Saturday, February 4, 2023

February 5 Radio History

➦In 1916...Pioneering radio, TV engineer Ernst Alexanderson successfully tested the multiple tuned antenna.  He was a pioneer in radio and television development. Alexanderson designed the Alexanderson alternator, an early longwave radio transmitter, one of the first devices which could transmit modulated audio (sound) over radio waves.  Alexanderson also created the amplidyne, a direct current amplifier used during the Second World War for controlling anti-aircraft guns. During some 45-years working for General Electric,  he was responsible for 322 patents.

➦In 1924...the BBC time signal was first transmitted at 9.30pm, introduced by Sir Frank Dyson, the Astronomer Royal. Ever since that date, equipment at the Greenwich Observatory generates six short “pips” starting at five seconds to the hour and ending exactly on the hour. The pips have been generated by the BBC since 1990 to mark the precise start of each hour.

➦In 1931... Eddie Cantor‘s long radio career got underway as he made his first appearance on Rudy Vallee’s “The Fleischmann Hour” on NBC. By September of 1931 he would be headlining his own variety hour for Chase & Sanborn. The show established Cantor as a leading comedian.

➦In 1940... one of the many Frank and Anne Hummert radio soap operas, ‘Amanda of Honeymoon Hill‘ began it six-year run, the first half on NBC Blue, and then on CBS. It was a 15-minute daily radio soap opera.

➦In 1940...WTIC-FM was one of the two pre-World War II FM stations in Connecticut, signing on the air originally as W1XSO and using a frequency of 43.5 MHz. In December 1941, it became a commercial operation using the call letters W53H. In 1943, the call letters were changed for the last time to WTIC-FM. On April 17, 1948, the station moved to 96.5 MHz where it has remained, and switched to a classical music format. It switched from classical to CHR/Top 40 on May 12, 1977; the first song played as a Top 40 station was "Feels Like The First Time" by Foreigner.

The station's classical music library was donated to the University of Hartford radio station WWUH a few months later.

WTIC 96.5 FM (20 Kw) Red=60dBu Coverage Area

The station switched to its current Hot AC format on June 15, 1994. This was done in order to remove controversial rap music from its playlist.

After the switch, the station's sound has become decidedly softer in subsequent years compared to its past, though this has changed in recent years, as the Hot AC format as a whole has embraced more upbeat music. Since 1977, the station has referred to itself on the air variously as "Hot Hits 96 Tics","96TIC-FM", and "The New 965 TIC-FM".

The original WTIC-FM Top 40 format in the late 1970s consisted of only current hit songs (no oldies) in a high-energy, jingle-heavy presentation designed by consultant Mike Joseph, and it was an instant success. Joseph would later term this formatic approach "Hot Hits" and put it into use at other stations around the United States, most notably WBBM-FM in Chicago.

The station is now owned by Audacy Communications.

➦In 1941...WNYC FM signed on as W39NY and was located at 43.9mc in the early FM band. On September 21, 1943, it became WNYC and in 1946 it moved over to 98.1 on the current FM band. By 1948, it settled on its current position of 93.9 FM.

It has always featured classical and other cultural programming.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 destroyed WNYC-FM's transmitter atop the World Trade Center. The station's studios, in the nearby Municipal Building, had to be evacuated and station staff was unable to return to its offices for three weeks. The FM signal was knocked off the air for a time. WNYC temporarily moved its offices to the studios at National Public Radio's New York bureau in midtown Manhattan, where it broadcast on its still operating AM signal transmitting from towers in Kearny, New Jersey and by a live Internet stream.

Ringo Starr 10/1961 w/"Rory Storm & the Hurricanes"

➦In 1962...Ringo Starr first appeared with The Beatles when he filled in for ailing Pete Best. Starr first met the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany, in 1960, while still performing with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. As time went on, they asked him to sit in during sets when original drummer Pete Best was unavailable. By the summer of 1962, producer George Martin had become certain the Beatles needed to replace Best.

➦In 1977... “General Mills Adventure Theater” debuted on the CBS Radio network, with host Tom Bosley. The noble attempt to revive radio drama ended a year later.

➦In 1979...The “Sears Radio Theater” first aired on CBS Radio, with Elliott Lewis producing.  While a  critical success, the 60-minute nightly (Mon-Fri) drama anthology did not attract a large loyal listenership. In January 1980 it moved to the Mutual network for a two-year run as the “Mutual Radio Theater.”

➦In 2017…Retired radio sportscaster Ray Christensen, who did play-by-play for University of Minnesota football games for 50 years (1951-2001), all on WCCO beginning in 1963, died at age 92. He began his career in radio at KUOM in 1949 followed by a position as program and sports director at WLOL. In 1963 he joined WCCO radio where he enjoyed a wide variety of broadcasting opportunities until he retired from full-time broadcasting in 1993.

➦In 2017...singer Sonny Geraci, who scored national hits as lead singer of The Outsiders in the 1960s and Climax in the 1970s, died at age 69, four years after suffering a debilitating brain aneurysm.

Barbara Hershey is 75

  • Actor David Selby (“Dark Shadows,” ″Falcon Crest”) is 82. 
  • Singer Al Kooper (Blood, Sweat and Tears) is 79. 
  • Actor Charlotte Rampling is 77. 
  • Actor Barbara Hershey is 75. 
  • Actor-director-comedian Christopher Guest is 75. 
  • Actor Tom Wilkinson (“Selma”) is 75. 
  • Actor-comedian Tim Meadows (“Saturday Night Live”) is 62. 
  • Actor Jennifer Jason Leigh is 61. 
  • Actor Laura Linney is 59. 
  • Bassist Duff McKagan of Velvet Revolver (and Guns N’ Roses) is 59. 
  • Actor Chris Parnell is 56.
  • Singer Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors is 55. 
  • Singer Bobby Brown is 54. 
  • Actor Michael Sheen (“Masters of Sex,” ″Frost/Nixon,” ″Twilight” films) is 54. 
  • Actor David Chisum (“Black Box,” ″One Life to Live”) is 53. 
  • Country singer Sara Evans is 52. 
  • Country singer Tyler Farr is 39. 
  • Keyboardist Mark Shusterman of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats is 38. 
  • Actor Darren Criss (“Glee”) is 36. 
  • Actor Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”) is 36. 
  • Keyboardist Kyle Simmons of Bastille is 35. 
  • Actor Jeremy Sumpter (“Friday Night Lights,” ″Peter Pan”) is 34. 
  • Drummer Graham Sierota of Echosmith is 24.
  • In 1976..1976 Rudy Pompilli, Musician (Bill Haley and His Comets) (b. 1926)
  • In 1991..Dean Jagger, Actor (White Christmas, Vanishing Point), dies at about 87
  • In 1995..Doug Mcclure, US rodeo rider/actor (Trampas-Virginian), dies at 59
  • In 2020..Kirk Douglas, Actor (Spartacus, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral), dies at 103
  • In 2021..Christopher Plummer, Canadian Emmy, Tony, and Oscar winning actor (Sound of Music; Cyrano; Beginners), dies at 91
  • In 2021..Leon Spinks, Boxer (WBC, WBA heavyweight champion 1978; Olympic gold light heavyweight 1976), dies from prostate cancer at 67

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