ON THIS DAY in 1921
Weather Forecasts were heard for the first time on radio when WEW in St. Louis aired weather news. Weather forecasts continue to be the top reason why people listen to radio; rating higher than music, news, sports and commercials! A sunny day to you wherever you may be on the earth…
In 1916, actor Vic Perrin was born in smalltown Wisconsin. He was a much-in-demand member of the west coast radio actor’s pool, and for a time in the 1940’s was chief announcer at the Blue Network. He had a recurring role on NBC radio’s ‘One Man’s Family,’ and in 1956 he played Sgt. Gorst opposite star Raymond Burr on CBS Radio’s ‘Fort Laramie.’ Uncredited and unknown to listeners in the early 50’s he played the star of ‘The Clyde Beatty Show,’ and scored many many supporting roles on CBS radio’s ‘Gunsmoke.’ He played supporting roles on TV, many of them as a voicist in cartoons, for more than 30 years. He succumbed to cancer July 4, 1989 at age 73.
In 1924, jazz tenor sax man Teddy Edwards was born in Jackson Mississippi. He was often credited by fellow musicians as the first tenor player to explore bebop, and was based on the West Coast for most of his career. His friend & musical partner singer Tom Waits said he was an elegant man with a large heart and generous spirit, and always carried himself with poise and confidence. He died Apr 20, 2003, a week short of his 79th birthday.
In 1931, the Ozarks comedy Lum & Abner was broadcast for the first time on Arkansas radio station KTHS. The popular program starring Norris Goff and Chester Lauck, began on NBC from Chicago three months later and continued on various networks for 22 years. Lum and Abner and their ‘Jot-em Down Store’ hailed from the fictitious town of Pine Ridge, Arkansas. Fictitious, that is, before 1936, when Waters, Arkansas, changed its name to Pine Ridge.
In 1932, Ed Wynn was heard on radio’s Texaco Star Theater for the first time. Wynn, a popular vaudeville performer, demanded a live audience to react to his humour if he was to make the switch to radio. The network consented and Wynn became radio’s first true superstar. Less than two decades later he would make the switch to TV.
In 1937, the initial broadcast of the daytime drama Lorenzo Jones was heard over NBC radio. Karl Swenson played the title role for the entire run of the serial. And quite a run it was, as Lorenzo Jones continued on the network until 1955.
In 1941, singer/songwriter Ernest Tubb was in a Dallas studio to record his signature song “Walking The Floor Over You.”
In 1949, radio station CFCA-FM signed on in Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) on 106.1 MHz as Canada’s first FM station without an AM sister station.
In 1952, the sound patterns of radio’s first adult western Gunsmoke were heard for the first time on CBS. Radio veteran William Conrad starred as Marshall Matt Dillon.
Also in 1952, Hank Williams made his first and only appearance on network television, singing his “Hey Good Lookin” on NBC-TV’s Kate Smith Hour. He would be dead within nine months.
In 1955, in Hollywood, The Platters recorded their first Top 10 hit “Only You” and three other tracks, at their first session for the Mercury label.
In 1956, actor Edward Arnold, who starred in “Mr. President” for 6 seasons on ABC radio and hosted “Strange Stories” on TV, died of a cerebral hemmorhage at age 66.
In 1957, calypso singer Harry Belafonte negotiated a new and better contract with his record label, RCA Victor, for a then-unprecedented one million dollars.
In 1962, Sam Cooke recorded his next single “Having A Party” and “Bring It On Home To Me,” both songs he’d written himself, at the RCA Victor Hollywood studios.
In 1963, Tony Bennett was in New York to record the ballad “This Is All I Ask,” by Gordon Jenkins. The resulting Columbia single made it into the Top 100 but not the Top 40.
In 1964, The Beatles attended a London birthday party for Roy Orbison, who had turned 28 a few days earlier.
In 1966, we learned for the first time via the New York Times that Ray Charles was undergoing court-ordered tests to find out whether or not he’d abstained from narcotic drugs.
In 1967, CBS-TV broadcast the music special “Inside Pop — The Rock Revolution.”Janis Ian, then just 16, sang “Society’s Child,” which a year earlier had been banned by many radio stations because of its interracial love affair theme. As a result of this TV performance the record shot into the U.S. Top 20.
In 1969, during the band’s second North American tour, Led Zeppelin played the second of two nights at The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.
In 1970, celebrity stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the subject of the musical “Gypsy,” who starred in early TV’s “The Pruitts of Southampton,” succumbed to lung cancer at age 56.
Also in 1970, John Wayne, Bob Hope, and Tom Jones guest-starred as Raquel Welch hosted her NBC-TV special titled appropriately “Raquel!”
