ON THIS DAY in 1857
physicist Heinrich Hertz became the first person to broadcast & receive radio waves.
On this day in 1907, actor Robert Young was born in Chicago. After many romantic leads on the big screen, he became endeared to North American audiences in two successful TV series, Father Knows Best (a role he began on radio) & Marcus Welby M.D. He died of respiratory failure July 21, 1998 at age 91.
Also this day in 1907, actor & producer Sheldon Leonard was born in New York City. He was an active supporting player in bigtime radio, portraying largely Brooklynesque characters. He had a recurring role on The Jack Benny Show (radio & TV) as a racetrack tout. In TV he was an ultra-successful producer, with I Spy, Make Room for Daddy, the Dick Van Dyke Show, the Andy Griffith Show, My World & Welcome To It, The Don Rickles Show, etc. He died Jan 10 1997 at age 89.
On this day in 1910, announcer Ken Roberts was born Saul Trochman in New York City. He is remembered for his huge body of work during the Golden Age of Radio, especially on The Shadow, It Pays to Be Ignorant, Quick as a Flash & Easy Aces, and for announcing the daytime TV soap operas The Secret Storm and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span. He died of pneumonia June 19 2009 at age 99.
On this day in 1918, announcer Don Pardo (below) was born in Westfield Massachusetts. Best remembered as the announcer for the first 39 years of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ he uniquely scored a 70 year career as announcer for NBC Radio & TV. He was still making weekly flights from his Arizona retirement home to New York to work live on SNL when he died August 18 2014, at age 96.
On this day in 1920, honky-tonk piano player Del Wood, whose real name was Adelaide Hendricks, was born in Nashville. She recorded a ragtime version of a fiddle tune called “Down Yonder” in 1951 and came up with a million-seller. Jerry Lee Lewis has cited Del Wood as one of the artists he listened to in his early years. Wood died on October 3rd, 1989 of a stroke at age 69.
On this day in 1922, radio station WOR went on the air from studios in Newark N.J. It is one of a handful of radio stations still using the same call letters today.
On this day in 1924, the first presidential radio address from the White House took place featuring President Calvin Coolidge utilizing the rapidly developing new technology. His first address to Congress had been aired two months earlier.
On this day in 1925, singer Guy Mitchell was born Albert George Cernick in Detroit. His gold records in the 50’s include “My Heart Cries for You,” “My Truly Truly Fair,” “The Roving Kind,” “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania” and “Singing the Blues.” He died in Las Vegas after surgery July 1 1999 at age 74.
On this day in 1931, Maurice Chevalier recorded Walkin’ My Baby Back Home for Victor Records in New York City. The same tune was recorded 21 years later by Nat “King” Cole and Johnny Ray. It became a major hit for both artists.
On this day in 1936, r-and-b singer Ernie K. Doe was born Ernest Kador, Jr., in New Orleans. His biggest hit, “Mother-in-Law,” reached No. 1 in 1961. He died of cirrhosis of the liver July 5 2001 at age 65.
On this day in 1945, ’60s folk-rock singer Oliver, whose full name was William Oliver Swofford, was born in North Carolina. His big hits were Jean, & Good Morning Starshine. He died Feb 12, 2000 a few days short of his 55th birthday.
On this day in 1952, bass Don Gerrard, a native of Vancouver, made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company as the Speaker in “The Magic Flute.” He moved to England in 1961 to become principal bass of the Sadler’s Wells company, but continued to return to Canada to perform.
On this day in 1954, ABC Radio’s popular Breakfast Club program with longtime host, Don McNeill, was first simulcast on TV. The daily telecast ended a year later, but the radio program continued through December 1968. Don McNeill eventually set the record as the longest-tenured host of any entertainment broadcast. His 35-and-a-half years exceeds Bob Barker (34 years 8 Months on The Price is Right) and Johnny Carson (29.5 years on the Tonight Show.)
