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Wednesday in Broadcast History .. June 19th


ON THIS DAY in 1902

Guy Lombardo

band leader Guy Lombardo, whose orchestra played ”The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven,” was born in London, Ontario. Lombardo’s Royal Canadians were the most popular dance band in North America in terms of record sales — more than 300-million during the orchestra’s 50-year career. Among Lombardo’s million-sellers were ”Humoresque” in 1946, ”Easter Parade” in 1947 and the ”Third Man Theme” in 1950. Lombardo went to Cleveland in 1923 with a group of London-area musicians, including his brothers Carmen and Lebert. By the following year, the band was being billed as the Royal Canadians. Lombardo’s New Year’s Eve radio and T-V broadcasts from New York City were a traditional part of holiday celebrations from 1929 to ’62. The Royal Canadians were known especially for their version of ”Auld Lang Syne,” which was the band’s theme song. Guy Lombardo died November 5th, 1977, at age 75.

In 1905, actress Mildred Natwick was born in Baltimore Maryland.  The perpetual supporting actress stepped into a leading role when she co-starred with Helen Hayes in the TV movie & subsequent series The Snoop Sisters. She played Aunt March in TV’s Little Women, was guest star 11 times on TV’s Suspense, and 4 times each on Studio One & Kraft Television Theatre.  She died of cancer Oct. 25 1994 at age 89.

Martin Gabel

In 1912, actor/narrator Martin Gabel was born in Philadelphia.  His signature work was on May 8, 1945 as narrator on the CBS radio broadcast of Norman Corwin’s epic poem On a Note of Triumph, a commemoration of the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany and the end of WW II in Europe. The broadcast was so popular that the CBS, NBC, Blue and Mutual networks aired a second live production five days later.  He was the most frequent guest on TV’s Sunday night fixture What’s My Line, because he was married to regular panelist Arlene Francis. He died after a heart attack May 22 1986 at age 73

Lester Flatt

In 1914, bluegrass musician Lester Flatt was born in Overton County, Tennessee. Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys were one of the most popular country music acts of the ’50s and ’60s. They were largely responsible for making bluegrass music popular outside the rural South. Their biggest hits were “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” from the “Beverly Hillbillies” T-V show, and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which was used in the soundtrack of “Bonnie and Clyde.” Flatt and Scruggs parted company 10 years before Flatt’s death on May 11th, 1979.

In 1926, harmonica player DeFord Bailey, the most important black performer in country music before Charley Pride, made his Grand Ole Opry debut. His lively adaptations of old songs made him one of the most popular Opry performers until 1941. That’s when he was dismissed, according to Opry founder George D. Hay, for refusing to learn new material.

In 1934, the 73rd U.S. Congress created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with the aim of regulating radio, and later, TV.

Don Dunphy

In 1946, the Gillette Razor Company became the first company to be a TV Network sponsor. They sponsored the second Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn heavyweight boxing match, with Don Dunphy on the blow-by-blow.   Louis won via an 8th round KO.

In 1947, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Peg O’ My Heart,” by The Harmonicats.

“I’ve Got A Secret”


In 1952, “I’ve Got A Secret” debuted on CBS Television with Garry Moore as host for the first twelve years.
After months of panellist tryouts, by 1953 the show settled in with regulars (l-r) Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, and Faye Emerson.


In 1956, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis went their separate ways after a decade-long partnership on radio and TV, and in nightclubs and 16 feature films.

In 1958, teen heartthrob Ricky Nelson was the star of two shows at the PNE Exhibition Gardens in Vancouver.  He sang the rising hit ‘Poor Little Fool’ and other songs from his just-released self-titled album.

Also in 1958, Buddy Holly was rushed into the Pythian Temple studios in New York City to cover both sides of Bobby Darin’s “Early In the Morning”and “Now We’re One”, after Bobby’s Brunswick single (credited to the Ding Dongs) had to be withdrawn, as Darin was legally contracted to the Atco label. These were Holly’s first tracks without The Crickets.

In 1960, Loretta Lynn‘s first single, “I’m a Honky-Tonk Girl,” made the country charts. It was recorded on a small record label called Zero, and neither the label nor Lynn had enough money to promote the record. So Loretta and her husband mailed out copies to disc jockeys by hand. The record began getting plays and eventually made the country top 10.

