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Sunday in Broadcast History .. July 26th…


ON THIS DAY in 1895,

Gracie Allen

George Burns’ longtime partner & wife Gracie Allen was born in San Francisco. She performed in vaudeville, radio, TV, and on stage as comedienne with her husband. The Burns & Allen Show debuted on radio in 1932, and ended on TV with Gracie’s retirement 25 years later. She died after a heart attack Aug 27, 1964 at age 69.

In 1903, orchestra leader Donald Voorhees was born in Allentown Pa.  He is best remembered as the musical director of NBC radio’s Bell Telephone Hour, which began an 18 year run in 1940, and continued for another 10 years on television.  Voorhees conducted for the entire 28 years. He died of pneumonia Jan 10 1989 at age 85.


Vivian Vance


In 1909, actress Vivian Vance was born Vivian Roberta Jones in Cherryvale Kansas. She is best remembered for her Emmy-winning role as the neighbour & Lucille Ball’s best friend on I Love Lucy & The Lucy Show. She died of breast & bone cancer Aug 17, 1979 at age 70.



In 1914, trumpeter & bandleader Erskine Hawkins was born in Birmingham Alabama. Dubbed “The 20th Century Gabriel,” he is most remembered as the composer of the jazz standard, “Tuxedo Junction” (1939), which became a popular hit during World War II. He died Nov 11, 1992 at age 78.

In 1921, unique storyteller/radio/TV broadcaster Jean Shepherd was born in Chicago.  His noteworthy broadcasting started in 1955 when he began weaving detailed stories and anecdotes as well as poetry readings into his overnight shifts on New York’s WOR.  He continued in various time slots on WOR until 1977, working largely without a script.   ‘Shep’ is best remembered today as the author and narrator of the classic 1983 film A Christmas Story, which is now telecast many times each holiday season.  Comedian Jerry Seinfeld credits Shepherd’s broadcasts with helping to form his comic style and presentation.  He died Oct. 16 1999 at age 78.  In 2005 he was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In 1939, 17-year-old singer Kay Starr got a big break. Sh’Baby Me’ with Glenn Miller and his Orchestra on RCA Victor Records. Starr was filling in for Marion Hutton who, at the last minute, was too ill to attend the recording session.


Gene Kelly & Judy Garland


In 1942, Judy Garland joined Gene Kelly to record ‘For Me and My Gal.’ The song was featured in their movie of the same name, and became a major hit for Decca Records.

In 1943, Gene Autry, the world’s most famous Singing Cowboy, joined the U-S Army Air Corps, and went on to fly cargo and supply planes over enemy territory in the Middle and Far East for the remainder of the war (WWII).


In 1944, actor Kiel Martin was born in Pittsburgh. He is best remembered as lovable rogue Detective John “J.D.” La Rue on the 80s television drama Hill Street Blues. He succumbed to lung cancer Dec 28, 1990 at age 46.

In 1947, the Abe Burrows Show premiered on CBS radio, as the comedy writer got his own 15 minute program.  A year later it grew to 30 minutes.

In 1949, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Some Enchanted Evening,” by Perry Como.

Rosemary Clooney

In 1952, “Half As Much” by Rosemary Clooney topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1955, actor Fess Parker (dressed as his TV alter-ego frontiersman Davy Crockett) was featured on the cover of LOOK magazine.

In 1959, Ottawa’s pop singer Paul Anka‘s single ‘Lonely Boy’ hit #1 on the Billboard charts.

In 1960, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters recorded their third #1 R&B hit “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go.”


Also in 1960, RCA Victor released Sam Cooke‘s “Chain Gang” which quickly became his first hit with the label.

Frank Ifield

In 1962, Frank Ifield was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Remember You’.  It was the singer’s first of four UK chart toppers.

In 1963, Bob Dylan appeared at the Newport Folk Festival, where he sang “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Dylan had written the song in April 1962. ‘Blowin’ in the Wind” became the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement — and a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary.

Also in 1963, “Mickey’s Monkey” was released by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. It became their third million-selling single in as many years.


In 1966, Simon & Garfunkel recorded their next Top 20 single, ‘Scarborough Fair” b/w ‘Canticle.’

In 1968, Jeannie C. Riley‘s “Harper Valley P-T-A” was released and sold two-million copies in the first two weeks of release. The song, written by Tom T. Hall, topped both the country and pop charts in the fall of that year. Riley’s single eventually sold 6 million copies for Plantation Records.

Also in 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney completed “Hey Jude” during a writing session at Paul’s home. The song hit No. 1 in the U.S. a month later.

