Welcome to Radio Vintage!

You will find at radiovintage.net that we play the greatest songs ever recorded, and aired on radio during the 1940s, 1950s. Radio Vintage format that specializes in this type of music. "Golden Age of Radio"

When we decide which song categories are meaningful for our music scheduling (and should therefore be the core of our music format), we should always think of how a radio audience will experience it. Enjoy the music!!!

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on Tuesday, January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi. In September 1948 when Elvis was 13, he and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee. After graduating from Humes High School in Memphis, Elvis took odd jobs working as a movie theater usher and a truck driver for Crown Electric Company. He began singing locally as "The Hillbilly Cat", then signed with a local recording company, then in 1955 with RCA. He did much to establish early rock and roll music, bringing black blues singing into the white, teenage mainstream. Teenage girls became hysterical over his blatantly sexual gyrations, particularly the one that got him nicknamed "Elvis the Pelvis" (TV cameras were not permitted to film below his waist). At the time of his death, he had sold more than 600-million singles and albums.

In 1956 following his 6 TV appearances on The Dorsey Brothers'" Stage Show" , Elvis was cast in his first acting role in a supporting part in Love Me Tender (1956), the first of 33 movies he starred in. Critics blasted most of his films, but they did very well at the box-office earning upwards of $150 million total. In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the military where he relocated to Bad Nauheim, Germany. There he met and fell in love with 14-year old army damsel Priscilla Ann Wagner (later known as Priscilla Presley). Elvis's military service and the "British invasion" of the 1960s reduced his concerts, though not his movie/recording income. Through the 1960s, Elvis settled in Hollywood where he starred in over 20 movies, acting alongside some of the most well known character actors in Hollywood. On February 1, 1968, he and Priscilla had a daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Elvis made a comeback in the 1970s with live concert appearances starting in early 1970 in Las Vegas with over 57 sold-out shows. Elvis toured throughout the USA appearing on-stage in over 500 live appearances, many of them sold out shows. Sadly, his marriage ended in divorce, and the stress of constantly traveling as well as his increasing weight gain and dependence upon stimulants and depressants took their toll. Elvis Presley died on Tuesday, August 16, 1977 at his mansion in Graceland, near Memphis at age 42. Since his death, his Memphis home Graceland has become a shrine for millions of followers worldwide. Elvis impersonators and purported sightings have become stock subjects for humorists.

Elvis Presley began his career as first performer of rockabilly, an up-tempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing 'black' and 'white' sounds, made him popular - and controversial - as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into three separate music 'Halls of Fame'.

In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies - mainly poorly reviewed musicals. 1970 saw a critically-acclaimed return to live music, followed by performances in Las Vegas and across the U.S. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. His death, at the age of 42, shocked his fans worldwide.

James Dean

James Dean was born in 1931 and raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to New York to pursue his dream of acting. He received rave reviews for his work as the blackmailing Arab boy in the New York production of Gide's "The Immoralist", good enough to earn him a trip to Hollywood. His early film efforts were strictly bit parts: a sailor in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis overly frantic musical comedy Sailor Beware (1952); a GI in Samuel Fuller's moody study of a platoon in the Korean War, Fixed Bayonets! (1951) and a youth in the Piper Laurie-Rock Hudson comedy Has Anybody Seen My Gal (1952).

He had major roles in only three movies. In the Elia Kazan production of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1955) he played Caleb, the "bad" brother who couldn't force affection from his stiff-necked father. His true starring role, the one which fixed his image forever in American culture, was that of the brooding red-jacketed teenager Jim Stark in Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause (1955). George Stevens' filming of Edna Ferber's Giant (1956), in which he played the non-conforming cowhand Jett Rink who strikes it rich when he discovers oil, was just coming to a close when Dean, driving his Porsche Spyder race car, collided with another car while on the road near Cholame, California on September 30, 1955. He had received a speeding ticket just two hours before.

James Dean was killed almost immediately from the impact from a broken neck. He was 24. His very brief career, violent death and highly publicized funeral transformed him into a cult object of apparently timeless fascination.

Marilyn Monroe

The most celebrated of all actresses, Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on Tuesday, June 1st, 1926, in Los Angeles General Hospital. Prior to her birth, Marilyn's father bought a motorcycle and headed north to San Francisco, abandoning the family in Los Angeles. Marilyn grew up not knowing for sure who her father really was. Her mother, Gladys, had entered into several relationships, further confusing her daughter as to who it was who fathered her. Afterward, Gladys gave Norma Jeane (Marilyn) the name of Baker, a boyfriend she had before Mortenson. Poverty was a constant companion to Gladys and Norma. Gladys, who was extremely attractive and worked for RKO Studios as a film cutter, suffered from mental illness and was in and out of mental institutions for the rest of her life, and because of that Norma Jeane spent time in foster homes. When she was nine she was placed in an orphanage where she was to stay for the next two years. Upon being released from the orphanage, she went to yet another foster home. In 1942, at the age of 16, Norma Jeane married 21-year-old aircraft plant worker James Dougherty. The marriage only lasted four years, and they divorced in 1946. By this time Marilyn began to model swimsuits and bleached her hair blonde. Various shots made their way into the public eye, where some were eventually seen by RKO Pictures head Howard Hughes. He offered Marilyn a screen test, but an agent suggested that 20th Century-Fox would be the better choice for her, since it was a much bigger and more prestigious studio. She was signed to a contract at $125 per week for a six-month period and that was increased by $25 per week at the end of that time when her contract was lengthened.

