Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ABC. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 31: Happy Birthday, Henry Morgan

March 31: Happy Birthday, Henry Morgan

Meet Mr. Morgan, a bow-tie wearing, wide-grinning, wise-cracking radio host who anticipated the post-modern, bite-the-hand-that-feeds-you attitude of David Letterman, Howard Stern and others who would criticize their own network and sponsors on the air.

Sponsor Adler Shoe Stores, for example, didn't like it much when Morgan said he wouldn't wear their new line of shoes to a dogfight. Asked by the owner himself to recant, Morgan said he would wear them to a dog fight.

Starting out as a page at WMCA, he worked his way up through announcing to getting his own show, even if it was only a fifteen-minute one, in 1940 for station WOR. He would kick off broadcasts by saying "Good evening, anybody, here's Morgan." This was as a sly piece of satire aimed at announcers who addressed "everybody" at the top of their broadcasts, assuming their audience was that all-encompassing.

ABC gave him his shot at a half and hour slot, and he gained a national reputation for his biting wit.

After years of antagonizing his sponsors, Morgan did the next logical thing and moved to Canada to work for CBC, public radio. There, he quickly drew the ire, not of a sponsor, but of a show producer. After the producer said that Morgan's comments had no beginning and middle and end, the cantankerous veteran host interrupted one of his own commentaries by shouting "this is the middle!!" and therefore stopped working for the CBC.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24: Happy Birthday, Howard Hughes



Howard Hughes wanted his money to work for him.  Or maybe he wanted it to play for him.  His philosophy was to take the fortune earned by his dad and to parlay it into opportunities to pursue seemingly incompatible hobbies: making movies and building airplanes.

It was the former that gave us Two Arabian Knights, The Outlaw and The French Law. The latter wasn't quite able to give us the XF-11, Hughes's attempt at a military plane, an attempt that would land him in a spot of hot water with the Senate.

Built with pine and nicknamed the "Spruce Goose," the jalopy crashed upon a test run and earned Hughes the opportunity to be grilled a Senate that thought its funding had been squandered.

The hearings were broadcast on ABC and make up one little chapter in the wide, wide world of old time radio.  Happy birthday, Howard!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18: Happy Birthday, Harriet Nelson


Harriet Hilliard was born on July 18, 1909 and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. Later on as she got involved in vaudeville, she became a part of the band that Ozzie Nelson was band leading. They became a married couple a few years later and thus began the Nelson fame of Harriet Nelson through the years. Although she had a comfortable career as a film actress under the Hilliard name; she felt it important to move on to handle her work with Ozzie in the band subsequent radio program. In 1944, Harriet began working with Ozzie on the The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, dealing with the everyday life raising 2 sons (David and Ricky). It took some time before the boys were actually able to perform as themselves for the radio show. early on, the rambunctious sons were portrayed by radio actors. The radio antics of this program grew so popular that ABC Television brought them on board to continue their program. Harriet Nelson brought a sense of stability to Ozzie’s impetuous character on the program. Harriet Nelson was so popular as a typical American wife and mother, that she often drew comments and questions from women seeking her advice. Harriet Nelson died in 1994 of congestive heart failure. Her husband and son Ricky (who was killed in a plane crash) preceded her in death and David passed away in 2011. Harriet Nelson still shines as every mother’s ideal.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28: Happy Birthday, Paul Whiteman

March 28: Happy Birthday, Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman was a Jazz bandleader who brought his genre of music to a million or so listeners who may not have otherwise enjoyed it. He was commercially successful and panned by critics, who felt he wasn't playing "real" jazz. To this minor controversy, he added fuel by calling himself "The King of Jazz."

It's worth a mention that his band had room for such great musicians as Red Nichols, Tommy Dorsey, and Eddie Lambert.

A couple of decades into his disputed run as "King of Jazz," Whiteman was tapped to host the radio show Kraft Music Program, which he faithfully did from '33 to '35. He then performed on the Chesterfield Hour and finally Paul Whiteman Presents.

We radio devotees owe Whiteman an additional debt due to the fact that he worked as ABC radio's music director for several years. He capped his radio career by hosting, from Philadelphia, Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club.