Wednesday, September 28, 2022

September 28 Radio History

➦In 1901...William S. Paley, the chief executive, who built Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) from a small radio network into one of the foremost radio and television network operations in the United States, was born.

Will Paley
In 1927, Paley's father, brother-in-law and some business partners bought a struggling Philadelphia-based radio network of 16 station called the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System. Samuel Paley's intention was to use his acquisition as an advertising medium for promoting the family's cigar business, which included the La Palina brand. Within a year, under William's leadership, cigar sales had more than doubled, and, in 1928, the Paley family secured majority ownership of the network from their partners. Within a decade, William S. Paley had expanded the network to 114 affiliate stations.

Paley quickly grasped the earnings potential of radio and recognized that good programming was the key to selling advertising time and, in turn, bringing in profits to the network and to affiliate owners. Before Paley, most businessmen viewed stations as stand-alone local outlets or, in other words, as the broadcast equivalent of local newspapers. Individual stations originally bought programming from the network and, thus, were considered the network's clients.

Paley changed broadcasting's business model not only by developing successful and lucrative broadcast programming but also by viewing the advertisers as the most significant element of the broadcasting equation. Paley provided network programming to affiliate stations at a nominal cost, thereby ensuring the widest possible distribution for both the programming and the advertising. Affiliates were required to carry programming offered by the network for part of the broadcast day, receiving a portion of the network's fees from advertising revenue. At other times in the broadcast day, affiliates were free to offer local programming and sell advertising time locally.

During his prime, Paley was described as having an uncanny sense for popular taste and exploiting that insight to build the CBS network. As war clouds darkened over Europe in the late 1930s, Paley recognized Americans' desire for news coverage of the coming war and built the CBS news division into a dominant force just as he had previously built the network's entertainment division.

During World War II, Paley served in the psychological warfare branch in the Office of War Information, under General Dwight Eisenhower, and held the rank of colonel. It was while based in London, England, during the war when Paley came to know and befriend Edward R. Murrow, CBS's head of European news. In 1946, Paley promoted Frank Stanton to president of CBS. CBS expanded into TV and rode the post-World War II boom to surpass NBC, which had dominated radio.

➦In 1919...Doris Singleton born (Died at age 92 – June 26, 2012). She began her career in show business as a vocalist in the late 1930s with Art Jarrett's orchestra. Her distinctive low, lyrical voice made her a favorite in the radio industry.

Doris Singleton
Singleton worked in New York during World War II both as a guest star and in regular roles on numerous hit radio shows, including The Whistler and The Alan Young Show, on which she played Young's girlfriend, Betty Dittenfeffer. She played Ruth Henshaw on the radio version of December Bride.

During a guest appearance on the radio show My Favorite Husband in 1948 she met Lucille Ball and began their long professional relationship. She had a recurring role in I Love Lucy playing Carolyn Appleby in ten episodes between 1953 and 1957. In 1953, she made her television debut as Gloria Harper in the episode "Jungle Devil" on the series, The Adventures of Superman.

Singleton also appeared on numerous other television shows including Richard Diamond, Private Detective, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Pete and Gladys, Hazel, The Real McCoys, The Twilight Zone, The Munsters, The Fugitive, Dynasty, Phyllis, Family Affair, Hogan's Heroes, State Trooper, Gunsmoke, and Frontier Doctor.

Singleton played the sympathetic neighbor, Susie, to Annie Fargé's scatterbrained character "Angel Smith" in the CBS sitcom, Angel from 1960 to 1961. Singleton also appeared in All in the Family as Edith's hotel roommate, Lydia Stonehurst, in the 1971 episode "Edith has Jury Duty". She also appeared in two Perry Mason episodes, titled "The Crooked Candle" and "The Purple Woman".

She guest-starred on My Three Sons, playing two different characters who had recurring roles throughout the long run of the show. At the time of her death in June 2012, Singleton was the last surviving major recurring adult cast member from the "Lucy" shows.

➦In 1919...Thomas Dudley Harmon born (Died at age 70 – March 15, 1990). He was a football player, military pilot, actor, and sports broadcaster.

