In 1896...Jim Jordan, the radio comedian who portrayed Fibber McGee, was born.
|Jim & Marian as Fibber McGee & Molly|
Jim and his wife Marian Jordan got their major break in radio while performing in Chicago in 1924; Jim said he could give a better performance than the singers they were listening to on the radio, and his brother Byron bet $10 that Jim couldn't do it. By the end of the evening, Jim and Marian had their first radio contract, at $10 per show for 26 weeks as The O'Henry Twins, sponsored by Oh Henry! candy.
In 1988, he died at the age of 91 at the Beverly Hills Medical Center from a blood clot in his brain, caused by a fall at his home
In 1925...WKOK Sunbury, PA began broadcasting as WJBQ.
In 1933...Windsor Ont. radio station CKOK and London’s CJGC were merged to create CKLW. The call letters stood for “London-Windsor”. CKLW (“The Big 8”) became one of the most influential powerhouses of early rock radio, breaking national hits and dominating Detroit ratings for years in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s.
|Edwin H. Armstrong|
In 1935…Edwin H. Armstrong announced his development of FM broadcasting after conducting the first large-scale field tests of his new radio technology at RCA's facilities on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building from May 1934 until October 1935.
|NY Times 11/7/1935|
The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles (160 km) away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.
RCA began to lobby for a change in the law or FCC regulations that would prevent FM radios from becoming dominant (David Sarnoff was looking to protect his stations on the AM band) .
By June 1945, the RCA had pushed the FCC hard on the allocation of electromagnetic frequencies for the fledgling television industry. Although they denied wrongdoing, David Sarnoff and RCA managed to get the FCC to move the FM radio spectrum from 42–50 MHz, to 88–108 MHz, while getting new low-powered community television stations allocated to a new Channel 1 in the 44-50 MHz range.
Furthermore, RCA also claimed invention of FM radio and won its own patent on the technology. A patent fight between RCA and Armstrong ensued. RCA's momentous victory in the courts left Armstrong unable to claim royalties on any FM receivers, including televisions, which were sold in the United States.
The costly legal battles brought ruin to Armstrong, by then almost penniless and emotionally distraught. Eventually, after Armstrong's death, many of the lawsuits were decided or settled in his favor, greatly enriching his estate and heirs.
But the decisions came too late for Armstrong himself to enjoy his legal vindication.
It took decades following Armstrong's death for FM broadcasting to meet and surpass the saturation of the AM band, and longer still for FM radio to become profitable for broadcasters. Two developments made a difference in the 1960s.
One was the development of true stereophonic broadcasting on FM by General Electric, which resulted in the approval of an FM stereo broadcast standard by the FCC in 1961, and the conversion of hundreds of stations to stereo within a few years.
In 1945...the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) began an investigation of 7 radio commentators. The committee considered its duty to purge any influences of communism from America.
In 1954…Elvis Presley signed a one year contract with the “Louisiana Hayride,” the Saturday night radio show originating at KWKH, Shreveport, Louisiana.
|Nat D. Williams|
WDIA went on the air June 7, 1947, from studios on Union Avenue. The owners, John Pepper and Dick Ferguson, were both white and the format was a mix of country and western and light pop. The station did not do well.
|Elvis At WDIA At Revue 1956|
Future WJLB strong jock herself, Martha Jean “The Queen” Steinberg became Princess Premium Stuff. Ernest Brazzell gave crop advice and Robert Thomas became a DJ named “Honeyboy” after he won a city-wide amateur competition. Among other notable personalities were Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert, Theo "Bless My Bones" Wade, and Ford Nelson, who remains an active gospel DJ on WDIA in 2013.
Many music legends got their start at WDIA, including B.B. King and Rufus Thomas. Elvis Presley was greatly influenced by the station.
The rest of an excellent Top 10: The Captain & Tennille's "Muskrat Love", Hall & Oates were stuck at #7 with the very underrated "She's Gone", Rod Stewart was on fire again, moving from 22-8 with "Tonight's the Night (Gonna' Be Alright)", Heart crept up with their first Top 10 "Magic Man" while the Commodores entered the list with "Just To Be Close to You".
The rest of the Top 10: a self-titled album by a group called Boston moved from 13-6 in its 7th week, Heart's Dreamboat Annie was stalled at #7, Chicago X, their greatest hits package, was #8, the Bee Gees edged up with Children of the World and Lynyrd Skynyrd joined the group with One More From the Road.
In 2007…Disc jockey (WCFL-Chicago, KYW-Cleveland, WOKY- Milwaukee, KYA-San Francisco, WYDE-Birmingham)/program director/record store chain owner (Record City) Jim P. Stagg died of complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 72.
Stagg's radio career began in Birmingham (on WYDE AM). From there, it was on to Philadelphia (on WBIG), San Francisco (on KYA), and Milwaukee (on WOKY) before his stint at KYW, Cleveland.
As his radio career wound down, Stagg hosted innovative talk and music shows on WMAQ-AM.
At WCFL, the "Voice of Labor", Stagg did the afternoon drive shift. He referred to the studio call-in line as the "Stagg Line" and produced a feature titled "Stagg's Starbeat" – in-depth, provocative, and insightful interviews with local, national and international music celebrities. Staggs interviewed nearly every major rock star of the 1960s, including Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, the Supremes, The Monkees, and Simon & Garfunkel.
Jim became the Chicago chairman of Let Us Vote (LUV), a youth campaign which began in late 1968 to establish the minimum voting age as 18 in all states. Joey Bishop was honorary national chairman and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart contributed a campaign song. Everyone's efforts resulted in the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution being ratified in 1971.
Staggs eschewed the flashy theatrics of other Top-40 radio hosts in favor a straightforward rock and roll show that kept the focus on the music. His close-of-program line echos that: "Music is my business. I hope my business was your pleasure."