In 1971, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison officially ended their plans to resist Paul McCartney‘s efforts to legally dissolve the Beatles.
Also in 1971, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” by Sammi Smith, her lone #1 Country song and only Top 10 Pop single, was certified to be a Gold Record, having sold a million copies.
In 1973, actress Irene Ryan, who was part of the Bob Hope troupe on radio, and starred as Granny on TV’s Beverly Hillbillies, died four weeks after an operation for a brain tumour at age 70.
In 1975, on top of the Billboard popular music chart was B.J. Thomas, with the longest title ever for a number one song. (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was number one for one week, though it took almost that long just to say the title.
In 1976, CBS radio newsman Allan Jackson died at age 60. For over 25 years he was the head anchor at CBS Radio News in New York, reading the 6:00 PM (Eastern) national evening news (then the network’s main news program) and anchoring coverage on much of their “Breaking News” events of the times. He presided over CBS coverage of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, of the joining of US and Soviet forces in April of 1945, and of V-E Day in May of that year.
Also in 1976, Ontario-born actor Neil McCallum, who had numerous supporting TV roles including on the Mark Saber series The Vise, suffered a brain hemmorhage and died at age 45.
In 1977, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell.
In 1978, an updated version of The Prince and the Pauper appeared in prime time on NBC television. In the lead role (his first TV special), was former Beatle Ringo Starr. He sang new versions of Act Naturally, Yellow Submarine and With a Little Help from My Friends. Narrating the classic Mark Twain story was George Harrison.
In 1980, the Carpenters‘ “Music Music Music” TV special with guests Ella Fitzgerald and John Davidson, aired on ABC-TV.
Also in 1980, actress Dame Cicely Courtneidge, who played ‘Mum’ in the popular 70’s UK television series ‘On the Buses,’ died at age 87.
In 1981, actor Jim Davis, who played Jack Ewing on TV’s Dallas, and had feature roles on Rescue 8 & Stories of the Century, died of complications from ulcer surgery at age 65.
In 1982, the CBS Radio Network began “Radio Radio“, a youth-oriented series of broadcasts.
Also in 1982, out on a day’s shopping and standing next to his $50,000 Porsche on Hollywood Boulevard, Rod Stewart was mugged by a gunman.
In 1984, the jazz piano great and bandleader William “Count” Basie died of pancreatic cancer at age 79. He’s best remembered for big band standards like “Jumpin’ At The Woodside,” “One O’Clock Jump” and “April in Paris.”
In 1986, actor Broderick Crawford, the intensely brusk star of early TV’s syndicated ‘Highway Patrol,’ died after a series of strokes at age 74.
In 1987, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” by Cutting Crew.
In 1989, actress Lucille Ball, the comedienne who set the standard for TV comedy in I Love Lucy, which is still seen in black & white reruns nearly 60 years later, suffered a massive, fatal heart attack at age 77. Also in 1989, Global TV’s Doug Small made Canadian history by broadcasting leaked details of the federal finance minister’s budget, forcing him to release the document one day early.
In 1991, actress Emily McLaughlin, who played nurse Jessie Brewer on ABC TV’s General Hospital for 28 years, succumbed to the cancer that had restricted her appearances over the past decade, at age 61.
Also in 1991, the sitcom “Dinosaurs” began a 65-episode run (through 1994) on ABC-TV.
In 1993, NBC announced that comedy writer Conan O’Brien would replace David Letterman in the 12.35 am slot, since Letterman was leaving the network for CBS. This after NBC had famously chosen Jay Leno over Dave for the Tonight Show.
In 1994, Grace Slick pleaded guilty to pointing a shotgun at police at her Tiburon, Calif., home on March 5. The former Jefferson Starship lead singer said she’d been under stress because her Mill Valley home had burned down the previous fall and she’d lost most of her memorabilia, including items stolen by Corte Madera firefighters.
In 1995, Ontario-born actor Alexander Knox, who had recurring roles in TV’s “The Hidden Truth” & “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” died of bone cancer at age 88.
Also in 1995, singer Bobby Brown was charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct following a nightclub fight in Orlando, Florida.
Still in 1995, Courtney Love reportedly turned down an offer of $1 million from Playboy to pose nude for the magazine.
In 1996, screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, who wrote most of the scripts for two hit TV series Naked City & Route 66, as well as several live productions for Playhouse 90, died of prostate cancer at age 78.
In 1997, the ABC TV special “U2: A Year in POP” set records as the lowest rated prime time program in the history of network television. Ouch!
