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.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"Stop Sending and Listen": The Way It Was, 7 January

1904: HELP!---The Marconi Company proposes an international radio distress signal, CQD, thought to mean "come quick---danger" but actually meaning "all stations---distress," the D standing for "distress" following CQ, then the original code for a landline wire call.

One month after the Marconi proposal, CQD goes into general radio use. Four years later, it will be succeeded by SOS---which, contrary to popular mythology, stood for nothing. "This signal," according to the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Technology,"was adopted simply on account of its easy radiation and its unmistakable character. There is no special signification in the letters themselves, and it is entirely incorrect to put full stops between them."


1940: SING 'EM, COWBOY---Country music and Western film star Gene Autry brings Gene Autry's Melody Ranch to CBS for the first time. The show will air for sixteen years.


1940: THE BAND THAT PLAYS THE BLUES---That would be Woody Herman's, from New York's Famous Door club on 52nd Street, in a half hour of jazzing the blues. (NBC.)

Announcer: Jack Costello.

1951: AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES?---It just might be, when the evening lineup includes Fred Allen, Marlene Dietrich, Edward G. Robinson, and Danny Thomas, on tonight's edition of The Big Show. (NBC.)

Additonal cast: Phil Baker, Portland Hoffa, Fran Warren, Meredith Willson. Announcer: Ed Herlihy. Music: Meredith Willson and the Big Show Orchestra and Chorus. Writers: Goodman Ace, George Foster, Mort Greene, Frank Wilson.

1958: HOME MOVIES---Whether or not they go with an evening of bridge is almost anyone's guess---anyone but mother's (Peg Lynch), that is, on today's edition of The Couple Next Door. (CBS.)

Father: Alan Bunce. Carol: Nancy Sheridan. Harry: Jay Bonney. Writer: Peg Lynch.


1888---Myrtle Vail (creator/actress/writer: Myrt & Marge), Joliet, Illinois.
1889---Baukhage (as Hilmar Robert Baukhage; news commentator: Four Star News; News and Comment; Baukhage Talking), La Salle, Illinois.
1896---Arnold Ridley (actor: The Archers; Dad's Army), Bath, Somerset, UK.
1898---Art Baker (host: People Are Funny; announcer: The Dinah Shore Show), New York City.
1903---Betty Hanna (actress: Ma Perkins; Kay Fairchild, Stepmother), unknown; Alan Napier (actor: Campbell Playhouse), Birmingham, UK.
1913---Shirley Ross (actress/singer: The Raleigh-Kool Cigarette Program; The Bob Burns Show), Omaha.
1922---Vincent Gardenia (as Vincenzo Scognamiglio; actor: The CBS Radio Mystery Theater), Naples, Italy.
1930---Douglas Kiker (news correspondent: Meet the Press), Griffin, Kansas.


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