This Day In History – Significant Day For Radio
This year marks 20 years of KIT's Morning News with Dave and Lance. It's a minor milestone in KIT's 92 years long radio history but it's a pretty big deal to us! I don't know if our partnership will last another 8 years to get us to 100 or not, but radio milestones are on our radar these days and these caught our attention.
On this day in history 2/22/1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House. Coolidge would eventually become known as "America's first Radio President."
" During his presidency, August 3, 1923 to March 4, 1929, running five years and seven months, Mr. Coolidge would make more than 40 radio addresses, becoming, as C. Bascom Slemp, Secretary to the President, put it, “the first President to communicate directly with all the people.”
The preface to the book quoted above includes this line -"The radio enabled President Coolidge to speak directly to the American people, bypassing Congress and the newspapers, and he made the most it." Does that statement sound familiar? Change "radio" for "tweet" and the concept of speaking directly to the people is as old as Coolidge and as current as Donald Trump!
Talk radio's largest audience belonged to the recently deceased Rush Limbaugh and his mastery of the medium brought millions of listeners to the world of Presidential politics over his 33 year career.
Limbaugh started out as a radio disc jockey and while he loved music he wasn't as successful in that format as he would be on talk.
Jump ahead 32 years to Feb 22, 1956 and the King of Rock 'N' Roll, Elvis Presley had his first hit in Billboard's top 10 with "Heartbreak Hotel."
The connection to KIT on this historical milestone is twofold. Long before talk and presidential politics, KIT used to play music and Elvis Presley records made plenty of spins around the turntable and on KIT's airwaves over the years. But even more significantly, KIT newsman Lance Tormey, who's KIT career has run the the same 33 years as Limbaugh's national syndication, is married to his childhood sweetheart Trish and Trish is among the world's largest Elvis Presley fans! Whew!
1956 was a pretty good year for the King. In addition to his first appearance on the Billboard Charts, by year's end he owned them. He concluded the year with Number 1 Heartbreak hotel, Number 2 Don't Be Cruel, Number 8 Hound Dog, Number 14 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You and Number 15 Love Me tender.