On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley had a Top 10 pop hit for the first time. (“Memories are Made of This” by Dean Martin was #1.) “Heartbreak Hotel” began its ascent to the top this day, reaching #1 on April 11 where it ruled for eight weeks.
On this day in 1958, Roy Hamilton‘s single, Don’t Let Go, landed at #13 in its first week on the charts. The song was the first stereo record to make the pop charts.
On this day in 1960, Lower Mainland radio station CKNW AM 980 increased its power to 10,000 watts day/5,000 watts night. It had made the shift up the dial from 1320 KHz the previous year.
Also this day in 1960, the instrumental “Theme From A Summer Place” by Canadian-born Percy Faith topped the charts and stayed there for 9 weeks.
Still this day in 1960, Columbia Records released Marty Robbins‘ “Big Iron,” the followup single to his smash crossover hit, “El Paso.” It became his ninth Top Five entry in the country music charts.
On this day in 1963, “Please Please Me” by The Beatles became the Fab Four’s first #1 hit in Great Britain.
On this day in 1964, The Beatles arrived back in London following their first visit to North America.
On this day in 1967, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Kind of a Drag” by The Buckinghams. The group from Chicago was originally called the Pulsations.
On this day in 1968, Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson announced creation of Radio-Québec, a provincially owned radio and television network.
Also this day in 1968, Genesis released its first single, “The Silent Sun,” which failed to chart. Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks later said they wrote the song in the style of the Bee Gees to impress producer and Bee Gees fan Jonathan King.
On this day in 1969, British glitter-rock band T. Rex kicked off a British tour in Manchester. On the same bill, David Bowie, a friend of T. Rex leader Marc Bolan, performed a mime act about Tibetan Buddhist monks.
Also this day in 1969, The Beatles began work on one of their final tracks as a group, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” for the Abbey Road album.
On this day in 1974, in London the rock/blues band Ten Years After performed in concert for the last time.
On this day in 1975, “Pick Up the Pieces” by the Average White Band topped the charts .. but only for a week.
On this day in 1976, Florence Ballard, an original member of the Supremes, died in Detroit of cardiac arrest at age 32. She had either quit or been fired from the Supremes in 1967 because of friction with lead singer Diana Ross. She and her three children were living on welfare at the time of her death.
Also this day in 1976, English actress Angela Baddeley who played Mrs Bridges on the popular PBS series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” died due to pneumonia at age 71.
On this day in 1977, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “New Kid in Town” by the Eagles. The single, the first release from the album “Hotel California,” was the group’s first to be certified Gold for selling more than 1 million copies.
On this day in 1978, the Police starred in a British TV commercial for Wrigley’s chewing gum. The ad was made a few months before the band’s single “Roxanne” was released in the U-K.
Also this day in 1978, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen were arrested in New York and charged with drug possession.
This day in 1980 saw a pivotal moment for ice hockey in the United States and the broadcasting of same. The “Miracle on Ice” U.S. victory over Russia was a dramatic, come-from-behind, 4-3 victory at Lake Placid, New York. The only live broadcast in North America was Bernie Pascall‘s playbyplay on CTV. ABC aired the game as a delayed telecast. The U.S. went on to defeat Finland, 4-2, two days later to win the Olympic gold medal.
On this day in 1981, Quebec fiddler Ti-Blanc Richard died in Sherbrooke at 60. He was one of Canada’s leading novelty fiddlers, and combined country and traditional Quebec folk music in his repertoire. He made more than a dozen L-P’s in the 1960’s and ’70s.
On this day in 1985, actor Alexander Scourby suffered a fatal heart attack at age 71. One of the great voiceovers/narrators, he is immortalized on the soundtrack of TV’s classic documentary about WWII, “Victory at Sea.”
On this day in 1986, singer Bruce Cockburn gave a cheque for 28-thousand dollars to the Council of the Haida Nation following two concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Natives were to use the proceeds in their fight to stop logging on Lyell Island in the Queen Charlottes.
