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George W. Ackerman (1884-1962)

Farmer and his son listening in the evenings,

Shawnee county, Kansas,

September 23 or 24, 1924.

1999 digital print.

Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.

(16-G-93-2-S-3643c)

http://www.archives.gov/press/press-kits/picturing-the-century-photos/kansas-farmer-and-son.jpg

 

Picturing the Century:

One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives

Eight Portfolios from Part II

http://www.archives.gov/press/press-kits/1930-census-photos/photos-2.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trevor Baylis's wind up radio        4 April 2013

 

 

 

 

Trevor Baylis        Morgan Parr        4 April 2018

A short documentary for BBC IPTV's

series on inventions and inventors

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=179&v=SJ_XWbEM9dk

Related

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/05/
trevor-baylis-obituary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wireless

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_radio

 

 

 

 

radio        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/16/
557338355/im-an-american-radio-show-promoted-inclusion-before-world-war-ii

 

 

 

 

wind up radio        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/05/
trevor-baylis-obituary

 

 

 

 

radio storytelling        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/
obituaries/joe-frank-spinner-of-strange-radio-tales-is-dead-at-79.html

 

 

 

 

radio industry        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/media/radio

 

 

 

 

radio receiver        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/19/
506151375/this-christmas-song-brought-to-you-by-the-worlds-tiniest-radio-receiver

 

 

 

 

transistor radio        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2016/04/07/
473280265/all-songs-1-what-song-changed-your-life

 

 

 

 

black radio station        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/02/27/
467854020/google-cultural-institute-expands-black-radio-history-collection

 

 

 

 

Pandora

Internet radio service        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/
technology/pandora-mines-users-data-to-better-target-ads.html

 

 

 

 

talk radio        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/
nyregion/bob-grant-a-pioneer-of-right-wing-talk-radio-dies-at-84.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/us/
11radio.html

 

 

 

 

talk-radio host

 

 

 

 

syndicated talk radio host

 

 

 

 

radio host        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2016/01/23/
464058516/john-peels-american-connection

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/us/
politics/iowa-simon-conway-radio-show-draws-2012-gop-hopefuls.html

 

 

 

 

‘shock jock’ Radio        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/
arts/bob-sherman-force-behind-shock-jock-radio-dies-at-69.html

 

 

 

 

campus radio        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/
education/edlife/college-radio-heads-off-the-dial.html

 

 

 

 

on the radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radio show > USA > Morning Edition        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/08/
777349820/how-identity-has-changed-and-hasnt-over-morning-editions-40-years

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/07/
776365477/40-years-of-morning-edition-political-stories-that-lasted-an-era-and-beyond

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/05/
774161062/morning-edition-the-radio-news-show-that-almost-wasn-t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radio play        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/
theater/reviews/michael-gambon-and-eileen-atkins-in-all-that-fall.html

 

 

 

 

radio crusade        USA

https://www.npr.org/templates/
story/story.php?storyId=129995444 - September 20, 2010

 

 

 

 

Ragio Garden

http://radio.garden/

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/12/16/
505829305/radio-garden-lets-you-tune-into-a-world-of-global-broadcasts

 

 

 

 

Radio Times:

90 years of covers - in pictures        UK        30 July 2013

 

The world's oldest

TV and radio magazine

celebrates

its 90th anniversary

this year.

 

To mark the event,

here is a selection

of front pages

from those nine decades,

covering events

including world war two

and the moon landings,

as well as shows

such as Doctor Who,

EastEnders

and The Singing Detective.

 

An exhibition,

Cover Story: Radio Times at 90,

at the Museum of London

from 2 August until 3 November

features all these covers and more

http://www.theguardian.com/media/gallery/2013/jul/30/
radio-times-90-years-covers-in-pictures
 

 

 

 

 

mainstream

 

 

 

 

rig / radio transmitter / aerial

 

 

 

 

mixer

 

 

 

 

station

 

 

 

 

USA > NYC > hip-hop station Hot 97        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/
arts/music/homophobia-and-hip-hop-a-confession-breaks-a-barrier.html

 

 

 

 

pirate radio        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/may/22/
london-1980-pirate-radio-scene-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

pirate radio station

 

 

 

 

Rahilly's Radio Caroline        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/mar/08/
pirate-radio-johnnie-walker

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2009/apr/14/
bbc-radio-carolin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on the dial        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/
nyregion/bob-jones-new-york-dj-heard-on-milkmans-matinee-dies-at-70.html

 

 

 

 

programme

 

 

 

 

talk show        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/23/
506653136/radios-diane-rehm-a-mainstay-of-civil-discourse-signs-off

 

 

 

 


Radio Times listing of first Doctor Who        UK         23 November 2013

 

See what else was on

when Doctor Who first aired

on 23 November 1963.

 

Click on the magnifying glass to zoom

and explore these TV listings from 50 years ago

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/graphic/2013/nov/23/
television-doctor-who-radio-times
 

 

 

 

 

BBC's Radiophonic Workshop

theme music for many classic shows, including Doctor Who        UK        1950s-70s

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/nov/23/
radiophonic-workshop-bbc-doctor-who

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 90 years on air:

the best moments of BBC speech radio        UK        2012

 

BBC radio

is marking its 90th birthday

by re-broadcasting

a single moment

from each year

it has been on air.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/nov/13/
90-years-best-speech-radio-bbc

 

 

 

 

BBC Radio 1        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/27/
radio-1-audience-best-moyles

 

 

 

 

BBC > Desert Island Discs        UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnmr

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/desert-island-discs  

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2006/apr/12/
radio.comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC Radio 4        UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/radio4

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jul/01/
eddie-mair-to-leave-bbc-after-30-years-radio4-pm

 

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/03/
peter-donaldson-the-voice-of-radio-4-dies-aged-70

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/09/
bbc-radio4-long-wave-goodbye

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/oct/02/
bbc.radio

 

 

 

 

BBC > Radio 4 > Today        UK

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj9z  

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jul/01/
is-today-programme-losing-its-grip

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/20/
bbc-war-margaret-thatcher-life-on-earth-grange-hill-eastenders-falklands

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/19/
is-bbc-radio-4-too-gloomy

 

 

 

 

Radio 4's Thought for the Day        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/radio4

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/24/
pope-bbc-radio-christmas-message

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/22/
pope-benedict-radio-4-thought-for-the-day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radio drama        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/08/
473397042/radio-dramas-leading-man-still-adventuring

 

 

 

 

radio drama > Radio 4's eight-hour adaptation

of Vasily Grossman's epic Life and Fate        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/sep/23/
life-and-fate-radio-4

 

 

 

 

drama series > The Archers        UK

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qpgr 

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/the-archers 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/feb/03/
the-archers-camilla

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/oct/06/
60-years-archers-10-things-new

 

 

 

 

BBC Radio 4's The Archers > Norman Painting, voice of Phil Archer        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/29/
norman-painting-phil-archer-dies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC online archive of the Listener magazine        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/31/
bbc-online-archive-the-listener-magazine

 

 

 

 

On the Hour, by Chris Morris > spoof radio current affairs show        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/audio/2008/nov/14/
chris-morris-alan-partridge

 

 

 

 

on the radio

 

 

 

 

Absolute Radio        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/media/absolute-radio  

 

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/jul/29/
bauer-media-buys-absolute-radio

 

 

 

 

BBC London radio station GLR        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2008/oct/24/radio

 

 

 

 

radio airwaves        USA

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/
new-york-radio-gets-a-new-country-station/

 

 

 

 

be taken off air        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2008/oct/24/
radio

 

 

 

 

on air / on the air

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/nov/13/
90-years-best-speech-radio-bbc

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/
arts/music/15marshall.html

 

 

 

 

broadcast

 

 

 

 

broadcaster

 

 

 

 

broadcasting

 

 

 

 

Digital Audio Broadcasting    DAB

https://www.worlddab.org/ 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/19/
digital-radios-six-of-the-best-dab

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/jun/03/
amazing-radio-dab-digital-one

 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2006/oct/26/
comment.comment 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2006/aug/17/
comment.bbc

 

 

 

 

podcast        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/13/
opinion/hooked-on-the-freewheeling-podcast-serial.html

 

 

 

 

newscaster        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/29/
468559049/craig-windham-npr-newscaster-dies

 

 

 

 

studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > Presidential Election 1920

First commercial

radio broadcast coverage

of election returns

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/nfhtml/nfexpe.html

 

 

 

 

Marconi > the first live radio broadcast,

from Chelmsford in 1920

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/dec/13/
arts.education

 

 

 

 

radio comedy

 

 

 

 

news summary

 

 

 

 

phone-in

 

 

 

 

survey

 

 

 

 

be syndicated

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/nyregion/
charles-mcphee-dream-doctor-radio-host-dies-at-49.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hear N on the radio        USA

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/
story.php?storyId=5202677 - Feb. 12, 2006

 

 

 

 

listen to N

 

 

 

 

listenership

 

 

 

 

listener        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/aug/01/
nick-grimshaw-bbc-radio-1-breakfast

 

 

 

 

audience        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/aug/01/
nick-grimshaw-bbc-radio-1-breakfast

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/27/
radio-1-audience-best-moyles

 

 

 

 

tune into a station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

disc jockey    DJ        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/jul/26/
radio-1-tim-westwood-leave-bbc

 

 

 

 

disc jockey    DJ        USA

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/
623646592/powerhouse-disc-jockey-dan-ingram-dies-at-83

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/
arts/music/homophobia-and-hip-hop-a-confession-breaks-a-barrier.html

 

 

 

 

legendary New York DJ duo > Stretch and Bobbito        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/08/01/
539640926/stretch-and-bobbito-the-legends-return-to-radio

 

 

 

 

broadcaster / disc jockey        Tony Blackburn > BBC Radio 1        UK        1967

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/aug/10/
-sp-tony-blackburn-john-peel-looked-upon-me-as-the-devil-for-some-reason

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zxl3y

 

 

 

 

Daniel Trombley Ingram        USA        1934-2018

 

One of the most popular disc jockeys

in the history of American radio (...).

 

For more than 20 years,

Dan Ingram was one of the top jocks

on one of the top stations in the country:

New York City's WABC.

 

Ingram's career

spanned five decades

at stations across the country.

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/
623646592/powerhouse-disc-jockey-dan-ingram-dies-at-83

 

 

 

 

D.J. > Reggie Lavong (born Reginald Jerome Nelson)        USA        1933-2017

 

velvet-voiced radio personality

who played rhythm and blues and more

in the 1960s on WWRL-AM in New York

 

(...)

 

Mr. Lavong

was one of a number of disc jockeys

who worked under the nickname Dr. Jive,

using that handle on WWRL

for several years beginning in 1960.

 

He worked at a number

of other stations as well,

including WHAT in Philadelphia,

a station he and Miller Parker

bought in 1986

and owned for three years.

Mr. Lavong presented concerts

at the Apollo Theater in Harlem

and elsewhere

and spent several years

as vice president for marketing of R&B

at Capitol Records beginning in 1969.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/
obituaries/reggie-lavong-smooth-voiced-dj-dies-at-84.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/
obituaries/reggie-lavong-smooth-voiced-dj-dies-at-84.html

 

 

 

 

 

D.J. > Big Jay Fink        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/05/
nyregion/radio-dj-in-catskills-offered-a-lifeline-during-the-storm.html

 

 

 

 

D.J. > Jerome Saul Jaffe        USA        1919-2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/
arts/music/15marshall.html

 

 

 

 

D.J. > Danny Baker

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/sep/07/
danny-baker-interview

 

 

 

 

D.J. > Chris Moyles

http://www.theguardian.com/media/chris-moyles 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2009/sep/02/
radio-one-chris-moyles

 

 

 

 

        UK > D.J. > John Peel (John Robert Parker Ravenscroft), disc jockey        1939-2004        UK > USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2016/01/23/
464058516/john-peels-american-connection

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/oct/12/
john-peel-madonna-fall

 

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2004/oct/27/
guardianobituaries.artsobituaries1

 

 

 

 

UK > radio disc jockey / DJ > Alan Leslie Freeman    1927-2006

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2006/nov/28/radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

play music

 

 

 

 

microphone

 

 

 

 

on air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dar.fm

a free service that records

radio stations

— like TiVo for radio —

and, as a bonus,

conveniently indexes any music

from those stations that has been

electronically tagged.

http://dar.fm/ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > NPR > Fresh Air > Terry Gross        USA

 

http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/

http://www.npr.org/people/2100593/terry-gross

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/
magazine/terry-gross-and-the-art-of-opening-up.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

radio host > John Donald Imus Jr.        USA        1940-2019

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/27/
arts/don-imus-dead.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/27/
791955636/pioneering-shock-jock-don-imus-has-died-at-79

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nanette Rainone at WBAI in New York,

where, starting in 1969,

she developed programs

dedicated to women’s issues.

 

WBAI

 

Nanette Rainone, Early Creator of Feminist Radio Shows, Dies at 73

NYT

JUNE 1, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/
business/media/nanette-rainone-early-creator-of-feminist-radio-shows-dies-at-73.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > Nanette Rainone    1942-2016        USA

 

as a reporter and programmer

at the New York radio station WBAI

in the late 1960s and early ’70s

(she) created

some of the first programs

dedicated to feminism

and women’s issues

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/
business/media/nanette-rainone-early-creator-of-feminist-radio-shows-dies-at-73.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/
business/media/nanette-rainone-early-creator-of-feminist-radio-shows-dies-at-73.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arthur William Bell III        1945-2018

 

Art Bell,

an apostle of the paranormal

whose disembodied voice

drew millions

to his late-night radio soapbox

beamed from the Mojave Desert

 

(...)


