Friday, February 3, 2023

February 3 Radio History

➦In 1927...a forerunner of the FCC, the Federal Radio Commission, was created by a law signed into effect by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.The FRC was a government body that regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934. The Commission was created to regulate radio use "as the public interest, convenience, or necessity" requires. The Radio Act of 1927 superseded the Radio Act of 1912, which had given regulatory powers over radio communication to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The Radio Act of 1912 did not mention broadcasting and limited all private radio communications to what is now the AM band.

WEAV 960 AM (5Kw DA-2)
➦In 1935...WEAV-AM, Plattsburgh NY signed-on as WMFF (1935-1948), owned by Plattsburgh Broadcasting Corporation (in turn controlled by the Bissell family), and operating on 1310 kHz. The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement in 1941 moved the station to 1340 kHz.

On October 23, 1948,  the station changed its call letters to WEAV and relocated again, this time to the current 960 kHz. At one time an affiliate of ABC Radio  and its predecessor, the Blue Network, WEAV switched to CBS Radio in the late 1950s.

The station inaugurated FM service on February 3, 1960, with the launch of WEAV 99.9. FM (now WBTZ-FM) as a simulcast of the AM station.

WEAV-AM currently airs Sports Talk as 960 AM The Zone.

➦In 1935...Martin Block started at WNEW-AM (now WBBR 1130 AM) in NYC at a salary of $20 per week. In 1935, while listeners to New York's WNEW in New York were awaiting developments in the Lindbergh kidnapping, Block built his audience by playing records between the Lindbergh news bulletins.

This led to his Make Believe Ballroom, which began February 3, 1935 with Block borrowing both the concept and the title from West Coast disc jockey Al Jarvis, creating the illusion that he was broadcasting from a ballroom with the nation’s top dance bands performing live. He bought some records from a local music shop for the program as the radio station had none. Block purchased five Clyde McCoy records, selecting his "Sugar Blues" for the radio show's initial theme song.

Because Block was told by the station's sales staff that nobody would sponsor a radio show playing music, he had to find himself a sponsor. Block lined up a producer of reducing pills called "Retardo"; within a week, the sponsor had over 3,000 responses to the ads on Block's radio show. Martin Block's style of announcing was considerably different than the usual manner of delivery at the time. Instead of speaking in a voice loud enough to be heard in a theater, Block spoke in a normal voice, as if he was having a one-on-one conversation with a listener.

Abbott & Costello
When one of Block's sponsors offered a sale on refrigerators during a New York snowstorm, 109 people braved the elements for the bargain Block advertised; by 1941 potential sponsors for his show had to be put on a waiting list for availabilities.

➦In 1938... the kids radio adventure drama Challenge of the Yukon (about Sgt. Preston & his ‘wonder dog’ Yukon King) debuted in a 15 minute format on WXYZ Detroit.  It completed George W. Trendle’s trilogy of juvenile adventures preceded by The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet.  

The show went to the networks (ABC, then Mutual) in 30 minute form 1947 to ’55, and was retitled as Sgt. Preston of the Yukon beginning in 1951.

➦In 1938...the comedy team of Abbott & Costello made their debut as cast members on CBS Radio’s “The Kate Smith Hour.” Their routine "Who's on First?" is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time in the world, and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

➦In 1959… it was “the day the music died,”  as Don McLean named it in his 1972 hit, “American Pie.”  22-year-old Buddy Holly, 28-year-old J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens died in a chartered plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.

At the time, Holly and his band, consisting of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, and Carl Bunch, were playing on the "Winter Dance Party" tour across the Midwest. Rising artists Valens, Richardson and Dion & the Belmonts had joined the tour as well. The long journeys between venues on board the cold, uncomfortable tour buses adversely affected the performers, with cases of flu and even frostbite. After stopping at Clear Lake to perform, and frustrated by such conditions, Holly chose to charter a plane to reach their next venue in Moorhead, MN. Richardson, who had the flu, swapped places with Jennings, taking his seat on the plane, while Allsup lost his seat to Valens on a coin toss.

Soon after takeoff, late at night and in poor, wintry weather conditions, the pilot lost control of the light aircraft, a Beechcraft Bonanza, which subsequently crashed into a cornfield. Everyone on board was killed. A number of monuments have been erected at the crash site and in Clear Lake, where an annual memorial concert is also held at the Surf Ballroom, the venue that hosted the artists' last performance.

