Friday, August 5, 2022

August 5 Radio History


➦In 1914...Parley Edward Baer born (Died  from a stroke at age 88 – November 22, 2002). He was an actor in radio and later in television and film.

Parley Baer
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Baer in the 1930s served on radio as director of special events for KSL. His first network show was The Whistler, which was soon followed by appearances on Escape (notably narrating "Wild Jack Rhett" and as the title patriot in an adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's "A Tooth for Paul Revere"), Suspense, Tales of the Texas Rangers (as various local sheriffs), Dragnet, The CBS Radio Workshop, Lux Radio Theater, The Six Shooter, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, to name a few.

In 1952, he began playing Chester, the trusty jailhouse assistant to Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, eventually ad-libbing the character's full name, "Chester Wesley Proudfoot" (later changed to "Chester Goode" in the televised version of the series, which featured Dennis Weaver in the role of Chester). Baer's portrayal of Chester was generally considered his finest and most memorable role, and as he often said, the one he found most fulfilling.  Baer also worked as a voice actor on several other radio shows produced by Norman MacDonnell, performing as Pete the Marshal on the situation comedy The Harold Peary Show, as Doc Clemens on Rogers of the Gazette, and as additional characters on Fort Laramie and The Adventures of Philip Marlowe.

Other recurring roles included Eb the farm hand on Granby's Green Acres (the radio predecessor to television's Green Acres), Gramps on The Truitts, and Rene the manservant on the radio version of The Count of Monte Cristo. His later radio work included playing Reginald Duffield and Uncle Joe Finneman on the Focus on the Family series Adventures in Odyssey in the 1980s and 1990s

Harold Arlin

➦In 1921...The first baseball game ever broadcast on radio aired on KDKA Pittsburgh, between Pittsburgh Pirates versus Philadelphia Phillies game and took place at Forbes Field. The Pirates defeated the Phillies 8-5. It was broadcast by KDKA staff announcer Harold Arlin. That year, KDKA and WJZ of Newark broadcast the first World Series on the radio, between the New York Giants and the New York Yankees, with Grantland Rice and Tommy Cowan calling the games for KDKA and WJZ, respectively.

➦In 1935...The radio soap opera 'Backstage Wife' first aired. The show highlighted travails of Mary Noble, a girl from a small town in Iowa who came to New York seeking her future. Vivian Fridell had the title role from 1935 until the early 1940s. It was then taken over by Claire Niesen, who played Mary Noble for 14 years, until the end of the series. Mary's husband, Larry Noble, was portrayed by Ken Griffin, then James Meighan and finally, Guy Sorel. The daily radio drama first aired — on the Mutual Broadcasting System. The show, produced by prolific soap opera creators Frank & Anne Hummert, continued in the usual quarter-hour format on NBC and finally CBS Radio, until January 2, 1959.

➦In 1957..."American Bandstand" debuted nationally on ABC-TV, hosted by Dick Clark.

AB premiered locally in late March 1950 as Bandstand on Philadelphia television station WFIL-TV Channel 6 (now WPVI-TV), as a replacement for a weekday movie that had shown predominantly British films. Hosted by Bob Horn as a television adjunct to his radio show of the same name on WFIL radio, Bandstand mainly featured short musical films produced by Snader Telescriptions and Official Films, with occasional studio guests. This incarnation was an early predecessor of sorts of the music video shows that became popular in the 1980s, featuring films that are themselves the ancestors of music videos.

Horn, however, was disenchanted with the program, so he wanted to have the show changed to a dance program, with teenagers dancing along on camera as the records played, based on an idea that came from a radio show on WPEN, The 950 Club, hosted by Joe Grady and Ed Hurst. This more-familiar version of Bandstand debuted on October 7, 1952 in "Studio 'B'," which was located in their just-completed addition to the original 1947 building in West Philadelphia, and was hosted by Horn, with Lee Stewart as co-host until 1955. Stewart was the owner of a TV/Radio business in Philadelphia and even though he was an older gentleman, his advertising account was a large one for WFIL-TV at the time and was put on the program to appease the account.

Dick Clark

On July 9, 1956, Horn was fired after a drunk-driving arrest, as WFIL and dual owner Walter Annenberg's The Philadelphia Inquirer at the time were doing a series on drunken driving. He was also reportedly involved in a prostitution ring and brought up on morals charges. Horn was temporarily replaced by producer Tony Mammarella before the job went to Dick Clark permanently.

In late spring of 1956, the ABC television network asked their O&O's and affiliates for programming suggestions to fill their 3:30 p.m. (ET) time slot (WFIL had been pre-empting the ABC programming with Bandstand). Clark decided to pitch the show to ABC president Thomas W. Moore, and after some badgering the show was picked up nationally, becoming American Bandstand on August 5, 1957.

➦In 1966...Beatles manager Brian Epstein flew into New York to convey John Lennon’s concern over the furor caused by his statements that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ.

In a news conference, Epstein said that Lennon’s statements, which appeared in a U.S.teen-age magazine, were taken out of context. Says Epstein: “What Lennon said and meant was that he was astonished that, in the last 50-years, the Church of England, and therefore Christ, has suffered a decline in interest. He did not mean to boast about the Beatles’ fame. He meant to point out that the Beatles’ effect appeared to be a more immediate one upon certainly the younger generation.” “It was not anticipated that the article would be displayed out of context and in such a manner as it did in the magazine."

Some of the nation’s biggest top-40 stations didn't ban Beatles records. Top-rated WMCA-New York said it has no intention of pulling their current hit “Paperback Writer” or any Beatle cut in the station’s “Good Guy Goldie” library.   WCFL Chicago says the Beatles will stay. In Los Angeles, KFWB, KHJ and KRLA continued airing Beatles recordings. Other stations sticking with the Fab-Four: WIXY-Cleveland, KRUX/KRIZ - Phoenix,WMEX-Boston, WDRC/WPOP - Hartford, WQAM-Miami, KYA-San Francisco,WPGC-Washington D.C, WPTR/WTRY - Albany, NY.

