Wednesday in Broadcast History .. January 12th




ON THIS DAY in 1902

Ray Teal 

versatile character actor Ray Teal was born in Grand Rapids Michigan.  He is best remembered as the no-nonsense Sheriff Roy Coffee on the NBC TV western Bonanza.  He also guest starred repeatedly on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, Cheyenne, Wide Country & Disneyland.  He died April 2 1976 at age 74.

On this day in 1905, country recording star Tex Ritter was born Woodward Maurice Ritter in rural Texas. A singing cowboy in Hollywood ‘B’ westerns of the 30’s & 40’s, he is perhaps best remembered for his haunting vocalization of the theme song in the classic movie High Noon (1952).  In his later years, he was a disk jockey on Nashville radio. He died after a heart attack Jan 2 1974, ten days short of his 69th birthday.

Henny Youngman

On this day in 1906,  comedian Henny Youngman was born in England.  Famous for playing the violin between his one-liner jokes, and his oft repeated “Take my wife please…”   He appeared on all the major TV variety shows of his time, from Toast of the Town (Ed Sullivan Show) to Hollywood Palace to Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In to the Tonight Show.  He even appeared twice on The Howard Stern Show.  He died from pneumonia Feb 24 1998 at the age of 92.

On this day in 1915, print & TV journalist Martin Agronsky was born in Philadelphia. In his 50 year career he worked for newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic, and all three US networks plus PBS. He has the distinction of moderating both major Sunday discussion shows, NBC’s Meet the Press, and CBS’s Face the Nation. His Agronsky & Company on PBS over 18 years is creditted with setting the format for the present Sunday discussion shows. He died of congestive heart failure July 25 1999 at age 84.

Bill Burrud

On this day in 1925, Bill Burrud was born in Hollywood.    A former child film actor, he would produce and host a plethora of TV nature- or travel-oriented documentary series, including Safari to Adventure, The Challenging Sea, and Animal World.  He suffered a heart attack & died July 12 1990 at age 65.

On this day in 1926, “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuted on Chicago’s WGN radio. When they moved crosstown to WMAQ two years later the show was renamed “Amos ‘n’ Andy” and the voices of its creators, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll played to huge depression-era audiences via NBC radio. Although the players were white, the characters were portrayed as black. The popular radio show would attract over forty million fans at its peak during the despression. In 1943 the daily show became a weekly half-hour with an audience and supporting black actors; and in 1954 Gosden and Correll turned into Monday-through-Friday disc jockeys on the “Amos ‘n’ Andy Music Hall” with skits between records until their final sign off in 1960.

Ed Sullivan

On this day in 1932, columnist & future TV host Ed Sullivan joined CBS radio with a program of gossip and interviews.

On this day in 1939, the Ink Spots gained national attention after five years together, as they recorded “If I Didn’t Care”, Decca record number 2286. Lead vocal was by Bill Kenny, who later in life settled in Vancouver. Over time the Ink Spots’ recording sold 19 million copies wordwide.

On this day in 1940, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)” by the Shep Fields Orchestra.

On this day in 1941, bluesman Long John Baldry was born in England. He had a 1967 pop chart number 1 with “Let the Heartaches Begin”, but his first love has always been Blues singing.  Because of his deep voice he has done a ton of voiceover work, and is loved by a younger generation as the voice of Dr. Robotnik in TV’s Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.  He died in a Vanouver hospital July 21 2005 at age 64, after a severe 4-month chest infection.

Arthur Godfrey

On this day in 1949,  “Arthur Godfrey and His Friends”, a variety half-hour was first seen in prime time on CBS-TV.  This was in addition to “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” and his weekday 90-minute live talent radio show, an hour of which was simulcast on TV.

Also this day in 1949, the Chicago-based children’s show, “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”, made its national debut on NBC-TV. Fran Allison was hostess to Burr Tillstrom’s two puppets, Kukla and Ollie. The show was phenomenally successful with viewers of all ages.

On this day in 1953, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” by Perry Como.

Rod Serling‘

On this day in 1955, Rod Serling‘s stellar career “lifted off” with the TV production of “Patterns”, an original, hour-long drama. Within two weeks, the then struggling writer had 23 other TV assignments.

On this day in 1956, Frank Sinatra recorded Cole Porter’s 20-year old standard, “I’ve Got you Under My Skin.”  With Nelson Riddle’s swinging arrangement it soon became Frank’s signature song.

On this day in 1957, at the start of a weekend of taping at Radio Recorders in Hollyhwood, Elvis Presley recorded his soon-to-be smash hit “All Shook Up.”

On this day in 1959, Detroit’s Berry Gordy Jr. borrowed $800 from his family to start a record label and rent an eight-room house at 2648 W. Grand Boulevard in Detroit which became known as “Hitsville USA,” the home of Motown Records.