From a home studio

65 miles west of Las Vegas,

Mr. Bell personally fielded

unscreened telephone calls

on five lines

during a five-hour nightly marathon

on KNYE-FM called “Coast to Coast.”

 

At its peak, in the 1990s,

the show was broadcast

on hundreds of stations

and reached as many

as 10 million listeners a week.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/
obituaries/art-bell-radio-host-who-tuned-in-to-the-dark-side-dies-at-72.html

 

 

 

 

Richard Curt Hottelet        USA        1917-2014

 

Richard C. Hottelet

(...) covered the D-Day

invasion of Normandy

and the Battle of the Bulge for CBS

and became the last survivor

of the “Murrow Boys,”

the network’s pioneering

World War II radio newsmen

who worked under Edward R. Murrow

 

(...)

 

Mr. Hottelet,

the youngest member

of the Murrow Boys

when he was hired

and the last of them

still with CBS

when he retired in 1985,

was a dogged reporter

who so angered Nazi leaders

while working for United Press

in the war’s early stages

that he was imprisoned

by the Gestapo for four months.

 

Mr. Murrow,

the chief of CBS’s

news operation in Europe,

who won fame for his broadcasts

from London rooftops

during the 1940 German air attacks

known as the blitz,

hired Mr. Hottelet in January 1944.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/
business/media/richard-c-hottelet-is-dead-at-97-
cbs-correspondent-was-last-of-the-murrow-boys.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Pardo in 1945.

 

He began his career at NBC a year earlier,

first as a radio announcer.

 

NBCUNIVERSAL

 

Don Pardo, the Voice of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies at 96

NYT

AUG. 19, 2014

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/
nyregion/don-pardo-the-voice-of-saturday-night-live-dies-at-96.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominick George Pardo        USA        1918-2014

 

Don Pardo (...)

literally introduced

television viewers

to some of America’s

biggest stars

and soon-to-be-stars

as the longtime announcer

for “Saturday Night Live”

 

(...)

 

Mr. Pardo,

whose career began

in the radio age,

continued through the end

of the last season

of “S.N.L.” in May,

when he performed

the introductions on the finale,

hosted by Andy Samberg.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/nyregion/
don-pardo-the-voice-of-saturday-night-live-dies-at-96.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/nyregion/
don-pardo-the-voice-of-saturday-night-live-dies-at-96.html

 

 

 

 

 

Kemal Amen Kasem        USA        1932-2014

 

disc jockey

who never claimed

to love rock ’n’ roll

but who built a long

and lucrative career from it,

creating and hosting

one of radio’s

most popular syndicated

pop music shows,

“American Top 40”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/
business/media/casey-kasem-wholesome-voice-of-pop-radio-dies-at-82.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/
arts/music/remembering-casey-kasem-dj-for-a-more-eclectic-pop-radio.html

 

 

 

 

Bob Grant (born Robert Ciro Gigante)        USA        1929-2013

 

right-wing talk radio host

whose testy, confrontational manner

made him a dominant voice

during the drive-time hours

in New York for decades

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/nyregion/
bob-grant-a-pioneer-of-right-wing-talk-radio-dies-at-84.html

 

 

 

 

Larry Lee Blankenburg        USA        1940-2013

 

Chicago disc jockey

who nearly half a century ago

replaced the unctuous ooze

that defined his calling

with a crusty cantankerousness

that influenced

present-day radio personalities

like Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/us/
larry-lujack-a-cranky-voice-on-chicago-radio-dies-at-73.html

 

 

 

 

Robert Vincent Jones        USA        1942-2013

 

a mellow-voiced

New York radio personality

who was the last regular host

of the historic WNEW-AM

show “Milkman’s Matinee,”

playing the music

of Frank Sinatra,

Ella Fitzgerald

and Duke Ellington

as it slowly became harder

to find on the dial

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/nyregion/
bob-jones-new-york-dj-heard-on-milkmans-matinee-dies-at-70.html

 

 

 

 

Harold Baron Jackson        USA        1915-2012

 

veteran broadcaster

who broke down racial barriers,

becoming one

of the first black disc jockeys

to reach a large white audience

and an omnipresent voice

on New York City radio

for more than 50 years

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/nyregion/
hal-jackson-pioneer-in-radio-and-racial-progress-dies-at-96.html

 

 

 

 

Peter Fornatale        USA        1945-2012

 

disc jockey

who helped usher in

a musical alternative

to Top 40 AM radio

in New York

in the late 1960s

and early 1970s,

presenting progressive rock

and long album tracks

that AM stations wouldn’t touch

and helping to give WNEW

a major presence

on the still-young FM dial

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/
arts/music/pete-fornatale-a-pioneer-of-fm-rock-dies-at-66.html

 

 

 

 

Norman Lewis Corwin        USA        1910-2011

 

Norman Corwin

was one of the last living links

to radio’s golden age,

a producer and dramatist

whose innovative use

of sound effects

and unusual narrative devices

attracted new audiences

to serious programming

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/
arts/norman-corwin-pioneer-of-radio-dies-at-101.html

 

 

 

 

Himan Brown        USA        1910-2010

developer of radio dramas

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/
arts/07brown.html

 

 

 

 

rock radio

prepackaged programming > Lester Eugene Chenault        1919-2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/
arts/music/04chenault.html

 

 

 

 

Robert Charles Pierpoint        USA        1925-2011

 

CBS News correspondent

who brought a human-interest touch

to coverage of the Korean War

and later reported

on six presidents,

from Dwight D. Eisenhower

to Jimmy Carter

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/
business/robert-pierpoint-86-dies-correspondent-for-cbs-news.html

 

 

 

 

Charles Lambert McPhee        USA        1962-2011

 

nationally syndicated

talk radio host

who made a career

analyzing the stuff of dreams

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/
nyregion/charles-mcphee-dream-doctor-radio-host-dies-at-49.html

 

 

 

 

Studs (Louis) Terkel        USA        1912-2008

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/studs-terkel 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/03/
books/03terk.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/01/
studs-terkel-dies-author-broadcaster 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/01/
studs-terkel-usa 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/
pulitzer-prizewinning-author-terkel-dies-at-96-982787.html 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/01/
books/01terkel.html

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-10-31-
studs-terkel-obit_N.htm

 

 

 

 

radio talk-show host > Rush Limbaugh        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/rush-limbaugh 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/magazine/06Limbaugh-t.html

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/today.guest.html


 

 

 

 

 

Alistair Cooke's

Letter from America (text and audio files)

 

"The World's longest running

speech radio programme

was first broadcast in 1946.

 

Now you can read Alistair Cooke's

weekly letter

on the internet"

https://www.theguardian.com/books/audio/2008/oct/01/1 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/mar/03/broadcasting.bbc1 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/mar/03/broadcasting.radio 

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/mar/03/bbc.radio

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/letter_from_america/392328.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/letter_from_america/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/letter_from_america/213674.stm

 

 

 

 

BBC > pioneering sound engineer > Daphne Oram        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/gallery/2008/aug/04/
electronic.music?picture=336194103

 

 

 

 

John Harry Robert Timpson, broadcaster and writer        1928-2005

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/nov/21/
bbc.radio 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/dec/14/
guardianobituaries.mainsection 

 

 

 

 

Rufus Thomas        USA        1917-2001

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2001/dec/21/
guardianobituaries1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Humphrys, Brian Redhead and Jenni Murray

in the Today studio, 1986

 

War on the BBC:

the triumphs and turbulence of the Thatcher year

G

Friday 20 February 2015    07.00 GMT

Last modified on Saturday 7 May 2016    16.53 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/20/bbc-war-margaret-thatcher-life-on-earth-grange-hill-eastenders-falklands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Leonard Redhead    1929-1994

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/today_programme.shtml

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-brian-redhead-1409045.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/01/25/obituaries/brian-redhead-bbc-announcer-64.html

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009mmhl - 11 July 1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stefan Kudelski        1929-2013

 

inventor

of the first professional-quality

portable tape recorder,

the Nagra I        1951

 

a reel-to-reel tape recorder,

about the size of a shoe box

and weighing 11 pounds,

that produced sound as good

as that of most studio recorders,

which were phone-booth-size

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/
business/stefan-kuldelski-inventor-of-the-nagra-dies-at-83.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/
business/stefan-kuldelski-inventor-of-the-nagra-dies-at-83.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orson Welles

The War of the Worlds > wireless dramatization        USA        1938

 

Orson Welles’s

mock “War of the Worlds” newscast

(...) terrified American

radio listeners in 1938

with vivid bulletins

warning Newark residents to evacuate

as invading Martians

incinerated central New Jersey

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/arts/bill-herz-of-war-of-the-worlds-broadcast-dies-at-99.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/
arts/bill-herz-of-war-of-the-worlds-broadcast-dies-at-99.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/info/2017/jun/26/
how-to-access-guardian-and-observer-digital-archive

 

 

 

 

Anthony Clare        UK

psychiatrist, author and broadcaster

BBC Radio 4 programme In the Psychiatrist's Chair

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2771213.ece - broken link

 

 

 

 

Ned Sherrin > Loose Ends        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/oct/02/bbc.radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Out of Order?

Make This Simple Home Check-Up

Before You Call Your Radio Service Man

 

Collection: Ad*Access

Category: Radio (1922 - 1956)

Category: 1940-1945

Company: Admiral Corporation

Product: Admiral Corporation

Source: Colliers

Source: Magazine

Year: 1943

Number of Pages: 1

Subject: Radio--War

Illustration--Drawing

Radio Programs--Admiral "World News Today"

Item Number: R0880

Duke Libraries > Digital Collections > Ad*Access

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess.R0880/pg.1/

http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/adaccess/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hal Jackson, 96,

New York Broadcaster

Who Broke Racial Barriers in Radio,

Dies

 

May 24, 2012

The New York Times

By MEL WATKINS

 

Hal Jackson, a veteran broadcaster who broke down racial barriers, becoming one of the first black disc jockeys to reach a large white audience and an omnipresent voice on New York City radio for more than 50 years, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 96.

His death was announced by WBLS (107.5 FM), the New York station where he continued to host a weekly program until a few weeks before his death.

Mr. Jackson, whose eclectic musical taste and laid-back manner helped define black radio, began his career in the late 1930s, when it was a challenge for a black announcer just to get a foot in the door.

At a time when segregation was widespread, he was a familiar voice to black and white listeners alike. At one point in the 1950s, he was hosting three shows — one rhythm-and-blues, one jazz and one pop — on three different New York radio stations.

As a radio executive, he helped found Inner City Broadcasting and establish the urban contemporary format, rooted in black music but appealing to a racially diverse audience. In the 1970s, it came to dominate the airwaves, first in New York City — where WBLS became the No. 1 station in the market — and then across the country.

He was the first African-American inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, in 1990, and among the first five inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, in 1995.

“Hal was the constant voice of black America,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Thursday. “From M.L.K. to a black president, he literally was the one who connected those dots.”

Harold Baron Jackson was born in Charleston, S.C., probably on Nov. 3, 1915. (He explained in his autobiography, “The House That Jack Built,” that his birth, like that of many Southern blacks in those years, was not officially recorded.) He was one of five children of Eugene Baron Jackson, a tailor, and the former Laura Rivers. Both his parents died when he was a child, and he lived with relatives in Charleston and New York before settling in Washington, where he graduated from Dunbar High School and attended classes at Howard University.

Avidly interested in sports, he approached the management of WINX, owned by The Washington Post, in 1939 about covering black sports events for the station. Told that station policy prohibited hiring black announcers, he took a different tack: he persuaded a white-owned advertising agency to buy time on WINX for a 15-minute interview and entertainment show, without revealing that he was involved. As he recalled, he showed up in the studio at the last possible moment and was on the air with “The Bronze Review” before management could stop him.

“When I started, the business was so segregated,” Mr. Jackson said in 2008. “Fortunately, that didn’t last long.”

Indeed, once the station’s color line had been broken, Mr. Jackson went on to host a music show there and to broadcast Howard University football and Negro league baseball. He also became a sports entrepreneur, assembling an all-black basketball team, the Washington Bears, which won the invitational World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1943.

By the end of the decade Mr. Jackson could be heard on four different stations in the Washington area, most notably WOOK in Silver Spring, Md., where he established his warm, low-key radio persona with the music show “The House That Jack Built.” That approach, in contrast to the hyperkinetic jive-talking style of other black announcers, influenced generations of disc jockeys.

“How are you?” he would begin. “This is Hal Jackson, the host that loves you the most, welcoming you to ‘The House That Jack Built.’ We’re rolling out the musical carpet, and we’ll be spinning a few just for you. So come on in, sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite recording stars from here to Mars.”

While in Washington he was also a civil rights fund-raiser and broke into television as host of a local variety show broadcast live from the Howard Theater in the spring and summer of 1949.

Mr. Jackson moved to New York in 1954, and within a few years he was broadcasting almost around the clock, juggling three shows on three stations, including WABC’s live midnight broadcast from the jazz nightclub Birdland. (He was the first black announcer to host a continuing network radio show.) In the late 1950s, he also briefly had his own Sunday morning children’s television show.

