WOR – John A. Gambling 40th Anniversary show – March 9, 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
It was different then. Talk radio was coming into its own by 1965. The seeds had been planted in the 1920s and by the time 1965 had rolled around Radio consisted of either Talk or Music. Dramas were pretty much over by 1961, Television dominated that genre and had even taken over the area of Variety. Radio was rapidly becoming an orphan and a shell of its former self and whatever it did was either relegated to a five minute capsule or a news and Public Affairs Special.
But even radio of 1965 bears little resemblance to radio as it is today. Talk radio was a busy platform for guests and a fertile ground for listeners to call in with opinions on everything from Parking Tickets to Holiday meals. Politics was too much of a hot-button topic for most to get involved with. And even if there were those sporadic examples of Political opinions, whatever was said had to be counter-said because radio, and broadcasting in general had a thing called “The Fairness Doctrine. Radio stations who ran editorials added a disclaimer at the end saying “opposing views are welcome”. Yes. It was civil back then.
If you grew up in New York, no doubt part of your experience was listening to John Gambling and the legendary Rambling With Gambling program that was a staple in the diet of WOR from the 1920s through the 1980s with three generations of Gamblings holding court in front of the microphone; interviewing visiting celebrities, discussing day to day life in Manhattan and the Boroughs, finding out what the weather was going to be like on any given day and generally being that genial companion, helping you wake up and face the day.
This program is part of a week-long celebration of the Rambling With Gambling series which began in March of 1925. The series came to a semi-official end in 2000 with various iterations carrying on until 2013.
Maybe the show will ring a few bells – here’s a one hour extract to remind you.
As you know, we’ve suspended indefinitely our ads in order to make Past Daily a better experience for you without all the distractions and pop-ups. Because of that, we’re relying more on your support through Patreon to keep us up and running every day. For as little as $5.00 a month you can make a huge difference as well as be able to download all of our posts for free (news, history, music). You’ll see a banner just below. Click on that and become a subscriber – it’s easy, painless and does a world of good.