Tuesday, May 23, 2023

May 23 Radio History

Artie Shaw
➦In 1910...bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, whose real name is Arthur Arshawsky, was born in New York City.

Shaw formed his first orchestra in 1936, and two years later had a double-sided million-seller with ”Begin the Beguine” and ”Indian Love Call.” Shaw is estimated to have sold more than 43- million copies of such records as ”Frenesi,” ”Summit Ridge Drive” and ”Dancing in the Dark.” Artie Shaw was married eight times — two of his wives were Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. Shaw later became an author and a theatrical producer, and again fronted a big band in 1980’s.

Shaw died December 30th, 2004 of natural causes, at age 94.

➦In 1922..the first debate to be heard on US radio was broadcast on WJH in Washington, DC. The two debaters argued about the topic of Daylight Saving Time with the audience acting as the judge.

➦In 1922...Seattle radio station KOL first signed on. The station is now known as KKOL 1330 AM, having surrendered the heritage 3-letter call sign in 1975 when it briefly became KMPS.  Today, the station airs ethnic programming.

Wilbur Nelson
➦In 1926...Christian broadcaster, Wilbur Nelson, was born. Best known as host of "The Morning Chapel Hour".  He was  pioneer religious broadcaster, who founded the nationally syndicated daily radio ministry, The Morning Chapel Hour, in March of 1944.  Nelson died August 23, 2003 at age 92.

➦In 1928..1940-50’s pop singer Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky. While still in high school, she and her younger sister Betty began performing on Cincinnati radio station WLW. Bandleader Tony Pastor heard them, and soon the sisters were singing, in person and on record, with the Pastor orchestra. After Betty tired of the road, Rosemary began a solo career. She signed with Columbia Records, and in 1951 had her first number-one hit, “Come On-A My House.”  Her other hits included “Hey There,” “Tenderly” and “This Ole House.”

She died of lung cancer at the age of 74 on June 29th, 2002.

➦In 2005...Baltimore newsman Bob Lopez died from Lung Cancer. He had been part of the WIYY-FM (98 Rock) morning show for 27 years.

Bob Lopez
He was known for his humor, thoughtful opinions, and dogged liberal views.

For the last part of his career, he was part of the "Kirk, Mark & Lopez" or "KML" morning show, along with Kirk McEwen and Mark Ondayko, with whom he worked for seven years. He also hosted the Sunday Lopez, a Sunday morning talk show where he discussed politics and listeners called in to express their views.

Lopez was diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2004, having been a smoker for several decades, starting at age 12.  He died at the age of 52.

➦In 2012...Harold Baron Jackson died at age 96 (Born - November 3, 1915). He  was a personality and radio executive who broke a number of color barriers in American broadcasting.

Hal Jackson

Jackson began his career as a sportswriter, covering local and national black sporting events for the Washington DC Afro-American. In the 1940s, he became one of the first African American radio sports announcers, broadcasting Howard’s home baseball games and the Homestead Grays Negro league baseball games.

In 1939, he became the first African American host at WINX in Washington with The Bronze Review, a nightly interview program. He later hosted The House That Jack Built, a program of jazz and blues on three Washington-Baltimore radio stations (WINX, WANN, and WOOK),  and later in the 1940s, broadcast on WOOK-TV.

Hal Jackson-Early
Jackson first moved to New York City in November 1949, when he was hired by station WLIB, which wanted to expand the amount of black programming it offered. By 1954, he became the first radio personality to broadcast three daily shows on three different New York stations. Four million listeners tuned in nightly to hear Jackson’s mix of music and conversations with jazz and show business celebrities. In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton, a former Manhattan borough president, co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), which acquired WLIB — becoming the first African-American owned-and-operated station in New York. The following year, ICBC acquired WLIB-FM, changing its call letters to WBLS ("the total BLack experience in Sound").

ICBC operated stations in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Fort Lauderdale, Columbia, South Carolina, and Jackson, Mississippi.  The flagship station was hampered by its frequency, sharing it with WOWO of Fort Wayne, Indiana. After being turned down by the FCC to change frequencies, Inner City Broadcasting, in an industry unprecedented move, purchased WOWO solely to reduce its output and upped the power of the NYC transmitters to 50,000 watts daytime/30,000 watts night, and subsequently be heard full-time across the entire New York market.

In 1990, Hal Jackson was the first minority inducted into the National Association of Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. In 1995, he became the first African-American inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  In 2001 the Broadcast and Cable Hall of Fame inducted Jackson.  For over 11 years he hosted a radio program on 107.5 WBLS in New York. In October 2010 he was named a "Giant in Broadcasting" by the Library of American Broadcasting. Jackson was also inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records as being the oldest broadcaster, with a record 73-year career.

Jewel is 49

  • Actor Barbara Barrie is 92. 
  • Actor Joan Collins is 90. 
  • Actor Lauren Chapin (“Father Knows Best”) is 78. 
  • Country singer Judy Rodman is 72. 
  • Author Mitch Albom is 65. 
  • Comedian Drew Carey is 65. 
  • Actor Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”) is 65. 
  • Country singer Shelly West is 65. 
  • Actor Linden Ashby (“Melrose Place”) is 63. 
  • Actor-model Karen Duffy is 62. 
  • Actor Melissa McBride (“The Walking Dead”) is 58. 
  • Drummer Phil Selway of Radiohead is 56. 
  • Actor Laurel Holloman (“The L Word”) is 55. 
  • Drummer Matt Flynn of Maroon 5 is 53. 
  • Singer Lorenzo is 51. 
  • Country singer Brian McComas is 51. 
  • Actor-playwright John Pollono (“This is Us”) is 51. 
  • Singer Maxwell is 50. 
  • Singer Jewel is 49. 
  • Actor LaMonica Garrett (“Designated Survivor,” ″Sons of Anarchy”) is 48. 
  • Comedian Tim Robinson (“Saturday Night Live”) is 42. 
  • Actor Adam Wylie (“Picket Fences”) is 39. 
  • Director Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther,” “Creed”) is 37. 
  • Singer Sarah Jarosz is 32.
  • In 1981..George Jessel, Stage and screen actor, singer, producer and host known as "The Toastmaster General", dies of a heart attack at 83
  • In 2017..Roger Moore, British actor (The Saint, James Bond), dies at 89

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