On this day in 1961, Motown Records signed the Primettes to a recording contract and convinced them to change their name. From several possibilities, they settled on one suggested by the group’s Florence Ballard: The Supremes.

Also this day in 1961, 16-year-old Brenda Lee released the ballad “Emotions,” her 4th single in a row to reach the Top 10.

On this day in 1963, the song “Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Also this day in 1963, songwriter Bob Dylan sang “Blowin’ in the Wind” on the BBC radio presentation of “The Madhouse on Castle Street”. The song soon became one of the classics of the 1960s protest movement.

Still in 1963, The Beatles released “Please Please Me” in the UK: it soon became their first #1 single in Britain.

The Beatles 

On this day in 1964, The Beatles appeared on the BBC TV show Sunday Night At The London Palladium, performing ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’, ‘This Boy’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘Money’ and ‘Twist And Shout’.

Also in 1964, Elvis Presley was in Nashville to record “Ask Me.”

On this day in 1965, the NBC-TV weekly pop-music show “Hullabaloo” made its debut. A competitor of ABC’s successful “Shindig” show, “Hullabaloo” tried to attract a wider audience by featuring both rock music and Las Vegas-type acts. Guests on the first show included the New Christy Minstrels, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Zombies and Woody Allen. “Hullabaloo” lasted on the air through Aug 29 1966.

Burt Ward & Adam West

On this day in 1966, “Batman” debuted on ABC-TV. Adam West starred as Batman and Burt Ward was the Bat-Boy, Robin. Pow! Zonk! Crunch! Holy hot cakes, Batman!

On this day in 1967, one of broadcasting’s greatest hits, “Dragnet”, returned to NBC-TV after an eight year absence. Harry Morgan (of December Bride & MASH) was Jack Webb’s new sidekick this time around.

On this day in 1968, the nighttime version of  “Hollywood Squares” debuted on NBC TV.

Also this day in 1968, the Supremes appeared in an episode of “Tarzan” on NBC-TV. The ladies played a group of nuns.

Still in 1968, the LP “Strange Days” by The Doors was certified to be a Gold Record.

On this day in 1969, CBS-TV’s Ed Sullivan Show originated from Las Vegas, featuring Don Rickles, Jerry Vale, Gina Lollobrigida, the Chambers Brothers, a juggler and several circus acts.

Also this day in 1969, Led Zeppelin‘s eponymous debut LP was released in North America. It took only some 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of less than $2900, yet it’s been ranked #29 on Rolling Stone magazine’s rankings of the all time greatest albums.

All In the Family

On this day in 1971, “All In the Family” debuted on CBS featuring TV’s first toilet flush. Carroll O’Connor starred as Archie Bunker, Rob Reiner as Meathead, Sally Struthers as Gloria and Jean Stapleton as Edith, “The Dingbat”. “Stifle yourself!”

On this day in 1974, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.

Also in 1974, Jim Croce started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’.

On this day in 1977, Rolling Stone Keith Richards was fined £750 (US $1,275) for possession of cocaine found in his car after the guitarist had been involved in a car crash.

Also in 1977, the album “Long May You Run” by Stephen Stills and Neil Young was certified a Gold Record, having sold half-a-million units.

On this day in 1979, the 6th American Music Awards were handed out on TV.  Big winners were Barry Manilow and Linda Ronstadt.

On this day in 1980, ‘The Bee Gees Greatest Hits‘  was at No.1 on the Billboard album chart.


On this day in 1981, “Dynasty”, a prime time soap opera inspired by Dallas, starring Joan Collins and John Forsythe, premiered on ABC-TV.  It ran for nine seasons.

Also this day in 1981, British Columbia launched its own educational channel –The Knowledge Network on cable 18 in Greater Vancouver, cable 4 in Victoria.

On this day in 1984, Motley Crue opened their first North American tour with a show at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

On this day in 1985, after a record 24 weeks as the #1 album in the nation, Prince slipped to the #2 spot with “Purple Rain”. Replacing Prince on top: “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In the USA”, which spent 24 weeks waiting for “Purple Rain” to fall.

Keye Luke

On this day in 1991, actor Keye Luke,   born in China but raised in Seattle, died after a stroke at age 86. Forever identified in the movies as Charlie Chan’s #1 son, he played scores of TV shows over a 40 year period, including Kung Fu, MASH, Perry Mason, Dragnet, Star Trek, Cannon, Night Court & MacGyver.

Also this day in 1991, Janet Jackson‘s “Rhythm Nation 1814” became the first album to generate seven top-five singles on the “Billboard” “Hot 100” (four went to number one). “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” reached #4 this day and it hit #1 the following week.

Again this day in 1991, country music singer Johnny Paycheck was released from an Ohio prison after serving two years of a seven year sentence for a barroom shooting. Before leaving office, Gov. Richard Celeste commuted the singer’s sentence.