Tom Harmon
Harmon grew up in Gary, Indiana, and played college football at the halfback position for the University of Michigan from 1938 to 1940. He led the nation in scoring and was a consensus All-American in both 1939 and 1940 and won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Associated Press Athlete of the Year award in 1940. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

During World War II, Harmon served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces. In April 1943, he was the sole survivor of the crash of a bomber he piloted in South America en route to North Africa. Six months later, while flying a P-38 Lightning, he was shot down in a dogfight with Japanese Zeros near Kiukiang in China.

After the war, Harmon played two seasons of professional football for the Los Angeles Rams and had the longest run from scrimmage during the 1946 NFL season.

After retiring as a player in 1947, Harmon returned to his career as a sports broadcaster, becoming one of the first and most successful athletes to make the transition from player to broadcaster. During the 1948 season, he broadcast Rams' games for KFI radio in Los Angeles. In the late 1940s, he was the play-by-play announcer for NBC on the first television broadcast of a Rose Bowl Game. From around 1950 to 1962, Harmon worked as a sportscaster for the CBS network. He also handled the nightly sport report on KTLA television in Los Angeles from 1958 to 1964.

In 1962, Harmon joined the sports staff of the ABC radio network. He developed a concept for a 10-minute daily sports program. He hired the crew, purchased the equipment, found sponsors, and then sold the program to ABC. His 10-minute broadcasts became a staple of the ABC radio network. By 1965, his company, Tom Harmon Sports, was generating annual gross revenue of $1 million and had six full-time employees.

He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for UCLA Bruins football games on KTLA during the 1960s and 1970s. In his later years, he was the host of Raider Playbook on KNBC in Los Angeles and also handled play-by-play responsibility for Los Angeles Raiders' preseason games.

➦In 1936...Bachelor's Children was a domestic daytime drama radio broadcast which originated on Chicago's WGN in 1935-36, it debuted on this date on CBS Radio Networ. Later it aired on NBC Radio until September 27, 1946.

It followed the daily travails of two friends, Dr. Bob Graham and Sam Ryder, and the two women they loved. When Dr. Bob was a young man doing military service, his sergeant took care of him during a difficult time. Years later, the sergeant's dying request was that Bob become guardian of his two young daughters. Dr. Bob fell in love with Ruth Ann and Sam with her twin sister, Janet.

Rudy Vallee

➦In 1939...The Fleischmann Hour with Rudy Vallee, came to the end of its ten-year run on NBC Radio Network.

➦In 1963..."She Loves You" by the Beatles was first played on U.S. Radio by disc-jockey, "Murray The K", on 1010 WINS in New York. It is believed that this was the first time a Beatles song has been played anywhere in the United States. The response was tepid.

Murray the K reached his peak of popularity in the mid-1960s when, as the top-rated radio host in New York City, he became an early and ardent supporter and friend of The Beatles. When the Beatles came to New York on February 7, 1964, Murray was the first DJ they welcomed into their circle,

When the band arrived in New York, Murray was invited by Brian Epstein to spend time with the group, and Murray persuaded WINS to let him broadcast his prime time show from the Beatles' Plaza Hotel suite. He subsequently accompanied the band to Washington, D.C. for their first U.S. concert, was backstage at their The Ed Sullivan Show premiere, and roomed with Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Miami, broadcasting his nightly radio shows from his hotel room there.

He came to be referred to as the "Fifth Beatle," a moniker he said he was given either by Harrison during the train ride to the Beatles' first concert in Washington D.C. or by Ringo Starr at a press conference before that concert.

Dewey Phillips

➦In 1968…Pioneering Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips died at age 42 (Born -May 13, 1926). He was one of rock and roll's pioneering DJs

Phillips started his radio career in 1949 on WHBQ 560 in Memphis. He was the city's leading radio personality for nine years and was the first to simulcast his "Red, Hot & Blue" show on radio and television. During the 1950s he had 100,000 listeners to his 9pm-midnight slot and he received 3,000 letters a week.

Phillips' on-air persona was a speed-crazed hillbilly, with a frantic delivery and entertaining sense of humor. He also had a keen ear for music the listening public would enjoy, and he aired both black and white music, which was abundant in post-World War II Memphis, a booming river city which attracted large numbers of rural blacks and whites (along with their musical traditions).

