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Archive for the ‘Radio’ Category

Died On This Date (June 15, 2014) Casey Kasem / Radio Pioneer; Host Of American Top 40

Posted by themusicsover on June 15, 2014

Kemal “Casey” Kasem
April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014

casey-kasemCasey Kasem was an iconic American disc jockey and television personality.  He is best remembered as the original and long time host of the radio and then television program, America’s Top 40. Since its premiere on July 4th,1970, the program introduced each week’s top radio hits with Kasem counting them down from #40 to #1, a format he largely pioneered.    Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kasem began his career in nearby Flint in 1954 but was soon drafted by the US Army so moved on to Armed Forces Radio Korea Network.  Upon his discharge, Kasem returned to radio in the San Francisco area.  He later worked in such markets as Cleveland, Buffalo, and Los Angeles.  Along the way he developed a loyal following not only for his smooth delivery, but also the show’s long distance dedications,  oldies segments, and chart trivia. Kasem ended each program with his famous sign-off, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Kasem retired from the show in 1988 but returned for another run, 1998 to 2003.  Kasem also acted and did voice-over for countless films and television programs throughout his career. He retired in 2009. Casey Kasem, who was in ailing health in recent years, passed away on June 15, 2014.  He was 82.

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Died On This Date (May 16, 2013) Paul Drew / Top 40 Radio Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on May 16, 2013

Paul Drew
DOB Unknown – May 16, 2013

paul-drewPaul Drew was a radio disc jockey and programmer who is often cited for helping create what we now know as the Top 40 radio format.  Drew was just out of college when he launched his radio career in 1961.  Starting as a DJ at WAKE in Atlanta, Drew soon graduated to programming.  Drew worked at such stations as Windsor, Onatario’s CKLW, Philadelphia’s WIBG, San Francisco’s KFRC, and ultimately, KHJ in Los Angeles, arguably the most popular Top 40 station in the country at the time.  During the ’70s, Drew was VP of Programming for RKO who owned several key stations around the U.S.  He also consulted the likes of Guy Zapoleon, Rick Dees and Jay Thomas.  Paul Drew was 78 when he passed away on May 16, 2013.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.


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Died On This Date (May 23, 2012) Hal Jackson / Radio Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on May 23, 2012

Harold “Hal” Jackson
November 3, 1915 – May 23, 2012

Known as the Godfather of Black Radio, Hal Jackson was an African-American broadcaster whose career stretched all the way back to the 1930s.  Jackson started his radio career at Howard University where he announced the school’s home games along with those of the local Negro Baseball League, making him the first African-American sports commentator in U.S. history.  In 1939, he became the first Black host at Washington DC’s WNIX where he hosted an interview show and later, a jazz program.   By the mid ’50s, Jackson was living in New York City where he was employed by three radio stations where he hosted a nightly shows dedicated to jazz and celebrity interviews.  He eventually became the Vice President and General Manager of Inner City Broadcasting, owners of WLIB and WBLS where he hosted Sunday Classics until the time of his passing.  Hal Jackson was 96 when he passed away on May 23, 2012.

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Died On This Date (April 18, 2012) Dick Clark / America’s Oldest Teenager

Posted by themusicsover on April 18, 2012

Richard Clark
November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012

dick-clark1Dick Clark was a world-famous radio and television pioneer who, because of his longtime championing of pop music, along with his youthful good looks, was dubbed “America’s Oldest Teenager.”  Clark was just 17 when he took his first job in the music business – as a sales rep for a New York radio station.  By the early ’50s, he was hosting his own radio program, Caravan of Music at WFIL in Philadelphia.  In 1956, he took over the station’s TV affiliate’s teen music program, Bob Horn’s Bandstand.  Within a year, ABC brought the show, now American Bandstand, into living rooms across the United States.  Over the next four decades, American Bandstand, with Clark as host, presented new records and “live” performances by hundreds if not thousands of famous and not-so-famous pop acts the world has ever known.  The program, which aired until 1989, became the blueprint for teen music television programming, but none of its followers (except perhaps Soul Train) were ever able to come close to matching its cultural impact.  Despite Clark’s clean-cut persona, he was a tireless supporter of the music he presented – whether he was speaking out against censorship, or choosing to play the original R&B records by their Black performers over the “sanitized” versions by White artists which were popular in his early days of radio.  In 1972, Clark launched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which rang in the new year from Times Square in New York City with a program filled with performances from popular music acts of that particular year.  Even after suffering a significant stroke in 2004, Clark returned in 2006, albeit with less screen time, as co-host of the program with Ryan Seacrest.  Over the years, Clark ran several other ventures as well – game shows, award shows, restaurants, and live theaters.  On April 18, 2012, Dick Clark died after suffering a heart attack.  He was 82.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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Died On This Date (December 24, 2011) Jody Rainwater / Bluegrass Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on December 24, 2011

Jody Rainwater (Born Charles Johnson)
1920 – December 24, 2011

Jody Rainwater was a bluegrass pioneer who found his calling as a teenager, at first playing the mandolin.  Before long, he and is brother were performing as Chuck and Slim, the Johnson Brothers.  The boys built a local following thanks in part to their comical on stage banter.  In 1937, they were hired by High Point, North Carolina radio station, WMFR to perform live every Thursday evening.  By 1945, the duo were no longer together, so Rainwater enlisted in the Marines and served during WWII.  Upon his discharge, he formed the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys with Woody Hauser and developed an onstage persona known as Little Jody.  By the late ’40s, they disbanded, and Rainwater was soon playing bass alongside Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys.   The band had a hit with the Rainwater composition, “I’m Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling.”  Upon doctor’s orders, Rainwater retired from the group in 1952 and went to work hosting a morning radio show on WSVS.  His program quickly became the biggest money-maker at the station and would continue to be until his retirement in 1984.   He also performed local gigs with his own group from time to time during this period.  Jody Rainwater was 92 when he passed away on December 24, 2011.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

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