Thursday, November 24, 2022

November 24 Radio History

➦In 1890... French inventor Edouard Branly coined the term "radioconductor"; the first use of the word "radio".

Experiments with tubes of metal filings, as reported in "Il Nuovo Cimento" in 1884, led to the development of the first radio wave detector, the coherer, by Branly some years later. It was the first widely used detector for radio communication. This consisted of iron filings contained in an insulating tube with two electrodes that will conduct an electric current under the action of an applied electrical signal. The operation of the coherer is based upon the large electrical contact resistance offered to the passage of electric current by loose metal filings, which decreases when direct current or alternating current is applied between the terminals of the coherer at a predetermined voltage. The mechanism is based on the thin layers of oxide covering all the filings, which is highly resistive. The oxide layers are broken down when a voltage is applied of the right magnitude, causing the coherer to "latch" into its low-resistance state until the voltage is removed and the coherer is physically tapped.

The coherer became the basis for radio reception, and remained in widespread use for about ten years, until about 1907. British radio pioneer Oliver Lodge made the coherer into a practical receiver by adding a "decoherer" which tapped the coherer after each reception to dislodge clumped filings, thus restoring the device's sensitivity. It was further developed by Guglielmo Marconi, then replaced about 1907 by crystal detectors.

Irene Wicker

➦In 1905...Ireene Wicker born (Died at age 81  – November 17, 1987). She was best known to young radio listeners in the 1930s and 1940s as “The Singing Lady”, which was the title of her radio program. She added the second 'e' in her first name on the advice of an astrologer.

Her radio show was first sponsored by the Kellogg Company, beginning in 1931. Her show was promoted as America’s first radio network program for children. Despite the title of her show, The Singing Lady, most of it involved Wicker telling adaptations of stories for children, ranging from fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen through to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Also in the 1930s and early 1940s, she portrayed Jane Lee on the serial Judy and Jane on NBC-Blue.

In the 1940s, Wicker was a regular on Deadline Drama on NBC and the Blue Network. In the 1950s, she told stories on Big Jon and Sparkie on ABC radio.

Wicker came to television at WJZ-TV in 1949 with The Ireene Wicker Show in which she told fairy tales. She also had a program, The Singing Lady, on ABC-TV (1948-1950).

➦In 1906...Actor Don MacLaughlin was born in Webster, Iowa.  MacLaughlin originated the role of lawyer Chris Hughes on As the World Turns in 1956, and played the role until his death in 1986.

Prior to TV, MacLaughlin was active on radio, beginning in 1933. He starred as the title character on radio's David Harding, Counterspy in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1945, he joined the cast of The Romance of Helen Trent, in the role of Dwight Swanson, "a rancher who becomes interested in Helen Trent."

Howard Duff
He died at age 79 on May 28 1986.

➦In 1913...Radio-TV-Film actor Howard Duff was born in Bremerton, WA.

Duff's most memorable radio role was as Dashiell Hammett's private eye Sam Spade in The Adventures of Sam Spade (1946–50).With his TV and film career starting to take hold, he ultimately left the program in 1950 at the start of its final season; Stephen Dunne took over the voice role of Spade.

He died following a heart attack July 8, 1990 at age 76.

Early WTAW - undated
➦In 1920...The first radio play-by-play broadcast of a football game was aired by Texas A&M University station 5XB, later known as WTAW in College Station, Texas. The University of Texas defeated Texas A&M, 7-3.  The call letters stood for Watch The Aggies Win.  Today, the calls are used by a locally-owned station at 1620 AM.

➦In 1926...WLAC Nashville signed-on. The call letters were chosen to contain an acronym for the first owner of the station, the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Tennessee. Studios were located on the fifth floor of the Life and Casualty building in downtown Nashville. In 1928, it became Nashville's CBS Radio affiliate, while its main competitor, 650 WSM, was affiliated with NBC, the other major Radio network in the early days of broadcasting.

