Monday, September 26, 2022

September 26 Radio History

➦In 1887…Inventor Emile Berliner was granted his first patent for what he called the "Gramophone". The patent described recording sound using horizontal modulation of a stylus as it traced a line on a rotating cylindrical surface coated with an unresisting opaque material such as lampblack, subsequently fixed with varnish and used to photoengrave a corresponding groove into the surface of a metal playback cylinder.

In practice, Berliner opted for the disc format, which made the photoengraving step much less difficult and offered the prospect of making multiple copies of the result by some simpler process such as electrotyping, molding or stamping. Soon Berliner was using a more direct recording method, in which the stylus traced a line through a very thin coating of wax on a zinc disc, which was then etched in acid to convert the line of bared metal into a playable groove.

Ted Weems band on set of Fibber McGee & Molly - 1937

➦In 1901...Bandleader Ted Weems born in Pitcairen, PA (Died at age 61 - May 6, 1963). His work in music was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Weems moved to Chicago with his band around 1928. The Ted Weems Orchestra had chart success in 1929 with the novelty song "Piccolo Pete", which rewarded him with his second Gold Record, and the #1 hit "The Man from the South". The band gained popularity in the 1930s, making regular radio broadcasts. These included Jack Benny's Canada Dry program on CBS and NBC during the early 1930s, and the Fibber McGee & Molly program in the late 1930s.

In 1936, the Ted Weems Orchestra gave singer Perry Como his first national exposure; Como recorded with the band (on Decca Records), beginning his long and successful career.

The first season of the Beat the Band radio show on the NBC Red Network (1940–1941) included Weems and his orchestra as part of the cast.

In 1940, Weems and his orchestra were featured on Beat the Band on the NBC-Red radio network.

➦In 1908...Saturday Evening Post ad for a Victor 'talking machine'.

➦In 1919...Actress Barbara Britton born Barbara Maurine Brantingham (Died from pancreatic cancer at age 60 – January 17, 1980). She is best known for her Western film roles opposite Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Gene Autry and for her two-year tenure as inquisitive amateur sleuth Pam North on the television and radio series Mr. and Mrs. North.

➦In 1960…John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon squared off in the first televised presidential debates in American history. The debates was staged at the studios of WBBM-TV in Chicago. The Kennedy-Nixon debates not only had a major impact on the election’s outcome, but ushered in a new era in which crafting a public image and taking advantage of media exposure became essential ingredients of a successful political campaign. They also heralded the central role television has continued to play in the democratic process.

Moderated by newsman Howard K. Smith, the debate was seen on TV by more than 69 million people, while another 17 million heard the debate on radio.

➦In 1962...Talk-Music radio formats was most-preferred according to a survey released by the CBS radio network released a yearlong survey on the most popular radio features of the day. The survey noted news, interviews, discussions, talks, sports and also had a minimum-to-moderate interest in music but do not tune in primarily for music. It also concluded that rock'n'roll listeners have the lowest education and income levels of all listener groups.

Gary Owens
➦In 1962...L-A Radio personality Gary Owens started at KMPC 710 AM. Owens had been at Top40 KFWB and KMPC played more middle-of-the rod music as in Frank Sinatra.

He replaced previous host Johnny Grant and remained for the next two decades working the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift, M-F.

A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady (played by Joan Gerber); the Rumor of the Day; myriad varieties of "The Nurney Song"; and the introduction of the nonsense word "insegrevious", which was briefly included in the Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary.

His regular on-air radio terms included "krenellemuffin," as in, "We'll be back in just a krenellemuffin." Gary always credited his radio engineer at the end of his broadcast: "I'd like to thank my engineer, Bob Jones, for creebling at the turntables." He also created the previously non-existent colors "veister" and "krelb".

➦In 1968...Progressive rock radio was making waves with Bill (Rosko) Mercer on the 7p to midnight shift for WNEW 102.7 FM in NYC. Rosko was getting 4 shares on his show and the third highest ratings among teens in the area (WABC and WMCA are #1 - #2).