Still in 1968, London Records in the U-S delayed the release of the Rolling Stones’ “Beggar’s Banquet” because it did not like the cover photograph of graffiti on a bathroom wall.

In 1969, lyricist/composer Frank Loesser (Standing on the Corner, Baby It’s Cold Outside, Heart And Soul, On a Slow Boat to China, Luck Be A Lady Tonight, Two Sleepy People, A Bushel and A Peck, Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition) died of lung cancer at age 59.

Also in 1969, in Las Vegas, Elvis Presley opened his first live engagement in nearly eight years.

Still in 1969, two members of the Fifth Dimension, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Junior, were married. They split up in 1980.

In 1970, rocker Jimi Hendrix performed for the last time in his home town when he headlined a concert at Sicks Seattle Stadium.  He would be dead witin two months.

Gilbert O’Sullivan


In 1972, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Alone Again (Naturally),” by Gilbert O’Sullivan.

In 1974, UBC radio station CiTR was approved for operation on 650 KHz via AM carrier current, to cover the campus only.  UBC Radio’s previous incarnation, CYVR had been ruled off the air six months earlier for continuing to operate after the CRTC began its regulation of carrier current stations. The station first began operating on carrier current in 1964.

Also in 1974, Vancouver’s CKLG AM730 was approved to increase power to 50,000 watts.

Still in 1974, “Annie’s Song” by John Denver was certified Gold.

In 1975, Van McCoy and The Soul City Symphony reached the top spot on the Billboard singles chart for the first — and only — time. The disco hit The Hustle became the top record in the U.S. The instrumental remained in the reflection of the disco mirror ball for only one week … though plenty of other disco hits followed.

Also in 1975, The Eagles started a five-week run at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘One Of These Nights’.

In 1976, Three Dog Night played as a group for the last time, in a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. They would reunite for a short time in 1981.



In 1977, Robert Plant‘s six-year-old son, Karac, died suddenly of a respiratory ailment. The remaining seven dates on Led Zeppelin‘s 11th U-S tour were cancelled.

Also in 1977, Canadian composer Gena Branscombe died in New York at 95. Born in Picton, Ontario in 1881, she lived and worked in the U-S for more than 75 years. Branscombe is known mainly for her works in the vocal and choral field.

In 1979, the Clash‘s first album was released in the U-S and Canada, two years after it came out in the group’s native Britain.

In 1980, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” by Billy Joel. It was Joel’s first No. 1 single.

John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd

Also in 1980, the Blues Brothers single ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ peaked at #18 on the Billboard pop singles chart; featuring John Belushi and Ottawa’s Dan Ackroyd.

Still in 1980, The Rolling Stones started a seven week run at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with ‘Emotional Rescue’, the group’s eighth US chart topper.

In 1984, NBC took a giant step back to the way things were done in the 1950s. NBC started shooting 15-minute episodes of Punky Brewster to use when football games spilled over into the Punky time.

Peter Gabriel

In 1986, Peter Gabriel went to No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Sledgehammer.’  And the film soundtrack to ‘Top Gun’ became No.1 on the album chart.

In 1987, singer Billy Joel began a series of six concerts in the Soviet Union with a performance in Moscow. About 300 of the 10-thousand people in attendance swarmed to the front of the auditorium, waving posters and climbing on each other’s shoulders. It was an unusual display of enthusiasm for a Soviet audience.

In 1990, Brent Mydland, keyboard player for the Grateful Dead, was found dead of a drug overdose in his California home. He was 37. Mydland wrote the well-known Dead tune “Far From Me.”

In 1991, children’s TV entertainer Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) was arrested in Florida, for exposing himself at an adult movie theater.

Also in 1991, Holly Dunn and Warner Brothers Records asked radio stations and video outlets to stop playing the country singer’s “Maybe I Mean Yes.” There were complaints the song encouraged date rape. But Dunn said she wrote it as a “lighthearted look at one couple’s attempt at dating.”

Don Percy

Still in 1991, legendary radio personality Don Percy did his last morning show on Vancouver’s oldies station CISL AM 650. Percy moved back to Winnipeg, where he’d experienced gigantic success a decade before, to host mornings on AC formatted 103 U FM (CKLU). He had been with CISL since January 1988.

Again in 1991, Bonnie Raitt and Chris Isaak began a tour of the U.S. in Park City, UT.


In 1992, singer Mary Wells, the “first lady of Motown,” died of laryngeal cancer at age 49. Wells had scored Motown’s first number-one record, “My Guy,” in 1964


In 1993, Noel Dinn, founder of the Newfoundland band Figgy Duff, died in St. John’s of cancer at 45. Figgy Duff, under Dinn’s direction, spread the traditional Celtic music of Newfoundland across the country.