Mr. Jackson’s hectic schedule was interrupted in 1960 when he was caught up in the so-called payola scandal, charged with accepting bribes to play certain records and forced off the air for a while in New York. The charges were eventually dropped.

He began his long career as an executive in the early 1960s as program director of the Queens station WWRL. He went on to produce and host concerts at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, in Central Park and at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. He helped establish the Miss Black Teenage America pageant, later renamed Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International. He also organized fund-raising events for civil rights causes and was among the first to lobby for making the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.

In 1971 he was one of a group of black entertainers, businessmen and politicians, among them Percy Sutton, the Manhattan borough president, who formed Inner City Broadcasting and bought WLIB-AM and its FM sister station, which became the first black-owned radio station in the city.

As vice president of the FM station, which was renamed WBLS, Mr. Jackson hired the disc jockey Frankie Crocker as program director and oversaw the station’s shift from jazz to what Mr. Crocker christened urban contemporary radio: a slick blend of rhythm-and-blues, dance music and other genres designed to appeal to young listeners across racial lines. (In later years hip-hop was added.) When Mr. Crocker left, Mr. Jackson became program director; by the mid-1970s, WBLS was the No. 1 station in New York.

Working behind the scenes at Inner City rather than behind the microphone, Mr. Jackson helped shape programming at stations acquired by the company around the country as it grew into the first black-owned radio empire. But when a slot opened on Sunday mornings at WBLS, he decided to return to the air.

His “Sunday Morning Classics,” a mix of music from different eras and genres, made its debut in 1982. Originally two hours, it grew at one point to an eight-hour extravaganza. As “Sunday Classics,” the program was most recently on from noon to 4 p.m.

Mr. Jackson’s co-host on “Sunday Classics” was his fourth wife, the former Debi Bolling. His previous three marriages ended in divorce. His wife survives him, as do two daughters, Jane and Jewell; a son, Hal Jackson Jr., a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Hal Jackson was one of the last living links to when black voices were as rare on radio as they were on the silver screen,” the author and filmmaker Nelson George said Thursday. “He connected several generations of listeners to the bounty of great African-American music by not always observing the artificial boundaries between jazz, blues, Broadway, and rhythm and blues.”

Mr. George, whose books include “The Death of Rhythm and Blues,” said Mr. Jackson had “helped black people see the best in themselves, both before and after the civil rights movement.”

In recent years, Inner City Broadcasting fell on hard times. In 2011, the company, under legal pressure from its creditors, agreed to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (It has since been bought by the investment group YMF Media.) As part of the process, the company proposed hiring a chief restructuring officer. The one stipulation Inner City requested was that the officer be forbidden to fire four specific people. One of the four was Hal Jackson.

 

Peter Keepnews and Rebecca R. Ruiz

contributed reporting.

Hal Jackson, 96, New York Broadcaster
Who Broke Racial Barriers in Radio, Dies,
NYT,
24.5.2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/nyregion/
hal-jackson-pioneer-in-radio-and-racial-progress-dies-at-96.html

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Bergman,

Satirist With Firesign,

Dies at 72

 

March 9, 2012

The New York Times

By PAUL VITELLO

 

Peter Bergman, a founding member of the surrealist comedy troupe Firesign Theater, whose albums became cult favorites among college students in the late 1960s and ’70s for a brand of sly, multilayered satire so dense it seemed riddled with non sequiturs until the second, third or 30th listening, died on Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 72.

The cause was complications of leukemia, said Jeff Abraham, a spokesman for the group.

Mr. Bergman hosted an all-night radio call-in show on KPFK in Los Angeles beginning in 1966, “Radio Free Oz,” which served as the testing ground for the high-spirited Firesign sensibility. Phil Austin and David Ossman, two other founders of the four-man group, were the producer and director of the show; the fourth founder, Phil Proctor, was a frequent guest.

“We started out as four friends, up all night, taking calls from people on bad acid trips and having the time of our lives,” Mr. Austin said in a phone interview Friday. “And that’s what we always were: four friends talking.”

Mr. Bergman and his friends recorded their first album, “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him,” in 1968, followed the next year by “How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?”

By 1970, their mordant humor and their mastery of stereophonic recording techniques had made them to their generation of 20-somethings what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are to today’s (if Mr. Colbert and Mr. Stewart had a weakness for literary wordplay, psychedelic references and jokes about the Counter-Reformation).

Their records employed sound effects in ways considered pioneering in audio comedy at the time. More generally, they were considered important forerunners of comedy shows like “Saturday Night Live.”

Ed Ward, writing in The New York Times in 1972, described the third Firesign album, “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers,” as “a mind-boggling sound drama” and a “work of almost Joycean complexity.”

“It’s almost impossible to summarize any Firesign album,” Mr. Ward wrote, because most of their albums were so filled with “intricate wordplay, stunning engineering and use of sound effects, breakneck pacing and, of course, a terribly complex story line.”

When the Library of Congress placed “Don’t Crush That Dwarf” in its National Recording Registry in 2005, The Los Angeles Times described Firesign Theater as “the Beatles of comedy.”

Mr. Bergman told people the ensemble’s albums, unlike most comedy records, were never made to be listened to just once or twice. “He said our records were made to be heard about 80 times,” Mr. Austin said.

While the ensemble continued making albums for three decades, Mr. Bergman also wrote and produced several one-man shows, including “Help Me Out of This Head,” a 1986 monologue-memoir that drew on his childhood in Cleveland. He also wrote interactive games, including a CD-ROM parody of the popular adventure video game MIST.

Mr. Bergman was born on Nov. 29, 1939, in Cleveland, one of two children of Oscar and Rita Bergman. His parents hosted a radio show in Cleveland when he was growing up, “Breakfast With the Bergmans.” His father also worked as a reporter for The Plain Dealer.

Mr. Bergman graduated from Yale and taught economics there as a Carnegie Fellow. He later attended the Yale School of Drama as a Eugene O’Neill playwriting fellow. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to pursue a writing career.

He is survived by a daughter, Lily Oscar Bergman, and his sister, Wendy Kleckner.

Mr. Bergman got a taste of radio work when he was in high school, according to a biography on Firesign Theater’s official Web site. But he lost his job as an announcer on the school radio system, it said, “after his unauthorized announcement that the Chinese Communists had taken over the school and that a ‘mandatory voluntary assembly was to take place immediately.’ Russell Rupp, the school principal, promptly relieved Peter of his announcing gig. Rupp was the inspiration for the Principal Poop character on ‘Don’t Crush That Dwarf.’ ”

Peter Bergman, Satirist With Firesign, Dies at 72,
NYT, 9.3.2012,
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/10/
arts/peter-bergman-satirist-at-firesign-theater-dies-at-72.html

 

 

 

 

 

In Iowa,

British-Accented Radio Host

Draws G.O.P. Hopefuls

 

December 15, 2011
The New York Times
By JEREMY W. PETERS

 

DES MOINES — If you’re competing in the Iowa caucuses, there’s a new obligatory stop on the campaign trail this year, and it’s not a greasy spoon or an evangelical church.

It’s the WHO-AM radio show of Simon Conway. Mr. Conway, while cutting and often brash, does not fit the conservative talk radio mold. For one, he is British by birth, and his thick English accent can be somewhat disorienting as it booms from stereos here in the heartland. He also happens to be Jewish, a fact that seems lost on many listeners, especially those who are wishing him Merry Christmas these days.

“Rick Perry. Had him in last Friday for an hour,” Mr. Conway said in an interview this week.

Newt Gingrich? “I’ve looked him in the eye. Twice had him in.”

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum, who stopped in for an hour-long interview on Wednesday, have all been on his afternoon show several times on WHO. Mitt Romney has yet to agree to come on, though Mr. Conway said his campaign was mulling a request.

“If you want to reach Iowans, pretty much you’ve got to sit in WHO,” Mr. Conway noted.

On the national stage, Fox News is the media outlet of choice for Republican candidates, who are sitting for continuous rounds of interviews and spending considerable sums on advertising, because the network is a surefire way to reach large numbers of conservatives.

But in Iowa, WHO-AM (1040) plays that role, as the most listened-to and widely broadcast news radio station in the state.

WHO’s 50,000-watt signal carries easily across Iowa’s mostly flat terrain, making it available to just about any Iowan with a radio. Unlike the state’s segmented television markets — which are split into several regions from Sioux City in the West to Des Moines in the center to Cedar Rapids in the East — WHO offers the only truly statewide broadcast.

“It’s a 50,000-watt blowtorch,” said Matthew Strawn, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. According to Arbitron, nearly 65,000 people across Iowa tune in during the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. afternoon drive period at any given point during the average week when Mr. Conway’s show is broadcast — a small audience but still the largest in Iowa for talk radio. And given the demographics of talk radio — the audience tends to skew toward the politically attuned, conservative type that Republican candidates want to reach — WHO offers a highly targeted way for campaigns to convey their messages, through interviews or advertising.

Mr. Conway was named in April to WHO’s storied roster of hosts — the station is where Ronald Reagan made a name for himself as a sportscaster in the 1930s — replacing Steve Deace, a firebrand religious conservative whose 4 p.m. program was another must-visit destination for Republican candidates. (Mr. Deace now hosts a syndicated radio program.) The choice to hire Mr. Conway was a bold one for the Des Moines station, an institution that has always prided itself on its Hawkeye heritage. But minus the accent, he seems right at home here.

“He is very good at stirring the pot, and I have some admiration for how quickly he was able to figure Iowa out,” said Stephen Winzenburg, a professor of communications at Grand View University here who studies the intersection of media and politics. “He’s good at working the system, figuring out who the key players are and inviting them on his show.”

Mr. Strawn of the state Republican Party said that Mr. Conway set sights on him early. Shortly after Mr. Conway started at WHO, the Republican leader said he got a text message from him proposing that they meet.

Mr. Conway, who has a broad chest, blue eyes and swept-back brown hair that is graying slightly around the temples, wears an American flag pin on his lapel, a gold necklace with a Hebrew letter chai pendant and cowboy boots. He cast his first ballot in an American election in 2008. “That was for McCain,” he said, wincing and plugging his nose. His dog, a rescued chocolate Labrador retriever, is named Reagan.

His interviews, which tend to be free-wheeling and nonconfrontational, have produced some of memorable moments in the presidential campaign. He prompted Representative Ron Paul of Texas to acknowledge that his noninterventionist foreign policy would have precluded him from carrying out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. And in comments that grabbed headlines, Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, told Mr. Conway that he would fire Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke.

And Mr. Conway has been known to press candidates on their immigration views. An immigrant himself, Mr. Conway frequently calls for a more sensible process. “I handed over my fingerprints 17 times,” he said, sounding exasperated as he interviewed Mr. Gingrich recently. “I believe we have to simplify the process to come here legally.”

He often refers to his experience living in Europe to draw unflattering parallels between socialist governments and what he believes is an American welfare state run amok. “We’re getting to the point where we’re becoming Europe,” he said. “I thought I had a lot more time before what I lived through over there got here. And it’s coming here like a bullet train.”

Though he is Jewish, Mr. Conway has railed against what he sees as the secularization of American society, particularly as it relates to public displays of faith. At the opening of his show, he declares his studio “a ‘holiday-tree’-free zone” and wishes listeners Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. This has not always gone over so well with his listeners; some have sent him hate mail for referring to Hanukkah.

Mr. Conway spent most of his childhood in London but moved to Israel at 16 because his mother, stricken with cancer, decided she wanted to spend her final days there. His first job in journalism was with The Jerusalem Post, where he became a junior contributor when he was still in high school. Living there, he said, had a profound effect on him. “Israelis live for the day,” he said.

He moved back to Britain and freelanced for tabloids including The Sunday Mirror and T News of the World, which closed this year. He later ran a corporate communications firm, but decided to move to the United States in 2001. He said he initially planned to move the next year, but the Sept. 11 attacks prompted him to go earlier, his own private act of defiance to the terrorists.

He started out managing properties in Kissimmee, Fla., and later became a real estate agent. His first radio show in the Orlando area was supposed to be about real estate, but he said he found himself straying into current events. He drew the attention of other stations across the South, who soon asked him to fill in as a guest host.

When WHO offered him the job in April, he said he didn’t have to think about it for even a second. He said he won’t endorse a particular candidate. And much like the typical Republican voter, he has issues with all of them. “There’s no perfect candidate out there,” he said.

As Mr. Santorum settled into a chair across from Mr. Conway in the WHO studio on Wednesday, the candidate leaned back and stretched out his arms behind his head. He seemed at ease.

When Mr. Conway thanked him for visiting the show for a third time, Mr. Santorum replied, “I swear it’s been four or five times.”

    In Iowa, British-Accented Radio Host Draws G.O.P. Hopefuls,
    NYT, 15.12.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/us/politics/
    iowa-simon-conway-radio-show-draws-2012-gop-hopefuls.html

 

 

 

 

 

College Radio Heads: Off the Dial

 

November 4, 2011
The New York Times
By KYLE SPENCER

 

INSIDE a broadcast booth, at the radio station of the State University of New York Fredonia, Jud Heussler was presiding over his hourlong comedy show “The Morning Inferno.”

In a barreling voice, he announced that he would soon be throwing a few things up on the show’s Facebook page: a photo of a drunken moose he had uncovered online; a YouTube clip used for his segment “The Yoga Minute,” in which he and his co-host hyperventilate giddily along to the words of an earnest yoga instructor; and a video clip of the comedian Donald Glover, who was to perform on campus that night.

