WEDNESDAY in Broadcast History .. June 7th


ON THIS DAY in 1917,

singer/comedian/actor Dean Martin was born in Steubenville Ohio.

He was one of the most famous music artists in the 1950s and 1960s. Playboy magazine later called Martin “the coolest man who ever lived.” He & Jerry Lewis began as a comedy team in movies & on NBC radio in the late ’40’s, and did TV together in the early 50’s, but split in 1956.  He became a big TV star with NBC’s Dean Martin Show (1965-74) and his Celebrity Roasts (’73-’84.)  He succumbed to lung cancer Christmas Day 1995 at age 78.

In 1931, actor Lang Jeffries was born in Ontario.   Although he made movies for more than 23 years, his lone TV assignment was as Skip Johnson in 13 episodes of the series Rescue 8 in the late ’50’s.  He died Feb 12 1987 at age 55.

In 1932, a Cincinnati radio station was authorized to experiment with a power of 500,000 watts at 700 khz.  Two years later WLW became the only North Amerian radio station to regularly transmit with that much power.   After complaints of signal interference and years of controversy the permission for the extra power was rescinded in 1939.

In 1938, with TV still in experimental mode, the first play was telecast with its original Broadway cast, “Susan & God.”

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In 1939, Larry Clinton and his orchestra recorded In a Persian Market on Victor Records.

In 1945, an NBC radio summer replacement show The Adventures of Topper aired for the first time.  Roland Young reprised his title role from the 1937 movie of the same name. Eight years later the program would move to TV with a different cast and become a big hit.

In 1946, Jasmine Bligh was the first announcer as BBC Television returned after being off the air during World War II.  The Mickey Mouse cartoon “Mickey’s Gala Premiere” which had been the last programme on Sept. 1, 1939, was the first programme to air after a 20-minute announcement.

In 1950, Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo and his orchestra had a #1 hit with their recording of The Third Man Theme.

In 1952, “Here in My Heart” by Al Martino topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1953, children’s show stars KuklaFran Allison and Ollie, along with the Boston Pops Orchestra directd by Arthur Fiedler, were featured on the first network TV broadcast shown in “compatible color”. The NBC program originated in Boston, and NBC would continue to pioneer color TV in the years ahead for the few people with color sets (until the mid 60’s).

In 1955, NBC radio presented The Lux Radio Theatre for the final time. The program had aired for 21 years, most of them on CBS.

Also in 1955, the $64,000 Question, a summer replacement TV show, with host Hal March, premiered on CBS.  The show quickly became the most watched and talked about program on TV.

In 1959, Johnny Horton brought his #1 hit “Battle of New Orleans” to CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show.  Al Martino was also showcased singing “I Can’t get you out of my Heart.”

In 1963, actress Zasu Pitts, who started in silent movies, and years later in the late 50’s played 2nd banana to Gale Storm in TV’s “Oh Susannah,” lost her battle with cancer at age 65.

Also in 1963, the Rolling Stones made their first T-V appearance on the British show, “Thank Your Lucky Stars,” in support of their first record, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” A TV exec reportedly told the Stones’ manager they’d do better without “that vile-looking singer with the tire-tread lips.”

In 1964, during their first ever US tour, The Rolling Stones were booed off stage at a gig in San Antonio, Texas. Some performing monkeys who had been the act before the Stones were brought back on stage for another performance.

Also in 1964, the UK group Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas made their debut on U.S. television, performing their hit “Little Children” plus “Pride” and “Bad to Me” on CBS’s “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

In 1966, Sony Corporation unveiled its first consumer 1/2-inch format helical scan VTR (video tape recorder). It was priced under $1000 (and only in black & white, yet).

In 1967, three members of the San Francisco band Moby Grape were charged with “consorting” with underage schoolgirls. They had been found in a parked car, each allegedly in the company of a 17-year-old girl.  But the charges were eventually dropped.

In 1968, Fleetwood Mac (pictured), Grateful Deadand Jefferson Airplane all appeared for the first of a three night engagement at San Francisco’s Carousel Ballroom.

In 1969, the rock supergroup Blind Faith played their only live performance, a free concert in London’s Hyde Park, before an estimated 120,000 people. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Rick Grech and Ginger Baker produced only one LP together.

Also in 1969, the “Johnny Cash Show” debuted as a summer series on ABC-TV as taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  Guests who sang duets with Cash included Bob DylanJoni Mitchell and June Carter Cash.