Also in 1993, U-2′s “Zooropa” became the first album to debut at number one on the Top Retail Albums chart in The Record, the Canadian music industry trade magazine.

In 1994, Jerry Lee Lewis settled his 4.1-million-dollar U-S federal tax debt by promising to pay the Internal Revenue Service 560-thousand dollars.

In 1995, Laurindo Almeida, one of Brazil’s greatest guitarists, died in Los Angeles at age 77. His “Viva Bossa Nova” album was a Top-20 hit in the U-S in ’62. Almeida also won five Grammys for his classical guitar work.

Donnie Osmond

In 1996, singer Donnie Osmond apologized to TV host Rosie O’Donnell for making a comment about her weight during an earlier appearance on her show. She made him sing “Puppy Love” to her in a dog suit.

In 1998, David-Allen (ChicoRyan, who sang and played bass with the rock ‘n’ roll revival group Sha Na Na (below) for 25 years, died in a nursing home in Beverly, Massachusetts. He was 50. Ryan also appeared with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the 1978 movie musical “Grease.”

Marilyn Hall Patel

In 2000,  U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel (in federal court, San Francisco) issued a preliminary injunction against online music service Napster. The judge ordered Napster to stop distributing copyrighted songs on the Web. Although Napster fought the ruling for months, this was the beginnning of the end for the Internet music distribution site.

Also in 2000, Oasis stormed off stage after being hit with bottles, can and coins at a Swiss music festival.


Still in 2000, the celebrity management company Cassandra left dozens of acts out of pocket when it was rocked by fraud charges, filing for bankruptcy at the Manhattan Bankruptcy Court. Clients included Alanis Morissette, Pish and Afghan Wiggs.

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills


In 2001, Sir Paul McCartney announced his engagement to former model Heather Mills.  Their subsequent split in 2006 & acrimonious divorce repeatedly made headlines in the years that followed.

In 2002, singer Kenny Gardner, who married Guy Lombardo’s sister and sang with the Royal Canadians for nearly 40 years, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 89.



In 2006, the guitar on which Paul McCartney learned his first chords sold for £330,000 (about $500,000 US) at an auction at London’s Abbey Road Studios. The Rex acoustic guitar helped McCartney persuade John Lennon to let him join his band, The Quarrymen, in 1957.

Also in 2006, the final edition of TV’s Top of the Pops was recorded at the BBC in London. Just under 200 members of the public were in the audience for the show which was co-hosted by veteran disc jockey Sir Jimmy Savile, its very first presenter. Classic performances from the Spice Girls, Wham, Madonna, Beyonce Knowles and Robbie Williams were featured alongside the Rolling Stones – the very first band to appear on Top of the Pops on New Year’s Day 1964.

Still in 2006, Jeffrey Borer and Arvel Jett Reeves pleaded guilty to secretly videotaping Michael Jackson as he flew to Santa Barbara, California, to surrender in a child-molestation investigation. The men admitted installing two digital video recorders to record Jackson and his lawyer as they travelled on a private jet from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara three years earlier.

Earl Wrightson and Lois Hunt

In 2009, lyric soprano Lois Hunt, who for four decades teamed with Earl Wrightson in musical theatre and on early TV, died of complications from open-heart surgery at age 84.

In 2010, SPIN magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary with a five-day series of concerts. SPIN25 in New York City featured the Smashing Pumpkins, Black Keys and the Flaming Lips.

In 2011, Grammy-winning saxophonist/arranger/composer Frank Foster, who was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1950’s, and later led it from 1986 to 1995, died of kidney failure at age 82.

Lupe Antiveros

In 2012, character actress Lupe Antiveros, probably best remembered as Mama Solis on ABC-TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” succumbed to liver cancer at age 69.

In 2013, acclaimed guitarist/singer/songwriter J.J. Cale suffered a fatal heart attack at age 74. Both Eric Clapton and Neil Young called him the alltime best electric guitar player.

Also in 2013, Cosmo Allegretti, the actor and puppeteer who, for 29 years, performed numerous plush characters on CBS-TV’s “Captain Kangaroo,” died of emphysema at age 86.


In 2015, after six months in a medically-induced coma, singer/actress/reality TV star Bobbi Christina Brown died at age 22.  The daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown had been found unresponsive in a bathtub.  She had become a national celebrity through her reality TV appearances in the Bravo (US) series Being Bobby Brown., and Lifetime’s The Houstons: On Our Own.

Image result for sandy pearlman
Sandy Pearlman

In 2016,  Sandy Pearlman, a rock music critic and  record executive, songwriter, manager, poet and producer for acts like Blue Öyster Cult and the Clash, died following a cerebral hemorrhage that left him unable to walk or talk at age 72.

