Friday, April 24, 2015
Network Radio's greatest "breakup" in history!
True story...the funniest breakup in network radio history.
I had early ambitions to be a network radio announcer so I paid attention to stuff like this.
....this is probably the most famous “breakup” story in radio and yes it’s all live and bi-coastal. It happened sometime in the 1950’s...before audio tape was available I think. There was NO video tape yet....but this was not tv it was live network radio coast to coast.
A network show was ending in New York and the closing announcer was scheduled to come on and simply say “this program came to you from New York. This is NBC the National Broadcasting Company.” But when the guys mike was opened all that was heard was giggling...loud.
Then...the local station announcer was set to do “this is WNBC New York” ID which is required at the top of each hour. But..you guessed it..this announcer was on the floor screaming at how funny all this was.
The next voice should have been from Hollywood. As the mic was opened for the intro to a really big show...nothing but laughter...because of what the announcer (probably Marvin Miller who handled most NBC work on the West Coast.) had heard from NYC
Miller could not say a thing...you heard his muffled laughing... louder as he realized he was live also. He couldn’t even say the simple opening..".Ladies and Gentleman....The Railroad Hour!”
So...finally the star Gordon MacRay (famous singer/actor) stopped all the frivolity with the first musical number.
But the whole breakup from New York to Hollywood went into faded into history because audio tape was not widespread yet.