Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27, 1922: The First National Radio Conference



February 27, 1922: This day, the National Radio Conference was conducted in Washington DC by Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. In this conference radio industry regulation was discussed widely

Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover convened a Conference on Radio Telephony, composed of representatives of various government agencies and radio groups. The result of the conference was a proposal of band frequency allocation. The conference aimed a total ban on "direct" radio advertising, and even suggested rules governing broadcasting by private detective agencies. The report also aimed Commerce Secretary used his regulatory authority for legislation strengthening .

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24, 1942: Voice of America made its first broadcast

 
February 24, 1942: On this historic day in radio broadcasting, Voice of America (VOA) signed on for the first time.

Voice of America, an international broadcasting institution, is owned by the Federal government of the United States. It offers a wide range of radio, TV, and internet programs in 44 different international languages, including: Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and many more. As of today, it has over 1,000 contracts and agreements with various television channels, radio stations, and even cable companies worldwide.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23, 1927: FRC Formed


February 23, 1927: On this day law about forming of Federal Radio Commission was signed by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. The president wants this commission can makes regulation for radio stations, so in the future no more chaos that caused by unregulated radio stations. This commission makes regulation about frequencies, hours of operation and power allocation for radio broadcasters across the US. On 1st July 1934, Federal Radio Commission was changed into Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The Federal Radio Commission (FRC) was a government body that produced regulation of  radio use "as the public convenience, interest, or necessity requires." in the United States.  On December 21, 1926 Senator Clarence Dill and W.H. White proposed The Dill White Bill was  the first bill actually considered by the Senate to start regulating the radio waves. The bill gift the power to regulate radio waves and licenses to a committee of five members (one member representing each time zone). After a month of debates on Senate floor, on February 18, 1927, the bill was signed as the Radio Act of 1927 . The Radio Act of 1927 given regulatory powers over radio communication to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor.  FCC guidelines oversaw the Golden Age of Radio broadcasts in subsequent decades.

Friday, February 22, 2013

February 22, 1954: The Breakfast Club' airs for the first time on television

February 22, 1954: Don McNeil’s famous radio show ‘Breakfast Club’ was broadcast on TV for the first time. However the changeover to TV proved a failure. But it still remains one of the programs with longest tenure.

This venture was a long one, spanning thirty-five years, however, the transition from radio to television proved fatal. The variety show's host, Don McNeil, had a  run  that outlasted Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show', and Bob Barker's 'The Price is Right'.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19, 1922: The first show of Ed Wynn on radio



February 19, 1922: Radio become a respectable medium that considered by top talent: On this day Ed Wynn who has big name vaudeville talent has signed on as radio talent In 1903,  Wynn  started his career in vaudeville and then stared the Ziegfeld Follies from 1914.  Wynn  was writer, director, and producer of many Broadway shows in that time, he was known for his silly costumes and props, he developed wavering voice  for The Perfect Fool musical review.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 1948: 'The Original Amateur Hour's' radio comeback

February 18, 1948: The Original Amateur Hour made its comeback to radio on ABC. It was the show’s first transmission in 2 years following the death of the program's producer and presenter, Major Bowes. Bowes served for 13 years, introducing radio listeners to new star flair.

The Original Amateur Hour, the sequel to the show Major Bowes Amateur Hour, was a show aired both on television and on the radio. The highly popular, present-day talent program American Idol was inspired by this show.

Just like in American Idol, the audience in the television version  of The Original Amateur Hour was asked to vote for their favorite contestants (not via text, of course) through telephone and postcards. The telephone number and the mail address were always flashed on the screen.

The show was hosted by Ted Mack, who previously worked as Major Edward Bowes' (the host of the show's predecessor) field assistant.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17: Happy Birthday, Ronald Knox

February 17: Happy Birthday, Ronald Knox!

Ronald Knox was that rare combination of radio host, crime novelist, and priest. If you know someone who was all three of those things, you probably know Ronald Knox.

He wrote a collection of ten commandments for detective fiction stories, translated the St. Jerome Latin Vulgate Bible into English, and published a pseudo-historical study on Sherlock Holmes.

