Profile Now Playing: Announcer Johnny Gilbert Topic: PERSONALITIES Each day, thousands of trivia junkies and elderly folks hear the siren call: “This is Jeopardy!” Johnny Gilbert, the man behind those words, started out as a choirboy at his Lutheran Church in Newport News, Virginia, which led him to pursue a singing career.
Topic: PERSONALITIES Melvin Howard Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999), nicknamed The Velvet Fog, was an American musician, known as one of the great jazz singers. Tormé was born in Chicago, Illinois to immigrant Russian Jewish parents whose name had been Torma. A child prodigy, he first sang professionally at 4 with the Coon-Sanders Orchestra, singing "You're Driving Me Crazy," at Chicago's Blackhawk restaurant. Between 1933 and 1941, he acted in the network radio serials The Romance of Helen Trent and Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. He wrote his first song at 13 and three years later, his first published song, "Lament to Love," became a hit recording for Harry James. He played drums in Chicago's Shakespeare Elementary School drum and bugle corps in his early teens. While a teenager, he sang, arranged, and played drums in a band led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers. His formal education ended in 1944, with his graduation from Chicago's Hyde Park High School.
Now Playing: 18 JUL 1912 Birth of Red Skelton Topic: PERSONALITIES RICHARD (“RED”) SKELTON [1912-1997] radio, television and film comedian who appeared in several MGM musicals (“Panama Hattie”, “DuBarry Was A Lady”, “Ziegfeld Follies”, “Neptune’s Daughter”) - portrayed composer Harry Ruby in "Three Little Words". Skelton's show business career began in his teens as a circus clown and went on to vaudeville, Broadway, films, radio, TV, clubs and casinos, while pursuing another career as a painter...
Topic: PERSONALITIES 17 JULY 1912 - Birth of Art Linkletter, American television host. Art Linkletter born Gordon Arthur Kelly, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, was the host of two of the longest-running shows in United States broadcast history: House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio-TV for 19 years. Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on 'House Party' and 'Kids Say the Darndest Things', which led to a successful series of books quoting children...MORE in Wiki Bio ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Art Linkletter
Topic: PERSONALITIES Iconic American newsmen born this day... 14 JULY 1917 - Douglas Edwards, American newscaster, TV's first evening news anchor. 14 JULY 1927 - John Chancellor, American radio/TV newscaster.
His easygoing, relaxed and relaxing style belied a battle with depression that may have contributed to the end of his days as a leading television personality--and, eventually, his life. Born in Schenectady, New York, Garroway was 14 when he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended University City High School and Washington University. He began his broadcasting career modestly, starting as an NBC page in 1938, and then graduating from NBC's school for announcers 23rd in a class of 24. Even so, he landed a job at influential Pittsburgh radio station KDKA in 1939. He roamed the region, filing a number of memorable reports from a hot-air balloon, from a U.S. Navy submarine in the Ohio River, and from deep inside a coal mine. Those early reports earned Garroway a reputation for finding a good story, even if it took him to unusual places. He died 21 JULY 1982.
David Rose (June 15, 1910 ? August 23, 1990) Topic: PERSONALITIES British-born American songwriter, composer, arranger, and orchestra leader. His most famous compositions were "The Stripper", "Holiday for Strings", and "Calypso Melody". His early 1040's radio series “From out of the west to you,” California Melodies with singer Maxine Gray featured many of his familiar compositions as well as lush arrangements of standards originated at Hollywood station KHJ for the Mutual Network. David Rose is best known for his exotica, space age and cocktail hour recordings. His 1944 hit composition, “Holiday of Strings,” went on to become the theme song for Red Skelton shows for wich he was music director. He also wrote music for the television series Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven and Bonanza. He was married briefly to actress-singers Martha Raye and Judy Garland. Rose was a live steam hobbyist, with his own backyard railroad. Rose died in Burbank, California at the age of 80 and was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California. ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP David Rose
Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff (born April 3, 1924) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning American singer, actress, and animal welfare advocate known as Doris Day. A vivacious blonde with a wholesome image, Day was one of the most prolific actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Able to sing, dance, and play comedy and dramatic roles, she became one of the biggest box-office stars in Hollywood. She has 39 films to her credit, as well as over 75 hours of television work, and has recorded well over 650 songs. ON THE WEB | IMAGES | SHOP Doris Day
Happy Birthday to pioneering radio musician LES PAUL Topic: PERSONALITIES Born 9 June 1915 - Les Paul, American guitarist. Lester William Polsfuss is also inventor. He is a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar. In the 1930s, Paul worked in Chicago in radio, where he performed jazz music. Paul's first two records were released in 1936. One was credited to Rhubarb Red, Paul's hillbilly alter ego, and the other was as an accompanist for blues artist Georgia White. In the early 1950s, Paul made a number of revolutionary recordings with his wife, Mary Ford, who sang. These records were unique for their heavy use of overdubbing, which he did by recording to disc and bouncing from one disc to the other. The couple's hits included "How High the Moon", "Bye Bye Blues", "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise", and "Vaya Con Dios". These songs featured Mary harmonizing with herself, giving the vocals a very novel sound. Paul had hosted a 15-minute radio program, The Les Paul Show, on NBC in 1950, featuring his trio (himself, Ford, and rhythm player Eddie Stapleton) and his electronics, recorded from their home and with gentle humour between Paul and Ford. In April 2008, Paul reached an agreement with Discovery World in Milwaukee for an exhibit showcasing his legacy. The exhibit will feature items from his personal collection. This month, Paul will play a concert in Milwaukee to coincide with the opening of the exhibit. Paul resides in New York City. ON THE WEB | IMAGES | Shop Les Paul
BEN GRAUER - Announcer Now Playing: 100th birthday anniversary Topic: PERSONALITIES 1908 Birth of American radio announcer (NBC) and classical concert host, Ben GRAUER. d-31 MAY 1977. Benjamin Franklin Grauer was an American radio and TV personality, following a career as a child actor in the 1920s, both in film and on Broadway. He started his career in David Warfield's re-creation of The Return of Peter Grimm. Among his early credits were roles in films directed by D.W. Griffith. Grauer started in radio as an actor but soon became part of the broadcasting announcing staff at the National Broadcasting Company. On the radio, he was associated with Walter Winchell, Eleanor Roosevelt and Arturo Toscanini. [photo]Grauer seated, NBC's 'Radio Central' with Monitor announcers Tedi Thurman & Frank Gallup. WEB LINKS | Shop BEN GRAUER
Edward R. Murrow (born Egbert Roscoe Murrow; April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965) was an American journalist and television and radio figure. Murrow is the most distinguished and renowned figure in the history of American broadcast journalism. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada. Mainstream historians consider him among journalism's greatest figures; Murrow hired a top-flight cadre of war correspondents and was noted for honesty and integrity in delivering the news. A pioneer of television news broadcasting, Murrow produced a series of TV news reports that helped lead to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy. WEB LINKS | IMAGES | SHOP Edward R Murrow
Johnny Mann Now Playing: radio stations/commercials/jingles Topic: PERSONALITIES Johnny Mann (born August 30, 1928 in Baltimore, Maryland) American arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist. The thirty-nine albums he arranged and conducted for his Johnny Mann Singers resulting in five GRAMMY awards.