“Call, text, Facebook, whatever you want,” Mr. Heussler shouted to his listeners as he logged onto Facebook to check out who was posting on the show’s wall. Meanwhile, he sipped apple juice and fiddled with knobs on the audio board, plotting one of the day’s big activities: the videotaping of a campus groundbreaking. Who would shoot it? Someone who knew how to operate the station’s beloved Flip camera — flipping, as it’s called.

If none of this sounds like classic college radio, it’s not. Fredonia, a campus of 5,700 about an hour southwest of Buffalo, has two stations. And WDVL, the more popular, is so far removed from traditional radio it can’t even be found on the FM dial. Instead, that station streams on the Internet, which means tousled-haired disc jockeys in faded band T’s are constantly encouraging listeners to check out a rolling supply of podcasts, YouTube clips, photos and campus news on the station’s Web site.

Mr. Heussler, a senior majoring in audio-radio production, is general manager of both stations. He pointed boastfully at a printout of the station’s latest stats. “You could argue that WDVL has a bigger impact beyond the campus than we do on it,” he said. The station has about 350 online listeners a day; 40 percent of them live almost 300 miles away in the New York City area, while a mere 4 percent are on or near campus. Other log-in clusters? Los Angeles and the Czech Republic. “People listen from everywhere,” he said.

Fredonia’s radio station, with its tattered band posters and fading stickers, rickety desks and swivel chairs, and the occasional forlorn turntable or microphone jack, is plush by college standards. There is a mustard-colored couch from the 1960s in the lounge and an oversize banner of the call letters in red and black draped over an office divide. And nostalgically, a large closet houses thousands of dusty vinyls and CDs.

Most of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s 700 college members now stream on the Internet along with, or instead of, their broadcasting efforts. The Web’s freedom from Federal Communications Commission regulations is not the point. At stations like Fredonia’s, the goal is to transform themselves into the multimedia platforms they believe students with unprecedented tech appetites actually want, and it is changing the ethos, content and vibe of collegiate stations.

“No one brings a radio to their dorm today,” says Sean Owczarek, a recent Yale graduate who helped remake WYBCX, the university’s online-only station, during his time as general manager there.

Instead, students arrive on campus armed with smartphones, iPods and tablets on which they can listen to music services like Pandora, an Internet station that uses an algorithm to determine what songs to play. And now that Facebook has teamed with peer-to-peer applications like Spotify, users can share music right there on the site. ITunes carries some 225 college stations.

In this crowd, luring listeners, and keeping them entertained, is a matter of survival.

A dispiriting number of college administrators, unclear on the need for radio stations at all, are selling their coveted space on the AM-FM dial. In the last two years 14 stations have been sold or have pending sales, according to College Broadcasters Inc., an industry association.

Despite vociferous protest, Vanderbilt University in June sold the broadcast license to its indie station WRVU, a Nashville institution that promoted its music as the kind “you can’t hear anywhere else.” The sale price: $3.35 million. Brown’s BSR lost its FM spot this summer, too. And after multiple attempts to scuttle the deal, Rice University recently sold its license for KTRU, which played everything from Philip Glass to shoegaze, a British rock subgenre characterized by noisy guitars and motionless musicians on stage. All three stations are now streaming online. (WRVU and KTRU can also be found on HD Radio, for hybrid digital, which requires special receivers.)

To improve morale, Rob Quicke, a communications professor and general manager of the station at William Paterson University, in Wayne, N.J., organized a College Radio Day on Oct. 11. It was a call to unity in which 365 stations showcased their best work and played a segment by Professor Quicke on the value of college radio.

Station managers, sounding more business than boho, increasingly meet to strategize ways to stay relevant. “One of the big things we do is monthly conference calls with our board of directors where we brainstorm the future of our station,” says David DyTang, a policy analysis and management major and general manager of Cornell’s rock station, WVBR. “How do we reach out to students? How do we access them through modern media?” In one way, the students are creating an app to access the station’s Web site from a smartphone.

Three years ago, Fordham started up the Alternate Side as an edgier, visually stimulating option to its FM-based station, WFUV. The Alternate Side streams 24/7 on the Internet, a few hours a day on the FM dial, and on HD Radio. Student technicians videotape and edit live jam sessions that are e-mailed to listeners in a weekly newsletter and posted on the station’s page. “We call ourselves a radio station,” says John O. Platt,WFUV’s communications director. “But we’re really a multimedia content provider.”

Students at Yale’s WYBCX refer to their station as a “global entity.”

In response to lost listenership in 2007, students voluntarily transformed their free-format AM station into an Internet-only outfit with a highbrow mix of pop-electronica and contemporary classical. While WYBCX is like many stations in that it offers live college sports, its disc jockeys would never be satisfied streaming for just a dorm buddy. “All our shows are designed for audiences beyond Yale,” says the general manager, Carl Chen, a junior sociology major who is as comfortable discussing an 11-member hip-hop collective from Los Angeles as the “media model” the station ought to be pursuing to compete for listeners. The plan is to develop niche followings with eclectic interview shows like “The Art World Demystified,” “A Glimpse of Islam” and “fsck,” on the tech world.

Once upon a time, it was a hyper-local focus that constituted the beauty of the often unpolished, old-school college radio show. Disc jockeys shouted out to roommates cramming at 3 a.m. for calculus II exams, played cranky ballads to ex-boyfriends, and introduced new, underground bands. For those who recall stations as carefree places where a kid who was into music could play some tunes, even ones no one was likely to enjoy, this global-minded, strategic maneuvering is unsettling.

“College radio has traditionally been rooted in a community, a place and a time,” says Casey Rae-Hunter, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition, a nonprofit group that has been involved in the fight to preserve college radio. “It’s live and it’s local. There is a tremendous romance to that. Without it, college radio stations risk losing their uniqueness.”

DePaul University’s Internet-only station garners listeners from as far away as Tokyo, and when a marketing class was asked to evaluate what the station could do to improve, there was overwhelming consensus: focus more on what’s happening here, on the Chicago campus.

“We were trying to be a global radio station,” says Scott Vyverman, faculty manager for the station. “And we were missing that connection at home.”

To rectify this, the station began broadcasting campus sports and beefed up its local news coverage.

Even at free-format stations like Drexel University’s WKDU, which streams online but still maintains a strong local presence on the FM dial, students are being forced to confront issues concerning the station’s distinctiveness. In free-format programming, D.J.’s are invited to produce a show on just about any topic or musical genre they please. It’s the kind of station that has captured the romantic imagination, but in fact many now utilize formal playlists, some of them automated.

WKDU has long positioned itself as West Philadelphia’s answer to corporate music. Playing Top 40 tunes is not allowed. Jake Cooley, a junior and the station manager, chuckles when he recalls the time, a few years back, when a D.J. propped a vacuum cleaner up to his microphone and let it roar to mimic the noisy dissonance of a black metal drone band. It was part musical experience, part D.J. bravado. Would Mr. Cooley sanction such a performance today? “Probably not,” he says almost apologetically. “It’s a fine line.”

Larry L. Epstein, faculty adviser to WKDU, has watched the transition up close. “These college stations are still social environments,” says Mr. Epstein, who is also an executive board member of Cornell’s WVBR. But students tend to be more deliberate about their time at them and more demanding of one another. While some of this has to do with the changing work ethos on American campuses, he says, it also has to do with the pressure stations are under. “Their programming has to be relevant to their core audience,” he says. “The days of college stations that only appeal to the students who work there has come to an end.”

Mr. Epstein is direct. “I tell them: You don’t want to end up another Vanderbilt.”

It wasn’t always like this. As mainstream radio in the 1980s and 1990s became more focused on profits, and hence more risk averse, college radio became one of the rare broadcast venues where new sounds could be introduced, according to Susan Smulyan, author of “Selling Radio: The Commercialization of American Broadcasting.” “College radio became a hideout,” she says.

And it relished the role. In the 1980s college radio catapulted the post-punk pop of R.E.M. into the mainstream, and is credited with discovering and promoting the 1990s grunge bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. In the early 2000s, it was college radio that helped ignite a garage band revival with the White Stripes. Even Coldplay was lifted up through the ranks of college radio.

David Hargis, a former student disc jockey at Princeton’s WPRB, says the power of these stations has been diluted because music blogs like Pitchfork and social networking sites, which he calls “word of mouth on steroids,” are offering those same opportunities to discover new music. “There are too many other ways to get what college radio gives you,” says Mr. Hargis, who was a paid program coordinator for KUSF, the University of San Francisco’s student station, which now is found only streaming on the Internet.

Mr. Vyverman, the faculty manager at Radio DePaul, says college radio can etch out a new role, but online so young listeners can do what they have grown accustomed to doing: participating. “College students don’t want: You listen to what we tell you,” he says. “They want two-way communication. They want to feel that their voice is being heard.”

A VISITOR recently drop­ped by and heard a lively conversation in the Fredonia station’s lounge on what live radio stations can offer students that automated Internet radio stations can’t.

Izzy Jay, a senior and program director for Fredonia’s FM-dial station, paced back and forth, nibbling on chips and offering her thoughts on how much a disc jockey really adds to a listener’s experience. “I listen to radio to hear new music,” she argued. “I don’t need the disc jockey to draw me in.”

But Rob Neves, program director for the campus’s Internet station, leaned against an office divider in a cobalt-blue “I Love Radio” T-shirt and politely but vehemently disagreed.

“Music is what brings people to the radio,” he retorted. “Personalities are what keep them coming back.”

Mr. Neves said later, “It’s an ongoing debate between certain people — what drives people to come and why iPods and Pandora are different.”

WDVL station heads are confident they can put up a valiant fight against robotic technologies — not by becoming riskier because they’re F.C.C. free, but by producing shows that promote real-time connections. “Lover Call,” a late-night talk show, encourages listeners to instant-message their romantic woes, as one lovelorn listener did repeatedly last year. “Week after week, we got updates,” Mr. Heussler said, describing a suspense-packed virtual soap opera.

Last year, “Bonjour Cupcake” featured soupy guitar bands that sang about foiled love affairs. Meanwhile, listeners swapped cupcake recipes in a live chat room. “Yup, that’s basically what they did.” Mr. Heussler said, affecting a tone that suggested even he was puzzled by that show’s success.

Mr. Heussler believes another way to foster these connections is to help listeners find information on artists they want to learn more about. To illustrate this, he told the story of how two years ago, WDVL conducted a phone interview with an indie electro-pop band from Colorado called 3OH!3. The podcast included a recording of “Don’t Trust Me,” the band’s catchy, tongue-in-cheek tune about the perils of hooking up. When that song shot to No. 1 on the music charts, fans from around the world, seeking news about the band, found the Fredonia site.

To old radio heads, what Mr. Heussler was describing wasn’t really introducing someone to something new. You find what you’re looking for; you don’t find what you’re not looking for. But he is not the type to get bogged down in what used to be.

When asked which station was WDVL’s biggest competitor, Mr. Heussler, taking a rare break in the foam-padded interview room, shrugged. “Who are we competing with? We’re competing with past generations.”
 

 

Kyle Spencer is a freelance writer

based in New York City.

 

This article has been revised

to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 5, 2011

A picture caption on Page 22 this weekend

with an article about college radio on the Internet

misidentifies a Fordham student shown

videotaping a band for the university’s station, WFUV.

She is Erica Talbott, not Clair Donovan.

    College Radio Heads: Off the Dial, NYT, 4.11.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/
    college-radio-heads-off-the-dial.html

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Pierpoint, 86, Dies;

CBS News Correspondent

 

October 23, 2011
The New York Times
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN

 

Robert Pierpoint, the CBS News correspondent who brought a human-interest touch to coverage of the Korean War and later reported on six presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Jimmy Carter, died Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 86.

The cause was complications of hip surgery, CBS News said.

In more than 40 years with CBS radio and television, Mr. Pierpoint covered the major news stories of his time, from Korea to the Kennedy assassination to Watergate, often reporting for “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite” and on the magazine-type program “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt.

Mr. Pierpoint’s “special memory” of covering the Korean War involved not a particular battle but his visit to a Seoul orphanage.

“There are 500 arguments against the war; these kids,” Mr. Pierpoint told viewers in a report that was replayed on “Sunday Morning” on the 40th anniversary of the war’s outbreak. “They didn’t start it, they don’t want it, they don’t know what it’s all about. But they’re the real victims of this or any other war. And actually what they want most of all is just a little affection, something they’re never really going to get right here in this spot.”

Mr. Pierpoint’s reporting from Korea was featured on Edward R. Murrow’s first “See It Now” program, in November 1951, and his voice reporting the Korean cease-fire for CBS Radio was used on the final episode of “M*A*S*H” in 1983.

Covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Mr. Pierpont described Jacqueline Kennedy’s emergence from her husband’s operating room at Parkland Hospital. In an interview this month with The Santa Barbara News-Press, he expressed regret at having failed to mention that Mrs. Kennedy’s pink suit was soaked in blood. “I was in shock,” he recalled.

Mr. Pierpoint won Emmy Awards for his participation in CBS reports on Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation and on President Richard M. Nixon’s friend Charles G. Rebozo.

Robert Charles Pierpoint was born on May 16, 1925, in Redondo Beach, Calif. After naval service in World War II, he graduated from the University of Redlands in California, then did graduate work in Stockholm and was hired by CBS as a freelance reporter there.

