Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10, 1927: The First Hotel With Radio Set in Room

May 10, 1927: For the first time a hotel named The Hotel Statler in Boston installed radio headset in each of its 1,300 rooms so its patrons could listen to classic radio shows.

Statler Hotel was built in 1927 in Boston, Massachusetts by hotelier E.M. Statler. The hotel was a prototype of the grand American Hotel; it was called a "city within a city". This was the last hotel that Staler built before his death.

In 1907, E.M. Statler built his first permanent Statler Hotel that included private bath and shower in every room, in Buffalo, New York. After that he built several  future hotels in Cleveland (1912), Detroit (1915), St. Louis (1917), New York,  Buffalo (1923).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

April 27, 1932: Heidenburg Disaster as reported by Herbert Morrison

May 6, 1937: Unforgetable moment on this day was the explotion of the derigible Heidenburg at Lakhurst, NJ. That moment was reported by NBC's broadcaster, Herbert Morrison and became the first recorded coast-to-coast broadcast.

The Hindenburg disaster was happen on Thursday, May 6, 1937. That was when the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg blown up during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Lakehurst Naval Air Station was located adjacent to the borough of Lakehurst, New Jersey. 97 people on board became the victim of the disaster, there were 35 fatalities as well as one death among the ground crew.

The disaster became spectacular newsreel coverage. Herbert Morrison made radio record of  eyewitness report from the landing field, which was broadcast the next day on NBC. The actual cause of the fire remains unknown, although a variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the end of the airship era.

This recording is available from the Great Moments in History Collection

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1, 1931: Kate Smith's Debut on Radio

May 1, 1931: The start of singer Kate Smith's long and rosy radio career on CBS coincided with this, her birthday. Smith, then 22, had to do her nationally broadcast daily program with no sponsors and a measly pay of $10 a week (equivalent of $149 in 2012 economics). But in a month's time, her pay rose to $1,500 a week, (equivalent to $22,466 in 2012 economics)-quite an improvement from when she started out!

Kate Smith was a great American singer. She had sung at the opening of sport events and could amazed the audience and official crew including the player. They said ""It ain't BEGUN 'til the fat lady sings!"" Smith was 5'10"" tall and weighed 235 pounds at the age of 30. In he autobiography, she mentioned that she was Living in a Great Big Way. She assinged Ted Collins to help he wrote he autobiography.

Smith was a pioneer star of radio, usually accompanied by Jack Miller's Orchestra. Her debut program was twice-a-week NBC series, ""Kate Smith Sings"", and then ""Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music"" that was aired on CBS.

The Kate Smith Hour was one of Kate Smith's program that became a leading radio variety show, presented comedy, music and drama featured by top personalities of films and theater for eight years (1937–45). The show's resident comics, Abbott and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as separate hit series in its own right in 1940.

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 1921: The First Weather Broadcast on Radio

April 27, 1921: WEW Radio Station in St. Louis was the first radio station that aired broadcast weather on this day.

Radio Station WEW, originally was radio station of Saint Louis University. Brother Rueppel, who studied meteorology only by training, began his experiment with radio in 1912. He worked together with other researchers and the U.S. Weather Bureau. His experiments with "radio-telephone" station 9KY made WEW grew and he remained as technical director on WEW for over 25 years through the golden age of radio until his death--that was only one day before WEW made it's first FM broadcast.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 1949: Richard "Dick" Ewing Powell plays lead detective in "Richard Diamond"

April 24, 1949: Dick Powell played the lead in detective drama ‘Richard Diamond, Private Detective’ on NBC. The drama lasted on radio for four years.

In the 1950's  Powell began to produce his own movies. He also became a well-known actor, singer and studio boss. He died from lymphoma in his fifties.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 1924: WLS Barn Dance's first program

April 17, 1924: For the first time WLS broadcast the WLS Barn Dance.

George D Hay created radio program, titled National Barn Dance and originated from the Eighth Street Theater from 1931. In 1933 NBC took the show and in 1946 the show has been moved to the ABC Radio network and aired until 1952 on Saturday nights from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 1921: The First Lightweight Boxing Match Wireless Broadcast

April 11, 1921: The first lightweight boxing match on radio between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee was broadcasted live on this day through KDKA, Pittsburgh with sport writer Florent Gibson as announcer.

That was a Radio station KDKA, Pittsburgh completed broadcast of a sport event that happened on April 11, 1921. Florent Gibson, Pittsburgh Post sports editor, presented commentary along ten rounds the fight live on the air from the ringside of Pittsburgh's Motor City Square. Although there was no winner of that match, listeners around Pittsburgh, for the first time, enjoyed the wireless broadcast from their radio receiver.

See also: Boxing Matches on Old Radio Cat