THURSDAY in Broadcast History .. March 30th



ON THIS DAY in 1913

singer Frankie Laine,(below) whose jazz-influenced singing style produced dozens of hit records in the 40’s and ’50s, was born in Chicago. His best-known work included “That’s My Desire,” “Jezebel,” “Mule Train,” “Cry of the Wild Goose,” “Moonlight Gambler,” the “Rawhide” T-V show theme and the title song from the Mel Brooks film “Blazing Saddles.” Laine died Feb 7 2007 at age 93.                                                                                                                                 

In 1922, radio station KGY Olympia, Washington, began broadcasting.

In 1934, General Motors estimated that the evening’s coast-to-coast GM Hockey Broadcast with Foster Hewitt, the forerunner to Hockey Night in Canada, had a radio audience of 2.5 to 3 million Canadians.

In 1936, the radio serial, Backstage Wife, made a move across the radio dial from the Mutual Broadcasting System to NBC radio. Once there, the program continued on for the next 23 years. Claire Niesen (above) played the title role for the last 17 years.

In 1938, Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge began a decade-long weekly run on NBC radio, which was followed by a daily series for a year on ABC.  During the late 40’s there was also a TV version on NBC.

In 1945, the Dreft Star Playhouse was heard for the final time on NBC radio. For the prior two years the show had been paying up to $3,000 per week to attract “name” talent to the daytime quarter hour serializing movies & other stories. Dreft, the show’s sponsor, was a popular laundry detergent of the 40’s.

In 1946, the anthology series Academy Award, which did half-hour adaptations of award-winning movies, debuted on CBS radio. The first drama was titled, Jezebel and starred actress Bette Davis.

In 1955, the 27th Academy Awards gave top honors to “On the Waterfront”, Marlon BrandoGrace Kelly (above).

In 1956, Fats Domino recorded “Blue Monday” in his hometown of New Orleans. For reasons unknown the future #5 pop single (#1 R&B) would not be released until Dec. 1956.

In 1957, “Party Doll” with Buddy Knox became the #1 song of the week.  It was the first #1 track of the rock-and-roll era to be performed by the songwriter himself.

In 1963, “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons started a 4-week run as number one on the Billboard Hot 100. George Harrison was later found to have unknowingly plagiarized the melody for his 1970 hit “My Sweet Lord.”

Also in 1963, in New York, 16-year-old Lesley Gore recorded “It’s My Party,” which became her first hit and ONLY #1, as well as the first #1 for producer Quincy Jones.

In 1964, one of television’s best known game shows, Jeopardy, developed by Merv Griffin, had its premiere on NBC-TV, beginning an 11-year daytime run. Your category: Game Show Hosts: for 200 points. This host never missed one show in 2,500 programs. “Um, who is Art Fleming (above)?” Right you are!

In 1966, Barbra Streisand‘s second television special, “Color Me Barbra” aired to warm reviews on CBS-TV.  And it was her first concert work to be broadcast in color.

In 1967, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Happy Together,” by The Turtles. The group was called the Crossfires before signing with Liberty Records

Also in 1967, the cover of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album was staged and photographed at Chelsea Manor Studios in London. The Fab Four were in bright satin marching band outfits, staged amongst a collage of wax figures from Madame Tussaud’s famous museum. Among the likenesses featured were Mae West, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Bob Dylan, Tony Curtis, Marlon Brando, Oscar Wilde, Marlene Dietrich and W.C. Fields.

Still in 1967, after Florence Ballard of the Supremes missed a series of scheduled appearances, Berry Gordy asked former Bluebelles member Cindy Birdsong to fill in for her. Birdsong would soon become a permanent member of the group, replacing the dismissed Ms. Ballard.

In 1969, the No. 1 Billboard hit was “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe. The song was Roe’s biggest hit. It remained at No. 1 for four weeks and sold 6 million records.

In 1970, a pair of TV dramas were added to the daytime lineups of both ABC and NBC. “The Best of Everything” was first seen on ABC as was “A World Apart”. On NBC, the dramas, “Somerset” and “Another World,” debuted.