Also in 1960, at the height of the folk music boom, the Kingston Trio debuted their own weekday show on CBS Radio.

In 1961, Pat Boone went to No.1 on the Billboard singles chart with ‘Moody River.’

Also in 1961, Bobby Darin was in studios in Los Angeles to record “Things” and “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby.”

In 1962, Nat “King” Cole recorded the country-flavored Top Five hit “Ramblin’ Rose” which would soon sell a million copies.

In 1965, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by The Four Tops topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Ed Wynn

In 1966, comedian Ed Wynn, star of his own pioneering shows on radio & early TV, died of throat cancer at age 79.

Also in 1966, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Paperback Writer,” by The Beatles.

In 1967, during a TV interview with the BBC Paul McCartney admitted that he had experimented four times with the hallucinogenic drug LSD.

In 1969, The Doors played a concert at the PNE Garden Auditorium in Vancouver.

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Carole King


In 1971, Carole King reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “It’s Too Late” which stayed #1 for five weeks. It was one of four hit singles from the album “Tapestry,” which stayed on the L-P chart for 302 weeks and sold more than 13-million copies.

Also in 1973, Roberta Flack hosted her ABC-TV musical special, “Roberta Flack… The First Time Ever,” with the Blossoms and Seals & Crofts as guests.

Still in 1973, the Edgar Winter Group‘s rock instrumental “Frankenstein” was certified to be a Gold Record.

In 1976, Blue Oyster Cult released the album, “Agents of Fortune.”

Also in 1976, Wild Cherry released “Play That Funky Music.”

Still in 1976, the UK’s Bay City Rollers opened their first tour of North America with a show in Atlantic City.

In 1978, The Rolling Stones played the Palladium in New York City during their summer tour of North America.

 In 1980, disco queen Donna Summer was the first act signed by David Geffen to his new Geffen Records label.

In 1982, “Don’t You Want Me” by Human League topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

In 1983, BC Place Stadium, boasting what was then the world’s largest air-supported roof, officially opened in Vancouver.

In 1988, more than three-thousand East German young people gathered by the Berlin Wall to hear Michael Jackson thrill crowds at a West Berlin concert on the other side of the fortified border. Security police dragged off at least three men from the crowd and forced two West German T-V crews away from the scene. Canada’s Bryan Adams and Britain’s Big Country were the headliners at a competing concert in East Berlin’s suburbs. Billed as a concert “for nuclear-free zones,” it attracted about 100-thousand people.

Also in 1988, the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “Foolish Beat,” by Debbie Gibson.

In 1990, the artist presently known as Prince played the first of 12 sold-out nights at Wembley Arena in London,  on his so-called Nude European tour.

Jean Arthur

In 1991, actress Jean Arthur, who capped an extensive big screen career with TV’s The Jean Arthur Show (1966), died of heart failure at age 90.

In 1992, two of Alberta’s most iconic radio stations changed hands  The CRTC approved the sale of Edmonton’s CFRN and Calgary’s CFCN to Standard Radio.  Since 1994 CFCN has been known as CKMX. Bell Media has now shuttered both CFRN and CFCN as of June 2023.

In 1997, singer Bobby Helms, whose 1957 recording of “Jingle Bell Rock” became a Christmas standard, died of emphysema at his home in Martinsville, Indiana. He was 63. Helms other big hits in the 1950s were “Fraulein” and “My Special Angel.”

In 1998, the second Lilith Fair tour organized by Sarah McLachlan and featuring all-female entertainment, opened with a soldout show in Portland, Oregon.

Still in 1998, 28-year-old Rick Schroder signed on with ABC’s NYPD Blue as Detective Danny Sorenson. Young Schroder/Sorenson stepped into the opening created by the painful death of Detective Bobby Simone {Jimmy Smits).


In 2000, rapper Eminem was to be immortalised in animation, with a new cartoon series, which would be hosted on a new web site. 26 weekly ‘webisodes’ would be broadcast on the site, featuring Eminem providing all the voices.

