SATURDAY in Broadcast History .. March 3rd


ON THIS DAY in 1920

actor James Doohan was born in Vancouver.  Although indelibly associated with Star Trek in the role of Scotty the Chief Engineer, Doohan’s early career saw him taking part in some 4000 radio shows and 400 TV productions split between Toronto and New York.  He was cast as Timber Tom, the Canadian equivalent of Buffalo Bob, on the CBC’s version of Howdy Doody.  He died of pneumonia & Alzheimers July 20 2005 at age 85.

In 1922, radio station WWJ Detroit began broadcasting. The call letters are still in use more than 90 years later as WWJ Newsradio 950.

In 1927, bluesman Herman (Junior) Parker was born in West Memphis, Arkansas. Influenced and aided early in his career by Sonny Boy Williamson, Parker cut his first records for the Sun label in 1952. His “Feelin’ Good” hit the rhythm-and-blues top 10 the following year.  And, Elvis Presley recorded Parker’s “Mystery Train” for Sun in 1955. Junior Parker died in 1971 following eye surgery.

In 1928, country singer Dave Dudley was born in Spencer Wisconsin.  His big hit was “Six Days on the Road”, and he specialized in trucking songs such as “Truck Drivin’ Son-Of-a-Gun”, “Trucker’s Prayer” and “Anything Leaving Town Today”. He died Dec 22 2003 at age 75.

Also in 1928, singer/songwriter Don Gibson was born in Shelby North Carolina. His major song successes include “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Oh Lonesome Me”, “Blue Blue Day”, “Sea of Heartbreak” & “Lonesome No. 1.” He died Nov 17 2003 at age 75.

In 1931, singer and bandleader Cab Calloway recorded his signature song, “Minnie the Moocher” for the Brunswick Label. It was one of the first jazz singles to sell more than one million copies.

In 1937, the “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman & his Orchestra opened a 3-week-long booking before predominently teenage audiences at the Paramount Theater in New York City.

In 1940, clarinetist Artie Shaw was without a band and in need of money, so he gathered together a large studio orchestra (with a full string section) and recorded six tracks, including “Frenesi,” which by summer rose to #1 and stayed there for 13 weeks.

In 1952, “Whispering Streets” debuted on ABC radio, remaining on the air until Thanksgiving week, 1960. The end of that show brought down the curtain on what is called “the last day of the radio soap opera” (November 25, 1960).

In 1955, Elvis Presley made his TV debut when he appeared on the syndicated radio show Louisiana Hayride, which this night was simulcast by Shreveport television station KSRS TV.                            

In 1956, Elvis‘ first single for RCA Victor “Heartbreak Hotel,” entered the Billboard top 100 at #68.  Just weeks later it would be #1 for almost two months, becoming the best-selling single of the year.

In 1957, Chicago’s Cardinal Stritch took the controversial step of banning rock and roll music from all area Catholic schools.

In 1959, rotund comedian Lou Costello died of a heart attack just three days before his 53rd birthday. He with straight man Bud Abbott formed the ‘Abbott & Costello’ comedy team that starred in vaudeville, radio & early TV.  They have been immortalized via their famous ‘Who’s on First’ vaudeville routine.

Also in 1959, country music’s Lefty Frizzell was in Nashville to record what would be one of his biggest hits, “The Long Black Veil” for the Columbia label.

In 1960, Elvis Presley, still in his army uniform, arrived by plane at Fort Dix, New Jersey, along with 79 other soldiers. A press conference was held, then a party attended by his manager “Colonel” Tom Parker, and Nancy Sinatra, whom Elvis had met at a USO show. Presley would be discharged two days later.

In 1961, Motown released the first single by a girl vocal trio newly-renamed The Supremes, “I Want a Guy.”  It failed to chart.

In 1962, Vancouver’s CKWX AM 1130 published its last Top 40 Survey, relinquishing the field to CFUN 1410.  The final #1 was “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk.

In 1963, singer Patsy Cline gave the first of three benefit shows in Kansas City that turned out to be her final performances, before her death at age 30 in a plane crash two nights later.

In 1965, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “My Girl” by The Temptations (below). The song was written by Smokey Robinson.

In 1966, character actor William Frawley, who starred in two prominent early TV sitcoms, I Love Lucy and My Three Sons, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 79.