Also this day in 1986, US cable channel MTV aired a 22 hour marathon of the Monkees TV episodes to mark the group’s 20th anniversary.
On this day in 1987, producer & host David Susskind, of the pioneering TV talk shows Open End and the David Susskind Show, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 66.
On this day in 1989, Jethro Tull won the first ever heavy metal Grammy to be awarded, beating out Metallica. Milli Vanilli won a Grammy for Best New Artist; however it was admitted later they were not the vocalists on their album.
On this day in 1990, Alberta’s k.d. lang won the Grammy Award as top female country singer in the USA.
Also this day in 1990, a jury in Los Angeles rejected a 25-million-dollar claim that Stevie Wonder‘s Oscar-winning 1984 song “I Just Called to Say I Love You” was stolen from another songwriter. Lloyd Chiate alleged Wonder’s song, part of the soundtrack for “Woman in Red,” was stolen from a song he co-wrote, “I Just Called to Say.”
On this day in 1992, all 34-thousand seats for two Grateful Dead shows at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton sold out in 56 minutes. Ontario “deadheads” had started lining up a week before the tickets went on sale.
On this day in 1993, CBS announced that the network had purchased the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York for David Letterman‘s new T-V show. Letterman had been rumored to be ready to move the program to Los Angeles.
On this day in 1994, violinist Papa John Creach, who became a rock star with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, died of heart failure at age 76.
Also this day in 1994, Vancouver’s CKLG AM 730 dropped its experiment in talk radio and returned to contemporary hit music.
On this day in 1995, Elton John told the British “New Musical Express” magazine that he was hooked on cocaine in the 1980’s and used to wash it down with a bottle of whiskey a night.
Also this day in 1995, actor Ed Flanders , best remembered as Dr. Westphall on TV’s St Elsewhere, committed suicide at age 60.
On this day in 1997, “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls topped the Billboard singles chart and stayed there for 4 weeks. It was the first UK act to score a US No.1 for more than 18 months.
On this day in 1998, Fox News correspondent Sandy Hume committed suicide at age 28.
On this day in 1999, the Tragically Hip (below) became the first act to play Toronto’s brand new hockey arena, the Air Canada Centre.
Also this day in 1999, “And the Beat Goes On”, the made-for-TV movie about Sonny & Cher‘s rise to fame and the downfall of their marriage, had its premiere in prime time on ABC-TV.
Still in 1999, Jimmy Chamberlin announced that he had rejoined the Smashing Pumpkins, 3 1/2 years after being ousted from the group for his involvement in the fatal drug overdose of keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin.
On this day in 2001, controversial rapper Eminem won Grammy awards for best rap solo and duo performances and best rap album. Steely Dan won their first Grammys ever, including album of the year for “Two Against Nature.” Other winners included U-2 and Joni Mitchell.
Also in 2001, the British newspaper Sunday Mirror reported that The Beatles, who’d been broken up for the past 31 years, were nevertheless the top grossing recording group of the year 2000.
On this day in 2002, animator & cartoon producer Chuck Jones, of the Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Wily Coyote shorts that were a mainstay of daytime and Saturday morning TV for so long, died at age 90.
Also in 2002, Parksville BC’s CKCI AM 1350 signed off for the last time after simulcasting its replacement CIBH-FM “The Beach” for little more than 5 weeks.
On this day in 2003, Sir Paul McCartney entertained at a private 50th birthday party near San Diego for Wendy Whitworth, the executive producer of CNN’s Larry King Show. McCartney turned over his $1 million fee to charity.
On this day in 2004, the final episode of TV’s Sex and the City aired in the US after its six-season run on HBO.
Also in 2004, Puddle of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin was arrested in Toledo, Ohio, for allegedly throwing a bottle into an audience and spitting on them while publicly drunk.
Still in 2004, Norah Jones started a six week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Feels Like Home’, the singers second No.1 album.
