Tuesday in Broadcasting History .. January 4th


ON THIS DAY in 1905

Sterling Holloway

actor Sterling Holloway was born in Cedartown Georgia.  Best known as the voice of Winnie the Pooh in TV & film, he accrued other broadcast credits on the TV series Rin Tin Tin, Willy, The Life of Riley, The Baileys of Balboa, Adventures of Superman, Gilligan’s Island, That Girl & F-Troop.  He suffered cardiac arrest & died Nov 22, 1992 at age 87.

Jesse White

On this day in 1917, character actor Jesse White was born Marc Weidenfeld in Buffalo NY. Although best remembered as the Maytag Repairman for more than two decades, he had the distinction of being the first actor to work on two TV sitcoms simultaneously, Private Secretary & Make Room for Daddy.  His film & TV career spanned 50 years. He died of a heart attack Jan 9 1997 at age 80.


Al ‘Jazzbo’ Collins


On this day in 1919, radio personality Al ‘Jazzbo’ Collins was born in Rochester, N.Y. He is best known for creating the Purple Grotto program on WNEW New York, and on this coast for his allnight talk shows at KGO San Francisco (1976-79).  He died of pancreatic cancer September 30, 1997 at age 78.


On this day in 1923, pioneer radio stations WEAF New York and WNAC Boston conducted the first wired simulcast.

On this day in 1928, NBC radio debuted one of radio’s first variety shows. “The Dodge Victory Hour” starred Will Rogers, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and singer Al Jolson. The cost to produce this one show was $67,600.

On this day in 1932, the NBC Red network premiered “The Carnation Contented Hour”. The show continued on network radio for 19 years as a showcase for top singers and musicians. Why “The Carnation CONTENTED Hour”? Because Carnation evaporated milk comes only from contented cows, of course.

On this day in 1935, Bert Ambrose and his English orchestra recorded the song that became the band’s theme song. It was “Hors D’oeuvres” and it was cut in London for Decca Records.

Bob Hope

Also this day in 1935, Bob Hope was first heard on network radio as part of “The Intimate Revue” with Jane Froman, James Melton and the Al Goodman Orchestra. The variety show, sponsored by Bromo Seltzer, lasted only fourteen weeks, but Hope’s association with NBC continued for more than half-a-century.

On this day in 1936, the first pop music chart based on national sales was published by “Billboard” magazine. Joe Venuti, the jazz violinist, was at the top of the chart with a little ditty called, “Stop! Look! Listen!”.

On this day in 1950, RCA Victor announced that it would manufacture long-playing (LP) records, a format pioneered by Columbia records while RCA was pushing the 45 RPM discs.

Hank Williams

On this day in 1953, thousands of people attended the funeral of country star Hank Williams in Montgomery, Alabama.
He had died of a drug/alcohol-related heart attack three days earlier.

On this day in 1954, Elvis Presley strolled into the Memphis Recording Service and put $4 on the counter. He recorded “Casual Love Affair” and “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way”, two songs that so impressed studio owner Sam Phillips that he had Elvis record his first professional sides for Sun Records the following August.

On this day in 1955, Perry Como taped his next Top Five pop hit, “Ko-Ko-Mo {I Love You So).”

On this day in 1957, boxing champ Joe Louis appeared on NBC-TV’s “The Steve Allen Show” to introduce soul singer Solomon Burke, who sang Louis’ song “You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide.”

Also in 1957, the TV sitcom “Blondie,” based on the comic strip of the same name, debuted on NBC. Even though Penny Singleton had starred in a string of Blondie feature films and the 11-year radio series, producers chose Pamela Britton for the title role, with Arthur Lake playing Dagwood Bumstead as he had in the movies and on radio. The TV show was cancelled after just 26 episodes.

On this day in 1959, the TV quiz show “GE College Bowl” debuted on CBS with Allen Ludden as quizmaster.  He left in 1962 to host “Password” fulltime (he had done both shows beginning in October ’61) and was succeeded by Robert Earle.  In 1963 “College Bowl” moved to NBC for the rest of its 11-year run.

On this day in 1960, “El Paso” by Marty Robbins topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Bobby Rydell

Also in 1960, Bobby Rydell recorded his biggest hit single “Wild One” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard chart.

On this day in 1963, Roy Orbison was in the RCA Nashville studios to tape his operatic ballad of lost love, his next Top Ten single “In Dreams” backed with “Falling.”

