The 1940 recording of "San Antonio Rose" made Bob Wills  a national music figure.

FM radio as we know it began in 1941. That's when the first commercial FM station went on the air -- W47NV in Nashville. FM -- standing for frequency modulation -- was first proposed in a scientific paper written by Edwin Armstrong in 1922. By 1934, he demonstrated how FM was unaffected by static, unlike all the radio stations then on the air, which used AM or amplitude modulation. Critics said the idea was impractical. World War II interrupted the advance of FM broadcasting, which slowly began to gain popularity in the 1950s.

First Gold Record: The idea of awarding performers a gold record for a big selling performance dates back to this week in 1942. During a live radio broadcast, surprised band leader Glenn Miller was given the first gold record for his million selling hit, "Chattanooga Choo Choo." The award wasn't revived until 1958, for Perry Como's single "Catch a Falling Star." The first award for an album was the cast recording of the musical "Oklahoma."

South Carolina native Dizzy Gillespie began an innovative style of trumpet performance that would come to be called BeBop.

Rocky Mount, North Carolina native Thelonious Monk was a member of the adventurous musicians who liked to gather at Mintons in Harlem and contributed to the birth of Bebop.

Sonny Boy Williamson was one of the most influential harmonica players in blues history.  He was the blues first radio star on "The King Biscuit Time" in Helena, Arkansas.

Louis Jordan ,"Father of Rhythm and Blues," had his first million-seller in 1944 with "Is You Is or Is You Ain't Ma Baby?".

Nashville was beginning to emerge as a center for country recording. Chet Atkins played a major role in the development of the Nashville music industry.

In the 1940s, the Lucky Millinder Orchestra provided a vital link between big band swing and rhythm & blues. Although Millinder didn't play an instrument and reputedly couldn't even read music, he nonetheless played a crucial role in the early development of jump blues. 

The Louisiana Hayride began their Saturday night broadcast from the Municipal Auditoriumin Shreveport, Louisiana on April 3, 1948.

On  June 11, 1949, Hank Williams made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, one of the most memorable in the Opry's history.

Adrian Belew: The Twang Bar King was born December 23, 1949, Covington, Kentucky

45 rpm Records: The sound recording business became more complicated in 1949 -- when RCA unveiled the 45 rpm record. So-called "long-play" recordings, either 10 or 12 inches and turning at 33 rpm, had been around for a few years, but older, 78 rpm technology was still used for recording single musical selections. Seven-inch 45s soon took over the pop single market and were the favorite of teenagers across the country.

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By Carl P. McConnell








From Dusk to Dawn: A Depression Era Guide To New Orleans
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