Her first film was in 1947 with a bit part in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947). Her next production was not much better, a bit in the eminently forgettable Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948). Two of the three brief scenes she appeared wound up on the cutting room floor. Later that same year she was given a somewhat better role as Evie in Dangerous Years (1947). However, Fox declined to renew her contract, so she went back to modeling and acting school.

Columbia Pictures then picked her up to play Peggy Martin in Ladies of the Chorus (1948), where she sang two numbers. Notices from the critics were favorable for her, if not the film, but Columbia dropped her. Once again Marilyn returned to modeling. In 1949 she appeared in United Artists' Love Happy (1949). It was also that same year she posed nude for the now famous calendar shot which was later to appear in Playboy magazine in 1953 and further boost her career. She would be the first centerfold in that magazine's long and illustrious history. The next year proved to be a good year for Marilyn. She appeared in five films, but the good news was that she received very good notices for her roles in two of them, The Asphalt Jungle (1950) from MGM and All About Eve (1950) from Fox. Even though both roles were basically not much more than bit parts, movie fans remembered her ditzy but very sexy blonde performance.

In 1951, Marilyn got a fairly sizable role in Love Nest (1951). The public was now getting to know her and liked what it saw. She had an intoxicating quality of volcanic sexuality wrapped in an aura of almost childlike innocence. In 1952, Marilyn appeared in Don't Bother to Knock (1952), in which she played a somewhat mentally unbalanced babysitter. Critics didn't particularly care for her work in this picture, but she made a much more favorable impression later in the year in Monkey Business (1952), where she was seen for the first time as a platinum blonde, a look that became her trademark. The next year she appeared in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) as Lorelei Lee. It was also the same year she began dating the baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn was now a genuine box-office drawing card. Later, she appeared with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Rory Calhoun in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Although her co-stars got the rave reviews, it was the sight of Marilyn that really excited the audience, especially the male members. On Thursday, January 14th, 1954, Marilyn wed DiMaggio, then proceeded to film There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). That was quickly followed by The Seven Year Itch (1955), which showcased her considerable comedic talent and contained what is arguably one of the most memorable moments in cinema history: Marilyn standing above a subway grating and the wind from a passing subway blowing her white dress up.

By October of 1954, Marilyn announced her divorce from DiMaggio. The union lasted only eight months. In 1955 she was suspended by Fox for not reporting for work on How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955). It was her second suspension, the first being for not reporting for the production of The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955). Both roles went to others. Her work was slowing down, due to her habit of being continually late to the set, her illnesses (whether real or imagined) and generally being unwilling to cooperate with her producers, directors, and fellow actors.

In Bus Stop (1956), however, Marilyn finally showed critics that she could play a straight dramatic role. It was also the same year she married playwright, Arthur Miller (they divorced in 1960). In 1957 Marilyn flew to Britain to film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) which proved less than impressive critically and financially. It made money, but many critics panned it for being slow-moving. After a year off in 1958, Marilyn returned to the screen the next year for the delightful comedy, Some Like It Hot (1959) with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The film was an absolute smash hit, with Curtis and Lemmon pretending to be females in an all-girl band, so they can get work. This was to be Marilyn's only film for the year.

In 1960 Marilyn appeared in George Cukor's Let's Make Love (1960), with Tony Randall and Yves Montand. Again, while it made money, it was critically panned as stodgy and slow-moving. The following year Marilyn made what was to be her final film. The Misfits (1961), which also proved to be the final film for the legendary Clark Gable, who died later that year of a heart attack. The film was popular with critics and the public alike.

In 1962 Marilyn was chosen to star in Fox's Something's Got to Give (1962). Again, her absenteeism caused delay after delay in production, resulting in her being fired from the production in June of that year. It looked as though her career was finished. Studios just didn't want to take a chance on her because it would cost them thousands of dollars in delays. She was only 36.

Marilyn made only 30 films in her lifetime, but her legendary status and mysticism will remain with film history forever.

Alan Freed Mr. Rock 'n' Roll

Rock "n" Roll
Alan Freed Biography

The disc jockey credited with naming "rock and roll" was born Albert James Freed on December 15, 1921, near Johnstown, PA. In 1933 the Freed family moved to Salem, Ohio. In high school Freed formed a band known as the Sultans of Swing in which he played trombone. In 1942 Freed landed his first broadcasting job, at WKST (New Castle, PA). He took a sports casting position at WKBN (Youngstown, OH) the following year. In 1945 he moved to WAKR (Akron, OH) and became a local favorite, playing hot jazz and pop recordings.