He played a great deal of rhythm and blues, country music, boogie-woogie, and jazz as well as Sun Records artists. In 1950, Phillips and his friend Sam Phillips (no relation) decided to launch their own record label. Joe Hill Louis waxed an electric blues single, "Boogie in the Park" (recorded in July 1950 and released the following month). It was the only record released on the Phillips label before Sam founded Sun Records.

On 10 July 1954, he was the first DJ to broadcast the young Elvis Presley's debut record, "That's All Right" / "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", and got Presley to reveal his race in an interview by asking which high school the 19-year-old singer attended (knowing that, because of segregation, his audience would readily know what race attended which schools).

Though Phillips was not involved in the payola scandals of the time (as was Freed), he was fired in late 1958 when the station adopted a Top 40 format, phasing out his freeform style. He spent the last decade of his life working at smaller radio stations, seldom lasting long.

➦In 1974…John Lennon visited New York City's WNEW 102.7 FM to promote his new album "Walls and Bridges." The former Beatle stayed on the air for several hours talking about the album, acting as a disc jockey, playing records and reading commercials.

➦In 1997…After 54 years in broadcasting, much of it with NBC and later years with ABC, radio, TV newsman David Brinkley retired at age 74. He died June 11 2003 at age 79.

Scott Muni
In 2004...Scott Muni died (Born - May 10, 1929). He worked during the heyday of the AM Top 40 format and then was a pioneer of FM progressive rock radio.

Muni spent almost 50 years at stations in New York City. He became a Top 40 broadcaster at WMCA 570 in the late 1950s, just before the start of their "Good Guys" era. In 1960, he moved to rival Top40 77WABC. There he did an early evening show called "Scotland's Yard" and was the first WABC DJ to capture the attention of the teenage audience the station would become famous for.

He also participated in the competition to cover The Beatles on their first visits to the United States, and thus began a long association with them.

Scott Muni with John Lennon

In 1965, Muni left WABC and ran the Rolling Stone Night Club while doing occasional fill-in work for WMCA. Muni had explored some opportunities beyond radio: he had recently co-hosted a local weekly television show on WABC-TV with Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, and he would go on to record the spoken single "Letter to an Unborn Child", about a soldier with a premonition, which was released in 1967 to little acclaim.

In 1966, Muni joined WOR-FM, one of the earliest pioneers of freeform-based progressive rock radio.

The notion did not last at that station, but in 1967 Muni moved to legendary rock station WNEW-FM, where the format really took hold. Muni stayed there for three decades as the afternoon DJ and sometimes program director. Muni was described by fellow WNEW-FM DJ Dennis Elsas as "the heart and soul of the place".

Under assorted management changes during the 1990s WNEW-FM lost its way, and in 1998 Muni ended up as a one-hour noontime classic rock personality at WAXQ "Q104.3", where he worked until suffering a stroke in early 2004.

Muni was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in the "Legends of Rock Radio-Programming" category for his work at WNEW in 2014. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.

Brigitte Bardot is 88

  • Actor Brigitte Bardot is 88. 
  • Actor Joel Higgins (“Silver Spoons”) is 79. 
  • Actor Jeffrey Jones is 76. 
  • Actor Vernee Watson (“Bob Hearts Abishola,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) is 73. 
  • Writer-director-actor John Sayles is 72. 
  • Guitarist George Lynch (Dokken) is 68. 
  • Actor-comedian Janeane Garofalo is 58. 
  • Phoebe Robinson is 38
    Country singer Matt King is 56. 
  • Actor Mira Sorvino is 55. 
  • TV personality and singer Moon Zappa is 55. 
  • Actor Naomi Watts is 54. 
  • Country singer Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town is 53. 
  • Country singer Mandy Barnett is 47. 
  • Rapper Young Jeezy is 45. 
  • Actor Peter Cambor (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) is 44. 
  • TV personality Bam Margera (“Jackass”) is 43. 
  • Actor Jerrika Hinton (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 41. 
  • Guitarist Luke Mossman of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 41. 
  • Musician St. Vincent is 40. 
  • Comedian Phoebe Robinson (“What Men Want”) is 38. 
  • Drummer Daniel Platzman of Imagine Dragons is 36. 
  • Actor Hilary Duff is 35. 
  • Actor Keir Gilchrist (“United States of Tara”) is 30.

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