On this day in 1964, the song “There! I’ve Said it Again” by Bobby Vinton topped the charts and stayed there for 4 weeks.

On this day in 1965, Leo Fender sold the Fender Guitar Company to CBS for $13 million.

Also in 1965, Tony Bennett recorded his next charting single, and the title tune for his next Columbia album, the Broadway showtune “If I Ruled the World.”

On this day in 1966, the last episode of “Rawhide” aired on CBS.

On this day in 1967, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees. At seven weeks, this became the longest-running No. 1 song since the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Also in 1967, The Doors released their self-titled debut album “The Doors.” Unique packaging of the album included each band member’s bio.

On this day in 1968, UCLA announced that students taking music degrees would have to study the music of The Rolling Stones, on the grounds they had made a very important contribution to modern music.

On this day in 1969, two future icons of country music, Dolly Parton and George Jones joined the Grand Ole Opry.

Lassie and Tommy

On this day in 1970, television history was made when super dog Lassie was hit by a car while pushing a child away from danger. “Lassie” was seen on TV, for the next month, suffering from amnesia.

Also in 1970, on CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show, British recording star Oliver sang a medley of his hits.Roy Rogers and Dale Evans also sang, while Phyllis Diller, Rodney Dangerfield and Frank Gorshin supplied the laughs.

Still this day in 1970, Walter Cronkite hosted “The Twentieth Century” for the final time. The weekly documentary was ending a 13 year run on CBS-TV.

Again in 1970, The Beatles (without John Lennon) re-recorded vocals and a new guitar solo on the Paul McCartney song ‘Let It Be’ at Studio Two, EMI Studios in  London. This session would be the final studio appearance for the Beatles, as a group.

On this day in 1974, Peter Puck, by gosh, was introduced to the US as hockey was presented in prime time. The Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers were featured in the NHL contest. Marv Albert was mikeside with play-by-play for NBC TV.

Also in 1974, Elton John‘s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” single was certified as a Gold Record.

On this day in 1975, Elton John started a two week run at No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with his version of The Beatles ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.  John Lennon played guitar on the song.

On this day in 1977, innovative Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck hired a woman, Mary Shane to be the first woman to do baseball play-by-play on TV.   By mid-season, however, it was apparent Ms. Shane’s lack of experience and baseball knowledge had turned it into a bad idea and she was pulled from the broadcasts.

On this day in 1979, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees.

The group donated all proceeds from sales of the single to UNICEF, the United Nations agency dedicated to helping the world’s children.

On this day in 1981, CHEK TV 6 Victoria dropped all CBC programming and became a full time CTV affiliate.

On this day in 1982, Bryant Gumbel moved from NBC Sports to the anchor desk at the “Today” Show where he joined Jane Pauley. At the same time, Chris Wallace was promoted to Washington co-anchor.

Night Court

On this day in 1984, the zany sitcom “Night Court” starring Harry Anderson premiered on NBC TV. It continued for nine seasons.

On this day in 1986, bass guitarist/singer/songwriter Phil Lynott, the frontman for the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, became a mortal victim of an escalating drug habit.  His death at age 36 was attributed to internal abscesses, septicaemia, pneumonia and multiple organ failures caused by his serious drug dependency.

On this day in 1998, balladeer John Gary died in Richardson, Texas, following a long battle with cancer. He was 65. Gary’s biggest hit was the album “The Nearness Of You,” which reached No. 11 in 1965.

On this day in 2000, Carlos Santana‘s remarkable recent comeback received further validation when the veteran Latin rocker was nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, including album of the year for his Arista set “Supernatural.”

Also in 2000, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda announced they were divorcing after eight years of marriage. On that same day, “Scary Spice” Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls announced she and husband Jimmy Gulzar were splitting after 15 months of marriage.

On this day in 2001, big bandleader Les Brown (I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time, Sentimental Journey) died of cancer at age 88.  He had been Bob Hope’s orchestra leader for the latter years of his radio show and his entire TV run.

Courtney Love

Also this day in 2001, rocker Courtney Love filed a lawsuit against her alleged stalker claiming that Lesley Barber, the ex-wife of her current boyfriend Jim Barber, drove over her foot. This had forced her to forfeit her role in a forthcoming film and lost her the $340,000 payday that went with it.

