Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18, 1942: Don MacLaughlin starred as the Chief Counterspy in a radio drama series

May 18, 1942: On this day, NBC Blue Network aired "David Harding, Counterspy" for the first time. The radio espionage show aired for 15 years.

" David Harding, Counterspy ," or " Counterspy  " in short, was a spy radio drama series that aired on NBC and Mutual for 15 years, from this date up to November 29, 1957. It starred Don MacLaughlin as the title character, David Harding. In the radio broadcast, Harding was featured as the head of the US counterspies who worked against the Japanese and German Forces during World War II.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17, 1938: Clifton Fadiman Hosts the Popular Radio Quiz Show 'Information Please'

May 17, 1938: Clifton Fadiman hosted 'Information Please' old time radio program for the first time on NBC Blue Network.

Created by Dan Golenpaul and hosted by Clifton Fadiman, Information Please was a very popular radio quiz show of its era.  Clifton Fadiman was said to be the perfect moderator for the show, due to his broad base of knowledge. The  radio quiz show first aired on NBC on May 17, 1938 and lasted until April 22, 1951.

The format of the show was varied compared to other radio quiz shows. In the Information Please radio broadcast, instead of asking questions to the participants, the public poses their questions to a panel of experts. Due to the immense success of the radio broadcast, a reference book was made, called the Information Please Almanac, which was first published in 1947.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14, 1945: Tennessee Jed' airs for the First Time

May 14, 1945: Tennessee Jed aired for the first time on ABC. The role of Tennessee was played by Johnny Thomas.

In this old time radio program, Tennessee Jed began as a youth's show about a sure-shot westerner on his travels. Jed later transforms into a professional, working for the president directly!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12, 1922: The Influence of Radio

May 12, 1922: The number of listeners who spend their hour in the evening for listening to radio, was increase signicantly. That was a statement of Radio Broadcast magazine on this day.

Since 1921, commercial radio broadcast grew quickly. Radio became the most popular medium at that time. Mostly favorite programs aired in the evening that was the prime time of radio program.

Radio Broadcast Magazine provided technical knowledge about radio for home listeners. Avid radio enthusiasts and readers could get information all about radio receiver and radio station's technology. The magazine captured how radio which was started from hobby then became mainstream that gave influence to culture at that time.

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.