The Evening Edition Radio News Team (WCAU Radio)
(Left to right) Broadcast Pioneers member Taylor Grant, Tom Spence, Mike Stanley, John Facenda, John Clough
Gary Sherpard, Broadcast Pioneers member Dr. Charles Lee, Norm Fastow and Dan Curtis
Here's a real find. We have several local clips from coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The quality is, by and large, excellent. Most of the excerpts were WCAU Radio coverage. During this time, WCAU, 1210 on AM and WCAU-FM, 98.1, were simulcasting.
November 22, 1963
All the coverage from this day is from WCAU Radio. The first cut we have is a 24-minute segment from "Evening Edition," a mainstay on WCAU for years during afternoon drive and the dinner hour. On this broadcast, we hear Broadcast Pioneers member Taylor Grant, George Lord, Mike Stanley and John Clough.
Next is another cut, about six and a half minutes long from a little later on that same day. Heard on this excerpt is Taylor Grant, Broadcast Pioneers member Charles Lee, George Lord, Mike Stanley and Joe Livingston from the Evening Bulletin, a daily newspaper in Philadelphia.
Cut #3 (5 minutes and 27 seconds long) features a WCAU icon, mainly known for his TV work, John Facenda. However, John also did radio work on WCAU Radio.
The last cut from that day also features Broadcast Pioneers member John Facenda, plus Dan Cryor. It's 11 minutes and 44 seconds in duration. It starts with something rare, a live ID for both AM & FM done by Facenda.
Also from that air date is a pre-recorded station identification, obviously recorded from an earlier time. Listen very carefully and you can hear the cue tone at the beginning.
November 24, 1963
Two days later, on Sunday, November 24, 1963, we have a one minute and nine second excerpt. It's Art Raymond on WHAT-FM. Broadcast Pioneers member Barry Reisman who recorded these cuts off air in 1963 e-mailed:
The voice is that of Art Raymond who, back in the 1950's, was "The Man in the Black Sombrero" on WPEN, and did a program of dance music. In the early 60's, he moved to WHAT-FM to host "The Bagels & Lox Program" which featured a variety of Jewish music every Sunday from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. At the time of the Kennedy assassination, Raymond broke format and did a series of interviews reflecting on the assassination with local rabbis and other members of the Jewish community, and that is what you hear on the brief audio clip that I had recorded.
WHAT-FM later became WWDB and eventually replaced Art Raymond with Sid Mark's "Sunday with Sinatra." Art Raymond continued his program on WEVD (now ESPN) in New York and remained there for many years. (His program was the forerunner of the Jewish oriented program that I now host, which has been on the air in Philadelpia since 1965.)
Art Raymond is still on the air on a station Florida, and I believe that he does a recorded program once a week on a New York station.
...Who would have guessed that a teen-aged radio geek back in 1963 would have his recordings available for the entire world to hear at www.broadcastpioneers.com? I knew that there was some reason that I should keep changing reels and pushing the record button!
Next is from Sunday morning, November 24th, right after Lee Harvey Oswald was shot. ABC Radio paused for 5 seconds for station identification and this was the ID heard on WFIL Radio. The announcement may have been done live. Paul Norton, a member of our Board of Directors, worked at WFIL Radio and Channel 6 for decades. Paul is pretty sure that the voice on the ID belongs to Jim McCann.
Next is a similar station identification from WCAU AM & FM. It was only a few moments apart from the WFIL id, however, this one was pre-recorded (listen carefully for the cue tone at the beginning of the cut). Announcer is unidentified.
Here's a WCAU Radio cut with a local weather forecast leading up to more network coverage. It's just before 10 am in Philadelphia. Announcer is unidentified.
Finally, we have two special IDs aired over WCAU Radio. Neither announcer has been identified. Both station breaks were pre-recorded.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Ruth Lee, widow of Broadcast Pioneers member, Dr. Charles Lee
Audio originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Barry Reisman
audio encoding and research by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
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