His British radio program in the 20's mostly broadcast his sermons. However, a program in 1926 called "Broadcasting the Barricades" was a hoax portraying a revolution in London, complete with interviews with witnesses. It went over the airwaves on a snowy day when newspaper delivery was delayed, so many Londoners believed the reports. Fine job, Monsignor Knox.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February 16: Happy Birthday, Edgar Bergen

February 16: Happy Birthday, Edgar Bergen


Where would Charlie McCarthy have been without Edgar Bergen? Edgar Bergen was one of the biggest legends of radio along with his ventriloquist's dummy, Charlie McCarthy. They weren't the first performers who got their radio start as guests on Rudy Vallee's show. For them it was Dec. 17, 1936. It quickly landed them their own show.

Wait a minute. A ventriloquist on the radio? You can't see the dummy! The utter improbability of the act makes their accomplishment even more stunning. For the duo became just about the biggest stars on the air and they had big stars on guests as their show.

Incidentally, on the night of the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast of Orson Welles, which caused a panic over a supposed Martian invasion, Bergen and McCarthy were also on the air. If they'd had less listeners, the panic may have been much bigger. Happy birthday, Edgar!

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15, 1932: George Burns' and Gracie Allen's Debut on The Guy Lombardo Show

February 15, 1932: George Burns' and Gracie Allen's debut as regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show, CBS.

George Burns' and Gracie Allen's first debut was In 1929 on the BBC. When they back in America, they failed at a 1930 NBC audition. After Gracie made her solo performance on Eddie Cantor's radio show, they were heard together on Rudy Vallee's The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour. Later they became regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show on CBS. Burns and Allen took over Lombardo's CBS spot with The Adventures of Gracie beginning September 19, 1934 after Lombardo switched to NBC.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14: Happy Birthday, Jack Benny

February 14: Happy Birthday, Jack Benny

I guess we should say "Happy 39th!" Today we cordially commemorate the birthday of the man who had roughly 18 39ths, even if he'd actually be 118 today if he were still alive.

The 39th birthday was a running--we could say annual--gag on "The Jello Program," a.k.a. The Jack Benny Radio Program. Each year would be a birthday program, whether it entailed cast members Don Wilson, George Hicks, Ethel Shutta and Sadye Marks presenting their boss with gifts, or a sketch in which Jack was treated to three different surprise parties.

It's hard to say how common it was to jokingly claim to be 39 at an age that made it clear one was sixty or so, but Benny elevated it to an art form through repetition. The third or fourth year, it probably got old, but by the seventh or eighth it was funny that he kept doing it, and then it was just a tradition.

Why did he pretend to always be 39? "Wellll?" Because it was funny and because it fit in with the radio persona that made Benny's career. Happy 39th, Jack!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13, 1939: Virginia Payne plays Mrs. Carter on the Radio Series 'The Carters of Elm Street'

 
February 13, 1939: The Carters of Elm Street, NBC's radio soap opera, featured the new character of Ms. Carter, played by Virginia Payne.

Virginia Payne, an American radio actress, was popular for her previous role as Ma Perkins. She was able to play the role throughout the show's 27-year run without missing a single episode (that's out of over 7,000 episodes the show broadcast).

In addition to her well-known role, Payne also portrayed the character of Mrs. Kerry Carter on the radio program The Carters of Elm Street, which is often called one of the most realistic series ever made. It tells the story of a wife who struggles to achieve happiness for her and her family. The program also stars Vic Smith as Mr. Henry Carter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12, 1924: The first commercially sponsored variety program in the history of broadcasting


February 12, 1924: The National Carbon Company, became the first sponsor for network program on radio that titled The Eveready Hour.

The program was aired for the first time on radio station WEAF in New York City in 1923. The program was inspired by Edgar White Burrill reading Ida M. Tarbell's He Knew Lincoln that was aired on WJS that was heard by the National Carbon Company's chairman, George Furness. Furness the produced and supervised a show that explored American culture on radio broadcast. The show then known as The Eveready Hour.
On 4th November 1924, when the elcetion night, The eveready hour aired from 18 radio stations, hosted by Will Rogers, Art Gillham, Carson Robison. That show entertained the audience between the election returns given by Graham McNamee. The Eveready Hour lasted until 1930 on NBC.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 1940: 'The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street' premiered on NBC

 
February 11, 1940: The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street aired on NBC Blue Network for the first time. The famous musical variety program involved numerous eminent personalities like Zero Mostel and Dinah Shore and was presented by Milton Cross. "A Bostonian looks like he is smelling something. A New Yorker looks like he's found it……….." The program was a wonderful mix of jazz, satire, and blues.

