SUNDAY in Broadcast History .. Aug. 3rd


ON THIS DAY in 1876,

at Brantford Ontario, Alexander Graham Bell held the World’s first definitive telephone tests, and made the first intelligible telephone call from building to building. In a one-way transmission, he heard his uncle David Bell recite Hamlet’s ‘to be or not to be…’

In 1902, orchestra leader Ray Bloch (pictured with Ed Sullivan) was born in France.  He came to the US in World War I, and headed an orchestra touring in vaudeville.  He provided the music for hundreds of radio shows, including Milton Berle’s, and among dozens of TV assignments was musical director for superstars Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason.  He died March 29 1982 at age 79.

In 1922, WGY in Schenectady, NY began what is generally accepted as the first drama series on radio. The first play was “The Wolf” by Eugene Walter, adapted into a 40-minute radio script by local actor Edward H. Smith.

In 1929, Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone, died in Washington, D.C.  Berliner took out a Canadian patent on his machine in 1899 and set up manufacturing facilities in Montreal.  His firm was sold to the Victor Talking Machine Company about five years before his death.

In 1953, 36-year-old announcer Frank Blair became news anchor of the NBC-TV Today Show. He would keep the job for the next 22 years!

In 1958, 13-year-old Brenda Lee released her first album, “Grandma What Great Songs You Sang” on the Decca label.

In 1959, The Kingston Trio, which helped launch the pop-folk era with their three-million selling single ‘Tom Dooley,’ was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine.

In 1963, the Beatles made their final appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. The group was about to leave its hometown behind for unprecedented world-wide fame and fortune.

Also in 1963, the Beach Boys‘ “Surfer Girl”, was released on Capitol Records. It was the first song written by Brian Wilson and became one of their biggest hits. Six weeks later Surfer Girl made it to number seven on the hit music charts.

Still in 1963, comedian Allan Sherman‘s summer camp parody, “Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh!” (A Letter from Camp) was released on Warner Brothers Records. It went to number two on the pop charts three weeks later.

In 1965, CBS-TV war correspondent Morley Safer sent out a Vietnam report showing American troops using their Zippo lighters to set fire to thatched huts in a Vietnamese village. The filmed report aired in the States on August 5th.

Also in 1965, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was the novelty “I’m Henry VIII, I Am,” byHerman’s Hermits. The song was written in 1911 by Fred Murray and R.P. Weston and was popularized at the time by Cockney comedian Harry Champion.

In 1966, trailblazing comedian Lenny Bruce died of a morphine overdose.  He was just 40 years of age.

Also in 1966, the Rolling Stones recorded “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby.”

In 1968, “Hello, I Love You” by The Doors topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Also in 1968, The 5th Dimension began a week-long gig at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City for a fee of $11,000. The supporting act was a yet-unknown vocalist from Australia, Helen Reddy, who received a paltry $600.

In 1969, Beach Boy Carl Wilson was indicted in Los Angeles after failing to work as a hospital orderly in lieu of the military draft.

In 1971, Paul McCartney formed a new band called Wings. Joining McCartney in the group were Denny Laine, formerly of The Moody Blues, Denny Seilwell and McCartney’s wife, Linda.

Also in 1971,”It Don’t Come Easy,” the single by former Beatle Ringo Starr, was certified as a Gold Record.

In 1974, Anne Murray appeared at The Schaefer Festival in New York as the headliner. The opening act was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Also in 1974, guitar player Jeff Baxter quit Steely Dan and joined the Doobie Brothers.

In 1975, the  No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Jive Talkin’,” by The Bee Gees.

In 1979, Tonight Show host Johnny Carson graced the cover of the Burbank telephone directory. You know you’ve made it when you’re on the cover of the phone book!

In 1983, actress Carolyn Jones, who in the 1960’s played Morticia on TV’s The Addams Family, lost her battle with cancer at age 54.

In 1984, legendary 1950s DJ, Dick Biondi joined Chicago’s WJMK-FM, the oldies station.

In 1985, the song “Shout” by Tears for Fears topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1987, Mercury Records released Def Leppard‘s fourth and the UK band’s best selling studio album, “Hysteria,” which gave birth to seven hit singles.  It sold 20-million copies worldwide.

In 1988, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Roll with It,” by Steve Winwood. Billboard ranked it the top song of the year.

In 1989, the ABC-TV news magazine Primetime Live debuted, with Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer reporting/starring. Just one of many creations of ABC News president Roone Arledge.

In 1993, the Motown label and its holdings were sold to Polygram of The Netherlands for $325 million. Boston Ventures had paid Berry Gordy just $61 million for the label five years earlier.

In 1995, actress/director Ida Lupino (below) died from a stroke while undergoing treatment for colon cancer at age 77.

She had become a pioneer among women film makers, directing episodes of The Twilight Zone, Have Gun Will Travel, The Donna Reed Show, Gilligan’s Island, 77 Sunset Strip, The Fugitive & Bewitched.   As an actress she was the 4th star in TV’s Four Star Playhouse, and played opposite husband Howard Duff in the sitcom Mr. Adams & Eve.

In 1996, the song that inspired a sensation “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio topped the charts and stayed there for 14 weeks.

In 1997, country superstar Garth Brooks performed a free concert in New York’s Central Park for the HBO cable network.

In 1999, 36 years after her death Patsy Cline received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2000, Pearl Jam played the first date on the North American leg of their Binaural 73-date world tour at Virginia Beach, Virginia.

In 2001, British-born actor Christopher Hewett who starred in the 80’s TV sitcom Mr. Belvedere, died from complications of diabetes at age 79.

In 2002, Bob Dylan played the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island for the first time in 37 years. In 1965, the crowd was outraged when he played electric guitar at the festival.