On this day in 2005, Journey‘s keyboardist Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon were guests on TV’s “Biker Build-Off” on the Discovery Channel.
On this day in 2006, at about 9:40 pm PST, Apple’s iTunes store sold its 1 billionth song.
On this day in 2007, Britney Spears checked into rehab for the third time in a week.
On this day in 2009, Toronto-based Laddie Dennis, the first woman to appear on Canadian television, a CFRB Radio personality and Westinghouse (Canada) TV pitchwoman for more than 6 years, died at age 88.
On this day in 2011, announcer Bill Nimmo, whose career in radio & TV spanned seven decades, died at age 93. He had first come to natiional attention as “Bill the Bartender” on Pabst Blue Ribbon commercials on early TV. He was Johnny Carson’s first sidekick (before Ed McMahon) on TV’s “Who Do you Trust,” and briefly Jackie Gleason’s announcer, before a year as Regis Philbin’s announcer on his local show in Los Angeles. Nimmo also hosted a pair of short-lived network TV quiz shows.
On this day in 2012, we lost two US musicians of note. Guitarist/songwriter/arranger Billy Strange, who worked with Elvis, the Beach Boys, Rick Nelson and the Everly Brothers, died at age 81. And distinguished arranger/keyboardist Mike Melvoin, who recorded with Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys, succumbed to cancer at age 74.
On this day in 2013, actor George Ives, who had recurring roles in the TV series The Jim Backus Show and Mister Roberts, died at age 87.
On this day in 2015, Kid Rock performed at at the Daytona 500. His set included songs from his recent “First Kiss” album plus “Bawitdaba.”
On this day in 2016, singer Sonny James, whose first Number One single, 1957’s “Young Love,” topped both the pop and country charts, and was followed by more than 20 #1 country hits, died of natural causes at age 87.
On this day in 2017, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that Berry Gordy, Jr., Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and James ‘Jimmy Jam’ Harris III would be among those inducted to the hall on June 15 of that year.
Also in 2017, Eddie Van Halen spoke out in favor of music education in schools during a CNN interview. “Music is such a necessity,” said the guitarist. “It touches people’s souls. Music is the universal language to me. It transcends everything.” Van Halen has donated countless guitars and other instruments to school programs.
On this day in 2018, actress, singer and dancer Nanette Fabray died in a California nursing home at age 97. In the mid-1950s, she w as Sid Caesar‘s comedic partner on the NBC-TV skitfest Caesar’s Hour, for which she won three Emmy Awards. From 1979 to 1984, she appeared as Katherine Romano on the CBS-TV sitcom One Day at a Time.
Also in 2018, Red Chili Peppers bom the assist Flea wrote of the growing opioid crisis in a Time magazine op-ed titled “The Temptation of Drugs Is a Bitch.” “There is obviously a time when painkillers should be prescribed, but medical professions should be more discerning, I finally got that drugs were destructive and robbing my life force. I cut them out forever.”
On this day in 2019, producers announced that Jussie Smollet had been suspended from the cast of the Fox network drama “Empire,” and had been removed from the last two episodes of the season. This after allegations that he had orchestrated a racist assault incident.
Also in 2019, UK rocker Peter Frampton revealed that he’d been diagnosed with a degenerative muscular disease, and that his next tour would be his last.
Actor Paul Dooley (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Grace Under Fire, Coming of Age) is 93.
Trombonist Eugene Watts, retired co-founder of the Canadian Brass is 85.
UK actress Judy Cornwell (Keeping Up Appearances) is 81.
Actor John Ashton (Hardball, The Day Lincoln Was Shot) is 73.
Actress Julie Walters (Oliver Twist, Jake’s Progress, Indian Summers) is 71.
Actress Ellen Greene (Pushing Daisies) is 70.
Actor Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey, Pillars of the Earth) is 64.
Actress Gillian Barber (The Man in the High Castle, Witches of East End) is 63.