In 1998, country music fans raised $10,000 for tornado relief in Nashville. More than 1,500 tourists and local residents turned out for a special concert at the Wildhorse Saloon. Naomi Judd hosted, and performers volunteering their time and talent included Wade Hayes, Trace Adkins, David Ball, Eddy Raven, Burnin’ Daylight and Deryl Dodd.
Also in 1998, the 200th episode of “The Simpsons” aired on FOX.
In 1999, the Internet search hub Lycos launched a Web radio network that featured five music channels. The Lycos Radio Network was comprised of hip-hop, modern rock, smooth jazz, country, and pop formats. The service, which also featured video streaming, was hosted by live Internet DJs.
Also in 1999, Sinead O’Connor was ordained as the first woman priest in the Latin Tridentine Church, a Roman Catholic splinter group. O’Connor said that although she had already celebrated Mass four times, she would study for six weeks before starting her priestly career as Mother Bernadette Mary.
In 2001, the 100th episode of “Just Shoot Me” aired on NBC.
In 2002, it was announced that Henry Winkler would share producing duties on the syndicated game show “Hollywood Squares.”
In 2003, David Cassidy guest-starred as a wealthy CEO on an episode of CBS-TV’s prime time drama,”The Agency.”
In 2004, 50-year old June Pointer of the singing Pointer Sisters was arrested in Los Angeles for possession of cocaine. She’d been struggling with her drug addiction for nearly 30 years.
In 2005, veteran radio/TV actor and voiceover specialist Mason Adams died at age 86. Besides his best known role as Charlie Hume in TV’s Lou Grant series, Adams was a veteran of radio’s golden age, playing the title role for 14 years in NBC’s Pepper Young’s Family, and parts in as many as four radio shows a day. In the TV era his voice was heard on commercials all over the dial, notably for Chiffon margarine, Crest toothpaste & Smucker’s preserves.
In 2008, Vancouver talk show host Ed Murphy lost his battle with cancer at age 79. After starting his career with CFRB Toronto, the broadcast journalist became part of the Golden Era of Talk during the 1970’s in Vancouver, with successive shows on CKWX, CKNW & CJOR.
Also in 2008, Leona Lewis was at No.1 on the Billboard album chart with her debut album ‘Spirit.’
Still in 2008, troubled UK singer Amy Winehouse spent the night in custody after being arrested on suspicion of assault. Police said Winehouse had been “in no fit state” to be questioned when she arrived at the London station and she was kept in the cells. The 24-year-old was to be questioned about an incident said to have occurred 3 days earlier after a 38-year-old man claimed he was assaulted.
In 2009, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie launched a limited North American tour starting in Winnipeg.
In 2011, singer/songwriter Phoebe Snow (1975’s “Poetry Man”) died from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered 15 months earlier. She was 60.
Also in 2011, Katie Couric confirmed to People magazine that she would be leaving as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” when her contract expired five weeks later.
In 2012, Paul McCartney appeared in a special live episode of the NBC-TV sitcom 30 Rock. After wandering on to the set looking for a bathroom, McCartney returned claiming to have hit his head and lost his memory. At that point, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) claimed to be Paul’s girlfriend and led him away.
In 2013, country music Hall of Famer George Jones, who scored an impressive 168 charted singles over his 55 years in show business, died from hypoxic respiratory failure at age 81.
Also in 2013, noted Broadway actress & acting teacher Jacqueline Brookes, who appeared repeatedly in the daytime TV dramas As the World Turns, the Secret Storm and Another World, succumbed to lymphoma at age 82.
In 2014, Lee Marshall, who provided the voice of Tony the Tiger for more than a decade, died of esophageal cancer at age 67. His thunderous bass voice got him into radio at age 14, and earned him gigs as a wrestling announcer, DJ and voice-over actor. His newscasting career took him to KABC, KHJ, WOR and CKLW (among others), but beginning in 1999 Marshall became best known for uttering just two words while pitching Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes: “They’re g-r-r-r-e-a-t.”
Also in 2014, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and Willie Nelson were named as inaugural inductees into the Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame.
In 2015, Jayne Meadows, a longtime television actress who was the widow of TV legend Steve Allen and the elder sister of actress Audrey Meadows (‘The Honeymooners’), died of natural causes at age 95. She had a recurring role on CBS-TV’s ‘Medical Center’ and is also remembered as a panellist on the CBS-TV game shows ‘I’ve Got a Secret,’ ‘Match Game,’ and ‘Tattletales.’
In 2016, Paul McCartney appeared in a special live episode of NBC’s 30 Rock. After wandering onto the set looking for a bathroom, McCartney returned claiming to have hit his head and lost his memory. At that point, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) claimed to be Paul’s girlfriend and led him away.
In 2018, Charles Neville, saxophonist of New Orleans musical giants The Neville Brothers, died of pancreatic cancer at age 79. He was second oldest of the siblings.
