Saturday, September 23, 2023

Radio History: September 23

➦In 1949...Bruce Springsteen born in Long Branch, NJ. He received critical acclaim for his early 1970s albums and attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975.

During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics and lengthy, energetic stage performances, earning the nickname "The Boss". He has recorded both rock albums and folk-oriented works, and his lyrics often address the experiences and struggles of working-class Americans.

Springsteen has sold more than 135 million records worldwide and more than 64 million records in the U-S, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists.

Eddy Arnold does a live radio show on WGNS in Murfreesboro, TN (circa 1955)

➦In 1950…"The Eddy Arnold Show" debuted on network radio (NBC). In 1934, at age 16, Arnold made his debut on WTJS-AM in Jackson, TN. In 1938, he was hired by WMPS-AM in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was one of its most popular performers. He soon left WMPS for KWK-AM in St. Louis, Missouri, followed briefly by a spot at WHAS-AM in Louisville, Kentucky.

He performed for WSM-AM on the Grand Ole Opry during 1943 as a solo artist. In 1944, Arnold signed a contract with RCA Victor, and with manager Colonel Tom Parker, who would later manage Elvis Presley. Arnold's first single was little noticed, but the next, "Each Minute Seems a Million Years", scored number five on the country charts in 1945. Its success began a decade of unprecedented chart performance; Arnold's next 57 singles all ranked in the top 10, including 19 number-one successes.

Arnold began working for television in the early 1950s, hosting The Eddy Arnold Show. The summer program was broadcast successively by all three television networks, replacing the Perry Como and Dinah Shore programs.

➦In 1956...Mickey Dolenz began his television career in NBC’s “Circus Boy” series. He became a star ten years later when he was hired for the "drummer" role in NBC's The Monkees.

➦In 1968...Harry Harrison does first morning show at 77WABC NYC.

➦In 1969…The mainstream London Daily Mirror reported that Paul McCartney was dead. It was the the start of the 'Paul Is Dead' hoax.The hoax gained traction in the U.S. on October 12, 1969 when Detroit DJ Russ Gibb's listeners shared and discussed "clues to the death" on WKNR-FM.

Radio Marti

➦In 1981...The administration of President Reagan announced plans for what would become known as Radio Marti. Radio Marti provided unfiltered and uncensored news to Cuba.

➦In 2003...Rosalie Allen died at age 79 (Born Julie Marlene Bedra; June 27, 1924). He was a country singer, songwriter, guitarist, columnist and television and radio host who was noted for her yodeling. She was known as the Queen of Yodeling, and was the first woman inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame.

Inspired by the singing cowboys of the 1930s, Allen taught herself to sing and play her brother's guitar. In 1939, she earned the title 'Queen of Yodeling' after winning a yodeling contest, and continued to use this moniker throughout her career. The contest's prize was to sing on WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a performance which was her radio debut.

Following her first appearance on WBRE, Allen went to WORK in York, PA and was a vocalist on Shorty Fincher's radio show Prairie Pals. In 1943 she moved to New York City and performed on Denver Darling's Swing Billies pseudo-western radio show. In 1944 she became a regular on Zebe Carver's Hill Country Jamboree show, which led to an offer of her own show the same year. The half-hour program, Prairie Stars on WOV (now WADO) in NYC, aired six nights a week and was so popular that Country Music magazine named her the most famous country music personality in Manhattan.

She also performed nightly live shows at the Village Barn and hosted an Armed Forces Radio Network show from 1949 to 1956. She stayed with the WOV show until 1956, when the rising popularity of rock music contributed to a downturn in that of country music. In the 1940s, she also ran a country western record shop called Rosalie Allen's Hillbilly Music Center on West 54th Street in New York City, one of the first record stores in the United States to exclusively sell country music.

➦In 2004...Bill Ballance died at age 85 (Born - October 27, 1918). He is widely credited for paving the way for "shock jocks" with his controversial show in the 1970s which covered topics such as relationships and sex.

Ballance had radio station stints in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and San Diego. Ballance was the evening personality late 1950s-early 60s on #1 rated KFWB. In Los Angeles, on KGBS, Ballance became well known as the host of the Feminine Forum radio show, which he aired beginning in 1971.

The Feminine Forum was dropped in 1973, and he began the Bill Ballance Show. He left Los Angeles in 1978 and went to radio station KFMB in San Diego, where he remained for fifteen years. While his early years in San Diego were successful from a ratings standpoint, his core audience was much smaller than what he had in Los Angeles.

Ballance continued his practice of mixing open-topic callers with various in-studio guests (psychologists, counselors, physicians, etc.), as well as his own hand-written monologues.

By the late 1980s, however, his popularity began to wane. As other talk show hosts copied and changed the "shock jock" format, and as the format itself began to evolve into racier topics and discussions, the "Bill Ballance Show" began to seem tame by comparison.

He retired from radio in 1993, after more than 50 years in the industry.

Bruce Springsteen is 74

  • Singer Julio Iglesias is 80. 
  • Actor Paul Petersen (“The Donna Reed Show”) is 78. 
  • Actor-singer Mary Kay Place is 76. 
  • Singer Bruce Springsteen is 74. 
  • Director George C. Wolfe (film’s “Nights in Rodanthe,” stage’s “Angels in America”) is 69.
  • Drummer Leon Taylor of The Ventures is 68. 
  • Actor Rosalind Chao (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” ″M(asterisk)A(asterisk)S(asterisk)H”) is 66. 
  • Actor Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) is 64. 
  • Actor Chi McBride (“Hawaii Five-0,” ″Boston Public”) is 62. 
  • Steel guitarist Don Herron of BR549 is 61. 
  • Actor LisaRaye (“All of Us,” ″Beauty Shop”) is 57. 
  • Singer Ani DiFranco is 53. 
  • Singer Sam Bettens of K’s Choice is 51. 
  • Rapper-producer-record head Jermaine Dupri is 51. 
  • Actor Kip Pardue (“The Rules of Attraction,” “Remember the Titans”) is 47. 
  • Actor Anthony Mackie (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) is 45. 
  • Singer Erik-Michael Estrada of O-Town is 44. 
  • Actor Brandon Victor Dixon (“Hamilton”) is 42. 
  • Actor David Lim (“S.W.A.T.,” ″Quantico”) is 40. 
  • Actor Cush Jumbo (“The Good Fight,” ″The Good Wife”) is 38. 
  • Actor Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect” films) is 36.
  • In 1982..Jimmy Wakely, American country music vocalist (5 Star Jubilee), dies of heart failure at 68
  • In 1987..O. B. McClinton, American country singer (Man needs a woman), dies at 47
  • In 2000..Carl Rowan, American syndicated journalist (Chicago Sun-Times, Washington bureau), and diplomat, dies of diabetes related heart and kidney issues at 75
  • In 2020..Gale Sayers, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback, 4X Pro Bowl, 2X NFL rushing leader (Chicago Bears), and source for the TV movie "Brian's Song", dies from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at 77
  • In 2021..Sue Thompson [Eva Sue McKee], American pop and country music singer ("Sad Movies (Make Me Cry")), dies at 96

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