On this day in 1993, in Los Angeles, Van Morrison failed to show up for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction dinner, making him the first living inductee not to attend. The original members of Cream reunited to perform at the ceremony.

Neil Young

On this day in 1995, Canadian-born superstar Neil Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, along with the Allman Brothers Band, Al Green, the late Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, the Orioles and the late Frank Zappa.

Also this day in 1995, the O.J. Simpson murder trial began in Los Angeles. It quickly became a ratings sensation for TV cable networks like CNN, which provided wall-to-wall coverage.

Still in 1995, Snoop Doggy Dogg was charged in Los Angeles with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

On this day in 1997, British actress Jill Summers, who played Phyllis Pearce on 189 episodes of Coronation Street, died at age 86.

Also this day in 1997,  the first episode of the longrunning animated series “King of the Hill” aired on FOX.

On this day in 1998, the surviving original members of the Mamas and Papas performed together for the first time in 20 years as the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They sang “California Dreamin”’ at the ceremony in New York. Also inducted that year were the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Lloyd Price and Gene Vincent.

On this day in 1999, actress Betty Lou Gerson, a much-in-demand radio actress in the 1930’s and 40’s, who also supplied voices for Disney’s animated features, died following a massive stroke at age 84.

Also in 1999, Elton John filed suit in London against Price Waterhouse Coopers, the accountancy firm, and Andrew Haydon, a former managing director of John Reid Enterprises, his former management company, over an alleged shortfall of 20 million pounds from his business empire.

On this day in 2000, a cloud of troubled times hanging over the  Smashing Pumpkins grew darker when manager Sharon Osbourne severed all ties with the Chicago rock quartet. She said it was for medical reasons – “[Pumpkins frontman] Billy Corgan was making me sick!”

On this day in 2001, British Airways staff complained about Oasis singer Liam Gallagher after he had grabbed a stewardess’ bottom, refused to stop smoking and thrown objects around the cabin during a flight from London to Rio De Janeiro.

On this day in 2003, singer-songwriter Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees died after having surgery for intestinal blockage at a hospital in Miami. He was 53.

On this day in 2004, The Rick Mercer Report debuted on CBC Television, and ran weekly through 15 seasons, concluding April 10 2018.


Also in 2004, NBC announced that the sitcom “Frasier” would end the following May after 11 TV seasons.

On this day in 2005, it was announced that the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool immortalized by The Beatles was to close.

On this day in 2006, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose launched a suit against a Beverly Hills auto dealer, claiming they violated an oral agreement by failing to deliver to him two luxury vehicles. Rose also charged the dealership with not paying $135,000 it owed him after selling his ‘99 Ferrari on consignment.

On this day in 2007, 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange of Rancho Cordova, Calif. died after guzzling a large quantity of water as part of Sacramento radio station KDND-FM’s contest.

Also this day in 2007, singer Toni Braxton filed a lawsuit against her former manager Barry Hankerson for $10 million, alleging “fraud, deception and double dealing.”

On  this day in 2008, Mary J. Blige was at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with her eighth album ‘Growing Pains’.

On this day in 2011, supporting actor Paul Picerni, who portrayed one of Robert Stack’s “good guys” on the 1959 television series “The Untouchables,” and who guested on scores of prominent TV shows over a more than 50 year film career, suffered a fatal heart attack at age 88.

Also in 2011, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a bass player in addition to being a politician and host of his own radio & Fox News Channel talk shows, jammed with Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen at the opening of the Music Merchants convention in Anaheim.

Bob Dylan

On this day in 2012, Bob Dylan performed at the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards in honor of film director Martin Scorsese, who was awarded the Music + Film Award. Dylan had been the subject of Scorsese’s ‘05 documentary “No Direction Home.”

On this day in 2013, the 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow used by Freddie Mercury until his death in November 1991, sold at auction for $118,000 to a Russian businessman.  Later it was revealed the new owner was flamboyant Eurovision star and Ukrainian drag queen Verka Serduchka.

On this day in 2014, Frank Marth, a veteran character actor best remembered as a member of Jackie Gleason‘s stock company on The Honeymooners, died of congestive heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease at age 91.  The versatile, diligent player was a familiar presence in just about every major US prime-time TV show of the 1960’s and 70’s.

On this day in 2015,  Lou Miliano, an award-winning radio reporter who spent most  of his career working for New York’s WCBS 880 and CBS News, died after  a long battle with lung cancer at age 67. He was credited with a unique use of sound and ability to transport the listener to the scene of the story which set the standard in the radio industry.

Also in 2015, Milwaukee rock radio station 94.5 The Lake launched ‘Say No to Seattle!‘, which banned NirvanaPearl JamSoundgardenJimi Hendrix and Heart from being played during the run up to the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Didn’t help. The Seahawks won the game (28-22) later in the week.

