Wednesday, August 3, 2022

August 3 Radio History

➦In 1902...Ray Bloch born  (Died at age 79  – March 29, 1982). He was a composer, songwriter, conductor, pianist, author and arranger. He is best remembered as the arranger and orchestra conductor for The Ed Sullivan Show during its entire run from 1948 to 1971.

with Ed Sullivan
Bloch and his orchestra were featured on numerous radio variety shows of the late-1930s and 1940s. These included: Johnny Presents (1939-1946), The Gay Nineties Revue (CBS, 1939-1944), Let Yourself Go (CBS, 1944-1945), The Continental Celebrity Club (1945-1946), The Milton Berle Show (NBC, 1948-1949), and The Mary Small Revue (1945).

From 1943 to 1956 Bloch and his orchestra also performed on Here's to Romance, a weekly musical variety show broadcast by the American Forces Network. In 1951 Bloch hosted his own show, The Bloch Party, a 60-minute variety show on CBS Radio featuring Judy Lynn, the Russ Emery Chorus, and the Ray Bloch Orchestra.

The orchestra was a fixture on several game shows, including Take It or Leave It (CBS, 1940-1947). Quick as a Flash (1944–1949) – during which "clues were elaborately dramatized or were musically illustrated by Ray Bloch's orchestra"– and Sing It Again (1948–1951). Bloch also worked on Philip Morris Playhouse (CBS, 1939–1943), and in several Orson Welles drama presentations.

➦In 1907... Irene Tedrow born (Died from a stroke at age 87 – March 10, 1995) was a character actress in stage, film, television and radio.

Irene Tedrow
Among her most notable roles are Janet Archer in the radio series Meet Corliss Archer, Mrs. Lucy Elkins on the TV sitcom Dennis the Menace and Mrs. Webb in the stage production Our Town at the Plumstead Playhouse.

Tedrow's work in radio dated back at least to 1929. As a drama student at Carnegie Institute of Technology, she was master of ceremonies and student director for "Carnegie Tech Day at Gimbel's," which was broadcast on WCAE. A 1937 radio listing shows her as one of the actresses in George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah when it was broadcast on NBC Blue.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Tedrow had quality acting roles in radio productions, including The Baby Snooks Show.

➦In 1918...Actor Larry Haines born (Died at age 90 - July 17, 2008) was an American actor.

Larry Haines
He had been active in dramatics in high school, and while he was in college, he was advised to try acting. After a few months of instruction in dramatics, he passed an audition with CBS radio He dropped out during his sophomore year of college and "went right into radio working on little stations all around New York City," beginning at WWRL.

Haines first became known in the 1930s as an actor on the radio crime series Gangbusters. Playing Joe Lincoln, he was the star of Treasury Agent on the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1947-48, and he had the title role of Mike Hammer in That Hammer Guy on Mutual in 1953-54. He also was featured in The Chase, Cloak and Dagger, Inner Sanctum Mystery, The Man Behind the Gun, and This Is Nora Drake. It was estimated that he acted in more than 15,000 radio programs in the 1940s and 1950s.

Four decades later, he would return to radio, starring in 82 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

WGY Transmitter 1922

➦In 1922...WGY in Schenectady, NY aired the first drama series on radio. The first play was “The Wolf” by Eugene Walter, adapted into a 40-minute radio script by local actor Edward H. Smith. When two 2 X 4’s were slapped together to replicate a door slam, radio sound effects were born.

➦In 1958...Billboard magazine launched its Hot 100 music chart.

➦In 1984...legendary Dick Biondi, joined WJMK-FM, Chicago - an oldies-formatted station.

➦In 1986...William B. Williams died of acute anemia and respiratory failure. (Born - August 6, 1923) He was a disc jockey on New York City radio station WNEW for over four decades hosting the popular program Make Believe Ballroom. Williams is particularly noted for coining the title "Chairman of the Board" for Frank Sinatra.