He became a full-time foreign correspondent in 1951. After covering the Korean War he was the CBS Far Eastern bureau chief in Tokyo until 1957, when he became White House correspondent. He was named CBS’s State Department correspondent in 1980.

Mr. Pierpoint, who retired in 1990, is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons Eric, a television and film actor, and Alan; his daughters Marta and Kim Pierpoint; a sister, Ruth Hogg, and five grandchildren.

Mr. Pierpoint was an avid tennis player, something that made for a mixed fashion statement one Saturday in the early 1970s when he reported from the White House lawn.

Mr. Pierpoint wore a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie but, as The New York Times later reported in an article on men’s fashions in Washington, “what the television camera did not reveal was that Mr. Pierpoint’s proper attire topped a pair of tennis shorts, tennis sneakers and bare legs.”

In his memoir “At the White House: Assignment to Six Presidents” (Putnam, 1981), Mr. Pierpoint wrote that he had hurriedly received a story assignment but was about to play tennis with Ron Ziegler, President Nixon’s communications aide. He changed into a tennis outfit he kept in his locker at the White House, in anticipation of the match, while keeping the suit jacket on.

He wrote that when a photo of his full frame later appeared in a book and newspapers, “my superiors were far from pleased, apparently feeling that tennis shorts, a jacket and tie did not provide a dignified image.”

Marta Pierpoint said her father had relished that episode and would be buried in a suit jacket and tennis shorts.

    Robert Pierpoint, 86, Dies; CBS News Correspondent,
    NYT, 23.10.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/business/
    robert-pierpoint-86-dies-correspondent-for-cbs-news.html

 

 

 

 

 

Norman Corwin,

Pioneer of Radio,

Dies at 101

 

October 19, 2011
The New York Times
By WILLIAM GRIMES

 

Norman Corwin, one of the last living links to radio’s golden age, a producer and dramatist whose innovative use of sound effects and unusual narrative devices attracted new audiences to serious programming, died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 101.

His death was confirmed by Chris Borjas, his caretaker.

Mr. Corwin was a prolific writer and producer for CBS in the 1930s and ’40s, best known for his dramatizations of American history, vivid human-interest reports from abroad during World War II, adaptations of American literary works and dozens of radio plays.

One of his most celebrated broadcasts came eight days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when four American radio networks simultaneously carried “We Hold These Truths,” a kind of docudrama produced for the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, with performances by Orson Welles, James Stewart, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston.

The program, broadcast live from Hollywood, ended with a live speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House and a performance from New York of the national anthem by Leopold Stokowski and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

“It needed brilliant craftsmanship to pack such a story into 50 minutes,” John K. Hutchens of The New York Times wrote in a review. “The craftsmanship was there, Mr. Corwin being both artisan and artist. He can take simple, colloquial speech and make it sing. He has a gift also for those devices that hold a script together and give it variety and pace.”

In this case, Mr. Corwin invented a news correspondent, played by Stewart, who traveled back in time to report on the Constitutional Convention and returned to the present to interpret current events.

During World War II Mr. Corwin delivered compelling reports from Britain and the Soviet Union in the series “An American in England,” produced by Edward R. Murrow, and “An American in Russia.”

Life magazine called him “radio’s top dramatic genius.” In 1944 The New York Post wrote, “He has earned the daring reputation of being the first to credit radio audiences with intelligence.”

On V-E Day, May 8, 1945, Mr. Corwin presented what may have been his most famous broadcast, “On a Note of Triumph,” a celebration of the Allied struggle for victory with a score by Bernard Herrmann.

“So they’ve given up,” Martin Gabel, the narrator, intoned. “They’re finally done in, and the rat is dead in an alley back of the Wilhelmstrasse. Take a bow, G.I. Take a bow, little guy. The superman of tomorrow lies at the feet of you common men of this afternoon. This is it, kid! This is the day!”

The broadcast and Mr. Corwin’s career provided the material for the film “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary short subject in 2006.

“In radio there was never a term equivalent to boob tube or couch potato,” Mr. Corwin told the reference work “World Authors, 1900-1950.” “The eye is so literal, whereas the ear makes a participant of the listener. The listener becomes the set designer, the wardrobe mistress, the casting director. You can listen to ‘Carmen’ on radio. Carmen in person may weigh 350 pounds, but to the listener she’s a beautiful, steamy lady with a rose in her teeth.”

Norman Lewis Corwin was born on May 3, 1910, in Boston and grew up there and in Winthrop, Mass. His father was a printer and engraver who had emigrated from London.

Determined to become a newspaper reporter, he sent out letters to 80 dailies in Massachusetts and, after lying about his age, was hired as a cub reporter at 17 by The Daily Recorder of Greenfield.

Within a month he was the paper’s sports editor, writing features and reviewing films on the side. He moved up to The Springfield Republican, where he became the paper’s lead writer of colorful features. When the paper was approached in 1932 by the radio stations WBZ in Boston and WBZA in Springfield to prepare a nightly 15-minute news report. Mr. Corwin, who spoke in a pleasing baritone, was handed the job.

In 1937 WQXR in New York accepted his proposal for a radio show of poetry readings and dramatizations, “Poetic License,” which ran for 40 weeks. The show came to the attention of executives at CBS, who put him to work producing cultural programs with Gilbert Seldes, including “Americans at Work” and “Living History.”

Soon he had virtual carte blanche at the network. As part of his series “The Pursuit of Happiness,” he presented Paul Robeson singing Earl Robinson’s cantata “Ballad for Americans,” the first performance of Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill’s “Ballad of Magna Carta,” and an adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet’s poetry performed by Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.

In 1945 he directed “The Undecided Molecule,” his play about a molecule that wants to determine its own destiny and that argues its case in the Court of Physio-Chemical Relations, presided over by Groucho Marx. Also in the cast were Robert Benchley, Vincent Price, Sylvia Sidney and Keenan Wynn.

“Fortunately for myself, radio was then in a period of relative freedom — freedom to experiment, freedom to speak, freedom from the vulgarity, venality and even cowardice that, in later years, was to blight the medium,” he told “World Authors.”

In 1947 he married Katherine Locke, a Broadway and film actress, who died in 1995. He is survived by their children, Anthony and Diane.

A liberal internationalist, Mr. Corwin grew disillusioned with radio as the chill of McCarthyism gripped the United States. He left CBS in 1949 after an argument over rights to his work and no longer worked in radio after 1955.

His politics made him an object of suspicion in the entertainment industry, which, as he later put it, “graylisted” him.

He wrote screenplays for less than memorable films like “Scandal at Scourie” (1953) with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, “The Naked Maja” (1958) with Ava Gardner and Tony Franciosa, and “Madison Avenue” (1962) with Dana Andrews and Eleanor Parker.

His greatest Hollywood success came with his adaptation of “Lust for Life,” Irving Stone’s biography of van Gogh, played by Kirk Douglas. His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award in 1957.

In 1959 his dramatization of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, “The Rivalry,” opened at the Bijou Theater on Broadway with Richard Boone as Lincoln and Martin Gabel as Douglas.

Mr. Corwin taught creative writing at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts in Idyllwild, Calif., for many years and had been a writer in residence at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California since 1979.

In 1999 he produced a half-hour broadcast distributed by Public Radio International, “Memos to a New Millennium.” Walter Cronkite provided the introduction. The music was by the eminent film composer Elmer Bernstein.

“I’m governed by the potentialities of radio,” he told The New York Post in 1944. “Even in the best shows, they’re only dimly realized. Radio has given us, for the first time, a selective ear, just as the movies gave us a selective eye.”

    Norman Corwin, Pioneer of Radio, Dies at 101, NYT,19.10.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/arts/
    norman-corwin-pioneer-of-radio-dies-at-101.html

 

 

 

 

 

Radio D.J. in the Catskills

Offered a Lifeline During the Storm

 

September 4, 2011
The New York Times
By SUSANNE CRAIG

 

WINDHAM, N.Y. — In these days of smartphones and social media, a small-town radio D.J. like Big Jay Fink may seem like an improbable source of emergency information.

But as the banks gave way and the power went down across wide swaths of the Catskill Mountains during Tropical Storm Irene, Mr. Fink served as a lifeline for thousands of people who were cut off from just about all forms of communication and information.

As floodwaters rose on the morning of Aug. 28, Mr. Fink interrupted the regular Sunday programming on WRIP-FM (97.9); instead of a classic Casey Kasem countdown, listeners found Mr. Fink — beginning what would be a 13-hour on-air marathon. He calmly fielded calls from people trapped by the surging waters and doled out information on makeshift shelters.

For many of the 49,000 people spread out over the 650-odd square miles that make up Greene County, Mr. Fink became the voice of the storm.

“The worst of it was the calls from Prattsville; people saying, ‘I am on the roof of my trailer,’ and asking where their rescue was,” he said.

Mr. Fink, 54, is an old-school radio guy who got his start at a university radio station. He was supposed to be on vacation when the storm hit; he could not afford to go anywhere, so he opted to just hang out at the radio station, which operates out of an old bowling alley not far from Windham’s main street.

On Saturday night, as the storm began to rain down, a friend dropped off a cot so Mr. Fink would be near the microphone if things took a turn for the worse. On Sunday morning, as the water kept rising, he began breaking into the station’s programs, giving updates throughout “Direct Connection,” a Christian radio show, and the Casey Kasem program.

About 9 a.m., power and a number of the region’s cellphone towers were knocked out, leaving thousands without any way of communicating. WRIP’s backup generator kicked in, and the phone, an old-fashioned land line, started ringing. It has not stopped since.

For days Mr. Fink, who was soon joined by his colleague Joe Loverro, played matchmaker, soothing stranded residents, taking down numbers to relay to rescue workers and passing on information about makeshift shelters and closed roads. The two personalities and other WRIP employees guided listeners through the arrival of the National Guard, carrying emergency supplies, to towns like Prattsville, and kept people apprised of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s trip on Wednesday to that community, which was devastated by the storm.

People listened, first from radios powered by batteries or generators, and later from their cars as they drove around to survey the damage, which may top $1 billion in New York alone, Mr. Cuomo has estimated.

“I don’t know any emergency numbers, and I really would love to know if anybody can tell me what is happening in Hensonville,” one frantic caller, Joan, said that Sunday. “My son I know is in his house, probably on the second floor, and the neighbors are in their house and I don’t know any number.”

Mr. Fink’s apartment is above a garage near the banks of the Batavia Kill, which overflowed and flooded much of downtown Windham. He said that on Sunday night, he fed his cat and rented a room nearby on higher ground.

Mr. Fink typically takes listeners through the day “playing the mountaintop’s best music mix, on ‘Midday in the Mountains.’ ” And even during the peak of the storm’s damage, Mr. Fink would play music between listeners’ calls, giving him time to try to find out what stranded residents could not.

He said he was careful in the music he selected. “I didn’t want sad songs; I didn’t want happy songs,” he said. “I wanted songs about being together.” He played tunes like Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl”; “Hold On,” by Michael Bublé; and the Four Seasons hit “December, 1963” (it begins with the lyrics “Oh what a night”).

This is not the first time people have recently turned to radio in times of disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, two radio stations temporarily combined operations, becoming the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans. Nor is radio the only conduit for information; in the Catskills, the Web site Watershed Post, which provides news on the region, started a live blog, connecting residents and concerned New Yorkers alike searching for information.

But there is no doubt that Mr. Fink and WRIP— named after Rip Van Winkle, the Washington Irving character whose home was in the Catskills — served a need.

“This is just what we do,” he said. “We are not a big operation, but we are here, and right now that is what matters.”

    Radio D.J. in the Catskills Offered a Lifeline During the Storm,
    NYT, 4.9.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/05/nyregion/
    radio-dj-in-catskills-offered-a-lifeline-during-the-storm.html

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Sherman,

Force Behind ‘Shock Jock’ Radio,

Dies at 69

 

August 19, 2011
The New York Times
By DENNIS HEVESI

 

Bob Sherman, who as executive vice president of the New York radio station WNBC in the late 1970s and early ’80s played a role in fomenting the irreverent, boisterous and sometimes profane “shock jock” genre by hiring Howard Stern and rehiring Don Imus, died on Sunday in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. He was 69.

The cause was cancer, his son Tate said.

WNBC was slumping in the ratings when Mr. Sherman was appointed executive vice president in 1979. One of his first moves was to bring back Mr. Imus, who had been fired two years earlier for what the station deemed a lack of professionalism, and who was working in Cleveland. With Mr. Imus back in the morning drive-time slot, ratings and advertising revenues rebounded.

By the summer of 1982, Mr. Sherman and WNBC’s general manager, Dom Fioravanti, had hired Mr. Stern, who, as New York magazine said in 1985, was “flapping his gums weekday mornings in Washington, D.C., provoking tempers, grabbing headlines and quadrupling his audience.”

Soon after, WNBC was promoting the two in print and television ads, often with the slogan “If we weren’t so bad, we wouldn’t be so good.”

“By hiring Imus and Stern, Sherman laid the foundation for shock-jock radio,” Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media, said in an interview on Wednesday.

Mr. Imus’s show featured fictional, satirical characters like the Rev. Billy Sol Hargus, a profane religious zealot, while Mr. Stern “made himself the lead character in his sex-obsessed universe,” Mr. Simon said. “There’s no doubt that they transformed what was considered taste in radio, and others soon followed.”