Ed McMahon's Horatio Alger story is a significant one. In his youth, his family moved from town to town, and by the time he settled permanently with his grandparents in Lowell, Massachusetts, he had attended 15 different schools. He sold pots and pans door to door to make a living. He became entranced with radio, and by age 11 he was practicing his announcer techniques by reading Time magazine aloud into a flashlight. After working on the sound truck for a traveling carnival, he landed his first job at age 17, as a radio announcer with a local station. McMahon defended our country in both World War II and the Korean War, in which he earned six air medals. His determination to have a career in communications earned him his degree at Catholic University. He soon became "Mr. Television" at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia while he hosted, wrote and produced more than a dozen television shows. He went on to become the host of "Who Do You Trust?" starring Johnny Carson, and four years later hosted Carson's "The Tonight Show," which lasted 30 years and 5,000 episodes. The show earned four Emmys. MORE | WEB LINKS | IMAGES | SHOP Ed McMahon
Now Playing: 21 FEBRUARY 2008 Topic: PERSONALITIES Don Pardo, who turns 90 tomorrow and will be there Saturday when the NBC comedy franchise returns after its longest mid-season shut down ever, the three month-long writers' strike sabbatical. Born Feb. 22, 1918, Dominick George "Don" Pardo, who joined the NBC Radio Network as an announcer in June of 1944--or, as Michaels pointed out on the last press tour, "before I was born," still flies to New York every weekend to work the show. He began when the show began in 1975, and, aside from one season (1981-82) has been the announcer ever since. Tomorrow night, he'll leave his condo in Tucson, Arizona, fly to New York, then cab it to Manhattan's Rockefeller Plaza, where he will head for the eighth floor, stand in Studio 8-H and bellow, "It's Saturday Night Live!" He flies home again on Sunday. MORE | WEB LINKS | IMAGES
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ARTHUR GODFREY 21 SEP 1939 Now Playing: from WJSV Washington DC 0630-0700 Topic: PERSONALITIES
WJSV was the CBS station located in Washington DC. They decided to record the entire day's broadcast for the National Archive. Arthur Godfrey, plays music and fills the time with small talk, birthday announcements, commercials, etc. on his Sundail morning show. EXCERPT: Powered by Podbean.com
Remembering ORSON WELLES' contributions to early radio Topic: PERSONALITIES
George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. Welles first gained wide notoriety for his October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Adapted to sound like a contemporary news broadcast, it caused a large number of listeners to panic. Welles was increasingly active on radio, as an actor and soon as a director and producer. He played Hamlet for CBS on The Columbia Workshop, adapting and directing the play himself. The Mutual Network gave him a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables, which he did with great success. Welles was chosen to anonymously play Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, in late 1937 (again for Mutual) and in the summer of 1938 CBS gave him (and the Mercury Theatre) a weekly hour-long show to broadcast radio plays based on classic literary works. The show was titled The Mercury Theatre on the Air, with original music by Bernard Herrmann, who would continue working with Welles on radio and in films for years. Their October 30 broadcast, H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, brought Welles notoriety and instant fame on both a national and international level. The fortuitous mixture of news bulletin format with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners from the rival and far more popular Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy program, created widespread confusion among late tuners. Panic spread among many listeners who believed the news reports of an actual Martian invasion. The resulting panic was duly reported around the world and disparagingly mentioned by Adolf Hitler in a public speech a few months later. Welles' growing fame soon drew Hollywood offers, lures which the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. However, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a 'sustaining show' (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse. Welles died of a heart attack at his home in Hollywood, California at age 70 on October 10, 1985. He had various projects underway, including a film adaptation of King Lear, The Orson Welles Magic Show, and The Dreamers. His final interview had been recorded the day before, on The Merv Griffin Show.
Radio broadcaster Arthur Godfrey was an unlikely star of his day. During television's first decade, he was the most omnipresent, watched, listened-to, and talked about personality in America. He was on television five days a week for nine hours, eight of them simulcast on radio. His theme song was played up to 70 times a week. But his only real talent was a folksy, laid-back, and unpredictable charm. One of his top shows on TV was Talent Scouts, the grandfather of American Idol.