Again in 1966, actress/comedienne Alice Pearce, who had her own show in the early days of TV, and was memorable as Gladys Kravitz in ABC-TV’s hit sitcom “Bewitched,” died of ovarian cancer at age 52.

Still in 1966, Canadian Neil Young, with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer formed Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles. The group laid the groundwork for country rock, and several members later found success in Poco and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

In 1967, Petula Clark performed in front of Princess Margaret at the London Palladium.

Also in 1967, the Jeff Beck Group, featuring the then-unknown singer Rod Stewart and bassist Ron Wood, made what news reports termed a disastrous debut in London.

In 1971, making his first major London appearance, Elton John and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed for a packed house at London’s Royal Festival Hall. His 21-song set included “Your Song,” “Burn Down the Mission” and “Can I Put You On.”

Also in 1971, country singer Ray Price‘s biggest crossover album “For the Good Times,” having sold more than half-a-million LPs, was certified as a Gold Record.

In 1972, Nilsson‘s seventh album “Nilsson Schmilsson” was certified Gold.

Also in 1972, at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, singer/songwriter Mac Davis completed work on his future Gold Record and signature song, “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me.”

In  1973, Grammy Award winners included Roberta Flack, who won Song of the year and Record of the year with ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and Harry Nilsson, who won Best pop vocal performance for ‘Without You.’

In 1974, actress/singer Barbara Ruick died of a cerebral hemmorhage at age 43. The daughter of the first Lux Radio Theatre announcer Melville Ruick, & radio/TV actress Lurene Tuttle was a regular on both the Jerry Colonna TV Show & The Johnny Carson Show (1955) and made a few records for the MGM label.

Also in 1974, “Nova” debuted on PBS.  It was based on the BBC TV series “Horizon.”

Still in 1974, Johnny Cash guest-starred as a gospel singer on the “Swan Song” episode of NBC-TV’s “Columbo.”

In 1977,  Bruce Springsteen dropped in on a Kiss recording session, where he contributed some guitar licks to the song “Love Gun.”

Also in 1977, on the repeated urging of his father Vernon, Elvis Presley signed his will, leaving control of everything to his dad.  Elvis then left for a vacation in Hawaii.

In 1978, Van Halen opened its first tour at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The group’s contract specified that M&Ms be provided to the group during the stint with the brown candies removed.

In 1981, the made-for-TV movie “The Pride Of Jesse Hallam,” starring Johnny Cash, aired in prime time on CBS-TV.

In 1982, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (below) lapsed into a coma in Italy after taking a combination of Valium and champagne.

Also in 1982, the re-formed Mamas and Papas, with Spanky McFarlane replacing the late Mama Cass Elliot, and MacKenzie Phillips replacing step-mom Michelle Phillips, made their debut in New York City.

In 1983, a Cleveland member of the Hell’s Angels told a U-S Senate panel that the California branch of the biker gang had had a contract out on Mick Jagger ever since the Rolling Stones’ disastrous appearance at Altamont in 1969.

In 1984, “Woke Up In Love” by Exile reached the top of the country charts. It was the group’s first number-one hit.

Also in 1984, Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” became the first album to produce seven Billboard Top Ten singles, as the title song jumped to #4.                                                                                                                                                                                  
In 1985, the TV detective show “Moonlighting” with Cybill Shepard & Bruce Willis, began its 66-episode run on ABC with a 2 hour show.

In 1986, the pilot episode of “Matlock” starring Andy Griffith aired on NBC. It would begin a 9-year network run that September.

Also in 1986, Metallica released their highly influential album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time.

In 1987, musical comedy star Danny Kaye, who had his own TV variety show on CBS (1963-67), died a victim of hepatitis at age 74.

In 1990, the 100th episode of “ALF” aired on NBC.

Also in 1990, Janet Jackson started a three week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Escapade’, her third No.1 hit.

Still in 1990, during a world tour Paul McCartney began a stretch of 6 sold-out concerts at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

In 1991, Arthur Murray, the dean of ballroom dancing instructors, died in Honolulu at age 95. He became a household name in 1942 when Jimmy Dorsey and the King Sisters had competing versions of the hit “Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry.”

Also in 1991, Celine Dion won Juno Awards for Best Album and Best Female Vocalist; Colin James won Best Single and Top Male Vocalist; Rita McNeil won Best Female Country Vocalist; Prairie Oyster won Best Country Group; Blue Rodeo won Best Group; Tragically Hip won the Juno for Entertainer of the Year.

