Friday in Broadcast History .. April 26th


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…

Vic Perrin

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.

Lum & Abner

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.                                                                                               Image result for 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.

Edward Arnold

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. Belafonte died April 25th, 2023 of heart failure.

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.

Gypsy Rose Lee

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.

Irene Ryan

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.

Actress-comedian Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, Mad About You) is 91.

Guitarist-songwriter Duane Eddy is 86.

Singer Maurice Williams of Maurice and the Zodiacs is 86.

Singer Gary Wright is 81.

Actor Ron McLarty (Spenser For Hire) is 77.

Veteran Vancouver radio broadcaster Tom Jeffries is 75. 

Actress Nancy Lenehan (People of Earth, How to be a Gentleman, Worst Week, My Name is Earl, Married to the Kellys) is 73.

Actor Ron Donachie (Game of Thrones) is 69.

Actor Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Homicide: Life on the Street) is 66.

Drummer Roger Taylor of Duran Duran is 64.

Actress Joan Chen (Twin Peaks, Children of the Dragon) is 63.

Drummer Chris Mars of The Replacements is 63.

Actor-singer Michael Damian (Young & the Restless) is 62.

Actress Debra Wilson (Black Dynamite, MADtv) is 62.

Guitarist Jimmy Stafford of Train is 60.

Actor-comedian Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait, The King of Queens) is 59.

Keyboardist Jeff Huskins of Little Texas is 58

Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace) is 57.

Professional wrestler/actor Glenn Jacobs (WWE Smackdown, WWF Raw) is 57.

Fiddler Joe Caverlee of Yankee Grey is 56.

Comedienne/actress Debra Wilson MADtv) is 54.

Singer T-Boz of TLC is 54.

Actress Shondrella Avery (Cuts, One on One) is 53.

Actress Simbi Kali (3rd Rock From The Sun) is 53.

Country bassist Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts is 53.

Country bassist Michael Jeffers of Pinmonkey is 52.

Actress Ivana Milicevic (Banshee) is 50.

Drummer Jose Pasillas of Incubus is 48.

Actress McKenzie Westmore (Passions, All My Children) is 47.

Actor/director Tom Welling (Smallville) is 47.

Actor Leonard Earl Howze (Kevin Can Wait, Memphis Beat) is 47.

Actor Jason Earles (Hannah Montana) is 47.

West Kootenay BC-born actor Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black, A Gifted Man, The Wire) is 46. 

Hamilton Ont.-born actress Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) is 46.

Actress Sara Downing (Dead Last, Roswell) is 45.

Actor Nyambi Nyambi (The Good Fight, Mike & Molly) is 45.

Actress  Klára Issová (Genius, Legends, Crossing Lines) is 45.

Actor/voicist Channing Tatum (Comrade Detective) is 44.

Actress Jordana Brewster (Lethal Weapon, Secrets & Lies, American Crime Story, Dallas 2012, As the World Turns) is 44.

Actress Marnette Patterson (Charmed, Something So Right) is 44.

Actor Michael Dorman (Patriot) is 43.

Actress Emily Wickersham (NCIS) is 40.

Actress Jemima Kirke (Girls) is 39.

Actor Falk Hentschel (Legends of Tomorrow, Reckless) is 39.

Actor Aaron Meeks (Soul Food) is 38.

Actress Shannon Collis (Darcy’s Wild Life) is 38.

Actress Jessica Rose (Lonelygirl15, Sorority Forever, Greek) is 37.

Musician James Sunderland of Friendship is 37.

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 


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