Powel Crosley, Jr, Part Two - June 26, 2014

When last we met our heroes, Powel Crosley, Jr, and his brother Lewis, they couldn't sell their first car, but they did extremely well selling automobile accessories.  That's not to say they were satisfied.  By 1919, they were also manufacturing phonograph cabinets.  And they offered something new to their customers in the mix, something called a "money back guarantee" if not completely satisfied, one of the first American businessmen ever to do so.

One day, Powel's son asked his dad for a radio.  Unwilling to pay the exorbitant price (over $100!), Powel instead built one.  By 1924, the Crosley Radio Corporation was the largest producer of radios in the world, using its mascot, the "Crosley Pup," to help sales (like Viktor used Nipper). It stands to reason that Powel would then start his own radio station - Cincinnati's WLW - with original programming to appeal to radio buyers.  "The Nation's Station" even established some of the earliest soap operas ever broadcast.  And the Crosleys didn't stop there....

QUESTION:  Which of the following actors did not perform live on WLW?

a)  Red Skelton

b)  Rosemary Clooney

c)  Fats Waller

d)  Johnny Paycheck

Answer below.

HISTORY TODAY:

The United States government has, since its inception in 1789, consented to legally put aside only twelve days in the calendar year as federal holidays.  That means that, on those twelve days, many Americans don't have to work but still get paid.  Pretty sweet.  On this day in 1870, Christmas was put on this very exclusive list.  And it's pretty safe to say that none of the other holidays offer as good an opportunity for presents as Christmas, which makes it an exceptionally important one!

Lots of things were going on in the world in 1963, and not all of them were great.  The Cold War was in full swing, with Soviet-run East Berlin separated from the Democratic-run West Berlin by an ominous wall.  Today, fifty-one years ago, U.S. President John Kennedy gave his now-legendary "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech as a way to reinforce American support for the people of West Berlin, isolated within East German territory.  (And no, JFK did not really say he was a jelly doughnut.) 

BIRTHDAYS:

Happy birthday, Pearl Buck!  Buck was an American, born in West Virginia in 1892, who spent most of the first forty years of her life in China.  She wrote and published a fictionalized account of her experience there called The Good Earth, which won for her great popularity, a Pulitzer Prize, and a Nobel Prize.  She continued to write after that, often with a concentration on minority and women's issues.

Film director Paul Thomas Anderson turns 43 today.  Critically praised for films depicting realistically-flawed characters, Anderson has already created six feature-length films, including 1997's Boogie Nights, Magnolia two years later, and most popularly, There Will Be Blood in 2007.  Stay tuned, as his next film Inherent Vice is due out later this year.

QUOTE:  To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth. - Pear Buck

ANSWER:  d)  Johnny Paycheck.  Although it's not impossible that Mr. Paycheck walked through the doors of WLW at one point, the blog research team could find no record of the country music artist ever performing live for them.