Still in 2001, rapper Vanilla Ice spent the night in a Florida jail after allegedly ripping out some of his wife’s hair. Ice (born Robert Van Winkle) told police he pulled out some of his wife’s hair to prevent her from jumping out of their truck’s window.

Ray Davies

On this day in 2004, singer Ray Davies of The Kinks was shot in the leg as he chased after a purse snatcher in New Orleans.

On this day in 2006, the Nashville-area home where Johnny Cash lived for 35 years was bought by Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb.


On this day in 2007, Nikki Bacharach the daughter of songwriter Burt Bacharach and actress Angie Dickinson committed suicide by suffocation using a plastic bag and helium. The 40-year-old had suffered from Asperger’s disorder.

On this day in 2008, Britney Spears was carried out of her home on a stretcher and taken into custody after police were called in a dispute involving her children.
After nearly three hours of negotiations, Spears handed over her two children to her ex-husband Kevin Federline. Blood tests revealed no illicit substances in her system.

Rory Markas

On this day in 2010, California sportscaster Rory Markas died following a heart attack at age 54, just weeks after he’d been named TV voice of the Los Angeles Angels. He had been the team’s primary radio playbyplay guy since 2002. Enroute to the big leagues he spent three seasons as the radio voice of the Vancouver Canadians.

Also this day in 2010, the live music website Pollstar.com reported that the Dave Matthews Band was the top North American concert money earner between 2000-2009, raking in $529.1 million. Canadian pop singer Celine Dion and country music’s Kenny Chesney were second and third. Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones rounded out the Top 5.

On this day in 2011, Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty, best known for his solo hit “Baker Street” and the lead vocals on Stealers Wheel’s lone hit “Stuck In The Middle,” lost his long battle with liver disease at age 63.

On this day in 2013, Sammy Johns, the country singer/songwriter whose ditty about a chance encounter with a girl, “Chevy Van,” sold 3 million copies and was called “The Song of the Seventies” by Rolling Stone magazine, died at age 66.

Also in 2013, actor Tony Lip, best known for his portrayal of crime boss Carmine Lupertazzi in HBO’s The Sopranos, died at age 82, after being in poor health for several years.

On this day in 2014, ‘Bono won the Bono.’  U2 received the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF),”for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice” and for the song “Ordinary Love” from the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

On this day in 2015, Stuart Scott, for more than two decades one of the top sportscasters at ESPN,  lost his battle with cancer at age 49. Scott was famous for including culture references, slang and exuberant phrases along with his reports. His signature expression was “Booyah!”

Also in 2015, Joe GuercioElvis Presley’s musical director and conductor in the 1970’s, died in a Nashville hospice at age 87.  His first high-profile music gig was working as an accompanist for Patti Page, and he subsequently served as musical director for Diana RossSteve Lawrence & Eydie GormeFlorence HendersonJim Nabors and Diahann Carroll, among others.

On this day in 2016, Robert Stigwood, who managed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame groups like Cream and the Bee Gees and produced films like Saturday Night Fever and Grease, died in London at age 81.  For four years in the late 70’s he also produced the ABC-TV stunt game show Almost Anything Goes.

On this day in 2018, Ray Thomas, flautist, vocalist and founding member of the Moody Blues, died at home at age 76, five years after being diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer.

Also in 2018, Billboard declared Guns N’ Roses’ “Not In This Lifetime” trek to be the fourth biggest grossing tour of all-time, earning more than $475 million. The top three tours were U2’s 360 ($736 million), the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang ($558) and Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams ($523 million).

On this day in 2019, Nashville Mayor David Briley  signed into law a council resolution for Kid Rock’s recently opened bar authorizing the installation of a 20-foot-tall neon sign – a guitar with the instrument’s body intentionally shaped like a woman’s buttocks. Of course, not everyone is “in tune” with the plan.

Today’s birthdays

Actress Barbara Rush (Seventh Heaven, Peyton Place, Flamingo Road) is 95.

Tacoma-born actress Dyan Cannon (Three Sisters, Ally McBeal, The Practice) is 86.

Actor Oliver Clark (The Two of Us, Bob Newhart Show) is 84.

Actor John Bennett Perry (Falcon Crest) is 81.

Country singer Kathy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 67.

Actress Ann Magnuson (All Grown Up, Wanda at Large, Anything But Love) is 66.

Rock musician Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division) is 66.

Country singer Patty Loveless is 65.

Actor Matt Frewer (Intelligence, Star Trek: Next Generation, Max Headroom) is 64.