In 1993, guitarist Carlos Montoya, who helped transform flamenco from Spanish folk music into an internationally popular style, died of heart failure in Wainscott, New York. He was 89.

Also this date in 1993, Van Halen paid the city of West Hollywood, California, 10-thousand dollars after three-thousand fans turned up at the Whisky nightclub where 200 tickets were being sold for a surprise concert. The city demanded payment for police assigned to control the crowd.

In 1994, the star of The Aldrich Family for most of its 14 year run on radio, Ezra Stone(who played Henry Aldrich), was killed in a New Jersey automobile crash at age 76.

Also in 1994, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee was put on probation for a year after pleading no contest to carrying a gun at Los Angeles International Airport.

In 1995, REM drummer Bill Berry underwent surgery for a brain hemorrhage two days after falling ill during a concert in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 1997, Ted Wendland introduced the Puget Sound Radio Guide to the internet. The discussion forum, initially on MSN, was still a few years off.  And it would be April 15, 2003, before the domain name was registered.

In 1998, a former president of CBS News Fred Friendly, the producer-partner of the late legendary Edward R. Murrow, suffered a fatal stroke at age 82.

Also in 1998, gangsta rapper C-Bo was jailed in Sacramento, California after prison officials said lyrics on his album “Til My Casket Drops” violated provisions of his parole which banned him from promoting the gang lifestyle or anti-law enforcement sentiments. Officials cited anti-police lyrics such as — “So when they try to pull you over, shoot ’em in the face, y’all.”

Still in 1998, Madonna‘s album “Ray of Light” was released.

Image result for shania twain elton john
In 1999, Shania Twain‘s CBS TV special “Winter Break” featured Elton John as a guest. The duo sang her “You’re Still the One” and his “Something About The Way You Look Tonight.”

In 2000, the seemingly-ageless Tom Jones won the Best Male Artist at this year’s Brit Awards.

In 2002, prolific country songwriter Harlan Howard died suddenly in Nashville at age 74, following a heart attack. His many hits included Heartaches by the Number and I Fall to Pieces, the latter made famous by Patsy Cline.

Also in 2002, Jennifer Lopez started a six week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Ain’t It Funny.’                                                                                                                                                                                           

In 2003, Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne launched the European leg of her first headlining tour with a concert in Copenhagen.  She called it the “Try to Shut Me Up” tour.

In 2004, Elton John announced he was planning to marry his long-term partner, Toronto-born filmmaker David Furnish.

In 2006, singer/guitarist Charlie Hodge, for many years Elvis Presley’s assistant, lost his battle with lung cancer at age 71.

Also in 2006, Axl Rose filed a counterclaim in Los Angeles against his former Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash to reaffirm his control of the band’s copyrights. The singer contended that Slash and ex-GN’R bassist Duff McKagan had filed “baseless lawsuits” against him.

In 2008, The Beatles’ engineer Norman Smith died at the age of 85. Smith who worked on every studio recording the band made between 1962 and 1965, was nicknamed “Normal Norman” by John Lennon.

In 2009, to celebrate the release of rock superstars U2’s twelfth studio album, and their appearance every night for a week on The Late Show with David Letterman (pictured above), New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg temporarily renamed part of 53rd street near the Ed Sullivan Theatre U2 Way.

Also in 2009, the Canadian band Rush released “Retrospective III (1989-2008.)”   The third volume in the trio’s compilation series included album cuts, previously unreleased live tracks and remixes.

In 2010, ragtime pianist Dudley “Big Tiny” Little, a featured performer on TV’s “The Lawrence Welk Show” from 1955 to ’59, died at home at Carson City, Nevada at age 79.

In 2012, impressionist/actor Steve Bridges, who became well known because of his uncanny resemblance to President George W. Bush (below), died when his airway was severely compromised through a severe allergic reaction, at age 48.                                                                                                              

In 2013, soul singer Bobby Rogers, born on the same day in the same Detroit hospital as Motown crooner Smokey Robinson, with whom he harmonized in high school and in the Hall of Fame singing group The Miracles, died at age 73.  The cause was dementia, plus complications from diabetes.

