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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Last Air of a Pioneer: The Way It Was, 11 December

1992: OUT WITH THE (W)NEW---Suffering a ratings slump that a return to its once-popular standards-and-jazz format returned too late to arrest, WNEW---the New York station which all but invented the disc jockey (via Martin Block in 1938, during breaks in the Bruno Hauptmann trial) and gave the region comic legends Klavan and Finch, arguably the first regular hourly newscasts, and Radio Hall of Fame disc jockey William B. Williams (the easygoing chap who championed and nicknamed Frank Sinatra as the Chairman of the Board)---produces a mammoth farewell show, with Mark Simone the final host of the day.

At show's end, the station moves to simulcast WNYC and, three days later, after airing an old Perry Como Christmas special, signs off for the last time as WNEW.

At this time 1130 WNEW New York will leave the air forever . . . Thanks for your support over the years . . . This is WNEW, New York.

Moments after that brittle sign-off, and under aegis of new owners Bloomberg Radio change the call letters to WBBR, simulcast standards station WQEW until 4 January 1993, and shift then to business news, where it remains to this day.


"GRIMLY WE PROCEED TO FIGHT THROUGH THE CLUTTERING WRECKAGE BROUGHT BY THE WARLORDS OF AGGRESSION"---CBS News goes live to Congress for the formal declaration of war against Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy.


1944---With disc jockey pioneer Martin Block hosting, The Chesterfield Supper Club debuts on NBC as a fifteen-minute music series that will endure five years and feature such performers as Jo Stafford, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, Tex Benecke (leading a posthumous edition of the Glenn Miller Orchestra), Mitchell Ayres, and Paul Weston.


1938: THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL---Leslie Howard repeats his film role from the 1934 classic about the seemingly effete aristocrat who doubles as an avenger rescuing nobles and others from the Terror in revolutionary France, on tonight's edition of Lux Radio Theater. (CBS.)

Lady Blakeney: Olivia de Havilland (in the Merle Oberon film role). Host: Cecil B. DeMille. Adapted from the screenplay by Lajos Biro, based on the novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

1948: THE HAUNTED ARTIST---A disbelieving troubled artist (Alan Reed), who fears his studio is haunted through something he didn't add to one of his paintings, sends Dan (Alan Ladd) on a ghost hunt, on tonight's edition of Box 13. (Mutual.)

Suzy: Sylvia Picker. Kling: Edmund McDonald. Additional cast: Betty Lou Gerson, possibly John Beal. Writer: Russell Hughes.

1948: THE BABY SITTER---That would be Phil (Harris) and Remley (Elliott Lewis), who can't find sponsor Scott (Gale Gordon) a babysitter, take on the job themselves, amd mix it up and then some when they botch the formula recipe Alice (Faye) gave them to feed the Scotts' baby, on tonight's edition of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. (NBC.)

Julius: Walter Tetley. Music: Walter Sharp, Phil Harris Orchestra. Writers: Ray Singer, Dick Chevillat.

1953: THE CAST---Dillon (William Conrad) has to stop doctor-hating Sheely Tucker (Sam Edwards) from killing Doc (Paul Frees), after Tucker's wife dies during surgery following an accident while he was out of town, on tonight's edition of Gunsmoke. (CBS.)

Chester: Parley Baer. Kitty: Georgia Ellis. Announcer: Ken Peters. Music: Rex Corey. Writer: John Meston.


1883---Victor McLaglen (actor: Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt; Red Trails), Tunbridge Wells, UK.
1894---Eddie Dowling (host: We, The People; Ziegfeld Follies of the Air), Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
1905---Pare Lorentz (writer: Columbia Workshop), Clarksburg, West Virginia.
1911---Beecher Pete Kirby (guitarist/banjoist, The Smokey Mountain Boys: Grand Ole Opry), Sevierville, Tennessee; Sam Levenson (humourist: Arthur Godfrey Time; City Club Forum), New York City.
1914---Marie Windsor (actress: Escape; Suspense; Lux Radio Theater), Marysville, Utah.
1920---Eddie Firestone, Jr. (actor: One Man's Family; That Brewster Boy), San Francisco.


Blogger Gene Bach said...

More good stuff Jeff.

7:02 PM  

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