NBC Network

Reference Recordings

66 WNBC was the Flagship station of the NBC Radio RED Network. (An important reason why this site is red)

Some highlights of the history of the NBC Radio Network.

April 14, 1912 The Titanic sends a Morse code emergency signal out that is received at Wannamakers Department Store in New York City. David Sarnoff communicates with ship while President Taft orders all other stations off the air.
November 15, 1926 The first broadcast on the NBC Radio Network takes place from the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. First NBC president Merlin Ailesworth says "Beginning tonight you will receive a new thrill in radio..." 26 Stations are on the network.
May 20, 1927 Lowell Thomas announces Lindbergh has landed in Paris. Graham McNamee follows weeks later with first coast-to-coast music broadcast as part of President Coolidge's ceremony awarding Col. Lindbergh the Distinguished Flying Cross.
1927 McNamee broadcast first coast to coast Rose Bowl.
1928 Many stars grace NBC including "Amos & Andy," Ed Wynn, Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallee & Jack Benny. Singers like Jessoca Dragonette are broadcast live from the "Cathedral Studio" at 711 5th Ave in New York.
1929 The Goldbergs Premieres (First Daytime Drama)
Late 1920's The NBC Chimes are introduced. The original three tone electrical chimes cost $48.50. Prior to the chimes, at station breaks, the announcers would list all the affiliate call letters, up to 35 at one time! Included in the list WEAF (NY), WLW (Cincinnati), WAVE (Louisville), WMC (Memphis), WTIC (Hartford), WCSH (Portland, Me.), WJR (Detroit?), WLIT(?).
1936 "General" David Sarnoff celebrates 10th anniversary of NBC Radio Network with a broadcast speech. "In ten years, radio broadcasting has grown from an exotic novelty to a daily necessity..." Stars at the time include Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Don McNeil with the NBC Breakfast Club from Chicago, and for the kids "The Lone Ranger."
May 6, 1937 The Hindenberg explodes in New Jersey. A crew from NBC in Chicago was there testing a portable recording device, which would capture Herbert Morrison's voice describing the carnage, "Oh The Humanity."

This from e-mail: "In actuality, WLS Engineer Charles Niehlsen and WLS reporter Herbert Morrison brought their own disc machine (quite heavy for a portable) and it was on assignment from WLS/Chicago (Owned and operated by The Prairie Farmer), an affiliate of the NBC "Blue" Network. NBC Networks at that time had a policy against airing "recorded" news events and, in essence, the Hindenburg disaster
became the first recorded actuality aired on NBC.
Jeff Davis
WLS/Chicago Historian"
1939 NBC carried news related to events in Europe, including a speech by Hitler, and a September 3, 1939 speech by British Prime Minister Chamberlin declaring war on Germany.
World's Fair 1939 NBC debuts Television.
September 14, 1940 NBC carries broadcast of first peace-time draft. President Roosevelt draws the first lottery number (158) live.
December 7, 1941 The Sammy Kay Show is interrupted for the announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
D-Day George Hicks reports from a gunboat during the Normandy invasion. He described the ship he is on gunning down a Nazi plane.

There will be more added as I get the time to do more research. 

Here's some sites related to NBC in general, not just NBC Radio

bulletNBC.com - The National Broadcasting Company

bulletMSNBC.com - MSNBC News on the Internet

bulletWNBC New York - The Flagship TV station of NBC

bulletAnnouncing the National Broadcasting Company

bulletNBC Pacific Coast Network - The Orange Network

bulletA History of the NBC Chimes - 4 Chimes! Really!



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Page Last Updated on: Thursday, November 02, 2000