In an affectionate article about Mr. Sherman on The Long Island Press’s Web site on Wednesday, his friend and former business partner Jerry Della Femina wrote: “Bob never tired of telling the hilarious story of when Imus stumbled into the Greenwich Village lair of the Hells Angels and challenged the Hells Angels to a fight. In this way Bob Sherman and Don Imus were a perfect match in those days. Don was fearless and liked to start fights and Bob — a strong, big, tough ex-military policeman—was there to finish them.”

Mr. Sherman was, in a way, born into the radio business. His father, Paul, was heard for many years on WINS in New York, first as a disc jockey and later, when the station switched to a news format, an announcer and reporter.

Robert Barry Sherman was born on June 28, 1942, in Jersey City. His family eventually moved to Great Neck, on Long Island, and Bob began selling advertising for his father’s station and attending nearby Adelphi University, graduating in 1963.

A series of advertising sales jobs over the next decade led to his hiring as general sales manager at WCAU in Philadelphia, and, in 1974, to his promotion to station manager. Five years later, he was hired by WNBC.

Mr. Sherman left WNBC in 1982 to co-found the advertising agency Della Femina, Travisano, Sherman & Olken. He later helped start two radio networks that serve small markets, was an executive at AOL-Time Warner and, in 2003, became chairman of the Double O Radio network.

Besides his son Tate, Mr. Sherman, who lived in Chappaqua, N.Y., is survived by his wife of 28 years, the former Amanda Tomalin; two other sons, Luke and Scott; and three daughters, Jessica, Tess and Nell Sherman.

When WNBC hired Mr. Stern in 1982, the station knew what it was getting into, Mr. Sherman told New York magazine.

His new bosses, he recalled, told Mr. Stern to steer away from sex and religion. But his first month on the air, the article noted, Mr. Stern “did a bit called ‘Virgin Mary Kong,’ about God’s new video game in which a bunch of guys kept chasing the Holy Mother around a singles bar.”

    Bob Sherman, Force Behind ‘Shock Jock’ Radio, Dies at 69,
    NYT, 19.8.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/arts/
    bob-sherman-force-behind-shock-jock-radio-dies-at-69.html

 

 

 

 

 

Nat Allbright,

Voice of Dodgers Games

He Did Not See,

Dies at 87

 

August 15, 2011
The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN

 

Nat Allbright was around 8 when he began memorizing lineups for one of the day’s big-league ballgames. He then pretended to broadcast the baseball game he imagined the men played.

Mr. Allbright, who died last month, went on to be a master of what is now a lost, almost hard-to-imagine art. Like a young radio broadcaster named Ronald Reagan, he took bare-bones telegraph messages transmitted by Morse code (“B1W” for Ball One Wide); embellished them with imagination and sound effects; and then broadcast games that sounded as if he were in the ballpark hearing, smelling and seeing everything, from steaming hot dogs to barking umpires to swirling dust at second base.

Over a decade, Mr. Allbright broadcast 1,500 Brooklyn Dodgers games without seeing a single one. When so-called progress killed this splendid occupation, he came up with a new business: taping vanity broadcasts of imaginary sporting events, where the customer became the star. Just insert a name.

One customer got to vicariously fulfill his dream of catching Dizzy Dean in 1934. A 240-pound would-be jockey rode Secretariat to victory in the Kentucky Derby. Another customer fought Sugar Ray Leonard, saying realism demanded that the customer himself be knocked out. All this for $40 for a 30-minute tape.

Mr. Allbright created games even when the seasons were suspended because of labor strife. In 1981, he narrated the All-Star Game that wasn’t played in Cleveland, on a breezy summer night perfect for baseball, on a Washington radio station. The next year, he deployed his gravelly voice to broadcast Washington Redskins games that weren’t played because of a player strike.

So you can believe, disbelieve or half-believe the following quotation, referring to the longtime owner of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Walter O’Malley once said I was so good at it,” Mr. Allbright said in an interview with The Washington Post in 1982, “they should just let me make the whole damn thing up and forget about playing the game.”

Nathan Matthew Allbright died July 18 in Arlington, Va., at 87, his daughter, Amy Allbright, said. He was born on Nov. 26, 1923, in Dallas.

Growing up in Ridgeway, Va., he drew inspiration from Red Barber, the legendary Dodgers broadcaster, for his phantasmagoric games. Mr. Allbright served in the Army, attended a broadcasting school in Washington, worked as a disc jockey and broadcast both live and “recreated” sports events. He later sold advertising and cars.

Mr. Allbright was broadcasting minor league games in 1949 when Mr. O’Malley decided to create a network to broadcast games beyond New York City, which was covered by broadcasts by Mr. Barber and Vin Scully. The idea was to reach fans of the nationally popular Dodgers in the barbershops, cafes and homes that dotted the midsection of the Eastern United States.

The Dodgers president, Buzzie Bavasi, heard about Mr. Allbright and invited him to join the team in spring training. He got to wear a uniform and bat against Carl Erskine; more important, he learned how the players led off first base, brandished their bats and hitched their pants. He later used the descriptions in broadcasts from a Washington studio that were transmitted to an area stretching from Cleveland to Miami. Fifty-two stations carried the Dodger Network in the first year; the number doubled in 1950.

Cost was the reason the Dodgers and other teams refrained from live broadcasts of out-of-town games (or, in the case of Mr. Allbright, of any games). They also followed a long tradition: no broadcasters were present at the park when the World Series was first broadcast in 1921. Ronald Reagan got into the act in the 1930s by broadcasting Chicago Cubs games from the studio of a Des Moines radio station. Almost a half century later, he told what he had learned: “The truth can be attractively packaged.”

There was one truth Mr. Allbright, and probably Mr. Reagan, were adept at disguising — the seeming deception that the broadcast was live. Mr. Allbright began broadcasts by quickly saying they were recreated, as the Federal Communications Commission required. Then he exclaimed, “Welcome to Ebbets Field!”

Mr. Allbright proudly wore the World Series ring Mr. O’Malley gave him after the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series, in 1955.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Allbright is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Angela Lombardi, and his son, Robert.

In retrospect, it all seems so wonderfully corny. Mr. Allbright had pictures of each National League stadium so he could add a destination to the telegraph’s terse “FB” (foul ball). He had a way of snapping his tongue against the roof of his mouth that sounded like bat striking ball. He had tapes of the tidelike murmur of the crowd, and others of its wild eruptions.

And he was ready for anything. If the machine that printed out the telegraph sputtered, he might decree a long succession of imaginary foul balls. If it needed an emergency repairman, he could make rain by crinkling a cigarette wrapper.

He knew few noticed and fewer cared that no newspaper would mention the rain delay. “People listened to the network because they wanted to hear a ballgame,” he said. “We gave ’em a ballgame.”

    Nat Allbright, Voice of Dodgers Games He Did Not See, Dies at 87,
    NYT, 15.8.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/sports/baseball/
    nat-allbright-voice-of-dodgers-games-he-did-not-see-dies-at-87.html

 

 

 

 

 

Talk Radio Hosts in Arizona

Reject Blame in Shooting

 

January 10, 2011
The New York Times
By SAM DOLNICK
and TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

 

TUCSON — During Tucson’s first rush hour since a weekend shooting left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, talk radio hosts pushed back against arguments that their heated political rhetoric had played a role in the tragedy.

Phone calls poured in to stations across the AM dial to denounce Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, who said at a news conference over the weekend that Arizona had become “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry” and that local TV and radio hosts should do some “soul-searching.” “I would say that his comments have incited stupidity around the world,” said Garret Lewis, host of The Morning Ritual on 790 AM. “People have the image now that we’re a bunch of racist bigots and there are shootouts in the streets. Again he has absolutely no proof that any of this is true.”

Steve, a caller on the Jon Justice Show on 104.1 FM, said Mr. Dupnik’s statements “showed him for the buffoon he is.” Later, a called named Lee called the sheriff “a blithering idiot.” Caller after caller came up with their own colorful descriptions.

In the incredulous language of the AM dial, Mr. Justice defended his show, and dismissed the notion that Arizona’s heated political culture served as the backdrop to the shooting or an inspiration for the suspect, Jared L. Loughner.

“This is a crazy person!” he said. “Politics is out the window — you’re a nutbag! No amount of controlling talk radio is going to change that!”

“People need to go and point fingers,” he said. “It’s unfortunate but some people do. They have to find somebody to demonize.”

Some callers however made it clear that they believed the state’s conservative-leaning radio hosts bore responsibility.

“You ought to be ashamed,” said a caller named Dale to Mr. Justice’s program. “You are part of the problem.”

Mr. Justice, his voice cracking, responded: “There’s nothing I have said on this radio station that could have inspired” this guy.

A caller who identified himself as Rick told the host Mike Gallagher of KKNT, 960 AM, in Phoenix that “individuals like yourself instill fear” in people.

“Was Jared Loughner a Mike Gallagher listener?” the host asked. “You’re dishonest, Rick.”

On Wake Up Tucson on 1030 AM, the hosts said their political conversations were more reasoned than inflammatory.

“When we take an issue on, we really, really understand where we’re going,” said Joe Higgins.

“Ninety-nine percent of the stuff that we’ve ever talked about, we’re dead on,” said his partner, Chris DeSimone. “We’re constantly doing our homework.”

On the Morning Ritual, it was barely light outside when Mr. Lewis began knocking down arguments that after the shooting, gun control laws should be tightened. “We can’t always depend on the police, the sheriff’s department or anyone else to protect us,” he said. “At some point, we have to do it ourselves.”

Most callers to the shows agreed with the hosts and defended their right to speak.

“I don’t know what you did wrong,” said a caller to Mr. Justice’s show named John. “Keep the freedom of speech going.”

 

Sam Dolnick reported from Tucson, and Timothy Williams from New York.

    Talk Radio Hosts in Arizona Reject Blame in Shooting,
    NYT, 10.1.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/us/11radio.html

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry Marshall,

D.J. on New York Radio,

Dies at 91

 

October 15, 2010
The New York Times
By DENNIS HEVESI

 

Jerry Marshall, who lent a velvet voice to the AM airwaves of the New York metropolitan area in the heydays of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Judy Garland, died on Wednesday at a hospice near his home in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 91.

His daughter, Carolyn, confirmed his death.

During more than 30 years on the air, Mr. Marshall hosted hit shows like “Music Hall” and “The Make-Believe Ballroom” on WNEW and “Record Room” on WMGM, as well as shows on WINS, WNBC and WCBS. His “Jerry Marshall Show” was eventually syndicated in cities along the East Coast.

In 1948, while hosting “Music Hall,” Mr. Marshall gave a major boost to the career of Nat King Cole when he was the first D.J. to play Cole’s version of “Nature Boy,” with its eerie minor melody about a “strange enchanted boy” whose wandering led him to conclude that “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return.” The song was an overnight sensation.

Jerome Saul Jaffe (he chose Marshall as his last name after becoming a radio host) was born in Far Rockaway, N.Y., on April 15, 1919. Besides his daughter, Carolyn, he is survived by his wife of 65 years, the former Geraldine Schwartz; a son, Michael; a sister, Ruth Berg; and two grandsons.

Mr. Marshall graduated from Cornell in 1942 with a degree in political science. While at Cornell, he worked on the school radio station and at stations in Ithaca, N.Y., and Kingston, N.Y. A law school accepted him, but he could not afford the tuition. Instead, he went to Newark and was hired as an announcer at WAAT.

“I just had to be a mouthpiece one way or another,” he said in 1954.

    Jerry Marshall, D.J. on New York Radio, Dies at 91,
    NYT, 15.10.2010,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/arts/music/15marshall.html

 

 

 

 

 

Himan Brown,

Developer of Radio Dramas,

Dies at 99

 

June 6, 2010
The New York Times
By JOSEPH BERGER

 

Himan Brown, who long before there was television created immensely popular radio dramas like “The Adventures of the Thin Man” and “Dick Tracy,” employing an arsenal of beguiling sound effects that terrified or tickled the shows’ many listeners, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 99.

His granddaughter Melina Brown confirmed the death.

Another of Mr. Brown’s creations was the radio drama “Grand Central Station,” but probably his most memorable was “Inner Sanctum Mysteries,” whose ominous opening of a creaking door and menacing farewell of “pleasant dreams” became signatures not just of the show but also of the heyday of radio itself, when listeners sitting on the family sofa or curled under quilts attached their own fanciful images to the sounds coming out of a box that had no screen.

While radio dramas are now celebrated as wistful nostalgia by people in their 70s and 80s, Mr. Brown never stopped believing in the form. In 1974, when radio drama was all but extinct, he began a nightly series called CBS Radio Mystery Theater that ran until 1982 and even revived the creaking door. He continued to produce radio dramas about influential Americans into his 90s for Brooklyn College’s station.

“I am firmly convinced that nothing visual can touch audio,” Mr. Brown said in a 2003 interview, his eyes sparkling. “I don’t need 200 orchestra players doing the ‘Ride of the Valkyries.’ I don’t need car chases. I don’t need mayhem. All I need to do is creak the door open, and visually your head begins to go. The magic word is imagination.”

In his prime, in the 1930s and 1940s, he was a jack-of-all-trades, once estimating that he produced or participated in over 30,000 shows. He wrote and doctored scripts, sold shows to advertisers, and directed actors like Orson Welles, Helen Hayes, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. As a teenager, he was the voice of the first Jake, Molly Goldberg’s husband, in the earliest version of the show about the Goldbergs, a homespun Jewish family in the Tremont section of the Bronx. But he also played the Italian father in another ethnic soap opera called “Little Italy.”