In 1949 Freed moved to WXEL-TV in Cleveland. Record store owner Leo Mintz convinced him to emcee a program of rhythm and blues records over WJW radio, and on July 11, 1951, calling himself "Moondog" Freed went on the air. At his "Moondog Coronation Ball" at the 10,000-capacity Cleveland Arena in March 1952, upwards of 20,000 fans (almost all black) crashed the gates, causing the dance to be cancelled. This is considered to be the first "rock" concert. It also marked the point at which Freed's audience began to include an increasing number of whites — who subsequently heard Freed refer to rhythm and blues as "rock and roll."

In September 1954 Freed was hired by WINS radio in New York. The following January he held a landmark dance there, promoting black performers as rock and roll artists. Within a month, the music industry was advertising "rock and roll" records in the trade papers.
Within weeks, he was the dominant force on radio there, attracting a huge, racially mixed, youthful audience and, although he inspired many imitators, Alan Freed almost single-handedly brought radio back from the near dead. Freed also emceed a string of legendary stage shows at the Brooklyn and New York Paramount Theatres; was heard nationally via CBS radio; and starred in several rock and roll movies.

In 1957 ABC-TV gave Freed his own nationally-televised rock and roll show, but an episode on which Frankie Lymon danced with a white girl enraged ABC's Southern affiliates and the show was cancelled. Violence occurred outside the Boston Arena after a Freed stage show, local authorities indicted him for inciting to riot. The charges were eventually dropped, but WINS failed to renew Freed's contract. Known for his rapid-fire delivery, for his endless dedications (like those from February 1955 that you should be hearing now), and sometimes pounding on a telephone book or ringing a cowbell to keep the beat, Freed continually referred to our then brand new, youth-oriented music as the "Big Beat in Popular Music." He has always been given the credit he deserves for doing more than anyone to promote and popularize the music that changed the world, music that he truly loved, our music.
He did it not so much because of his radio popularity (which was local, of course) but, in part, through his 1957 nationally broadcast, albeit short-lived (it was cancelled days before the national debut of "American Bandstand"2), TV show on the ABC network, "The Big Beat," later broadcast locally in New York on WNEW-TV, through his live rock 'n' roll stage shows, some that traveled to other cities and others that attracted lots of tourists in New York City, but mainly through five movies released in 1956-1959, beginning with Rock Around the Clock, in all of which he played himself, the only adult who understood the teenagers and their (no, our) new music.

It was only much later that he was also widely recognized for his enormous role in what was soon to become the civil rights movement in our country. He was not just a hero and champion to the youth of America, both black and white, but he also opened doors to scores, maybe hundreds, of black performers and songwriters who, mainly because of Freed, now had opportunities to share their talents with the world and to make a decent living in the recorded music business. Freed was most closely associated with 1010 WINS, which he made the king of the New York airwaves beginning in 1954 but was there only 4 years during which time he accomplished almost all he ever would. His career was fraught with legal and other difficulties including a 1958 arrest in Boston for inciting a riot with one of his live rock 'n' roll stage shows (although the charge that was subsequently dropped, it nevertheless resulted in his being fired that year from WINS) and, ultimately, relentless persecution from the so-called "payola" hearings in congress, which caused him to be fired again in 1959 for standing up for his principles in that regard, this time by 770 WABC. (And at the time, the pejoratively-termed "payola" was, in fact, a perfectly legal, common industry practice, always done openly, until 1960.) But despite all these obstacles, he remained still optimistic when, on November 21, 1959, he said what would be his final New York on-air radio farewell to his loyal music business supporters and fans upon leaving WABC. Freed said, ironically, "This is not goodbye; it's just goodnight, and we'll see you soon." His last appearance on New York TV (WNEW) was six days later on November 27, 1959. The '50s were over. Freed moved to WABC radio, and also hosted a locally televised dance show. When the broadcasting payola scandal erupted in November 1959, Freed claimed payments he'd received from record companies were for "consultation," not as an inducement to play their records. He was fired from his radio and television programs.

Freed was hired by Los Angeles' KDAY radio (owned by the same company that owned WINS) in 1960, but when management refused to let him promote live rock and roll shows Freed left the station and returned to Manhattan to emcee a live twist revue. When the twist craze cooled he hooked on as a disc jockey at WQAM (Miami, FL). Realizing that his dream of returning to New York radio was just that, Freed's drinking increased. The Miami job lasted only two months. In December 1962, in New York, Freed pleaded guilty to two counts of commercial bribery and was fined three hundred dollars.
Living in Palm Springs, CA, and drinking heavily, the one-time "king of rock and roll" was a broken man. He died there on January 20, 1965, ostensibly of bleeding esophageal varices and cirrhosis of the liver. Those closest to him swear he died of a broken heart. In 1986 Freed was among the original inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. In 1991 a comprehensive biography, Big Beat Heat: Alan Freed and the Early Years of Rock and Roll was published. That same year, Freed received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

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