Willie B
Born William Breitbard in Babylon, NY, attended Syracuse University for one year before dropping out.  In 1944, he was hired as a staff announcer at WAAT in Newark, New Jersey while visiting a friend at the station. According to Williams "the guy who did the all-night show had just been fired for being bombed on the air." Six weeks later, a staffer at WNEW heard Williams on the air and invited him to apply for a job at the station. He was hired at WNEW and worked several time slots before being fired by station manager Bernice Judis in 1947. An article in the New York Daily News suggested that Williams was fired for his aggressive tactics with management in his role as shop steward; however, WNEW's official story was that he was fired after Judis caught him one evening in the studio with his feet propped on the desk clad in bright red socks. She was apparently horrified by his lack of style.

Williams worked at several other stations, including WOR, but was rehired at WNEW in 1953 following a management change. He hosted the William B. Williams Show in the morning hours, and Music in a Sentimental Mood in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

In 1954, the originator of the Make Believe Ballroom program in New York, Martin Block, left WNEW for a new job at ABC Radio. Jerry Marshall took over the show for three years, after which Williams returned to host the program. He marked the broadcast as his own, using the distinctive sign-on, "Hello, world", and occasionally identifying himself as "Guilliermo B. Guilliermos" or "Wolfgang B. Wolfgang," although to listeners and friends he was known simply as "Willie B." He combined intimate knowledge of music with his personal anecdotes to create a smooth style that captivated listeners. By 1965 Billboard reported Williams was earning $105,000 a year, tops for the station at that time.

Williams developed lasting relationships with the top singers of the Great American Songbook, including Lena Horne and Nat King Cole. Early in his career, he befriended Frank Sinatra when the crooner recorded broadcasts at WNEW. On one broadcast, Williams mused that since Benny Goodman was the "King of Swing" and Duke Ellington was a duke, then Sinatra must have a title as well, suggesting "Chairman of the Board." Sinatra learned of the comment and embraced the title.

➦In 2007...Personality Ron Lyons (riight) died at age 69. Lyons was a San Francisco "Good Guy" on station KEWB-AM in the 1960s (aircheck: Click Here) and also worked stints at KNBR, KFBK, KNEW, and KCBS.

Lyons was born in Asheville, North Carolina. His radio career began in 1955, when he was in high school, spinning rock 'n' roll records, his KCBS. He hit the San Francisco airwaves in 1962 after the Army drafted him and assigned him to the Presidio.

The artists he interviewed over the years included Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.

➦In 2008...Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray Jr. died  (Born - August 12, 1939). He was a sportscaster, best known for his long career as a radio and television play-by-play announcer for the MLB Atlanta Braves. He was the son of baseball announcer Harry Caray, and the father of fellow Braves broadcaster Chip Caray; another son, Josh Caray, a news reporter.

Skip Caray grew up in baseball as the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, who would routinely refer to his son at 8:30 p.m. during every broadcast by saying, "Good night, Skippy", a phrase for which he was teased throughout his adolescence.

Skip Caray
He studied television and radio at the University of Missouri where he received a degree in journalism and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He began his career in St. Louis calling Saint Louis University and St. Louis Hawks basketball. In 1968, Caray moved with the Hawks to Atlanta, where he also called Atlanta Flames hockey games and did morning sportscasts on WSB-AM.

In 1976, he was added to the broadcast team for the Braves, a position he held until his death. Caray was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004 alongside long time Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren.  He has been recognized with six Georgia Sportscaster-of-the Year awards from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, as well as a Georgia-area Emmy award.

On December 18, 2006, the Braves organization announced that Caray (and partner Van Wieren) had signed three-year contracts to continue doing Braves game broadcasts on their radio network. However, Caray only announced ten games on TBS in the 2007 season.

On the final broadcast of Braves TBS Baseball (September 30, 2007), Caray thanked fans saying, "To all you people who have watched the Braves for these 30 years ... thank you. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. ... Thank you folks and God bless you. And we're going to miss you every bit as much as you miss us."

➦In 2013…Classical music announcer/narrator Lloyd Moss, who entertained listeners of WQXR-New York for 33 years during two stints (1955-1971, 1989-2006) at the station, died of Parkinson’s disease at age 86.