In 1971, the Bee Gees were awarded a gold record for their single, Lonely Days. And Jimi Hendrix‘s album “The Cry Of Love” was also certified Gold.

Also in 1971, actor Selmer Jackson, who played the Mayor on TV’s Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp, and a raft of other authority figures, died after a heart attack at age 82.

In 1972, Mutual radio newsman & commentator Gabriel Heatter died of pneumonia at age 81.  His opening salvo, “There’s good news Tonight!” helped make him a national news figure from the early 30’s through 1961.

Also in 1972, actor Peter Whitney suffered a fatal heart attack at age 55.  His over-powering frame, swarthy looks, bushy brows and maniacal look in his eye had made him one of the most fearsome character actors on early TV series like The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Death Valley Days, Beverly Hillbillies & Perry Mason.

Still in 1972, the CBC aired its first simultaneous FM radio/TV broadcast of a symphony concert. Users of both could experience stereo sound, something we take for granted today.

In 1974, John Denver reached the top spot on the music charts with his hit, “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” It was the singer’s first number one song.

In 1975, UK guitarist Jeff Beck released his first solo album, “Blow by Blow,” in North America. It would go on to be certified Platinum.

In 1978, 66-year old actress Ellen Corby returned to Walton’s Mountain more than a year after she left in an ambulance, the victim of a stroke. This week’s season-ending episode of The Waltons was entitled, “Grandma Comes Home.”

Also in 1978, the final episode of “Police Woman” starring Angie Dickenson aired on NBC.

Still in 1978, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon of the British political rock band The Clashwere arrested in London for shooting pigeons from the roof of a rehearsal hall.

In 1983, a jury in Santa Monica, California, decided that Groucho Marx‘s companion, Eric Fleming, had defrauded the late comedian. The Marx Estate was awarded nearly half a million dollars, but the amount was later reduced to 221-thousand dollars.

In 1985, Phil Collins started a two week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘One More Night’, his second chart topper in North America.

Also in 1985, actor Harold Peary died of a heart attack at age 76.  He was star of radio’s first spinoff, as The Great Gildersleeve got his own show, after Peary developed the character on Fibber McGee & Molly.  But when Peary tried to transfer Gildy’s popularity to another radio property (Honest Harold) not only did it bomb, but the Gildersleeve show didn’t miss a beat & continued for another decade with Willard Waterman in the title role.

In 1986, the Toronto-based quartet The Nylons won the best singer award at the Tokyo Music Festival. The group — Claude Morrison, Marc Connors, Arnold Robinson and Paul Cooper — were awarded about 78-hundred dollars.

In 1987, at the 59th Academy Awards, top honors went to Oliver Stone’s “Platoon”, Paul Newman & Marlee Matlin.

In 1989, in Las Vegas singer Gladys Knight performed solo without The Pips, for the first time in 37 years.

In 1991, Poland’s news agency reported Dire Straits cancelled a Polish concert to protest pirating of their albums. Janet Jackson also was reported to have called off a Polish tour for the same reason.

Also in 1991, Gloria Estefan started a two week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Coming Out Of The Dark.’

In 1992, longtime CBS staff announcer Art Hannes, who was heard regularly on shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, died of a respiratory ailment at age 72.

Also in 1992, the 64th Academy Awards saw a sweep by The Silence of the Lambs, taking Best Picture, Anthony Hopkins (above) as Best Actor and Jodie Foster as Best Actress. “Beauty and the Beast” won best original song and score.

Still in 1992, CBS TV premiered its new overnight news program “Up To The Minute.”

In 1994, UK rockers Pink Floyd played their first concert in more than five years, before more than 55-thousand fans at Miami Gardens, Florida. The “Division Bell Tour” was promoted by Toronto impressario Michael Cohl and became the highest-grossing tour in rock history to that date.

In 1997, The Notorious B-I-G’s Life After Death topped the Billboard album chart three weeks after the rapper was gunned down in Los Angeles.

In 1998, British glam rock singer Gary Glitter was charged with 54 counts of making indecent photos of juveniles, after photos were found in his computer. Glitter pleaded guilty and served two months in prison.

