WMAQ Began Early On Its Career as A Builder of Stars

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That the best in entertainment is always on WMAQ is obvious after a glance at a list of stars, both past and present, who made their radio debuts over Chicago's oldest station---celebrating its 25th anniversary on April 13.

Wayne King, for instance, made his first broadcast anywhere over WMAQ on January 28, 1928. Then there is Ed Wynn, who made his initial broadcast on October 2, 1922; Vincent Lopez, who made his microphone debut on September 13, 1924 and Phil Baker, who first was heard over WMAQ on October 17, 1930. Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians made one of their earliest broadcasts on WMAQ on August 9, 1922, and Don Ameche was heard in many shows in his early days in radio.

One of WMAQ's biggest achievements was the uncovering of a new act by Marian and Jim Jordan, now known as Fibber McGee and Molly, who made their first appearance in the Smackout comedy series on February 24, 1931.

Finally, WMAQ is proud of the fact that it introduced Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden to the world for the first time as Amos 'n' Andy on March 19, 1928. Other first timers were Count Llya Tolstoy, son of the noted author; Cyrens Van Gordon, opera star; Lorado Taft, the sculptor; Rosa Raisa, the famed soprano; George Arliss, Ben Hecht, Otis Skinner, Ruth Chatterton and Jane Addams.

Return to the WMAQ at 25 index page
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Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
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Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to rich@richsamuels.com)