Says Rosko - “On a progressive rock program, it’s extremely important to think of the programming. Think before you do it, the same as any job requires. People are hungry for proper presentation of music. They don’t want “Ten Years After” or the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” thrown at them. They want it prepared for them. Anyone can play a stack of records at home. It’s a presentation that counts to a large extent.”

Gosden and Correll

➦In 1972...Radio actor Charles Correll died from a heart attack at age 82. He was the creator & voice of Andy Brown in the radio show “Amos ‘n’ Andy”, and the voice of the Colonel in the TV cartoon Calvin and the Colonel. His Amos ‘n’ Andy co-star, Freeman Gosden, would live another ten years.

For 34 years Amos and Andy held a very singular place in the American old-time radio experience.In its early prime, the early 1930s, it was common for entire towns to be listening to the show. Stores would close, even movie theaters would stop the film while the Amos and Andy show was played instead for the movie audience. The national audience was estimated at 40 million, and that very large audience was made up of Americans of many races and national backgrounds.

➦In 1983... KMET-FM Los Angeles, once the darling of album rock radio was falling apart. Seems that rival KROQ’s ascendance in the ratings has hurt the station. Gone was longtime program director Sam Bellamy. She believed that KROQ’s New Wave music and format would not have been accepted by her KMET audience even if she had chosen that direction.

Ross and Wilson
➦In 1983...Talk Radio 77WABC split its morning team of “Ross and Wilson,” as Ross Brittain was fired. At the time, he said his firing came as a complete surprise. “Now I’m a member of the Dan Ingram Home For Unemployed Disk Jockeys.”

In the fall of 1977, Ross Brittain, and Brian Wilson were working at different stations in Baton Rouge, met for lunch at the Frost Top Inn. Two weeks later, the "Nearly-Famous Ross & Wilson Show" debuted in AM Drive on WJBO. A mere eight months later – July 10, 1978 - after taking Baton Rouge radio and the entire city by storm, they did their first morning show for Atlanta's CHR powerhouse, Z-93. Then, just 29 months later, Ross & Wilson were hired to take over Morning Drive on WABC.

➦In 1983...Jim Nettletown retured to 56WFIL Philadelphia formornings on the oldies-based station.

Here's an aircheck of WFIL 56 and WIBG 99, spaning the years 1970 thru 1983. A ton of great Philly personalities including George Michael, Long John Wade, Don Wade, John Records Landecker, Don Cannon, Chuck Knapp, Hy Lit, Joe Niagra, Tony Mann, Dick Fennessy, & Jim Nettleton. (Courtesy of Ellis B. Feaster WPOZ Orlando).

Nettleton died in 2009 from cancer.

➦In 1984…WCAU-TV Philadelphia news and NFL films narrator John Facenda died of lung cancer at the age of 71.

Carlene Carter is 67

  • Country singer David Frizzell is 81. 
  • Actor Kent McCord (“Adam 12”) is 80. 
  • “The Weakest Link” host Anne Robinson is 78. 
  • Singer Bryan Ferry is 77. 
  • Actor Mary Beth Hurt is 76. 
  • Actor James Keane (“Bulworth,” TV’s “The Paper Chase”) is 70. 
  • Singer-guitarist Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos is 68. 
  • Melissa Sue Anderson is 60
    Country singer Carlene Carter is 67. 
  • Actor Linda Hamilton is 66. 
  • Singer Cindy Herron of En Vogue is 61. 
  • Actor Melissa Sue Anderson (“Little House on the Prairie”) is 60. 
  • Singer Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl is 60. 
  • TV personality Jillian Barberie is 56. 
  • Guitarist Jody Davis of Newsboys is 55. 
  • Actor Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ”) is 54. 
  • Actor Tricia O’Kelley (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is 54. 
  • Actor Ben Shenkman (“Royal Pains,” “Angels in America”) is 54. 
  • Singer Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men is 50. 
  • Music producer Dr. Luke is 49. 
  • Jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton is 49. 
  • Singer and TV personality Christina Milian is 41. 
  • Actor Zoe Perry (“Young Sheldon”) is 39. 
  • Singer-songwriter Ant Clemons is 31.

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