In 1979, Wolfman Jack emceed a sold-out concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Featured performers in the “Tribute to Buddy Holly” show were Del Shannon, Jimmy Clanton and the Drifters.

➦In 1968...Paul McCartney recorded “Lady Madonna” at EMI's  Abbey Road studios in London. The record is credited to The Beatles, but McCartney played with unknown session musicians.

The song was release in mid-March, the single was their last release on Capitol Records in the U.S. All subsequent releases, starting with "Hey Jude" in August 1968, were issued on their Apple Records label.

➦In 1971...Jay C Flippen died at age 71, during surgery for an aneurysm caused by a swollen artery, one month before his 72nd birthday. He was a radio announcer for the New York Yankees.

➦In 2003... authorities arrested producer Phil Spector at his mansion in suburban Los Angeles. The body of actress Lana Clarkson had been found in the foyer. Her body was found slumped in a chair with a single gunshot wound to her mouth with broken teeth scattered over the carpet. Spector told Esquire in July 2003 that Clarkson's death was an "accidental suicide" and that she "kissed the gun". The emergency call from Spector's home, made by Spector's driver, Adriano de Souza, quotes Spector as saying, "I think I've killed someone". De Souza added that he saw Spector come out of the back door of the house with a gun in his hand.

On April 13, 2009 a jury returned a guilty verdict against Spector.  He was taken into custody  and was formally sentenced, on May 29, 2009, to 19 years to life in the California state prison system. Spector died in prison on January 16, 2021.

➦In 2003…Longtime St. Louis radio personality Ron Morgan died of a heart ailment at age 60.

Ron Morgan
Ron Morgan came to St. Louis in 1973, taking an on-air position on Pulitzer powerhouse KSD. It was the beginning of a stay in St. Louis radio that would span nearly twenty years.

Known as “Morgan in the Morning,” he peppered his programs with droll humor supplemented with an infectious laugh and gave his program team plenty of opportunities to share the spotlight.

He also did mornings at KSD-FM and KLOU, as well as other shifts at KMOX and KHTR.

Morgan was also program director at CBS-owned KLOU when it hit the air with an oldies format, giving the station a strong group of personalities to complement the music, and he served as operations director at KSD-FM.

Mary Healey and Peter Lind Hayes

➦In 2015...actress/singer Mary Healy, who was part of a husband-and-wife comedy team with Peter Lind Hayes in the 1950s and ’60s, appearing on television and in a “life in suburbia” WOR 710 AM from their home in their New Rochelle NY, died at age 96. 

They appeared together on two early 50’s TV variety shows, “The Peter Lind Hayes Show” on NBC and “Star of the Family” on CBS.  The couple also had the leads in the NBC sitcom  “Peter Loves Mary,” and were frequent guest panelists on the CBS game show “What’s My Line?” and vacation hosts on Arthur Godfrey’s TV & radio programs.

Blythe Danner is 80
  • Actor Blythe Danner is 80. 
  • Guitarist Dave Davies of The Kinks is 76. 
  • Singer Melanie is 76. 
  • Actor Morgan Fairchild is 73. 
  • Actor Pamela Franklin (“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”) is 73. 
  • Actor Nathan Lane is 67. 
  • Guitarist Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth is 67. 
  • Actor Thomas Calabro (“Melrose Place”) is 64. 
  • Drummer Lol Tolhurst (The Cure) is 64. 
  • Actor Michele Greene (“L.A. Law”) is 61. 
  • Country singer Matraca Berg is 59. 
  • Actor Maura Tierney (“ER,” ″NewsRadio”) is 58. 
  • Actor Warwick Davis (“Harry Potter” films, “Willow”) is 53. 
  • Actor Elisa Donovan (“Clueless”) is 52. 
  • Singer Daddy Yankee is 47. 
  • Actor Isla Fisher is 47. 
  • Singer Jessica Harp (The Wreckers) is 41. 
  • Actor Matthew Moy (“2 Broke Girls”) is 39. 
  • Rapper Sean Kingston is 33. 
  • Actor Brandon Micheal Hall (“God Friended Me”) is 30.
  • In 2019..Bob Friend, MLB baseball pitcher (4-time MLB All Star), dies from cardiac arrest at 88
  • In 2021..Jim Weatherly, Pop and country songwriter ("Midnight Train To Georgia"), dies at 77

No comments:

Post a Comment