In 2005, legendary southern DJ, Mason Dixon, was injured in an auto accident which practically split his car apart. Dixon suffered a collapsed lung, 2 broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. Dixon has been affiliated with legendary stations including Tampa’s WRBQ-FM, where he was still employed at the time of his accident.

In 2007, Bon Jovi performed on NBC’s Today show as part of the program’s Toyota Concert Series.

Also in 2007, lawyers for Britney Spears demanded a Florida radio station remove “offensive” advertisements, which featured her with a shaved head. The WFLZ billboards included the slogans “Total nut jobs”, “Shock Therapy” and “Certifiable”, which ran across pictures of a bald Spears. Britney had been photographed shaving her own head in a California hair salon earlier in the year.

Ken Roberts


In 2009, one of the last of the golden throated announcers of radio’s golden era, Ken Roberts died at age 99.  His career continued in TV as the longtime announcer for daytime dramas The Secret Storm and Love of Life, each for a two-decade span. In 1935 he had founded the broadcast performers’ union now known as AFTRA.


Also in 2009, some nine years after his early death at age 54, singer William ‘Oliver’ Swofford (Good Morning Starshine, Jean) was honored as the ‘OliverFest’ opened in his hometown of North Wilksboro, North Carolina.

In 2010, Green Day performed at London’s Wembley Stadium before an estimated audience of 80,000.

In 2011, actor Don Diamond, who started in network radio in such shows as Gunsmoke and Escape, and who had featured roles in TV’s F Troop, the Adventures of Kit Carson, and Zorro, suffered heart failure and died at age 90.

In 2012, actor Richard Lynch, who for 40 years made a career out of playing villains all over the big screen and the TV schedule in shows such as Battlestar Gallactica, Star Trek: Next Generation, and Hunter, was found dead in his home after a heart attack at age 72.

James Galdolfini

In 2013, actor James Galdolfini, forever memorable as star of the cable-TV series, The Sopranos, suffered a fatal heart attack while filming in Italy at age 51.

Also in 2013, yodelling country music singer Slim Whitman, one of Michael Jackson’s favorite vocalists, died of heart failure at age 90.  His recordings of Rose Marie, Indian Love Call, I Remember You and others, using his smooth high three octave range falsetto, were even more popular in Great Britain than they were in North America.

Still in 2013, the Rolling Stones released their entire catalog on iTunes as part of the band’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Again in 2013, Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver) was named Seattle Central Community College’s Distinguished Alumni Of The Year during its commencement ceremonies. A high school drop-out, McKagan enrolled at Seattle Central before attending Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics.

In 2014, lyricist Gerry Goffin died at his L.A. home of natural causes at age 75. He co-wrote more than 50 pop hits, mostly with his ex-wife Carole King, including “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

In 2015, Harold Battiste, the New Orleans-born composer, producer, arranger and musician who put his distinctive stamp on the city’s music for several decades, died after a lengthy illness at age 83.  He founded the first African American musician-owned record label, All For One, better known as AFO Records, in 1961. He also lent his talents to numerous studio sessions in Los Angeles; he played  a distinctive soprano sax on Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” and served as music director on their TV variety show.

In 2016, actor/voicist Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekhov in three Star Trek films, who had running roles in the Showtime TV series Huff and the animated Trollhunters, died after being pinned in his driveway by his runaway Jeep, at age 27.

Bad Wolves

In 2018, Bad Wolves donated $250,000 to the family of the late Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, who died suddenly on 1/15/18, just hours before she was supposed to lend her voice to Bad Wolves cover of the Cranberries classic “Zombie.”

In 2019, five female anchors sued New York City news channel NY1 claiming they were discriminated against in favor of men and younger women. The five are longtime award-winning employees of the station, which is a staple of the city’s local television news.

In 2020, all senior managers with Regina-based Harvard Broadcasting, the GM’s of the clusters in Edmonton, Regina, Red Deer and Fort McMurray, were out of a job by the end of the week.  It was part of Harvard’s attempts to deal with the financial strife caused by COVID-19.

Today’s Birthdays

Actress Gena Rowlands (The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie, The Way of the World, Top Secret) is 94.

Actress Marisa Pavan (Ryan’s Hope, 77 Sunset Strip) is 92.

Actress Marlene Warfield (Maude) is 84.