In 2015, actress Lynn Borden, Miss Arizona 1957 who starred in the final year of the 1960s TV comedy Hazel, died after an extended illness at age 77.

In 2017, singer-songwriter and music industry executive Tommy Page, best known for his No. 1 single “I’ll Be Your Everything,” and in 2012 was publisher of Billboard magazine, was found dead, an apparent suicide at age 46.

Today’s Birthdays:

UK singer/guitarist Mike Pender {The Searchers) is 76.

Actress Hattie Winston (Becker, The Soul Man, The Electric Company, All Grown Up) is 73.

Singer Jennifer Warnes is 71.

Actor-director Tim Kazurinksy (Sat. Night Live) is 68.

Singer-guitarist Robyn Hitchcock is 65.

Actor Robert Gossett (The Oath, Major Crimes, The Closer, Passions) is 64.

Actress Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow, Blackadder) is 60.

Actor Taylor Nichols (Mind of the Married Man, Man of the People) is 59.

Actress Mary Page Keller (NYPD Blue) is 57

Actor Carsten Norgaard (The Man in the High Castle) is 55.

Miss USA-1985/actress Laura Harring (Sunset Beach, The Shield) is 54.

Actor Eric DaRe (Twin Peaks) is 53.

Actress Heidi Swedberg (Seinfeld) is 52.

Rapper Tone-Loc (aka Anthony Terrell Smith) is 52.

Former child actress Elizabeth Cheshire (Sunshine) is 51.

Actor Sean Bridgers (Get Shorty, Rectify, Deadwood) is 50.

Guitarist John Bigham (Fishbone) is 49.

Actress Julie Bowen (Modern Family, Boston Legal, Ed) is 48.

Country singer Brett Warren of The Warren Brothers is 47.

Actor Christian Oliver (Saved by the Bell:The New Class) is 46.

Actor/singer Matthew Marsden (Coronation Street) is 45.

Actress Alison King (Coronation Street) is 45.

Actor/voicist David Faustino (Married…With Children, The Legend of Korra) is 44.

Actor Jared Rushton (Roseanne, Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories) is 44.

Actor Barret Swatek (Awkward, 7th Heaven) is 41.

Actress Katherine Waterston (Boardwalk Empire) is 38.

Actress Mei Melançon (The L Word) is 38.

Actress Karolina Wydra (House MD) is 37.

Actress Jessica Biel (The Sinner, 7th Heaven) is 36.

Actress Mercedes Mason (Fear the Walking Dead, 666 Park Avenue, The Finder) is 36.

Actress Jennifer Sparks (Co-Ed Confidential) is 35.

Actress Hayley Marie Norman (Hello Cupid) is 34.

Singer/actress Yo-Landi Visser a/k/a Anri du Toit is 34.

Guitarist Joe “Blower” Garvey of Hinder is 34.

Actress Nathalie Kelley (Body of Proof, UnREAL) is 33.

Actor/voicist Toby Turner (The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange) is 33.

Ontario-born actress Andrea Brooks (When Calls the Heart) is 29. 

Fifth Harmony, solo singer/actress Camila Cabello is 21.


Chart Toppers – March 3

The Anniversary Song – Dinah Shore
Managua, Nicaragua – The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Don Rodney)
Oh, But I Do – Margaret Whiting
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed – Merle Travis

Lisbon Antigua – Nelson Riddle
Why Do Fools Fall in Love – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) – Perry Como
I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby – The Louvin Brothers

This Diamond Ring – Gary Lewis & The Playboys
My Girl – The Temptations
The Jolly Green Giant – The Kingsmen
I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail – Buck Owens

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
Spiders and Snakes – Jim Stafford
Boogie Down – Eddie Kendricks
Another Lonely Song – Tammy Wynette

Baby, Come to Me – Patti Austin with James Ingram
Shame on the Moon – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats
Why Baby Why – Charley Pride

To Be with You – Mr. Big
Remember the Time – Michael Jackson
Tell Me What You Want Me to Do – Tevin Campbell
What She’s Doing Now – Garth Brooks

Don’t Tell Me – Madonna
Love Don’t Cost a Thing – Jennifer Lopez
Jaded – Aerosmith
You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This – Toby Keith

TiK ToK – Ke$ha
We Are the World 25 for Haiti – Artists for Haiti
Imma Be – The Black Eyed Peas
Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner


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