The early years of the station featured, as most big-city stations of that time, network programming, local news, studio-orchestra musical features (accompanied by an in-studio pipe organ), farm reports, and some educational programming. Its main competitor in that era, WSM, became known as the radio station where country music essentially developed and became a national phenomenon. When country music became a big business in the late 1940s, WLAC added early-morning and Saturday-afternoon shows in an attempt to steal some of WSM's thunder. Otherwise, the station prided itself as a pillar of the community and placed emphasis on general full-service programs.

➦In 1926...KVI-AM, Seattle, Washington began broadcasting.

KVI's legacy can be traced back to its debut on November 24, 1926, where it was licensed to Tacoma, Washington at 1280 AM. By the spring of 1928 its signal would be shifted to 1060 AM, followed by a larger shift to 760 AM, in the fall. By September 1932, it had moved to its permanent 570 AM frequency. In 1949, KVI relocated its studios and city of license to Seattle. KVI broadcasts from a single tower on Vashon Island.

In 1959, Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters added KVI to its portfolio. KVI switched to a very successful personality adult contemporary format in 1964. By 1973, KVI had evolved into a middle-of-the-road (MOR) direction. It was during this period that it became established as a dominant player in the market. KVI was the original flagship station for the ill-fated Seattle Pilots in 1969 and for the Seattle Mariners, from their inaugural season of 1977 until 1984.

By 1982, KVI had begun to gradually add more talk programming. In July 1984, KVI switched to oldies. That direction would last less than a decade. By 1992, KVI had a talk-format again. At first, the station used the slogan "the balanced alternative" with a lineup alternating liberal and conservative talk hosts, but in 1993, KVI dropped all its liberal hosts except Mike Siegel. Siegel, formerly a liberal, swung right in his views during this period and remained on the station. By May 1994, the year KVI was sold (along with KPLZ-FM) to Fisher Communications, KVI had an almost entirely conservative-talk format.

KVI returned to a full service format at 4 p.m. on November 7, 2010, with a base music rotation of classic hits along with news and traffic updates.

Due to the failure of the format, which only garnered an average of a 0.5 share of the market, and losing the ratings battle against KJR-FM and KMCQ, KVI began stunting with Christmas music on Thanksgiving Day. On January 3, 2012, the station flipped back to talk, this time as "Smart Talk", with an emphasis on entertainment news, lifestyle and health reports, and local news.

On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KVI, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Although Sinclair primarily owns television stations, the company intends to retain KVI, KPLZ-FM, and KOMO. The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.

➦In 1963…On live national television, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy's accused assassin, as authorities were preparing to transfer Oswald by armored car from the police basement to the nearby county jail.

Ruby's 1964 conviction and death sentence were overturned in 1966 when an appellate court ruled that his motion for a change of venue before the original trial should have been granted.

In December 1966, before a new trial could be arranged, Ruby died of pneumonia while suffering from liver, lung, and brain cancer.

➦In 1991...Freddie Mercury of Queen died of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia in Kensington, London, England, at age 45.

Pete Best is 81

  • Country singer Johnny Carver is 82. 
  • Former Beatles drummer Pete Best is 81. 
  • Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 80. 
  • Singer Lee Michaels is 77. 
  • Actor Dwight Schultz (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “The A-Team”) is 75. 
  • Actor Stanley Livingston (“My Three Sons”) is 72. 
  • Drummer Clem Burke of The Romantics and of Blondie is 68. 
  • Record producer/musician Terry Lewis (The Time) is 66. 
  • Actor Denise Crosby (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) is 65. 
  • Actor Shae D’Lyn (“Dharma and Greg”) is 60. 
  • Guitarist John Squire of the Stone Roses is 60. 
  • Guitarist Gary Stonadge of Big Audio Dynamite is 60. 
  • Actor Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”) is 58. 
  • Actor Conleth Hall (“Game of Thrones”) is 58. 
  • Comedian Brad Sherwood (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) is 58. 
  • Actor Scott Krinksy (“Chuck”) is 54. 
  • Guitarist Chad Taylor of Live is 52. 
  • Actor Lola Glaudini (“Criminal Minds”) is 51. 
  • Actor Colin Hanks (“Life in Pieces,” ″Roswell”) is 45. 
  • Actor Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy,” ″Roswell”) is 44. 
  • Actor Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”) is 32.

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