Also in 2018, a Pennsylvania jury found entertainer Bill Cosby guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004 after giving her a drug that incapacitated her. Later in the year he was sentenced to three-to-ten years in prison.
In 2019, Taylor Swift released a new single “Me” with an upbeat, sunny tone and music video that was widely regarded as a departure from the dark themes of much of her last album.
Actress-comedian Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, Mad About You) is 89.
Guitarist-songwriter Duane Eddy is 84.
Singer Maurice Williams of Maurice and the Zodiacs is 84.
Singer Gary Wright is 79.
Actor Ron McLarty (Spenser For Hire) is 75.
Veteran Vancouver radio broadcaster Tom Jeffries is 73.
Actress Nancy Lenehan (People of Earth, How to be a Gentleman, Worst Week, My Name is Earl, Married to the Kellys) is 71.
Actor Ron Donachie (Game of Thrones) is 67.
Actor Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Homicide: Life on the Street) is 64.
Drummer Roger Taylor of Duran Duran is 62.
Actress Joan Chen (Twin Peaks, Children of the Dragon) is 61.
Drummer Chris Mars of The Replacements is 61.
Actor-singer Michael Damian (Young & the Restless) is 60.
Actress Debra Wilson (Black Dynamite, MADtv) is 60.
Guitarist Jimmy Stafford of Train is 58.
Actor-comedian Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait, The King of Queens) is 57.
Keyboardist Jeff Huskins of Little Texas is 56
Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace) is 55.
Professional wrestler/actor Glenn Jacobs (WWE Smackdown, WWF Raw) is 55.
Fiddler Joe Caverlee of Yankee Grey is 54.
Comedienne/actress Debra Wilson MADtv) is 52.
Singer T-Boz of TLC is 52.
Actress Shondrella Avery (Cuts, One on One) is 51.
Actress Simbi Kali (3rd Rock From The Sun) is 51.
Country bassist Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts is 51.
Country bassist Michael Jeffers of Pinmonkey is 50.
Actress Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) is 48.
Drummer Jose Pasillas of Incubus is 46.
Actress McKenzie Westmore (Passions, All My Children) is 45.
Actor/director Tom Welling (Smallville) is 45.
Actor Leonard Earl Howze (Kevin Can Wait, Memphis Beat) is 45.
Actor Jason Earles (Hannah Montana) is 45.
West Kootenay BC-born actor Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black, A Gifted Man, The Wire) is 44.
Hamilton Ont.-born actress Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) is 44.
Actress Sara Downing (Dead Last, Roswell) is 43.
Actor Nyambi Nyambi (The Good Fight, Mike & Molly) is 43.
Actress Klára Issová (Genius, Legends, Crossing Lines) is 43.
Actor/voicist Channing Tatum (Comrade Detective) is 42.
Actress Jordana Brewster (Lethal Weapon, Secrets & Lies, American Crime Story, Dallas 2012, As the World Turns) is 42.
Actress Marnette Patterson (Charmed, Something So Right) is 42.
Actor Michael Dorman (Patriot) is 41.
Actress Emily Wickersham (NCIS) is 38.
Actress Jemima Kirke (Girls) is 37.
Actor Falk Hentschel (Legends of Tomorrow, Reckless) is 37.
Actor Aaron Meeks (Soul Food) is 36.
Actress Shannon Collis (Darcy’s Wild Life) is 36.
Actress Jessica Rose (Lonelygirl15, Sorority Forever, Greek) is 35.
Musician James Sunderland of Friendship is 35.
Chart Toppers – April 26
Linda – Buddy Clark with the Ray Noble Orchestra
The Anniversary Song – Dinah Shore
Mam’selle – Art Lund
So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed – Merle Travis
Heartbreak Hotel /I Was the One – Elvis Presley
The Poor People of Paris – Les Baxter
Ivory Tower – Cathy Carr
Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
Game of Love – Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders
Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter – Herman’s Hermits
I Know a Place – Petula Clark
This is It – Jim Reeves
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) – MFSB featuring The Three Degrees
Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me – Gladys Knight & The Pips
The Loco-Motion – Grand Funk
Hello Love – Hank Snow
Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Der Kommissar – After the Fire
American Made – The Oak Ridge Boys
Jump – Kris Kross
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) – En Vogue
There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with the Radio – Aaron Tippin
All for You – Janet Jackson
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Butterfly – Crazy Town
Who I Am – Jessica Andrews
Rude Boy – Rihanna
Nothin’ On You – B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
Hey, Soul Sister – Train
American Honey – Lady Antebellum
Today in Broadcast History compiled by Ron Robinson