On this day in 2017, Black Sabbath were #1 on’s Hot Tours list of top-grossing tours with $10.4 million in ticket sales from three performances in Brazil as part of the band’s “The End” tour.

Keith Jackson

On this day in 2018, Keith Jackson, widely regarded as THE voice of US college football, died at age 89. After a decade at KOMO 4 in Seattle,  Jackson began his national career in 1964 and spent some 50 years calling the action for ABC & ESPN in a folksy, down-to-earth manner that made him one of the most popular play-by-play men in the business.

Also in 2018, Danny Woods, one of the co-founders of the group Chairmen of the Board, with which he remained for 40 years, died at age 75.

On this day in 2019, Seattle-born country music personality Bonnie Guitar passed away at age 95. A  groundbreaking woman in the music business, she sang hits such as “Dark Moon,” was a session guitarist, co-founded Dolton Records, wrote successful songs and produced various pop and country artists.

Today’s Birthdays

Illusionist ‘The Amazing Kreskin’ (Tonight Show w/J. Carson, Mike Douglas Show, Late Night w/Fallon) is 87.

Actor Ron Harper (Planet of the Apes, The Jean Arthur Show, Garrison’s Gorillas) is 86.

Country singer William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys is 83.

Actor Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited, Danger UXB) is 74.

Actress Kirstie Alley (Fat Actress, Veronica’s Closet, Cheers) is 71.

Country singer Ricky Van Shelton is 70.

Satellite radio personality Howard Stern is 68.

ABC/CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour is 64.

Actor Ralf Moeller (Conan) is 64.

Keyboardist Charlie Gillingham of Counting Crows is 62.

Windsor Ont.-born actor Oliver Platt (Chicago Med, The Big C, Huff, West Wing) is 62.

Actor Simon Russell Beale (Penny Dreadful, MI-5) is 61.

Actress Clare Holman (Inspector Lewis) is 58.

Actress/comedienne Alexandra Wentworth (In Living Color, Head Case) is 57.

Singer Rob Zombie (White Zombies) is 57.

Actor Olivier Martinez (Mars, Texas Rising, Revenge) is 56.

Rapper TBird of B-Rock and the Bizz is 55.

Actress Farrah Forke (Wings, Mr. Rhodes) is 54.

Actress Rachael Harris (Lucifer, Suits, New Girl, Notes from the Underbelly) is 54.

Actor Chris Gartin (Side Order of Life, M.A.N.T.I.S., Aaron’s Way) is 54.

Singer Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against The Machine) is 52.

Rapper Raekwon of Wu Tang Clan is 52.

Actress Zabryna Guevara (Emergence, New Amsterdam, The Get Down) is 50.

Singer Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay is 49.

Bassist Matt Wong of Reel Big Fish is 49.

Singer Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) of the Spice Girls is 48.

Singer/actress Lisa Rieffel (The Trials of Rose O’Neill, Empty Nest) is 47.

Contemporary Christian singer Jeremy Camp is 44.

Singer Amerie is 42.

R & B singer Amerie is 41.

Actress Sarah Utterback (Grey’s Anatomy) is 40.

Actress Issa Rae (Insecure, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) is 37.

Actor Will Rothhaar (JAG, Listen Up) is 35.

Actress Naya Rivera (Glee) is 35.

Actor Andrew Lawrence (Kids From Room 402, Brotherly Love) is 34.

Actress Whitney Vance (The Carrie Diaries) is 34.

UK singer/songwriter/actress Pixie Lott (EastEnders) is 31.

Singer Zayn Malik of One Direction is 29.

Singer Ella Henderson is 26.

Tacoma-born actor Nathan Gamble (Hank, Runaway) is 24.

Chart Toppers – Jan. 12

Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page
The Thing – Phil Harris
My Heart Cries for You – Guy Mitchell
The Golden Rocket – Hank Snow

El Paso – Marty Robbins
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans – Freddie Cannon
It’s Time to Cry – Paul Anka
El Paso – Marty Robbins

I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
I’m Gonna Make You Love Me – Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell
Daddy Sang Bass – Johnny Cash

How Deep is Your Love – Bee Gees
Baby Come Back – Player
Here You Come Again – Dolly Parton
Take This Job and Shove It – Johnny Paycheck

Walk Like an Egyptian – Bangles
Notorious – Duran Duran
Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott
Give Me Wings – Michael Johnson

One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
Exhale (Shoop Shoop) – Whitney Houston
Hey Lover – LL Cool J
Rebecca Lynn – Bryan White

Let Me Love You – Mario
I Don’t Want to Be – Gavin DeGraw
Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg
Some Beach – Blake Shelton

Today in Broadcast History compiled by Ron Robinson


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