He became an expert in sounds that could instantly epitomize a character or a city. Foghorns and the clang of Big Ben became London. A belly laugh was a fat man.

“Grand Central Station,” an anthology show, was one of Mr. Brown’s first big hits, with its portentous opening declaring that the terminal was “the crossroads of a million private lives, a gigantic stage on which are played a thousand dramas daily.”

It was characteristic of his self-confidence that when listeners complained that the chugging sounds of a steam engine were not what you ordinarily heard at the terminal, he would reply: “You have your own Grand Central Station.”

Mr. Brown grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the son of immigrant tailors from the outskirts of Odessa in Ukraine. Yiddish was the dominant sound in his neighborhood, but also important was a violin, which his parents insisted he learn to play well. He was entranced by the idea of catching the next wave to success, and a shop teacher at Boys High School told him, “There’s a new thing now, radio.” He was told that he could hear WLW in Cincinnati with a copper wire wrapped around a Quaker Oats box.

“What a revelation that was right here in Brooklyn,” Mr. Brown said.

Having done some acting at a local synagogue dramatic club, he persuaded the young NBC station WEAF that he could read a newspaper column in a Yiddish dialect. One of his listeners was Gertrude Berg, the resourceful inventor of the Goldbergs. Within a year, and with his help packaging the show, “The Rise of the Goldbergs” started a run that with its conversion to television would last 30 years. But after six months, Mrs. Berg fired him, buying him out for $200, he said.

Mr. Brown continued to work in radio as an independent producer while attending Brooklyn College. At a time when companies financed shows and attached their names to them, he would try to sell a potential sponsor, like the Goodman’s matzo company, on an idea for a radio play and, if successful, put the show together. One result was “Bronx Marriage Bureau,” about a matchmaker.

The degree Mr. Brown received from Brooklyn Law School aided his ascent: it helped him acquire the rights to fictional characters like Dick Tracy, Flash Gordon, Bulldog Drummond and the Thin Man. “The Thin Man” also had a typical Brown touch: the sound of a pull on a lamp chain as the self-styled detectives Nick and Nora Charles went to bed. “It was as sexy as I could get,” he said.

As he prospered in radio, Mr. Brown became a perceptive art collector. The eight-room Central Park West apartment he shared with his first wife, Mildred Brown, and his second, Shirley Goodman, a force in the growth of the Fashion Institute of Technology, was filled with paintings by Renoir, Degas and Picasso.

Mr. Brown owned a weekend home in Stamford, Conn., where he once rented a studio out to a young writer, J. D. Salinger, who at the time was working on “Catcher in the Rye,” according to his granddaughter.

Both of Mr. Brown’s wives died before him. Besides Melina Brown, he is survived by a son, Barry K. Brown; a daughter, Hilda; another grandchild; and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Brown did not weather the shift to television. He turned “Inner Sanctum” into a syndicated TV show, but it did not last. Once characters were visible, viewers were no longer enchanted. The creaky door had lost its spell.

    Himan Brown, Developer of Radio Dramas, Dies at 99,
    NYT, 6.6.2010,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/arts/07brown.html

 

 

 

 

 

Norman Painting,

voice of Phil Archer,

dies aged 85

The longest-serving star
of BBC Radio 4's The Archers
– or any single soap opera –
dies after 60 years in role

 

Jason Deans
Guardian.co.uk
Thursday 29 October 2009
15.49 GMT
This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 15.49 GMT
on Thursday 29 October 2009.

 

Norman Painting, who played Phil Archer on long-running Radio 4 drama The Archers for nearly 60 years, has died at the age of 85, the BBC said today.

Painting had played the character since the show was first broadcast in 1950, developing from a young farmer to a family patriarch, and is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-serving actor in a single soap opera.

He also wrote more than 1,000 scripts for the show between 1966 and 1982 and penned a best-selling book on the programme, first published in 1975. His autobiography, Reluctant Archer, was published in 1982.

In recent years Painting's appearances on The Archers have been limited due to ill health. In 2000, the actor revealed he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer but said it would not stop him recording episodes.

"I see no reason why this illness should prevent me from continuing doing what I love ," he said at the time.

Over the years Painting's pragmatic character has been involved in numerous key storylines. One long-running plot strand revolved around who would inherit Phil's farm after his retirement.

One of his most dramatic moments, meanwhile, occurred in 1955 when his first wife Grace died in a barn fire while trying to save a horse. It is widely believed the BBC scheduled the death deliberately to clash with ITV's first broadcast.

"Even when I'd read my script, I didn't really believe it was going to happen," Painting recalled on the 50th anniversary of the famous episode.

In more recent years, the character - a former president of the National Farmers' Union - had been enjoying a quiet retirement, playing the church organ and photographing the heavens.

Appointed OBE in the New Year's Honours for 1976, he was vice-president of the Tree Council and the only honorary Life Governor of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.

    Norman Painting, voice of Phil Archer, dies aged 85,
    NYT, 29.10.2009,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/29/
    norman-painting-phil-archer-dies

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Drake, 71, Dies;

Created a Winning Radio Style

 

December 2, 2008
The New York Times
By WILLIAM GRIMES

 

Bill Drake, who transformed radio programming with a syndicated format that delivered more music, fewer commercials and high-energy “Boss Jocks” — D.J.’s big on personality but economical with words — died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 71.

The cause was lung cancer, said Carole Scott, his companion.

In the 1960s, Mr. Drake, an up-and-coming disc jockey and programmer from south Georgia, revolutionized radio when he and his partner, Lester Eugene Chenault (pronounced Sha-NAULT), decided that radio stations could make a lot more money and reach more listeners if they cut back on D.J. chatter, accelerated the pace of their programs and gave audiences more of what they presumably tuned in to hear: hit songs.

He and Mr. Chenault introduced a formula, eventually sold as a syndicated package with prerecorded music, that would revamp — and homogenize — radio stations across the United States.

Under the slogan “Much More Music,” KHJ in Los Angeles, an early client, began playing 14 records each hour, far more than the competition. Commercials were limited to 13 minutes and 40 seconds each hour, a third less than the competition had. Station-identification jingles (usually performed a cappella by the Johnny Mann Singers) were cut to one and a half seconds. A new breed of disc jockeys, billed as Boss Jocks, were drilled to keep their patter to a minimum, and to standardize it.

The results were startling. KGB in San Diego went from last to first in its market in 90 days. KHJ, with Boss Jocks like the Real Don Steele and Robert W. Morgan at the microphone, leapt from 12th place to first in 1965. In New York, critics howled when Mr. Drake and Mr. Chenault forced out the legendary D.J. Murray the K from WOR-FM, but the station doubled its audience.

In its heyday in the early 1970s, the two men’s consulting firm, Drake-Chenault Enterprises, served about 350 client stations with makeover advice and totally automated packages in six different formats.

“He took Top 40 radio and turned it into a machine,” said Marc Fisher, the author of “Something in the Air: Radio, Rock and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation” (Random House, 2007).

“He pared it down to the essentials and made it a vehicle for selling advertising rather than an entertainment form, something you tuned in to for music, the news, the time and the weather, all in a slickly designed format,” Mr. Fisher said. “It is common to think of radio that way now, but in the 1960s it was revolutionary.”

The standardized formats influenced other AM and eventually FM stations nationwide to lose not just their individualized D.J. stars but also to some degree their independent voices. The comedian George Carlin joked about Boss Radio as early as 1972 on the album “FM & AM”:

“Hi gang. Scott Lame here. The Boss jock with the Boss sound from the Boss list of the Boss 30 that my Boss told me to play.”

The Boss D.J.’s drew their own followings, however, and younger fans who grew up with them attend reunions to meet their favorites.

Philip Taylor Yarbrough grew up in Donalsonville, Ga., and began working at a local radio station as a teenager. While attending South Georgia Teachers College in Statesboro, he worked the 9 p.m.-to-midnight shift at WWNS, where his sign-off theme was Hugo Winterhalter’s version of “Canadian Sunset.”

“If you were a freshman girl and were off campus somewhere and heard that, you knew you were in deep trouble unless you could get back to the college before the song was over,” said Ramona Palmer, whom he married in 1959 after taking a job at WAKE radio in Atlanta and changing his name to rhyme with the station’s call letters. The couple divorced in 1966. Two later marriages also ended in divorce. He is survived by a daughter, Kristie Philbin of Delray Beach, Fla.

At WAKE, where he began as a D.J. and rose to become program director, Mr. Drake began tinkering with the programming so successfully that the station’s parent company sent him to California to work some magic on its San Francisco station.

In 1962 he was hired by Mr. Chenault, the owner of KYNO in Fresno, who also had innovative ideas about packaging radio. Together they created Drake-Chenault Enterprises, rescued KGB in San Diego, their first client, then struck gold with KHJ.

“We cleaned up AM radio,” Mr. Drake told The Los Angeles Times in 1990. “We put everything in its place. It was radio that was designed for the listener. Before us, disc jockeys would just ramble on incessantly.”

No longer did D.J.’s introduce songs, or spin yarns about teenage romance, or project a quirky personality, in the style of Wolfman Jack. “His insight was realizing that you could turn these D.J.’s into household names even if they didn’t really do anything on the air,” Mr. Fisher said.

Songs got the Drake-Chenault treatment, too. Regardless of the stature of the artist, two minutes was just about the limit, which meant that even Beatles hits were trimmed to fit. The Top 40 list was shrunk to the Top 30. Another Drake-Chenault innovation was to program the news at odd times, like 20 minutes after the hour, so that their stations would be playing music, and enticing listeners, when others were broadcasting the news.

By cutting down on commercials, the stations were able to sell advertising at higher rates. “Everybody else was choking the goose laying the golden egg, jamming in as many commercials as they could,” he told www.radioandrecords.com last year. “When our slots were sold, that was it.”

Mr. Drake gained a reputation as a ruthless, detail-minded operator. Special phone lines in his Bel Air home allowed him to monitor his client stations by punching in a code and listening. If he did not like what he heard, things could become unpleasant.

“When that phone rings, you know it’s death time, man,” a battle-scarred D.J. told Time magazine in 1968.

Mr. Drake sold his interest in Drake-Chenault Enterprises in 1983, and the company dissolved in the mid-1980s. In recent years, Mr. Drake developed “Top 40 Time Clock,” a syndicated cavalcade of more than 1,800 hits aimed at the baby boom generation.

“It has a great hook,” Mr. Drake wrote in a Web site promotion. “You can’t wait to hear what comes up next. It’s the History of Top 40 Radio without the narration.”

In other words, no D.J. chatter. As Mr. Drake told www.radioandrecords.com , “I always said if you’re going to say nothing anyway, say it in as few words as possible.”

Bill Drake, 71, Dies; Created a Winning Radio Style,
NYT, 2.12.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/business/media/02drake.html

 

 

 

 

 

Shock Radio, Playing Rough,

Shrugs at Imus’s Fall

 

May 6, 2007
The New York Times
By JACQUES STEINBERG

 

Almost two weeks after CBS Radio fired Don Imus for his racially and sexually demeaning remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, Nick Di Paolo opened his talk show on another CBS station in New York by mocking a manual that, he said, one of his bosses had given him that morning.

The booklet was entitled “Words Hurt and Harm” and, as described by Mr. Di Paolo, it urged him and his brethren to avoid the sort of stereotypes that had not only upended Mr. Imus but had also just gotten two colleagues on WFNY (92.3 FM) suspended for broadcasting a six-minute prank call littered with slurs to a Chinese restaurant.

“Right away, we’re starting with a false premise,” Mr. Di Paolo told his listeners on April 25, just after noon. “Because words don’t hurt.”

He then proceeded to refer to someone in the studio who was apparently of Colombian descent as “a drug dealer,” before using an exercise in the manual as a springboard to the following observations: that “enough” Native Americans drank to make them fair game for a joke; that waiters in Chinese restaurants were “efficient” and “better than most, you know, other ethnic groups as waiters and waitresses”; and that Jewish mothers were “bad cooks and a little hairy.”

The part of the radio spectrum where Mr. Di Paolo holds forth each day — shows in which commentary and entertainment fuse, sometimes under the rubric of a morning or afternoon “zoo” — remains as arguably and insidiously untamed in the days after Mr. Imus’s collapse as it was before, based on a New York Times screening of nearly 250 hours of shock-talk radio broadcast over the last week.

Gay men and lesbians, and women and Muslims, among others, were frequent targets of ridicule; coarse, sexually explicit banter, particularly descriptions of anal and oral sex, proliferated, much of it reminiscent of the routines that once drew Howard Stern heavy penalties; and meanness appeared to be a job prerequisite, whether a host was belittling someone who called in or the unwitting subject of a prank call.

In a sense, the hosts of these shows are juggling live grenades each day, putting the companies that broadcast and sponsor them at the greatest risk of collateral damage, particularly as the smoke clears from the Imus affair.

After being told of Mr. Di Paolo’s comments, for example, officials of the New York State Lottery said they had decided to discontinue all advertising on his show. They also said they would no longer sponsor “Opie and Anthony,” a morning show on the same station, after being apprised of a line uttered by a comedian who is a regular guest. “Would it be possible, could you whistle ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ while I rape a girl?” the comedian had asked another guest, a professional whistler, in an old interview replayed on April 25.

