Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 8, 1935: The First Broadcast of Londonderry Air on CBS

 October 8, 1935: The song Londonderry Air was heard for the first time as the theme song of The O'Neills on CBS. The O'Neills aired on Mondays. Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:30 PM. In 1936 the show's time was moved and it lasted until 1943. In 1943 The O'Neills was run on NBC Red and Blue Network and on CBS. This radio drama was sponsored by Silver Dust, Ivory soap, and Ivory soap flakes.

Londonderry Air was an original music piece from County Londonderry in Ireland. The tune is played as the victory anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 7, 1922: The First Radio Network Broadcast on World Series Baseball

October 7, 1922: WJZ in Newark, NJ and WGY in Schenectady, NY collaborated tp become the first radio networks to broadcast a World Series game directly from the Polo Grounds in New York, with Columnist Grantland Rice as the announcer.

The Polo Grounds were four different stadiums located in Upper Manhattan, New York City. The stadium was used by many professional teams in both baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963.
World Series broadcasters conducted numerous experiments via the phone line to ensure that the program could reach the listeners from the East Coast to New Jersey. The broadcast of the World Series was a commercial broadcast  that delivered great benefits to the radio station at the time. Ford Motor Company issued the funds of $100,000 to pay for ad impressions on the radio during the game.

October 7, 1905 Andy Devine was born

On this day in 1905, Andy Devine was born.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Oct 5: Debut of Hollywood Hotel starring Louella Parsons

Today in 1934, “Hollywood Hotel” debuted as a series on radio. It would be the first national radio program to be broadcast from Hollywood on a regular basis.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2: Happy Birthday, Groucho Marx

His childhood ambition was to be a doctor.  And while it would be a pleasure to be treated by a sawbones with a greasepaint mustache and an ever-present cigar, we can all be grateful that Marx Groucho became one of the greatest American comedians of all-time.

Along with his brothers, Marx was--of course--a film star first and foremost, with television success coming later.  But success was a three-legged stool in those days, composed of making it on the silver screen, the tube, and the airwaves.

Marx struggled to keep sponsors on his first few attempts, but succeeded spectacularly with You Bet Your Life.  This was a showcase of Groucho's quick-witted ad-libbing, disguised as a quiz show.  Groucho would exchange banter with folks pulled from the studio audience, a technique that would go on to become commonplace, practiced by countless talk show hosts.

Thanks for the memories, Groucho.  And a happy birthday.