➦In 1997..."The Real Don Steele" who made a name for himself on 93KHJ in Los Angeles died of cancer. He was 61.

Born Don Steel Revert in Hollywood, CA, he graduated from Hollywood High School, served in the United States Air Force and then studied at a local radio school, the Don Martin School of Broadcasting, where he also taught for a short time.

Steele began his radio career working outside of L.A. at a small station, KBUC in Corona, CA then moving on to KEPR Kennewick, KIMA Yakima and KXLY Spokane, all in Washington; KOIL Omaha, Nebraska; KISN Portland, Oregon, and KEWB San Francisco before returning to Los Angeles to help kick off what would become one of the most influential radio stations in the country, 93/KHJ, Boss Radio, in April 1965.

Steele became nationally-known as a DJ on radio station KHJ in Los Angeles, where he helped to promote the "ultra-hip" top-40 Boss Radio format which began at 3pm on April 27, 1965. When the popularity of AM radio gave way to FM stereo in the 1970s, Steele continued to remain a popular personality at the station.

Following the years at 93/KHJ, Steele continued to be heard on Los Angeles radio stations, including KIQQ (K-100), KRLA, KCBS-FM and KRTH-FM (K-Earth 101).

➦In 1994...KPWR L-A, new morning stars “The Baka Boys” were making waves with what some call, distasteful billboards – where they are pictured sitting on a toilet, pants down.

Since beginning in February, climbed to the #5 morning show in Los Angeles – at a 4.5 overall share. Previous morning man Jay Thomas left with a 3.8 share.  A similar billboard-toilet campaign helped boast the ratings of Dr. Dre and Ed Lover ant New York’s Hot 97 (WQHT).

➦In 1997...WDBZ 105.1 FM NYC  changed call letters back to WNSR.  Today the station airs an Urban format using the calls WWPR and is owned by iHeartMedia.

➦In 2002...Francis Dayle "Chick" Hearn died (Born - November 27, 1916) . He was a sportscaster, known primarily as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.

Hearn was remembered for his rapid fire, staccato broadcasting style, associated with colorful phrases such as slam dunk, air ball, and no harm, no foul that have become common basketball vernacular, and for broadcasting 3,338 consecutive Lakers games starting on November 21, 1965.  Additionally, Hearn started the now common tradition of estimating the distance of shots taken.Of note is that most of Hearn's games in the television era were simulcast on both radio and television, even after most teams chose to use different announcers for the different media.

➦In 2008...Last Mike and Mad Dog Show aired on WFAN 660 AM NYC.  The show hosted by Mike Francesa and Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo, originally aired in afternoons on WFAN in New York City from September 1989 to August 2008. The show featured Francesa and Russo talking about sports and taking phone calls from listeners.

Before Francesa and Russo were paired, Russo was an overnight/weekend and fill-in host. He caught the attention of Don Imus, who was impressed with his vibrant personality and brought Russo onto the Imus in the Morning show as its sports reporter.  Meanwhile, Francesa was a midday and weekend host at WFAN, and was known to be knowledgeable but somewhat dry on-air.

In August 1989, WFAN (which was owned at the time by Emmis Communications) was looking for hosts to replace the controversial Pete Franklin in the afternoon drive time period. Mark Mason, then the program director, floated the idea of teaming Francesa with Russo.

At first, the station management thought the idea was crazy because they were no-names at that time. However, because of Francesa and Russo's popularity on the weekends and on Imus in the Morning individually, the station management decided to pair the two together.  The show was dubbed Mike and the Mad Dog and debuted on September 5, 1989. However, the decision to pair them on an afternoon show was a surprise to the two men, and a risk. Things were rocky at first.

Both Francesa and Russo credited Imus for making the pairing possible. Russo said, "Imus was very, very, very, very important to the development of FAN... He solved a lot of problems for the company." Francesa said, "Without Imus, there's no Mike and the Mad Dog, there's no FAN, and I'm telling you, there's no format... Dog and I came through the toughest school there is: the Imus school of radio."

On June 22, 2008, sports columnist Neil Best of Newsday reported that Francesa and Russo were considering ending their radio show. The reports stated that the relationship between the radio duo had soured during Spring 2008, and was the likely cause of the split.

Maureen McCormick is 66


  • Actor Loni Anderson is 77. 
  • Actor Erica Slezak (“One Life to Live”) is 76. 
  • Singer Rick Derringer is 75. 
  • Actor Holly Palance (“Under Fire,” “The Omen”) is 72. 
  • Singer Samantha Sang is 71. 
  • Loni Anderson is 77
    Guitarist Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister is 67. 
  • Actor Maureen McCormick (“The Brady Bunch”) is 66. 
  • Guitarist Pat Smear of Foo Fighters is 63. 
  • Country fiddler Mark O’Connor is 61. 
  • Actor Mark Strong (“The Imitation Game”) is 59. 
  • Director James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) is 56. 
  • Actor Jonathan Silverman (“The Single Guy”) is 56. 
  • Country singer Terri Clark is 54. 
  • Actor Stephanie Szostak (“A Million Little Things”) is 51. 
  • Cellist Eicca Toppinen of Apocalyptica is 47. 
  • Drummer Whit Sellers of Old Dominion is 44. 
  • Actor Jesse Williams (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 42. 
  • Actor Albert Tsai (“Dr. Ken”) is 18. 
  • Actor Devin Trey Campbell (“Single Parents”) is 14.

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