Still in 1969, ‘‘Tommy,” the Who’s two-LP rock opera, first hit the U-S charts at #96.

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Again in 1969, Tommy James & the Shondells released one of their biggest hits “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” which would peak at #2 on Billboard’s pop singles chart.

In 1970, The Who performed “Tommy” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. It would be the last time they’d do a complete “Tommy” show for nearly two decades.

In 1971, Carole King‘s LP “Tapestry” was certified as a Gold Record.

In 1972, the original production of the musical ”Grease” began its 8-year run on Broadway after four months in a smaller New York theatre.

In 1974, The Entertainer, the original music from the motion picture The Sting, earned a gold record for pianist and conductor, Marvin Hamlisch.

In 1975,  Elton John‘s album ‘Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboys’, went to No.1 on the Billboard album chart, the first album ever to enter the chart at No.1.  And “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver topped the singles chart, staying #1 for just the week.

In 1976, jazz cornetist Bobby Hackett, a big band veteran who is best remembered for the albums of lush laid-back insrumentals he recorded with Jackie Gleason in the 1950’s, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 61.

Also in 1976, NBC Nightly News, with John Chancellor (above) and David Brinkley (below) paired together, aired for the first time. The partnership lasted until 1979 when Brinkley was moved off the show. Chancellor then held the lone anchor spot until he was succeeded in 1982 by the pairing of Tom Brokaw with Roger Mudd.

Still in 1976, Capitol Records released the Beatles album “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music.” Producer George Martin had filtered and re-mixed all the mostly cover songs of other rock stars.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin played the first of six sold out dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Also in 1977, London police arrested 11 people after breaking up a floating Sex Pistols concert on the Thames River.

In 1978, radio actor Norris Goff who played Abner Peabody and supporting characters for more than 20 years on radio’s Lum ‘n’ Abner backwoods comedy show, died after a stroke at age 72.

In 1979, Chuck Berry was charged with three counts of income tax evasion, just two days before a performance for U-S President Jimmy Carter at the White House. Berry eventually served 100 days in prison.

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In 1986, “Live to Tell” by Madonna topped the charts, her third No.1 single.

Also in 1986, anti-apartheid protesters picketed the opening concert of Queen‘s European tour in Stockholm. A Swedish magazine claimed that guitarist Bryan May said that going to South Africa was the best thing the group ever did. May said he was misquoted.

In 1988, Bob Dylan performed in concert with Neil Young at the Concord Pavilion in northern California.

In 1989, CBS Records said it was changing the title of George Jones‘s hit “Ya Ba Da Ba Do (So Are You)” to avoid infringing on trademarks owned by Hanna-Barbera Productions. “Ya Ba Da Ba Do” was a favourite saying of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. Jones’s record became known as “The King Is Gone (So Are You).”

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Also in 1989, Atlantic Records’ New York studio, where artists such as Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin (above) made some of their classic albums, closed because of problems with a new landlord. The building owner said other tenants were complaining about the noise.

In 1991, a birthday party for Damian Hall of the rhythm-and-blues group Guy was marred by the killing of Hall’s bodyguard.

Also in 1991, during their Use Your Illusion Tour, Guns n’ Roses played the first of two nights at Toronto’s CNE Grandstand. They opened with “Welcome to the Jungle,” and 23 numbers later closed with “Paradise City.”

In 1992, an estimated 2,000-3,000 people attend the dedication of the sod house in Strasburg, N.D., where bandleader and accordion player Lawrence Welk was born. A private group restored the farm after Congress scrapped a proposed $500,000 grant for a German-Russian museum in Strasburg amid criticism over wasteful spending.

In 1993, Pete Townshend and Chuck Berry were among those on hand as ground was finally broken for the much-delayed Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

Also on this date in 1993, Prince celebrated his 35th birthday by announcing he was changing his name and splitting with his band, the New Power Generation. Prince said he wanted to be referred to with the symbol that combines the symbols for male and female. The same combination symbol had served as the title of his previous album. He didn’t bother telling anyone how to pronounce it.

In 1994, Dame Vera Lynn, known as “The Forces’ Sweetheart” during the Second World War, entertained 15-hundred Canadian, British and American veterans aboard the “Queen Elizabeth Two.” They were returning from D-Day 50th anniversary observances in France.

Also in 1994, Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and perform 200 hours of community service, for pointing a loaded shotgun at police officers in northern California earlier in the year.