Though the show was meant to be a satirical take on operatic and symphonic broadcasts, listeners would be transported into the world of the unmistakably great swing music of blues and hot jazz. Milton Cross, the show's announcer, spiced it up with his humor and witty remarks. The appearance of Dinah Shore and Lena Horne on the show as featured vocalists helped them achieve their popularity.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 10: Happy Birthday, Jimmy Durante

February 10: Happy Birthday, Jimmy Durante


Actor, personality, voice-over expert and owner of a famous "schnozzola," Jimmy Durante was born on this day in 1893. Jimmy's calling card was his raspy, urbane voice. He hosted the Durante-Moore Show with partner Garry Moore and went solo with The Jimmy Durante Show in 1947. "Dat's my boy dat said dat!" was a catchphrase on the first iteration of the program.

Like many shows of the era, The Jimmy Durante Show featured comedy and music. Do you remember guest appearances by: Lucille Ball, Victor Moore, Bing Crosby, and Al Jolson?

After his radio career, Durante voiced the Narrator of the 1969 cartoon special "Frosty the Snowman." He died in Santa Monica on Jan. 29, 1980.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8, 1924: The First Coast to Coast Broadcast on radio


February 8, 1924: On this day John Joseph Carty from the Bell Telephone System has speech in Chicago. The speech was broadcast across the nation with the first coast to coast radio transmission. Approximately 50 millions people listened to the speech

John Joseph Carty was born at Cambridge, MA, 14 April 1861. Carty started his career at Bell Telephone Co. in 1879.  John J. Carty was a pioneer in the history of American telephony. He received the Franklin Medal in 1916 in recognition of his role in the development of the telephone. Carty led to the development of the switchboard technology and technology that can reduce interference noise on the telephone line. As chief engineer of the AT&T, he led an experiment with holding a transcontinental telephone line. The experiment became the first wireless connection that transmitted voice between the continents. That was also the beginning  of coast to coast radio broadcast

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7: Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

February 7: Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

We salute the author of A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield, and many other classics because so many of his works were adapted into radio plays.

If you can recall sitting on the floor with the fire crackling nearby, your mom sorting her coupons at the coffee table, and radio actors giving voice to great Dickens dramas, here's what you're remembering, specifically:


Imagine turning on commercial radio today and hearing classic literature instead of gossip about Miley Cyrus or the latest hit song by Justin Bieber.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6: Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan

February 6: Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan

Inventing the cotton gin was one of the only things Ronald Reagan didn't do. The actor, governor, and president actually began his career as a radio announcer.

It all began for Dutch Reagan in 1932 when WOC from Davenport, Iowa needed someone to call
the Iowa-Minnesota homecoming football game. He moved on to WHO , a Des Moines NBC affiliate.

Known for sprinkling some humor into his presidential communiques, Reagan honed his comic style, in addition to his television appearances, on the radio. As he became a relatively big name on the tube, he began, as many TV stars did, appearing on some of the big radio shows. His appearance on Lux Radio Theatre teamed him future wife Jane Wyman for an adaptation of Nobody Lives Forever. The Gipper also guested on The Bing Crosby Show, The Burns and Allen Show, Suspense, and Colgate Sports Newsreel.

Later, The Great Communicator would broadcast many presidential speeches.  Reagan was born Feb. 6, 1911 and died June 5, 2004.

February 6, 1950: Dangerous Assignment' is aired by NBC

 
February 6, 1950: Old Time Radio programDangerous Assignment’ was first transmitted by NBC. It featured Brian Donlevy who played the character of soldier of fortune and radio espionage named Steve Mitchell.

Originally a replacement show, Dangerous Assignment became syndicated with NBC in 1949. Brian Donlevy took the show to the producers of NBC himself.