Also on this date in 1998, Grammy-nominated singer Meredith Brooks was driven off a Buenos Aires stage by a barrage of bottles, batteries and coins. The 30-thousand fans preferred to see the night’s headliners, The Rolling Stones.

In 1999, producer/actor Gary Morton (Here’s Lucy, The Lucy Show, Life With Lucy), the second husband of Lucille Ball, died of lung cancer at age 74.

In 2001, 18-year-old LeAnn Rimes reached an out of court settlement with her father and her former manager. The country star alleged that the pair had stolen $12 million from her.

In 2003, actor Michael Jeter, who won an Emmy as a supporting player in the CBS sitcom Evening Shade, was found dead in his Hollywood home, after a fatal epileptic fit at age 50.

In 2004, singer Timi Yuro succumbed to the cancer that earlier claimed her larynx, at age 63.  Her big hit was “Hurt” in 1961, when she was 20.

Also in 2004, at a restaurant near Lake Tahoe, the jazz trio house band were shocked & delighted when Paul McCartney stepped onstage to join them for a rendition of “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

In 2005, Dr. Don Rose, one of Top 40 Radio’s great DJs, died after a fatal bout of pneumonia. He had worked at legendary music stations like KFRC, San Francisco & WFIL, Philadelphia.

Also in 2005, Canadian rocker Neil Young underwent successful surgery to remove a brain aneurysm.

In 2006, TV soap opera producer/director Gloria Monty, who turned a  struggling “General Hospital” into TV’s most popular daytime drama, succumbed to  cancer at age 84.

In 2007, Grand Prairie’s CFRI-FM signed on as Free-FM with 100,000 watts at 104.7 MHz.                                                       

Also in 2007, a man was arrested by police and detained under the Mental Health Act after trying to force his way into Paul McCartney’s isolated Sussex mansion, screaming: “I must get to him.”  Guards who feared an assassination attempt were scrambled to intercept the middle-aged man as he sped towards the front door.

Still in 2007, Stevie Nicks performed two of her more famous songs from her tenure with Fleetwood Mac, “Landslide” and “Rhiannon,” on the NBC Today Show.

In 2009, tickets for U2’s first four North American shows (Chicago, Toronto, Boston and New York) on their 360° Tour sold out in record time. The band then scheduled an extra concert in each city.

In 2010, Canada’s teenaged sensation Justin Bieber at 16 became the youngest artist since Stevie Wonder to have an album (‘My World 2.0’) debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Also in 2010, the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies issued their 11th studio album, “All In Good Time.” It was their first release following the departure of singer Steven Page.

In 2012, the volatile TV commentator Keith Olbermann was dismissed from yet another US cable channel, Al Gore’s Current TV, to be replaced by another noted liberal, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Also in 2012, satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic launched a lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment for $5 million, alleging royalty underpayments, and a failure to share damages collected from file-sharing websites. Sony later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

In 2013, South African-born Phil Ramone, the oft-honored visionary in the field of audio recording, who helmed classic albums by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and many others over a 45 year career, died of a brain aneurism at age 79.

Also in 2013, a rare, signed copy of The Beatles’ album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” sold for $290,500 at an auction in Texas. The previous record for a signed cover was $150,000 for the band’s ‘64 set “Meet The Beatles.”

In 2014, British actress Kate O’Mara, best known for her role as sister to Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby in ABC-TV’s prime time soap opera ‘Dynasty,’ died in a UK nursing home after a short illness, at age 74.

Also in 2014,   Bachman-Turner Overdrive were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame as part of the 43rd Annual Juno Awards at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

In 2015, Preston Ritter, who drummed on the Electric Prunes’ ’60’s hits “I Had to Much to Dream (Last Night)” and “Get Me to the World on Time,” and went on to play with Linda Ronstadt, The Beach Boys and Dobie Gray, died at age 65 after a long battle with kidney disease.

Also in 2015, we first learned the identity of Jon Stewart‘s successor as host of TV’s ‘The Daily Show,’ South African Trevor Noah.