Lloyd Moss
Moss came to WQXR in 1954 and by his retirement on Sept. 29, 2006, was one of the longest-serving classical music hosts in the United States. Like many radio personalities of the era, he worked as a voiceover artist and actor, with various credits in television and radio during the 1970s and '80s. Moss was also known for his eclectic outside pursuits: as a children's author, editorial cartoonist, classically-trained trombonist and even a one-time model.

"He was one of the first irreverent announcers. No one did that in the '50s on WQXR," said Anne Moss, referring to the somber, serious reportorial manner of the day. "Lloyd was a segue to a more relaxed and conversational style.”

WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon said Moss's subtle deadpan style could made you sit up and listen. "My favorite example is something he tossed off one day after a cheese commercial,” said Spurgeon. “The spot ended, and Lloyd opened the mic and said, 'What a friend we have in cheeses.' And then he simply gave the weather forecast and introduced whatever piece of music came next, never even winking an eye to the audience."

Moss's interest in music began as a child in Brooklyn, where his father owned a beauty shop that played WQXR on the radio.   Starting in 1946, Moss worked as a radio announcer for stations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Long Island, as well as WNYC, before joining Voice of America. Because Moss had learned Japanese during his stint in Korea, he was able to get a job as a producer for the Japanese desk. That came to an end when the network moved to Washington, DC. Moss auditioned for WQXR, was hired a relief announcer in 1954, and joined the staff in June 1955.

➦In 2014...New York free-form FM radio legend Steve Post, author of Playing in the FM Band, died at age 70.

Steve Post
Post was a pioneer and a trailblazer in freeform radio at WBAI-FM in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a ‘wry, one-of-a-kind’ personality', a ‘creative genius’ who showed ‘extreme personal courage’, who presented a ‘combination of warmth, bitterness, intelligence, mordant humor, and brilliantly on-target observations’, who ‘didn’t care about fairness, objectivity, balance, the canons of journalism’, who ‘just said whatever the hell came into his mind’, and who formed a deep ‘personal connection… with… listeners scattered around the New York area.’

Post, who was 'the undisputed king of on-air fund raising', 'raised millions for public radio.'

He also formed an extraordinarily close, seemingly personal, link with his listeners. 'In a radio age when personality means rant, hysteria, terminal adolescence and unrelieved, unbelievable perkiness, Post is a person. He’s depressed. He kvetches. He whines.' His resonant voice, his skill, his talent, his connection with his listeners, meant that 'as is true with some of the best radio people', his fans had the sense that 'they were the only one or members of a very small group.'

➦In 2021...Longtime Seattle personality Pat O'Day died.

Tony Bennett is 96


  • Singer Tony Bennett is 96. 
  • Actor Martin Sheen is 82. 
  • Singer Beverly Lee of The Shirelles is 81. 
  • Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 81. 
  • Movie director John Landis is 72. 
  • Actor JoMarie Payton (“Family Matters”) is 72. 
  • Actor Jay North (“Dennis the Menace”) is 71. 
  • Mami Gummer is 39
    Actor Philip Casnoff (“Strong Medicine”) is 68. 
  • Actor John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”) is 63. 
  • Bassist Lee Rocker (Stray Cats) is 61. 
  • Actor Lisa Ann Walter (“Bruce Almighty”) is 61. 
  • Singer-guitarist James Hetfield of Metallica is 59. 
  • Singer Ed Roland of Collective Soul is 59. 
  • Actor Isaiah Washington (“Grey’s Anatomy,” ″Soul Food”) is 59. 
  • Keyboardist Dean Sams of Lonestar is 56. 
  • Guitarist Stephen Carpenter of Deftones is 52. 
  • Musician Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa is 51. 
  • Actor Brigid Brannagh (“Army Wives”) is 50. 
  • Actor Michael Ealy (“Think Like a Man,” ″Barbershop”) is 49. 
  • Violinist Jimmy De Martini of Zac Brown Band is 46. 
  • Actor Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) is 43. 
  • Actor Mamie Gummer (“The Good Wife”) is 39. 
  • Singer Holly Arnstein of Dream is 37. 
  • Actor Georgina Haig (“Once Upon a Time”) is 37. 
  • Bassist Brent Kutzle of OneRepublic is 37. 
  • Rapper D.R.A.M. is 34.

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