By Mark Wainwright
Talk Show Host
CNN’s “The Story of Late Night” overlooked both “Broadway Open House” and the brilliant young comedian/host who was stricken by tragedy on the eve of his network television debut.
SYRACUSE — Although I’ve enjoyed the first three episodes of “The Story of Late Night,” I was surprised that CNN barely acknowledged Jerry Lester and NBC’s “Broadway Open House,” which was TV’s first late night comedy/variety show. NBC aired it live, five nights a week between 11pm and midnight, and while a couple different personalities took brief turns hosting the program, most of the show’s run was emceed by the veteran vaudeville comic Jerry Lester.
Lester led a small troupe of performers through sketches, musical numbers, audience-participation gags, and whatever other silliness he could improvise. The program debuted in May of 1950, and after some early success, the show began to fade a bit over time. And when Lester walked away from the show a year later – evidently frustrated that cast member Jennie “Dagmar” Lewis was accidentally becoming the true star of the show, at his expense – that doomed the whole effort. NBC pulled the plug on August 24, 1951.
My Adventure Becoming a Member of a Historic Rock Band
By Michael Harrison
My history with this colorful band goes back to 1971 when I played them just about every day on my WNEW-FM, New York morning show. They released two albums (Mercury Records and Kama Sutra Records) in that era that received critical praise and lots of airplay on FM album rock stations in NYC and beyond. They also had a hit single on AM top 40 radio – “Back When My Hair Was Short” in the early 1970s.
By Mike Kinosian
WASHINGTON, DC — At approximately the same time as William Jefferson Clinton was methodically engineering one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory, a national radio network hired a colorful, complex intellectual – if not totally eccentric – character to host a daily talk show.
That was part of the shape of our landscape just over 29 years ago (February 1992).
In the swing of it
Twelve years later in 2004, a toned G. Gordon Liddy was still behind the Westwood One microphone when he recalled with infinite energy to Inside Radio’s then Special Features editor Mike Kinosian, “I hope I’ve changed for the better and have [improved] at what I do. It’s like playing golf: The more you do something, the better you get at it. If I spend as many hours playing golf each day as I do with the radio show, I might have a fair game.”
By Mike Kinosian
His diagnosis was announced to listeners of his radio show exactly one year ago (February 2020).
News of his passing was delivered by his wife, Kathryn, on Wednesday’s Premiere Networks radio broadcast.
By Aaron Bennett
National Inventors Hall of Fame
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Although today’s listening experience tends to be dominated by streaming services, radio remains a critical foundation for disseminating sound. Radio has evolved over the past century to expand its reach and its offerings. The portable transistor radio may exist more as a relic than as an everyday item, but in its place are options like satellite radio and smartphone — enabled apps that will still play your favorite stations.