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A few celebrities
with various microphones

Lynn Clark
Lynn Clark

Lynn Clark has been an on-air news and feature re­porter for WCAU-TV, KYW Newsradio and Westing­house Network in Philadelphia, as well as producer, writer, and on-air personality for her own lifestyle and consumer education program on KFI Radio in Los Angeles. Lynn has also been a consumer and feature reporter for KCBS-TV and others. We asked her about her experiences.

“I can tell you honestly that I had more fun with my airtime on KFI and the writing of scripts for the shows than at any other job I have ever had. I was the only woman at the station. The ‘Big Men of KFI,’ as they were touted, included Lohman & Barkley, Dick Peabody, Jack Angel, Jeffrey Bishop, the wonderful Chuck Cecil, Paul Compton, and Scott Ellsworth. They were all a kick.

“My real love is writing. I have just finished a novel of historical literary fiction with a working title of ‘Blue­stockings.’ In a nutshell, the manuscript focuses on key literary forces and personalities shaping America’s social and political thought in the mid eighteen hundreds. The character-driven plot portrays the colorful lives, deeds, and interrelationships of Horace Greeley, P. T. Barnum, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and John Greenleaf Whittier plus dozens of other engaging figures of stature and colorful characters—mainly writers, columnists and those in show biz of one kind or another.

“My cousins many times removed were the poets Alice and Phoebe Cary. They were the catalysts responsible for bringing together the group for their Sunday evening literary gatherings. I always wanted to be a fly on the wall at their ‘bluestockings,’ and so, in writing the book, I was able to be just that.”

Because she possesses a broad base of understanding and expertise in diplomacy and in melding business, government and communication, Lynn is the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards. She was the first woman to receive membership in the Junior Chamber of Commerce (1965); was awarded a Presi­dential commendation for a world record recreation community relations program she created and admin­istered for the City of Philadelphia (1968); and is listed in the 1987 edition of Who’s Who in Profes­sional and Executive Women.

Mel Majoros
Mel Majoros

Mel Majoros produces the Vic McCarty Show weekdays on WMKT, Michigan. Prior to her involvement in radio Mel worked in post production on television shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger and Crossing Jordan. She has her own cancer podcast, The Cancer Warrior, on the site and is a breast cancer survivor.

Richard Salzberg

Richard B. Salzberg is a professor of communication at Pasadena City College in Cali­fornia.
Here he reminisces about his teen years spent working at
WLOH, a small radio station
in Princeton, West Virginia, where his on-air persona was named “Cousin Ezry.”

“The 250-watt station hired me at age 14 after a stint as cub reporter for a paper called The Bluefield Daily Tele­graph, and luckily I had a good voice. Maybe they were mostly just curious.

“As the kid I got to sign on at 6 a.m. No one else was there at that hour except the trans­mitter engineer down the block in Princeton, West Virginia.

“There was a board a few years old and the usual two turntables. Through the win­dow above the board was the lone studio, maybe 20 by 20, equipped with an RCA Type 44-BX. I don’t remember a second studio mic. I don’t think there was a means of re­cording anything. We played consumer 78s, some early vinyl and a few 16-inch electrical transcriptions, known as ETs.

“Through a little window in the back wall opposite the board was a tiny announce booth with a lone chair and a mic suspended from the ceiling. Next to it was another tiny room with the Associated Press Teletype of ‘rip and read’ fame.

“As Cousin Ezry I affected a mid-Appalachian twang and always started with Hank Williams. My ideal was Patsy Cline. All early CW performers appeared in ‘cowboy’ garb, which of course they weren’t.

“Since I was paid a pittance they could keep me around most of the day to do five-minute news updates (about a yard of copy from the AP printer) and some swing bands and jazz, along with a little on-air kidding around with our big star who had been a minor staffer on a Pennsylvania station—the big time—maybe 500 watts.

“Saturday nights I was again alone and played dance music, some swing and some more CW. Local high school kids—maybe 20-25 of them—came up to our station on the edge of a tiny town and danced in our studio. I daringly opened the mic in there after warning them like the big stations did. Sometimes that worked and sometimes not, but nobody complained. I think.

“Our remote unit was an old Pontiac station wagon, which was good for about two miles away over flat terrain (hard to find in that part of the country). Sometimes I got to drive it home. I didn’t always go home—bad scene bix (ten miles away—I had no car). If I got up late I could put the station on the air from the Pontiac while on the road. Ah, the marvels of tech­nology. That’s most of what I remember. It’s been more than two or three years now. Still, those old radio days were the best job I ever starved to death at.”

Dennis Jon Bailey
D. J. Bailey

When asked about joining this page, D. J. Bailey re­plied, “Here I am behind an RE20 in the control room at WGRR-FM, Cincinnati in 2005. I don’t know about ‘celebrity,’ just a hard-working broadcaster with a checkered career. Included with the attached photo (amazingly, the only one I have of me behind a mic), I started thinking about the mics used in the many control rooms I’ve worked over the past few decades and thought that would not only provide a resume of sorts, but might be fun, so here goes…

“WFOR-AM Hattiesburg, Mississippi—first job riding board on NBC Monitor—control room mic—RCA 44-BX.