In 1996, Queen Elizabeth and Paul McCartney opened a school for performing arts that the former Beatle had set up in his home town. The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was established in a building that housed the school that McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison attended as teens.

Also in 1996, on the daytime serial “All My Children,” Julia & Noah got married.

In 1998, the Rolling Stones rescheduled the British leg of their “Bridges to Babylon” tour for the following year. The band cited guitarist Keith Richards’ recovery from a broken rib, scheduling problems and tax issues.

Also in 1998, songwriter Jerry Capehart, who co-wrote “Summertime Blues” with Eddie Cochran in 1958, died in Nashville, two weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He was 69.

Still in 1998, songwriter Wally Gold died in a New Jersey hospital aged 70. Wrote ‘It’s My Party’ hit for Lesley Gore and ‘It’s Now or Never’, hit for Elvis Presley.

In 1999, James Eugene “Rosy” McHargue, a prolific jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and singer, died in Los Angeles. He was 97. McHargue played with the bands of Benny Goodman and Kay Kyser.

Also in 1999, singer Rod Stewart showed up late at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell, and opted to announce his presence by tossing soccer balls onto the trading floor.

In 2000, the “Prince: A Celebration” party began at Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota. The weeklong event was in celebration of The Artist reclaiming his name “Prince” after a seven-year legal battle with Warner Brothers Records.

In 2001, Canadian evangelist-turned-broadcaster & author Charles Templeton died of Alzheimers at age 85.  He did public affairs TV for the CBC in the late 50’s & 60’s, and for 18 years co-hosted the radio discussion ‘Dialogue’ on CFRB Toronto with Pierre Berton.

In 2002, longtime Seattle sportscaster & personality Wayne Cody suffered a fatal heart attack at age 65.  The heavyweight champ of the Seattle sports fraternity worked on KIRO Radio for 21 years, and Channel 7 for 14 years.

Also in 2002, singer/songwriter R. Kelly was booked on child pornography charges in Chicago. He had been arrested two days before and was released after posting bond.

Still in 2002, Virgin Records announced they had dropped Victoria Beckham (‘Posh Spice’ in The Spice Girls) after her debut solo album cost in excess of $5 million to produce, but sold only 50,000 copies.

In 2007, the funeral of guitarist & singer Bo Diddley took place in Gainesville, Florida. Many in attendance chanted “Hey Bo Diddley” shortly after family members had passed by his coffin as a gospel band played Bo Diddley’s music.

Also in 2007, The Rolling Stones‘ European tour began with a concert in Belgium for a crowd of more than 33,000 people, many of whom were stuck for hours in a 30-mile traffic jam caused by the show.

Still in 2007, the California resort city of Rancho Mirage renamed a section of 35th Avenue as Dean Martin Drive, in honor of its late former star resident on what would have been his 90th birthday.

In 2008, longtime host of ABC TV’s Wide World of Sports Jim McKay died at age 86. He was a double-Emmy-winner for his live coverage of the diastrous 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis in a continous 14-hour broadcast.

Also in 2008, 3 Doors Down were at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with their self titled second chart topper.

In 2009, Vancouver musician and broadcaster Arnie Nelson lost his battle with a brain tumour a week short of his 75th birthday.  At age 10 he first sang on CKNW’s live music programs, and rose to become west coast manager of All Canada Radio & TV Sales.

Also in 2009, after a diagnosis just three weeks earlier, longtime smoker and singer/songwriter Kenny Rankin succumbed to his lung cancer at age 69.

In 2010, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh won a restraining order against a neighbor in his 70’s who Walsh says threatened to kill him. When he failed to show up for the court hearing the elderly man was also ordered to pay more than $1,500 in legal costs.

Also in 2010, bandleader Ricky Minor jumped from FOX-TV to NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” replacing Kevin Eubanks who had resigned.

In 2011, TV writer/producer Leonard B. Stern, who created the sitcoms I’m Dickens He’s Fenster, The Honeymooners, He and She and Run Buddy Run, and worked on the Steve Allen Show, the Phil Silvers Show, McMillan and Wife and Get Smart, died of heart failure at age 88.

In 2012, singer/songwriter Bob Welch, a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974, who enjoyed a successful solo career with hits such as ‘Ebony Eyes,’ took his own life by shooting hmself in the chest at his Nashville home at age 66.  He had been in failing health for some time.