All told, The Times listened to a dozen prominent shows on so-called terrestrial radio for five weekdays in a row. Some, like “Mancow’s Morning Madhouse,” out of Chicago, and “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” a Spanish-language program originating in New York, draw tens of thousands of listeners each day on multiple stations across the country. Others tend to reach a more regional audience, including “The Jersey Guys,” an afternoon talk show that is among the most popular in New Jersey, and “Steve and D.C.,” which has similar reach in St. Louis.

In one respect, Mr. Imus and the hole he dug for himself were unique: a nationally syndicated radio host who interviewed the powerful used his bully pulpit, not just on radio but also on a cable news network, to make a racially charged aside about largely defenseless victims.

And yet, in the weeks after his firing, the nation’s AM and FM airwaves have continued to crackle with the kind of crude remarks, off-color bits and unfiltered rage that might well run afoul of the standards that Mr. Imus was said by his employers, and critics, to have violated.

One morning late last month, for example, Mancow, the syndicated talk show host whose real name is Erich Muller and whose audience was estimated at 1.5 million by Talkers magazine as recently as last fall, could be heard dismissing a caller as a “brain-dead fetus” and a “late-term abortion that somehow crawled out of the Dumpster” after the man’s phone connection gave out.

Mr. Muller — whose show is heard prominently on AM talk radio in South Florida (the station call letters are WMEN, a nod to its format), as well as in Houston, Indianapolis and San Francisco — also suggested on the same broadcast that “radical Muslims” would not stop until they had flattened American religion like a steamroller.

His children, he predicted, “will probably be killed because I’m bringing them up Catholic, and maybe their children will be brainwashed and put into some sort of situation where they’re wearing a burka and they follow Shia law, because that’s what these radicalized Muslims want.”

He also mused about several other matters, including, “I just wonder why we care so much about Virginia Tech kids.” He quickly qualified the remark by saying, “Don’t pull that out of context,” before indicating that soldiers killed in Iraq deserved comparable gestures of mourning.

And that was just one day’s show.

Asked about the appropriateness of that host’s remarks in a post-Imus world, a representative for the company syndicating the show — Talk Radio Network, which also distributes the hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham — said he would pass on the question to the company’s chief executive, Mark Masters, and to the show’s producer. Neither responded.

Meanwhile, a representative for one of the show’s advertisers — the American Council on Education, an association of colleges — said that the group had been unaware that its spots promoting higher education had run on the show. The commercials are part of a public service campaign created and donated by the Ad Council, said Terry Hartle, a spokesman for the college group.

“We will certainly talk with the Ad Council about that particular placement,” Mr. Hartle said.

Still, no targets on such shows — which are overwhelmingly, though not exclusively, led by disaffected white men like Mr. Muller — are fired at with greater frequency than women.

Last Monday Mr. Di Paolo, a stand-up comic whose show on 92.3 “Free FM” in New York is heard by nearly 160,000 people each week (ranking it 27th in the market, according to Arbitron), proposed that homeless women be employed to monitor traffic.

“Go to the women’s shelter,” he said. “Get a bunch of chicks with black eyes and one tooth.”

On April 27, in an extended rant in support of Alec Baldwin’s right to lose his temper in private, he wondered about the last film role of the actor’s former wife, Kim Basinger. “What did she play?” Mr. Di Paolo asked. “An old tampon?”

Asked about the propriety of Mr. Di Paolo’s comments — especially in light of the action taken by CBS Radio against Mr. Imus and “J.V. and Elvis,” the hosts suspended over their prank against the Chinese restaurant — Karen Mateo, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to comment. Reached on Friday night, Mr. Di Paolo said he knew that in the current climate, his reluctance to filter his harshest opinions could ultimately cost him his show, which began on WFNY in December.

“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” said Mr. Di Paolo, 45, who has been working as a comedian for nearly two decades. “It’s got to stop somewhere. And I’m hoping they say enough is enough — not as far as what I do, but as far as censoring people.”

He added, “At least with my show, I take shots at everybody.”

Across the Hudson River earlier in the week, the hosts of the “Jersey Guys” show on WKXW (101.5 FM) in Trenton, among the most popular in the state, were imagining the sex life of Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

Having decided a few days earlier that the governor’s girlfriend had surely cleared his hospital room to give him “a little servicing” after his car accident, they were now encouraging the governor, as he continued his recovery at his mansion, to find additional female companionship.

“I’d get bitches, wouldn’t you?” said Craig Carton, one of the hosts, on their April 30 program, which was simulcast live on the radio station’s Web site. “Poolside bitches ... with big leaves to fan the governor down after exhausting physical therapy, maybe a little massage.”

“That should be his new mantra,” Mr. Carton added. “I’m the governor, I’ve had a reawakening, I now believe everyone should have poolside bitches.”

Such talk was mild, though, when measured against what is offered every morning on Spanish-language radio, the Wild West of the medium.

Just as Mr. Imus’s show might have featured an interview with a presidential candidate followed by a bawdy imitation of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, “El Traketeo,” a morning show on an FM station owned by Univision in Miami (its title roughly translates as “the uproar” or “the hoax”) toggles between weighty discussion of matters like immigration and chatter that borders on the pornographic.

On April 26, for example, the show, heard by an estimated 142,000 listeners each week, broadcast a parody of a salsa song in which a man pleaded with his girlfriend for anal sex.

“I understand that you’re afraid,” he said. “Relax a little.”

A day later the show’s hosts conducted a phone interview about rising property taxes with Marco Rubio, a Republican from Miami who is speaker of the State House of Representatives. Sometime after Mr. Rubio hung up, the show broadcast another song parody, this one about a man whose life is being cramped by the taxes Mr. Rubio is trying to cut.

I had to have sex in a bus, the singer laments, because “I couldn’t afford the motel.”

Asked if Mr. Rubio had been aware of the shenanigans that are part of the show’s daily diet, a spokeswoman for him, Jill Chamberlin, said that he appreciated “the opportunity Univision has given him to get the cut-property-tax message out to the citizens.”

Whether the Federal Communications Commission or Congress will step up sanctions against radio programs after Mr. Imus’s firing remains unknown. The commission does not actively monitor such shows — it relies on listener complaints to initiate investigations — and even then, harsh or racy speech is often protected by the First Amendment.

Which is not to say that the F.C.C. is not paying attention: in 2004 the hosts of “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” a show that until recently originated in Miami on WXDJ FM, were fined $4,000 by the commission for broadcasting a prank call to Fidel Castro, who apparently thought he was speaking to Hugo Chávez; they have since left the station.

Emmis Communications, which had broadcast Mr. Muller’s show on its FM station in Chicago, let him go last summer, two years after it had agreed to pay $300,000 to settle indecency complaints against his show.

Still, employers may not wait for the government, choosing instead to apply their own standards, particularly if advertisers begin to object.

After Mr. Imus’s comments about the mostly black Rutgers team, the hosts on two predominantly black stations in New York — WQHT (97.1 FM) and WBLS (107.5) — have made references on their programs to the need to police themselves, and their callers, better.

Tarsha Nicole Jones, who as “Miss Jones” is host of a show on WQHT that reaches nearly 700,000 listeners a week, has taken to using “wenches” and “itches” as substitutes for harsher words, and she reprimanded a caller on Monday for using a common racial slur twice.

Later the show ran a stentorian public service announcement that said, “Due to new regulations regarding the use of language, the ‘Miss Jones Show’ has made the appropriate adjustments.”

 

Reporting was contributed by Terry Aguayo,

Rebecca Cathcart, Bob Driehaus,

Theo Emery, Ann Farmer, Malcolm Gay,

Jon Hurdle, Carolyn Marshall,

Lori Moore, Regan Morris, Colin Moynihan

and Andrea Zarate.

Shock Radio, Playing Rough, Shrugs at Imus’s Fall,
NYT, 6.5.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/business/media/06talk.html

 

 

 

 

 

June 29 1945

 

The excesses

of commercial radio

in the US

 

From The Guardian archive

 

June 29 1945
The Guardian
 

An interesting controversy has recently developed in the United States in regard to certain aspects of radio advertising. To understand its significance one needs to know a little of the background of this industry.

Radio broadcasting in the United States is almost entirely a private enterprise. There are about 1,000 stations and of these all but half a dozen are conducted for profit.

The advertising agency which prepares the "commercials" also prepares the remainder of the programmes. Programmes written for this sole purpose are often objectionable in the extreme to intelligent listeners.

A cynical saying among radio men is that the ideal programme is one which successfully sells a product costing 15 cents or less to people with a mental age of not more than twelve years who use up the product at once so that it has to be bought again within a few days.

The most objectionable aspect of radio advertising is the "singing commercial." A familiar old song is usually appropriated and new words exploiting the glories of somebody's soap or toothpaste are written to a few bars. Then these are sung on the radio over and over again. The old song has been desecrated. The rush of advertisers results from the policy of the United States Treasury which permits commercial firms to spend almost unlimited sums for business expenses which would otherwise have gone to the Government in excess profits tax.

Within the past few weeks the first organised protest against vulgar and excessive radio advertising has been witnessed. The "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" has been the leader in the crusade. The "St. Louis Post Dispatch" raised objection to the "commercial" in the middle [of news programmes]. The newspaper made the point that Americans listening in their homes to the account of battles in which their own sons might be engaged ought not to be interrupted while an announcer expatiates upon the virtues of medicines which no one would dream of mentioning at a dinner-table.

Most of the popular news commentators are heard on the national networks, and their talks come from New York or Washington. Nevertheless, the revolt of the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" and its numerous echoes in other parts of the country have shaken the complacency of the great radio networks, and it seems possible that some reform may be expected.

And from the standpoint of the unhappy listener, who often finds the "commercials" well-nigh unendurable, any degree of reform is welcome.

From The Guardian archive > June 29 1945 >
The excesses of commercial radio in the US,
G, republished 29.6.2007, p. 42,
http://digital.guardian.co.uk/guardian/2007/06/29/pages/ber42.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

 

On This Day - July 28, 1938

 

From The Times Archive

 

Among the attractions planned
for a wireless exhibition at Olympia
were pre-set radios
and home television sets

 

SETS which tune themselves are likely to be one of the features of the radio exhibition which it to be held this autumn in the National Hall, Olympia. It has gradually come to be recognised that many listeners are totally unable to tune their receivers centrally without some form of aid. In the new “press button” models, the listener has, at his choice, a number of well-known stations, at home and abroad, and by pressing the relevant switch the receiver quickly and automatically selects the station required and remains correctly tuned to it.

Olympia will also have facilities for the visitor to assess the large number of home television models which are now available. The sale of television receivers is increasing, and there is no doubt at all that, now there has been such an enormous improvement in the material and presentation of television programmes, home viewers are uniformally enthusiastic about the service.

Viewers are also to be able to see for themselves how television programmes originate. A glass-walled studio is being erected in which there will be repetitions of two shows, Cabaret Cruise and Queue for Song. Picture Page will also be presented and there will be fashion forecasts daily. There will also be fashion broad- casts daily. There will be two mobile television units in operation during the Exhibition, one to transmit the Olympia programmes to Alexandra Palace and the other to relay the Test match at the Oval and the new series of zoo broadcasts.

From The Times Archives,
On This Day - July 28, 1938,
The Times,
28.7.2005,
http://www.newsint-archive.co.uk/pages/main.asp

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 1922

 

A dream come true of radio

in Utopia

 

From the Guardian archive

 

Tuesday May 16, 1922

Guardian

 

Readers of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backwards may remember how the citizen of Utopia, waking from sleep each morning, had only to touch a button near his bedside and at once his chamber was flooded with strains of exhilarating music.

According to Bellamy they managed these things rather well in Utopia. The orchestra, which thus distributed its music among thousands of homes, would choose for its morning programme music that was likely to invigorate the mind of the community.

In the evening the touch of a button, this time in the drawing-room, would bring forth music of another kind, or perhaps a homily by some learned divine.

Of course all things are possible in a dream of Utopia, yet a dream may not be all baseless fabric.

If the enterprise which the Metropolitan Vickers Company have in contemplation for Manchester be realised we shall have attained a considerable step towards this refinement of life.

Before many months have passed a "broadcasting station" may be completed near their works at Trafford Park, and all who possess themselves of the proper receiving appartus will be able to share in the service of news, music, lectures, sermons, and so on despatched from this centre.

This is a technical alliance between the Westinghouse Company, which opened the first broadcasting station of this kind at Pittsburg, and the Metropolitan Vickers Companies.

In the early evening the station may be sending out stories for children, tales to send the young folk off to bed in a happy frame of mind. Later there may be a lecture. Music there will almost certainly be on most nights.

Here one can picture an immense development. It is not extravagant to imagine a concert party or orchestra being engaged to give regular performances. Some great vocalist or instrumentalist visiting Manchester may make a flying visit to broadcast his divine art. The gramophone has helped us revise our notions of propriety in such a matter.

On Sunday, perhaps, there will be a sermon. One fears that the politician cannot be altogether excluded. Where is the politician who would neglect the means to a wider publicity?

So it is not unlikely that Ministers of State, arriving hot-foot from London, may occasionally supplement the regulation performance from the platform of the Free Trade Hall with a visit to the "broadcasting station" at Trafford Park.

These are some of the ideas in the minds of the promoters of the scheme.

From the Guardian archive,
May 16, 1922,
A dream come true of radio in Utopia,
G,
https://www.theguardian.com/news/1922/may/16/
mainsection.fromthearchive  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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