“WRKO-AM Boston—an amazing radio station with an incredible sound—control room mic—Sennheiser MD 421. This surprises some but the 421 was a perfect match for the station’s audio chain—a full rack for the mic alone.

“Satellite Music Network, Chicago—I worked in the Mo­kena complex before ABC bought it and moved every­thing to Dallas. Control room mic—Shure SM5-B (if memory serves).

“WNAP-FM Indianapolis, The original Buzzard, Control room mic—EV RE20, but for a time when it was oldies WKLR-FM in the 80s, a Neumann U 87.

“WENS-FM Indianapolis—The Emmis flagship at the time—control room mic—Shure SM-7—another perfect match for the station’s audio chain.

“There are others, of course, but those are the mics I remember most fondly. I currently do voice work from home. Among my clients is Jones Radio Networks where I’m the national signature voice for their 24/7 Hot AC format, which puts me on about 80 stations. I use an EV RE20.” —Dennis Jon Bailey

Lowell Thomas
Lowell Thomas, circa 1930.

Experience a portion of a 1940 presentation by Lowell Thomas
in which he extols the virtues of vacuum tube amplification.
The entire AT&T 22-minute YouTube video is available.

Westbrook Van Voorhis

Cornelius Westbrook Van Voorhis (September 21, 1903-July 13, 1968) was a narrator for television programs and movies. He is perhaps best known for his work on The March of Time radio and newsreel series, where he became known as the “Voice of Doom” as well as for the catchphrase, “Time… marches on!”

Van Voorhis was born in New Milford, Connecticut on Sep­tember 21, 1903, and studied at the United States Naval Academy. He became a broadcaster in the 1920s. On radio, he worked for station WOR and the CBS and NBC networks.

He narrated each episode of the 1954-1956 NBC series Justice. He also did narration for the 1957 television series Panic! He was originally scheduled to be the an­nouncer for The Twilight Zone television show but only narrated the television pilot, the episode “Where is Everybody?” and had its narration revoiced by the show’s creator and writer, Rod Serling.

Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O’Brien, circa 1947
In April 2006, Miss O’Brien was presented with one of the first two Lifetime Achievement
Awards ever awarded by the SunDeis Film Festival at Brandeis University.
(Celeste Holm received the other.)

Buddy Weed
Eugene Harold “Buddy” Weed, taken in 1947 for Downbeat Magazine.

Buddy Weed (1918-1997)—Buddy Weed’s piano styles were ingenious and extra­ordinarily refined. His imagin­ation and interpretations of the popular music of his time still remain as one of the most indelible contribu­tions to music. A pianist of unquestionable technique, he was extremely efficient with his piano flourishes using them only as incidental decoration, and not as part of the basic purpose. His treatment of a song was to convey the basic melodic content in the essential blending of these two attributes. Around all of his arrangements, Buddy skillfully built upon the many subtle moods in which the two governing factors were of the personalities of the composer and those of the per­former. There was never a clash between the two. The results were an incredible smoothness, which prevailed in all his arrangements. Combined with the unbe­lievable dexterity of his playing, Buddy’s music has endured throughout the decades.

Eugene Harold Weed’s natural dexterity of the keyboard began developing at the age of four when he first faced a piano teacher. He continued his studies throughout his scholastic career and upon graduation from high school in Ossining, New York he studied arranging in classical techniques with Herman Wasserman. His first gig was at the age of sixteen when he was hired by Jack Tea­garden’s Orchestra in 1934. By early 1939, Paul “Pops” White­man had heard Buddy, and immediately hired him. Although World War II briefly ended his commer­cial career, his relationship with White­man continued until his death in 1957. Featured in the fifth Gershwin Memorial Concert in 1942 with a standing ovation, his Gershwin style arrangements soon became the band’s trademark.

Before the war he had played with Teddy Powell and Charlie Spivack, and continued to be heard in Paul White­man’s orchestra as featured solo pianist and arranger. After a three-year term in the U.S. Army he joined the staff of the American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) where he innovated and introduced the first piano Jazz Trio to America. Since that time he became very much in demand as one of the most sought after pianists and arrangers in America. His discography can still be as­sembled from the archives of MGM, Capitol, RCA, Coral, Decca, Repertory, and Gemini.

After his retirement in 1970 as Director of Music for ABC, he became a much sought-after soloist as well as with his trio in Arizona, and continued to appear on radio and television and in nightclubs with undimin­ished success.

Buddy Weed passed away in 1997, but his undeniable style and techniques have left his indelible imprint on American music. —Gene Weed, 2005

Durward Kirby
Durward Kirby.
Library of American Broadcasting,
University of Maryland.

