists, an occasional record producer, and later entrepreneur in Nashville's booming studio industry. Nashville has long had a national reputation for country music. It. also has always had studio facilities devoted to soul, R&B, and gospel.

Richbourg may have gained his most enduring reputation as a pitchman who used "down-home" phrasing to ad-lib copy for advertisers. One example: Now, friends, I know you got some soul. If you didn't, you wouldn't be listenin' to ol' John R., 'cause I got me some soul. I'll tell you somethin', friends. You can really tell the world you got soul with this brand-new Swinging Soul Medallion, a jewelry pendant.

John R sold exotic or unusual products, such as baby chicks from a Pennsylvania hatchery, family Bibles, hot-rod mufflers, and so on. According Wes Smith's book, The Pied Pipers of Rock 'n' Roll: Radio Deejays of the 50s and 60s (Longstreet Press, 1989), many such products turned out to be defective and/or scams, but few irate customers ever sought action against the station or manufacturers. One legitimate sponsor was Ernie's Record Mart, owned by a record label entrepreneur who specialized in recording local Nashville R&B acts.

Despite the popularity of newer Euro-American performers such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, Richbourg continued to play chiefly African-American artists.

➦In 1981...MTV premiered. "Video Killed The Radio Star".

MTV's pre-history began in 1977, when Warner Cable (a division of Warner Communications from Warner Bros.), and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment (WASEC) launched the first two-way interactive cable television system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs; with the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks. Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC in the late 1970s.

earliest MTV Logo
Pittman's boss, WASEC Executive Vice President John Lack, had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format by the late 1970s.  The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network, Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge (few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live).

The first images shown on MTV were a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack, and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia, which took place earlier that year, and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit.  Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", this was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

➦In 1981...WXLO 98.7 FM NYC changed call letters to WRKS. Today Sports WEPN-FM.

➦In 1988…Cincinnati's WCVG-AM became the first all-Elvis radio station. The format lasted for a little more than a year.

➦In 1988...Rush Limbaugh started syndication based at flagship station 77 WABC NYC.

Rush Limbaugh
In 1984, Limbaugh started as a regular talk show host on AM radio station KFBK in Sacramento, California, after several years of employment with the Kansas City Royals and in the music radio business, which included hosting a program at KMBZ in Kansas City. He succeeded Morton Downey, Jr. in the time slot.

Based on his work in Sacramento, Limbaugh was signed to a contract by EFM Media Management, headed by former ABC Radio executive Edward McLaughlin. Limbaugh's show was drawing five million listeners after two years of syndication. Lacking a name for the network during the early years, he coined the name "EIB Network," which has remained associated with the show even after joining an actual radio network.

Limbaugh died February 17, 2021 at age 70 from lung cancer.


  • Singer Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is 91. 
  • Jennifer Gareis is 52
    Blues musician Robert Cray is 69. 
  • Singer Michael Penn is 64. 
  • Singer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard is 63. 
  • Rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy is 62. 
  • Guitarist Suzi Gardner of L7 is 62. 
  • Rapper Coolio is 59. 
  • Singer Adam Duritz of Counting Crows is 58. 
  • Director Sam Mendes (“Skyfall,” “American Beauty”) is 57. 
  • Country singer George Ducas is 56. 
  • Guitarist Charlie Kelley (Buffalo Club) is 54. 
  • Actor Jennifer Gareis (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 52. 
  • Actor Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”) is 49. 
  • Actor Jason Momoa (“Aquaman,” “Game of Thrones”) is 43. 
  • Singer Ashley Parker Angel (O-Town) is 41. 
  • Actor Taylor Fry (“Kirk,” ″Get a Life”) is 41. 
  • Actor Elijah Kelley (2007′s “Hairspray”) is 36. 
  • Actor James Francis Kelly (“Rocky Balboa”) is 33.

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