Actor Julian Sands (Crossbones, 24) is 64.

Niagara Falls-born ex-model/singer/actress Vanity aka Denise Matthews (Vanity 6, Lady Boss) is 63.

Actress/voicist April Winchell (Wander Over Yonder, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, 101 Dalmations: the Series, Mighty Ducks, Goof Troop) is 62.

Rock singer/songwriter Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) is 62.

Actor Lee Curreri (Fame) is 61.

Actor Patrick Cassidy (Smallville, Dirty Dancing) is 60.

Toronto-born actor Dave Foley (Dr. Ken, Spun Out, Hot in Cleveland, NewsRadio, Kids in the Hall) is 59.

Actress Dot-Marie Jones (Glee, Venice The Series) is 58.

Actress Julia Ormond (Traffik, Young Catherine) is 57.

Actor Rick Hearst (The Bold & the Beautiful, General Hospital) is 57.

Former Pogues singer Cait O’Riordan is 57.

Country singer Deana Carter is 56.

Rock musician Benjamin Darvill aka Son of Dave (Crash Test Dummies) is 55.

Actor Lindsay Kennedy (Little House On The Prairie) is 53.

Actor Adam Trese (Madoff, Push) is 53.

Actor Josh Stamberg (Drop Dead Diva, The Affair, The Loudest Voice) is 52.

Actor Jeremy Licht (Valerie/The Hogan Family) is 51.

Actor Damon Gupton (Empire, Black Lightning, Criminal Minds, Prime Suspect) is 49.

Actress Claudie Blakely (Lark Rise to Candleford) is 48.

Actress Flora Montgomery (The Murdoch Mysteries) is 48.

Actress-singer Jill Marie Jones (Girlfriends) is 47.

Actress Samantha Sloyan (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) is 43.

TV host/fashionista Jeannie Mai (The Real, 10 Years Younger) is 43.

Actor/voicist Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ultimate Spider-Man, Teenage Titans) is 42.

Actress Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force) is 42.

Actress June Diane Raphael (Grace & Frankie, NTSF:SD:SUV) is 42.

Actress D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place, Barry, UCB Comedy Originals) is 42.

Actor Aaron Schwartz (Gossip Girl) is 41.

Musician Justin Townes Earle is 40.

Actress Kerry Condon (Better Call Saul, Believe, Rome) is 39.

Singer Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath is 39.

Actress Robyn Sidney (Drake & Josh) is 38.

Actress Lenora Crichlow (A to Z, Back in The Game) is 37.

Actress Charlyne Yi (House MD) is 36.

Vancouver-born actress Michelle Mylett (Four in the Morning, Letterkenny, Ascension) is 32. 

Actress Olivia Tennet (Power Rangers RPM) is 31.

Actress Hannah James (Mercy Street) is 29.

Actress Maddie Hasson (Twisted, The Finder) is 27.

Actress Coco Jones (Good Luck Charlie, So Random!) is 24.

Toronto-born actor/voicist Gage Munroe (My Big Big Friend, Paw Patrol, Justin Time, Mr. Moon) is 23. 

Toronto-born actress Peyton Kennedy (Everything Sucks!, Odd Squad) is 18.  

Chart Toppers – Jan. 4

Slowpoke – Pee Wee King
Sin (It’s No) – Eddy Howard
Undecided – The Ames Brothers
Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way – Carl Smith

Are You Lonesome To-night? – Elvis Presley
Wonderland by Night – Bert Kaempfert
Exodus – Ferrante & Teicher
North to Alaska – Johnny Horton

Raindrop Keep Fallin’ on My Head – B.J. Thomas
Someday We’ll Be Together – Diana Ross and The Supremes
I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
Baby, Baby (I Know You’re a Lady) – David Houston

Le Freak – Chic
Too Much Heaven – Bee Gees
My Life – Billy Joel
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

Faith – George Michael
So Emotional – Whitney Houston
Got My Mind Set on You – George Harrison
Somewhere Tonight – Highway 101

Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly
Don’t Let Go (Love) – En Vogue
One Way Ticket (Because I Can) – LeAnn Rimes

Don’t Forget About Us – Mariah Carey
Stickwitu – Pussycat Dolls
Run It – Chris Brown
Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right – Billy Currington

Today in Broadcast History compiled by Ron Robinson


  1. IIRC, Rory Markas was also the man calling the action on RollerJam (a roller derby revival) on TNN on Friday nights.


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