Bernie Zuch

Our friend Bernie Zuch says: Although I’m presently retired from the motion picture industry, I’ve been working there as a Sound Production Mixer since 1970. My work has usually kept me in the greater NY metropolitan area. I’ve worked on a few movies (Godfather 1, American Psycho, Natural Enemies… etc. etc.) I decided early in my career to stick with TV com­mercials. Much less stress, no crazy hours and much better pay! Working in this area has been a most gratifying experience even though sound guys really don’t get the credit they fully deserve.

Location recording has always been a challenging event (or nightmare). Locations are gen­er­ally chosen for their visual “look,” never considering sound issues or asso­ciated problems. Coming up with a good useable tracks on these locations wasn’t easy. In spite of uncontrollable ambient noise, planes, trucks, neighbors and some egotistical directors… some­how I overcame it. Now it seems that radio mics have taken over! I was often told to just “wire up everybody!” In my opinion, hiding mics under clothing and other areas of the body just isn’t the way to record natural sound. The overhead boom mic has always been my first choice. All of our classic films were recorded that way.

Being an expert electronics technician, I’ve come to love repairing and restoring vintage micro­phones. Pictured above are three of my “Elvis” mics. It’s the Shure 55, 51S, and 55S. Although I don’t really consider myself in the “celebrity” category, I want to thank my good friend Stan for inviting me into his terrific website. Thanks Stan. Really appreciate it!

Larry Mantle
KPCC’s Larry Mantle, host of AirTalk, celebrating his twentieth anniversary of presenting the daily program. KPCC launched AirTalk on April 1, 1985, just a month after the general manager asked News Director Larry Mantle if he would like to start a daily personality-oriented issues program on the station. Interview call-in shows were rare in public radio at the time, but AirTalk quickly caught on with KPCC listeners, and gradually expanded its daily length and the size of its audience.

Sir Harry Lauder
Great Scot! It’s Sir Harry Lauder, 1870-1950, “Laird of the music hall.”
Photo courtesy of Bruce McCausland.

Julie London
Julie London in 1957.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein.

Arthur Godfrey
Arthur Godfrey.

Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx.

Herbert Marshall
Herbert Marshall.

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman.

Walter WinchellJimmy Durante
Walter Winchell and Jimmy Durante.

Dave Garroway
Dave Garroway hosting the Today
show on December 1, 1952.
He was the show’s first host.

Gregg Donovan
Gregg Donovan
NBC staff announcer, 1947.

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson in 1966.

Before he was “Colonel Hogan,” Bob Crane
deejayed at WLEA, WBIS, WICC, KNX, and KMPC.
Courtesy of the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland.
As “Colonel Hogan.”

Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Drawings are of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner.

A strange band
Jack Benny, Dick Powell, Ken Murray, Bing Crosby on drums, Shirley Ross.
Courtesy of the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland.

Arthur Godfrey
Photo taken during the first broadcast of “Arthur Godfrey Time” in
1941. Mr. Godfrey is center foreground, the band and singers are
in the background. The lead singer, Patty Clayton, is at right.

Bob Hope, Judy Garland
Bob Hope and Judy Garland.

Judy Garland at the age of 6.

Judy Garland and Bing Crosby.
Judy Garland portrays Irene Hoffman in “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961).

Judy Garland and Spencer Tracy in another scene from “Judgment at Nuremberg”.

Irene Hoffman (Judy Garland) on the witness stand.

Doris Day, Bob Hope
Doris Day and Bob Hope.

Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson.

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson.

Sir George Martin
Sir George Martin.

The Rat Pack
Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra.

Lana Turner
Lana Turner.

Rex Dale, Gloria Swanson
WCKY program host Rex Dale interviews Ms. Gloria Swanson.
Photo taken by William C. Benesch (a. k. a. Bill Bradshaw).
Courtesy of the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland.

Deam Martin, Jerry Lewis, Rex Dale at WCKY
Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and program host Rex Dale at WCKY.
Photo taken by William C. Benesch (a. k. a. Bill Bradshaw).

Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore
in the late thirties.

Nat King Cole
Nat “King” Cole.

Ruby Keeler, Al Jolson
Ruby Keeler and Al Jolson.

Nelson Case
NBC staff announcer Nelson Case.
Courtesy of the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland.

Nikita Khrushchev, Richard Nixon
Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon.
“Kitchen debate” in model home at the American National
Exhibition in Moscow, from news summaries of July 25, 1959.

Les Paul
The legendary Les Paul.

Tiny Markle Mary Ford Les Paul
DJ Tiny Markle, Mary Ford, and Les Paul.

Alan Freed
Alan Freed.

Alan Freed
DJ Alan Freed, who coined the phrase “rock and roll.”

Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc.

Mel Blanc
Mel Blanc.

Gary Owens
Gary Owens.

Orson Welles
Orson Welles.

Ernie Ford
Tennessee Ernie Ford circa 1950 at WOPI, Bristol, Tennessee.
Photo courtesy of William H. Mountjoy, Jr.

More celebrities and their mics