By definition, all Radio Stars are voice actors. No one had as many voices as Mel Blanc . Or perhaps, all those voices had Mel Blanc . Several voice actors have been called “the man of a thousand voices” with some degree of exaggeration. Mel's son, Noel, claimed that Mel's count was closer to 1500. Mel was born in San Francisco, the second son of Frank and Eva Blanc, on May 30, 1908. The family moved to Portland, OR, where Mel attended Lincoln High school. Mel has been always fond of making up voices and clowning. At the age of 16, he decided to change his last name because a teacher warned him that he could end up that way, a Blank, a nothing. It is hard to imagine someone as good natured being kept down by such a prediction. He began working in vaudeville throughout the Northwest, and at 17 was the youngest orchestra conductor in the country. Mel's radio career began at KGW in Portland on the show The Hoot Owls. Mel became popular with his ability to so many voic
May 29, 1943: Charlie Spivak was the first leader of The Million Dollar Band which debuted on NBC. The band featured Barry Wood as vocalist. The unusual feature of the show was the awarding each week of five diamond rings. The band debuted on the talent show entitled "Metropolitan Area Auditions." Charlie Spivak was the first maestro invited to lead the group. The five diamond rings were given to listeners that wrote the most interesting letters about what songs moved them and why.
Al Jolson , John Wayne , and Peggy Lee were all born on May 26. For Lee, it was 1920, in Jamestown, ND. Lee is celebrated as a gifted songstress who brought to life such hits as Fever, Why Don't You Do Right? and Elmer's Tune. Lee sang in Benny Goodman 's orchestra from 1941 til 1943 before moving on to a solo recording career and roles in several hit films. She would then win a Grammy in 1969 for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her song "Is That All There Is?" Naturally, Ms. Lee spent her share of time on the radio, appearing on Bing Crosby 's Philco Radio Time many a time, as well as Crosby's Chesterfield Presents the Bing Crosby Show . She also appeared in many sustaining broadcasts. Lee contributed to the world of music as a bombastic vocalist, a shining star of the Big Band Era.
May 1, 1935: the popular music program Your Hit Parade was aired for the first time on this day. Your Hit Parade was sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes. Many listeners know the show under the incorrect title "The Hit Parade." The program's title was officially changed to "Your Hit Parade" on November 9, 1935. The program played the most popular and best-selling songs of the week every Saturday. The method of rate calculation remained a secret until now. Although there were some rumors about the method, the program was still able to attain a high reputation among its listeners.