In 2014,  actor/comedian Tracy Morgan, an 8-year veteran of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and 7 years on the NBC sitcom ’30 Rock,’ suffered a broken leg and femur, broken nose, and several broken ribs, when the vehicle he was in was rear-ended in a chain reaction MVA by a Walmart truck.

In 2015, prolific actor Sir Christopher Lee, who in the course of a 70-year career appeared in 258 films and TV dramas, succumbed to respiratory difficulties and heart failure at age 93.

Also in 2015, Carlos Santana played the US national anthem in San Francisco before Game 2 of the NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavs won the game, but lost the series in 6 games.

In 2016, Queen guitarist Brian May notified presidential candidate Donald Trump he didn’t want him to use “We Are the Champions” at his campaign rallies.


Today’s Birthdays:

Singer Tom Jones is 77.

Actor Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell on “Leave It to Beaver”) is 74.

Canadian-born comedienne/former talk-show host Jenny Jones is 71.

Actress Anne Twomey (Third Watch, LA Law) is 66.

Actor Liam Neeson (A Woman of Substance, Ellis Island, Liberty’s Kids: Est. 1776) is 66.

Actress Colleen Camp (Rich Man Poor Man Book 2, Tom) is 65.

Singer-songwriter Johnny Clegg is 65.

Actor William Forsythe {John Doe, The Untouchables ’93) is 62.

Singer/pianist Joey Scarbury is 62.

Actor Mark Ryan (Black Sails, Robin Hood) is 61.

Record producer L.A. Reid (The X Factor) is 61.

Actress Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry, Sparks) is 56.

Singer-guitarist Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes is 54.

Actress Judie Aronson (Pursuit of Happiness) is 53.

Actress Gia Carides (My Big Fat Greek Life) is 53.

Rapper Ecstacy of Whodini is 53.

Drummer Eric Kretz (Stone Temple Pilots) is 51.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Navarro is 50.

Actress Sarah Parish (The Pillars of the Earth) is 49.

Actress Kim Rhodes (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Supernatural) is 48.

Actor Francis Magee (Game of Thrones, EastEnders) is 48.

Actor Anthony Simcoe  (Farscape) is 48.

Actress Kim Rhodes (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) is 48.  

Actress Helen Baxendale (Friends) is 47.  

Actor Karl Urban (Almost Human, Xena:Warrior Princess) is 45.

Guitarist-keyboardist Eric Johnson of The Shins is 40.

Comedian Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) is 39.

Actress Adrienne Frantz  (The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young & the Restless) is 39.

Actress Mini Anden (Fashion House, My Boys) is 39.

Actress Anna Torv (Fringe) is 38.

Actress Larisa Oleynik (3rd Rock From the Sun, Boy Meets World) is 36.

Actress Cathy Baron (Justified, A Good Knight’s Quest) is 35.

Actress Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) is 35.

Brampton-born actor/voicist Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Children’s Hospital) is 29.

Actress Ellen Wroe (Animal Kingdom0) is 29.

Actress Shelley Buckner (Just for Kicks, Summerland) is 27.

Singer Iggy Azalea is 27.

Model/actress Emily Ratajkowski (The Spoils Before Dying) is 26.

Actress Poppy Drayton (The Shannara Chronicles) is 26.

Actress Alex McGregor (Of  Kings & Prophets) is 24.


Chart Toppers – June 7

Nature Boy – Nat King Cole
Toolie Oolie Doolie – The Andrews Sisters
Baby Face – The Art Mooney Orchestra
Texarkana Baby – Eddy Arnold

Love Letters in the Sand – Pat Boone
A Teenager’s Romance/I’m Walkin’ – Ricky Nelson
A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation) – Marty Robbins
Four Walls – Jim Reeves

When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge
Paint It, Black – The Rolling Stones
Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? – The Lovin’ Spoonful
Distant Drums – Jim Reeves

Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver
Sister Golden Hair – America
Bad Time – Grand Funk
Window Up Above – Mickey Gilley

Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams
Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
Oh Sherrie – Steve Perry
Honey (Open that Door) – Ricky Skaggs

That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
Freak Me – Silk
Knockin’ da Boots – H-Town
Should’ve Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith

Foolish – Ashanti
A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
U Don’t Have To Call – Usher
Drive (For Daddy Gene) – Alan Jackson

Rolling in the Deep – Adele
E.T. – Katy Perry featuring Kanye West
Give Me Everything – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
Old Alabama – Brad Paisley featuring Alabama


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