Thursday, April 29, 2010

1957 WABC RADIO, New York City

Recently I came across an old RCA tape featuring the songs of the legendary Jim Reeves and it brought back many memories.

I was working at WABC radio in NY City in 1957 and it was a very shaky time for that industry. The stations were losing audiences by the droves (as TV was just cresting on the horizon) and WABC was making a last ditch stand with their promotion, “Live and Lively Radio”.

The idea was to present interesting personalities performing live on the radio. The “Jim Reeves Show” and the “Merv Griffin Show” were two that recorded from New York. We also had “Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club” that aired from Chicago.

My job was to write promotional material aimed at selling time on the live shows. Our studios were on West 86th St. and I can remember it all so clearly. I even recall how we were all impressed with the fact that Jim Reeves piloted his own plane. He would fly up from the South to perform his weekly live radio show in New York. (Tragically he died in that same plane when it crashed in 1961.)

But here’s the strange thing. I have made an extensive search of the internet to see if I could pick up any other interesting tidbits about this time when I worked at WABC but I can’t find one reference to “Live and Lively Radio”…and the bio’s of these stars do not mention it either.

At one time I had a 78 rpm record with the label “Live and Lively”. It was given out as a promotion gift and had pictures of all the performers on the cover. I wish I still had it. At least it would be proof that those days really happened.

I was there, I remember it, but it’s like it never existed. How odd is that?


Blogger Syd said...

I wonder if you contacted ABC whether they would have any information.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Thanks, Syd...but that's about the first thing I did. I've heard from 2 or 3 ABC radio sources and they have very little about that time frame.

3:11 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

It's really weird that not much exists about it. Too bad you don't have that record.

3:59 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--I typed "live and lively radio" into Google, complete with quotation marks and got back a link to a Google books entry.
See if you can find it. It references a book called "I Have A Lady in the Balcony" by George Ansbro.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

When I searched, this post was at the top, and I didn't see anything relevant below.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

thanks for all the suggestions. I looked up George Ansbro and figure he'd be about 97 now !!!
I'll keep trying.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

An interesting post. I am still a fan of "old tyme radio". While radio is not as viable in it's variety today, it is still listented to for important information by millions of people in developing countries who do not have access to TV or the Internet and may not even be able to read.

9:35 AM  
Blogger G-Man said...

Ginnie...Thanks for visiting, and I loved your 55..
Here's the deal...
Every Friday post your 55 on your own blog. Then come and visit my post and make a comment. Then announce that you have posted a story. People will come and visit you then. It's Fun!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

I remember the "Merv Griffin Show" and also "Don Mcneil's Breakfast Club" somehow I missed the "Jim Reeves Show".

I met Merv Griffin once at a jazz festival party on the south lawn of the White House. ( Jimmy Carter was President then and since my husband and I are also Georgians and had campaigned for Carter we were invited to several White House functions.

Merv Griffin was friendly and gracious.

Those were the days. ;)

7:14 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Well Ginnie, strange as it is, not everything is on the internet. My husband listens to a lot of old radio shows and he told me that not all of the recordings were saved. Very sad but true. Love Di ♥

5:54 PM  
Blogger Lil' Joey said...

I too am fascinated by the ABN concept that ABC Radio tried in 1957. here's an article I found that will help you.

All The Best

Joe Postove

8:07 AM  
Blogger Lil' Joey said...

Sorry, look on page 124 for ABN article

8:10 AM  

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