In 2005, the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and Dept. of Justice gave their approval to the merger of communications companies Sprint and Nextel.

Also in 2005, Velvet Revolver cancelled their August 8th appearance on ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ because drummer Matt Sorum had fractured his wrist in a waterskiing accident.

In 2006, Arthur Lee, singer and guitarist with the influential 1960s band Love, died in Memphis at the age of 61 following a battle with acute myeloid leukaemia. He called himself the “first black hippie” and formed Love in Los Angeles in 1965.

in 2007, San Francisco broadcaster Ron Lyons lost his battle with cancer at age 69. Lyons was a “Good Guy” on station KEWB-AM in the 1960s and also worked stints at KNBR, KFBK, KNEW, and KCBS.

In 2008, baseball broadcaster Skip Caray, nationally known as a voice of the Atlanta Braves for 33 years, died just 9 days short of his 69th birthday.  He was the son of Chicago Cubs’ TV voice Harry Caray, and the father of fellow playbyplay guy Skip Caray.

Also in 2008, half of the virtuoso piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, Louis Teicher died of heart failure, three weeks short of his 84th birthday.

Still in 2008, Kid Rock was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘All Summer Long’. The song is based on Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London’ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.

In 2009, LA Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted Michael Jackson‘s mother, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, permanent custody of her late son’s children, 12-year-old Prince Michael, 10-year-old Paris Michael and 7-year-old Prince Michael II.

Also in 2009, felony drug charges against ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler were dismissed by a judge in Los Angeles after Adler completed a court-ordered narcotics program.

In 2010, singer/songwriter Bobby Hebb died of lung cancer at age 72.  His 1966 recording of ‘Sunny’ was so successful he was chosen to tour with The Beatles.

Also in 2010, Jim Morrison’s hand written lyrics for The Doors’ “L.A. Woman” were sold at a U.K. auction for more than $20,000. And an abstract painting by Jimi Hendrix went for $13,000.

In 2011, we first learned that Jerry Lewis had been replaced as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and would no longer  appear on the MDA Labor Day Weekend telethon, which had been his high profile baby for 45-years.

In 2013, 40-year NBC News correspondent/anchor John Palmer died of pulmonary fibrosis at age 77. He did correspondent stints in Chicago, Paris, and the Middle East; White House correspondent (1979–1982); news anchor for The Today Show (1982–1989); and anchor for NBC News at Sunrise (1989–1990).


Today’s Birthdays 

Singer Tony Bennett is 88.

Actor Martin Sheen (The West Wing, Anger Management) is 74.

Singer Beverly Lee of The Shirelles is 73.

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 73.

Bassist B.B. Dickerson of War is 65.

Actress JoMarie Payton (Family Matters, Proud Family) is 64.

Actor Jay North (Dennis the Menace) is 63.

Guitarist Randy Scruggs is 61.

Actor John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is 55.

Bassist Lee Rocker (Stray Cats) is 53.

Canadian HGTV host/building expert Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes) is 51.

Actress Lisa Ann Walter (Emeril, Life’s Work) is 51.

Singer-guitarist James Hetfield of Metallica is 51.

Singer Ed Roland of Collective Soul is 51.

Actor Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) is 51.

Saskatchewan-born comedian/actor Brent Butt (Corner Gas, Hiccups) is 48.

Keyboardist Dean Sams of Lonestar is 48.

Newfoundland-born actress Anne Marie Deluise {Due South, Higher Ground) is 45.

Guitarist Stephen Carpenter of Deftones is 44.

Musician Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa is 43.

Actress Melissa Ponzio (Teen Wolf, Chicago Fire) is 42.

Actress Brigid Brannagh (Army Wives) is 42.

Actor Michael Ealy (Almost Human, The Good Wife, Sleeper Cell) is 41.

Actor Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire, Parade’s End) is 41.

Actor Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project, The Mountain) is 36.

Alberta-born actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost) is 35.

Vancouver-born TV host/actress Hannah Simone (New Girl, Much Music veejay) is 34.

Actor Travis Willingham (Shelf Life) is 33

Actress Mamie Gummer (Emily Owens MD, Off the Map) is 31.

Actor Jon Foster (Accidentally on Purpose, W.indfall, Life as We Know It) is 30.

Ontario-born actor Kyle Schmid (Being Human, Copper) is 30. 

Actress Amanda Kimmel (Survivor: China, Survivor: Micronesia) is 30.

Actress Tanya Fischer (Copper, The Defenders) is 29.

Singer Holly Arnstein of Dream is 29.

Bassist Brent Kutzle of OneRepublic is 29.

Actress Georgina Haig (Reckless, The Elephant Princess) is 29.


Chart Toppers – August 3rd


Too Young – Nat King Cole
Mister and Mississippi – Patti Page
Because of You – Tony Bennett
I Wanna Play House with You – Eddy Arnold

I’m Sorry – Brenda Lee
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (facts) – Brian Hyland
It’s Now or Never  – Elvis Presley
Please Help Me, I’m Falling – Hank Locklin

In the Year 2525 – Zager & Evans
Crystal Blue Persuasion  – Tommy James and The Shondells
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) – Jr. Walker and The All Stars
Johnny B. Goode – Buck Owens

Shadow Dancing – Andy Gibb
Miss You – The Rolling Stones
Last Dance – Donna Summer
Only One Love in My Life – Ronnie Milsap

Shakedown – Bob Seger
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
I Want Your Sex – George Michael
Snap Your Fingers – Ronnie Milsap

Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) – Los Del Rio
I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I) – R. Kelly
Change the World – Eric Clapton
Don’t Get Me Started – Rhett Akins

We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
Don’t Phunk With My Heart – Black Eyed Peas
As Good As I Once Was – Toby Keith


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