Also in 2016, Detroit-born saxophonist and flutist Allan Barnes, best known for his soulful contributions to the best-selling jazz-fusion band the Blackbyrds in the mid-’70s, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 66.

In 2017, the first lady of voice acting, June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and  Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha in the early 1960s and a key figure in the animation industry, died at age 99.  Besides hundreds of cartoon roles she was also frequently part of Stan Freberg audio productions. She was still working well into her mid-90’s.

In 2018, the US Justice Department was reported to be investigating whether communications between advertising teams at TV station groups like Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Company violated antitrust laws.


Also in 2018, Comcast reported higher revenue and earnings for the second quarter, as growth in its broadband business helped mitigate the continued loss of cable-television subscribers.



Today’s Birthdays

Actor Robert Colbert (Time Tunnel) is 89.

Actress Kathryn Hays (As The World Turns) is 87.

Singer Darlene Love is 82.

Singer Brenton Wood is 79.

Singer Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is 77.

Actress Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect) is 75.

Actress Linda Harrison {Bracken’s World) is 75.

Legendary top 40 deejay/voiceover specialist Charlie Van Dyke is 73.

Drummer Roger Meddows Taylor of Queen is 71.

Actress Susan George (EastEnders, Tales of the Unexpected) is 70.

Actress Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Wildfire) is 63.

Actor Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, Wiseguy, The Murder of Mary Phagan) is 61.

Actor Tom MacGowan (The Good Fight, The War at Home, E’body Loves Raymond, Frazier, Down the Shore) is 61.

Singer Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen) is 59.

Actress Sandra Bullock (Working Girl, George Lopez) is 56.

Actor Danny Woodburn (Crash & Bernstein, Passions, Special Unit 2, Conan 1997) is 56.

Actor Jeremy Piven (Mr. Selfridge, Entourage, Ellen) is 55.

Singer Jim Lindberg of Pennywise is 55.

Singer Wayne Wonder is 54.

Actress Olivia Williams (Manhattan, Dollhouse) is 52.

CHEK-TV News Anchor Stacey Ross is ??

Actor Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie, Close to Home) is 50.

Host Chris Harrison of ABC’s “The Bachelor” & “The Bachelorette” is 49.

Singer Wayne Wonder is 48.

Actress Kate Beckinsale (Emma, One Against the Wind) is 47.

Actor/comedian/writer Gary Owen (House of Payne, Upload with Shaquille O’Neal) is 47.

Drummer Dan Konopka of OK Go is 46.

Edmonton-born actor Ben Cotton (Arctic Air, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Hellcats) is 45.

Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 43.

Actress Eve Myles (Victoria, Broadchurch) is 42.

Actress Mageina Tovah (The Magicians, Joan of Arcadia) is 41.

Actress Juliet Rylance (American Gothic, The Knick) is 41.

Toronto-born actress Kristin Adams (The Kennedys, Beach Girls) is 38.

CNN News anchor/host Kate Bolduan is 37.

Actress Grace Byers (Empire) is 36.

Actress Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Lie to Me) is 34.

Actress Sarah Stouffer (Switched at Birth) is 34.

Ontario-born actress Miriam McDonald (Degrassi: The Next Generation) is 33.

Actress Francia Raisa (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Un-Real) is 32.

Actress Caitlin Gerard (Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous, Jan) is 32.

Drummer Jamie Sharpe of Rush of Fools is 31.

Actress Bianca Santos (The Fosters, Happyland) is 30.

Actress/singer Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl) is 27.

Singer/actress Elizabeth Gillies (Victorious) is 27.


Chart Toppers – July 26th

I’m Yours – Eddie Fisher
Walkin’ My Baby Back Home – Johnnie Ray
Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart – Vera Lynn
Are You Teasing Me – Carl Smith

Tossin’ and Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis
The Boll Weevil Song – Brook Benton
Yellow Bird – Arthur Lyman Group
Heartbreak U.S.A. – Kitty Wells

(They Long to Be) Close to You – Carpenters
Band of Gold – Freda Payne
Make It with You – Bread
Wonder Could I Live There Anymore – Charley Pride

Bad Girls – Donna Summer
Good Times – Chic
Makin’ It – David Naughton
Shadows in the Moonlight – Anne Murray

Hold on to the Nights – Richard Marx
Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
New Sensation – INXS
Set ‘Em Up Joe – Vern Gosdin

I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy & Faith Evans
Bitch – Meredith Brooks
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) – Backstreet Boys
Carrying Your Love with Me – George Strait

Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
Unfaithful – Rihanna
Me & U – Cassie
The World – Brad Paisley


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