Still in 2015, Image result for van halen jimmy kimmel Van Halen shut down Hollywood Boulevard to play their hits on the first of a two-night run on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Singer David Lee Roth cut his nose while furiously twirling a metal baton, requiring fourteen stitches.

In 2016, Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman died at age 73. His namesake band (Thunderclap Newman) was formed by The Who’s Pete Townshend and manager Kit Lambert as a showpiece for Newman, John ‘Speedy’ Keen and Jimmy McCulloch. The group was best known for ’69’s “Something In The Air.”

In 2017, retired CKNW sportscaster Neil Macrae succumbed to cancer in Palm Springs at age 65. 


Today’s Birthdays:

TV/radio personality Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares, Music of Your Life) is 91.

Actor John Astin (Addams Family, Night Court) is 87.

Australian entertainer/convicted child molester Rolf Harris (Tie Me Kangaroo Down) is 87.

Comox-born pioneer rock deejay Red Robinson is 80.

Actor Warren Beatty (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Dick Tracy TV Special) is 80.

Drummer Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues is 76.

Musician Eric Clapton is 72.

Actor Robbie Coltrane (Cracker, Frasier) is 67.

Actor Joseph Cali (Flatbush) is 67.

Actor Paul Reiser (Mad About You) is 60.

Rapper MC Hammer is 54.

Actor Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210, Dancing With the Stars) is 53.

Singer Tracy Chapman is 53.

TV talent judge/talk show host Piers Morgan (CNN, America’s Got Talent) is 52.

Actress Juliet Landau (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is 52.

Actor Gerald McCullouch (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Hustling) is 50.

Quebec-born singer Celine Dion is 49.

Actress/model Donna D’Errico (Baywatch) is 49.

Actor Roland Kickinger (Son of the Beach) is 49. 

Actor Mark Consuelos {Hope & Faith, 1-800 Missing, All My Children) is 46.

Actress Bahar Soomekh (Day Break) is 42.

Singer/actress Jessica Cauffiel (Drew Carey Show) is 41.

Actor Lillo Brancato (The Sopranos) is 41.

Actor Rupert Evans (The Man in the High Castle, Rogue) is 40.

Singer Norah Jones is 38.

Actor Jose Pablo Cantillo (Taken, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Standoff) is 38.

Actress Fiona Gubelmann (Wilfred) is 37.

Actress Katy Mixon (American Housewife, Mike & Molly) is 36.

Actor Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) is 35.

Singer/guitarist Scott Moffatt of Victoria’s ‘The Moffatts’ is 34.

Actress/model Helena Mattsson (Nikita) is 33.

Actress Tessa Ferrer (Grey’s Anatomy) is 31.

Actress Marley McClean (Star Trek: Voyager) is 30.

Actress/voicist Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It, Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja, Dance Revolution) is 27.

Actress Allie Gonino (The Lying Game) is 27.


Chart Toppers – March 30

The Anniversary Song – Dinah Shore
How are Things in Glocca Morra – Buddy Clark
Managua, Nicaragua – The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Don Rodney)
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed – Merle Travis

The Poor People of Paris – Les Baxter
Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
Rock Island Line – Lonnie Donegan
Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley

Stop! In the Name of Love – The Supremes
Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat – Herman’s Hermits
Shotgun – Jr. Walker & The All Stars
King of the Road – Roger Miller

Sunshine on My Shoulders – John Denver
Hooked on a Feeling – Blue Swede
Bennie & The Jets – Elton John
Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone) – Tanya Tucker

Billy Jean – Michael Jackson
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – Culture Club
Hungry like the Wolf – Duran Duran
Swingin’ – John Anderson

Save the Best for Last – Vanessa Williams
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
Remember the Time – Michael Jackson
Is There Life Out There – Reba McEntire

Angel – Shaggy featuring Rayvon
Thankyou – Dido
Butterfly – Crazy Town
One More Day – Diamond Rio

Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
BedRock – Young Money featuring Lloyd
That’s How Country Boys Roll – Billy Currington


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