Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Two On Line: The Way It Was, 5 April

1922---Two radio stations come on line and on the air today.

Ten years after New Mexico becomes a state, the radio station of New Mexico College of Agriculture (now New Mexico State University) in La Crueces receives its commercial radio license and the call letters KOB, launching with news from the El Paso Times and El Paso Herald-Post, stock reports from the U.S. Bureau of Markets, and music from El Paso's Tri-State Phonograph Company.

KOB will be sold to the Albuquerque Journal in 1931 with the final La Cruces-based broadcast 24 April 1932. By 1937 it will become New Mexico's first NBC affiliate, the fifth anniversary of which will be commemorated with a live broadcast featuring announcer Don Wilson (The Jell-O Program with Jack Benny) and jazz singer Martha Tilton (known best, perhaps, for her work with Benny Goodman).

The station will change owners a few more times before Citadel buys it in the 1990s and settles it as news and talk KKOB.

And Illinois's first radio station, WDZ, launches from its new home in Decatur, after having been born in Tuscola. By the 21st Century, it will feature an urban format of R and B/old school targeted toward its preponderantly but not exclusively black audience.


1937: ON BROADWAY---Baron von Munchausen (Jack Pearl) decides to stroll a Broadway to which he hasn't been in several years, on tonight's edition of The Raleigh Kool Program. (NBC.)

Additional cast: Charlie Cliff Hall, Mae Questel. Music: Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Edythe Wright, Morton Bowe.

1948: I ALWAYS MARRY JULIET---A now-struggling Shakespearean actor (Ernest Chappell, who narrates as well) makes Romeo his stage specialty and actresses who play Juliet (Margaret Draper, Abby Lewis, Ann Seymour) his romantic specialty . . . until his defiance of the tragic storyline haunts him well enough, on tonight's edition of Quiet, Please. (ABC.)

Shakespeare: James Monk. Writer/director: Wyllis Cooper.

1950: WILLIAM LOGAN AND THE IVORY STORE---After cleaning out his desk, Diamond (Dick Powell) gets a visit from an anxious man who hands him a package to hide---right before dropping dead in the office, and shortly before another visitor has ideas about plugging the package's possessor before jumping out the office window as the law arrives, on tonight's edition of Richard Diamond, Private Detective. (NBC.)

Helen: Virginia Gregg. Levinson: Ed Begley. Otis: Wilms Herbert.


1900---Spencer Tracy (actor: Lux Radio Theater, Good News of 1938), Milwaukee.
1901---Melvyn Douglas (as Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg; actor: Lux Radio Theater), Macon, Georgia.
1908---Bette Davis (as Ruth Elizabeth Davis; actress: Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players, Prudential Family Hour of Stars), Lowell, Massachussetts.
1911---Gordon Jones (actor: Meet Mr. McNutley), Alden, Iowa.
1912---John Le Mesurier (actor: Dad's Army), Bedford, U.K.
1916---Gregory Peck (actor: Doctor Fights, Sealtest Variety Hour), La Jolla, California.
1917---Robert Bloch (writer: Stay Tuned for Terror), Chicago.
1922---Gale Storm (as Josephine Cottle; actress: My Little Margie), Bloomington, Texas.


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