Singer Elaine ‘Spanky’ MacFarlane of Spanky and Our Gang is 82.

Voice actress Jennifer Darling (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, New Kids on the Block) is 78.

Actress Phylicia Rashad (Cosby Show, Cosby, Do No Harm, David Makes Man) is 76.

Singer Ann Wilson of Heart is 74.

Actress Virginia Hey (Farscape) is 72.

Actress Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey, The Catch) is 71.

Keyboardist Larry Dunn (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 71.

Actress Kathleen Turner (Californication, Nip/Tuck, The Doctors) is 70.

Country singer Doug Stone is 69.

Actor Michael Maloney (Coronation Street) is 68.

Singer Mark DeBarge of DeBarge is 65.

Singer-dancer-choreographer Paula Abdul (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance) is 62.

Singer-guitarist Brian Vander Ark of the Verve Pipe is 60.

Fox News Channel prime time host Laura Ingraham is 59.

Actor Andy Lauer (Caroline in the City, Going to Extremes, Grand) is 59.

Actor Samuel West (Mr. Selfridge) is 58.

Inuvik-born actor Eric Schweig (Blackstone, Cashing In) is 57.

Actress Mia Sara (Birds of Prey, Tinseltown) is 57.

Actor Chris Larkin (Yes Prime Minister) is 57.

ABC News reporter/ Good Morning America host Lara Spencer is 55.

Former Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch is 54.

Calgary-born actor Alan Van Sprang (Reign, King, Earth: Final Conflict) is 53.

Actress Robin Tunney (The Mentalist, Prison Break) is 52.

Vancouver-born actress Chelah Horsdal (The Man in the High Castle, Hell on Wheels, Blackstone, Level Up, The Client List) is 51.

Actor/voicist Bumper Robinson (The Game, Avengers Assemble, Ben 10: Omniverse, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, A Different World, Transformers: Animated) is 50.

Actress Poppy Montgomery (Reef Break, Unforgettable, Without a Trace) is 49.

Actor Hugh Dancy (The Path, Hannibal, The Big C) is 49.

Actor Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy, King & Maxwell) is 48.

Singer-banjoist Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers is 48.

Actress Zoe Saldana (Six Degrees) is 46.

Actress Mia Maestro (The Strain, Alias, Crusoe) is 46.

Actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom (Life) is 46.

Actor Neil Brown Jr. (Seal Team, Insecure, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) is 44.

Vancouver-born actress Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Listener, CSI, Mutant X) is 44.

Acress Robin McLeavy (Hell on Wheels) is 42.

Singer Macklemore of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is 42.

Actor Aidan Turner (Poldark, Being Human, The Clinic) is 41.

Actress/writer/producer Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock, The Mindy Project) is 41.

Actor Paul Dano (The Sopranos, Too Young to be a Dad) is 40.

Actress Helen George (Call the Midwife) is 40.

Actor Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy, Murdoch Mysteries, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe) is 35.

Actor Chuku Modu (The Good Doctor) is 34.

Actor Blake Woodruff (The Young & the Restless, Back to You & Me) is 29.

Actor Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) is 26.

Pop singer Daniel Skye is 24.

Actress Ava Cantrell (Not Safe for Work) is 23.

 Chart Toppers – June 19

Too Young – Nat King Cole
On Top of Old Smokey – The Weavers (vocal: Terry Gilkyson)
Syncopated Clock – The Leroy Anderson Orchestra
I Want to Be with You Always – Lefty Frizzell

Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers
Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool – Connie Francis
Burning Bridges – Jack Scott
Please Help Me, I’m Falling – Hank Locklin

Get Back – The Beatles
Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet – Henry Mancini
In the Ghetto – Elvis Presley
Running Bear – Sonny James

Shadow Dancing – Andy Gibb
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
It’s a Heartache – Bonnie Tyler
Two More Bottles of Wine – Emmylou Harris

Always – Atlantic Starr
Head to Toe – Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
In Too Deep – Genesis
Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

The Crossroads – Bone-thugs-n-harmony
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
You’re Makin’ Me High/Let It Flow – Toni Braxton
Blue Clear Sky – George Strait

We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
Making Memories of Us – Keith Urban

Today in Broadcast History compiled by Ron Robinson 


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