Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 1940: KSAN (AM), The Rhythm and Blues Pioneer, airs Its First All-Chinese Radio Program

April 22, 1940: KSAN in San Francisco, CA, broadcast the first all-Chinese commercial radio program.

KSAN, headquartered in San Francisco, became the first radio station in the United States to air an all-Chinese commercial radio program in 1940. Now defunct, KSAN was also a pioneer in its effort to cater to black audience in San Francisco Bay area. It was considered as one of the first "rhythm and blues" radio stations which played underground rock music which, according to many, sounded like Chinese too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 21, 1940: The Quiz Show 'Take It or Leave It' was first heard on CBS

April 21, 1940: Airing on CBS for the first time on this particular day,  "Take It or Leave It" contestants were offered a top prize of $64 by Bob Hawk. Losers left as there were no lovely parting gifts or consolation prizes that they could find.

"Take It or Leave It" was a very popular radio quiz show in America during its run. The title was derived from the fact that each time a contestant answers a question correctly, he or she will be asked to either "Take" his/her winnings and walk away, or "Leave" it and proceed with the next question. 

The show ran for 10 years on CBS (1940-1947) and NBC (1947-1950), and was hosted by Bob Hawk (1940-1941), Phil Baker (1941-1947), Garry Moore (1947-1949), Eddie Cantor (1949-1950), and Jack Paar (1950). It became the precursor of another American game show called "The $64,000 Question."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16: Happy Birthday, Marian Jordan

April 16: Happy Birthday, Marian Jordan

As a title for a program, Smackout has a distinctly current sound. It could be a particularly obnoxious reality show about to premier on MTV. Yet it was an early radio show from 1931 starring Marian and Jim Jordan, who we'd later know as Fibber McGee and Molly. And get this: the title came from a catch phrase "we're smack out of that" used by a character named Uncle Luke at his country store. The show ran four years, first on Chi-town's WMAQ and then on NBC. One fan was Ms. Henrietta Johnson Lewis, which trivia savants might know as a member of the family that owned the Johnson Wax Company, which would go on to sponsor Fibber. ("Look, Molly, there's no dull season for wax polish sales!")

Since we're celebrating the day of Marian's birth:. She was born in Peoria, IL in 1898 and sang in a Catholic choir. Doing so is, of course, a good way to meet men, with one example being Jim Jordan. Legend has it that the cute couple would reach out to grasp each other's hands at the end of broadcasts.

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12, 1932: The Joe Palooka's Premiere on CBS

April 12, 1932: This date marked the premier of Joe Palooka, an action-comedy broadcast on CBS. The program eventually became a popular comic strip.

Joe Palooka was a comic strip created by Ham Fisher in 1921. The comics was published  in the papers in 1930. Joe Palooka comics quickly became popular. They adapt the comics into television shows and movies. In 1932, it was network radio's turn to adapt Joe Palooka. The popular comic came to the radio in a short-lived series that was aired from April to August 1932.

The comic strip featured Joe, Joe's manager Knobby Walsh, his girlfriend Anne Howe, blacksmith Humphrey Pennyworth, and mute kid sidekick Little Max. The radio show featured Knobby Walsh and Anne Howe.  Joe Palooka was broadcast for 15 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the program was sponsored by Heinz Rice Flakes.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 1943: Lon Clark as detective 'Nick Carter' on Mutual

April 11, 1943: Nick Carter, who first came to radio as  The Return of Nick Carter  debuted on Mutual.

"The Return of Nick Carter" was the first title of the radio crime series that featured the famous detective Nick Carter. The title was changed later to  "The Return of Nick Carter." Lon Clark played the title character until the series' final episode on September 5, 1955.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013