Yakima Wash.-born actor Kyle MacLachlan (Portlandia, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Desperate Housewives, Sex & the City, Twin Peaks) is 62.
Nanaimo-born actor Christopher Hart (Addams Family Reunion) is 60.
Actor Ethan Wayne (The Bold & the Beautiful, The New Adam-12) is 59.
Actor James Wlcek (One Life t Live, As the World Turns, Walker Texas Ranger) is 57.
Actor Scott Lowell (Queer as Folk, Adoptable, Bones) is 56.
Comedienne/actress Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live, The Awesomes, 30 Rock) is 55.
Actor Thorsten Kaye (All My Children, One Life to Live) is 55.
Actor/producer Paul Lieberstein (The Office, King of the Hill) is 54.
Actress Jeri Ryan (Bosch, Leverage, Shark, Boston Public, Star Trek: Voyager) is 53.
Actor Thomas Jane (The Expanse, Hung, 61) is 52.
TV co-host Clinton Kelly (The Chew, Rachel Ray, What Not to Wear) is 52.
Actor José Solano (Baywatch) is 50.
Actress/singer Lea Solanga (As The World Turns) is 50.
Actor Jose Solano (Baywatch) is 50.
Drummer Scott Phillips (Creed, Alter Bridge) is 48.
Singer James Blunt is 47.
Actress Liza Huber (Passions) is 46.
Actress Drew Barrymore (Family Guy, 2000 Malibu Road) is 46.
Actress Tamara Mello (Popular, Nothing Sacred) is 45.
Actress Jessica Kiper (Now That’s Sketchy!, Gilmore Girls, For Your Love) is 42.
Singer Tom Higgenson of Plain White T’s is 42.
Actor Elodie Yung (Daredevil) is 40.
Actress Dichen Lachman (Last Resort) is 39.
Actress Kim Allen (Army Wives) is 39.
Guitarist Joe Hottinger of Halestorm is 39.
Actress Mimi Michaels (Shades of Blue, Quantum Break) is 38.
Actress/director/writer Jodie-Amy Rivera (The Princess Chronicles) is 37.
Actor Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries, As The World Turns) is 36.
Actor Miko Hughes (Life with Louie, Full House) is 35.
Actor Josh Helman (The Pacific) is 35.
Actor Colton James (7th Heaven) is 33.
Actress Johanna McGinley (Outsiders) is 33.
Vancouver-born actor Bryce Hodgson (iZombie) is 32.
Actor Daniel E. Smith (The Bold and the Beautiful) is 31.
Actor Michael Johnston (Teen Wolf) is 25.
Chart Toppers – Feb. 22
For Sentimental Reasons – Nat King Cole
The Anniversary Song – Dinah Shore
Oh, But I Do – Margaret Whiting
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed – Merle Travis
Rock and Roll Waltz – Kay Starr
Lisbon Antigua – Nelson Riddle
It’s Almost Tomorrow – The Dream Weavers
Why Baby Why – Red Sovine & Webb Pierce
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
The Way We Were – Barbra Streisand
Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) – Aretha Franklin
Spiders and Snakes – Jim Stafford
That’s the Way Love Goes – Johnny Rodriguez
Baby, Come to Me – Patti Austin with James Ingram
Shame on the Moon – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Stray Cat Strut – Stray Cats
Faking Love – T.G. Sheppard & Karen Brooks
I’m Too Sexy – R*S*F (Right Said Fred)
To Be with You – Mr. Big
Remember the Time – Michael Jackson
What She’s Doing Now – Garth Brooks
Love Don’t Cost a Thing – Jennifer Lopez
Don’t Tell Me – Madonna
You Make Me Sick – Pink
There Is No Arizona – Jamie O’Neal
TiK ToK – Ke$ha
Imma Be – The Black Eyed Peas
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
Why Don’t We Just Dance – Josh Turner
Today in Broadcast History compiled by Ron Robinson