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Arthur Godfrey, 1903 - 1983

Arthur Morton Godfrey (August 31, 1903 – March 16, 1983) was an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer who was sometimes introduced by his nickname, The Old Redhead. Godfrey became a radio announcer for the Baltimore station WFBR (now WJZ (AM)) and moved the short distance to Washington, D.C. to become a staff announcer for NBC-owned station WRC the same year and remained there until 1934. Godfrey sang and played the ukulele. In 1934 he became a freelance entertainer, but eventually based himself on a daily show titled Sundial on CBS-owned station WJSV (now WFED) in Washington. Godfrey was the station's morning disc jockey, playing records, delivering commercials (often with tongue in cheek; a classic example had him referring to Bayer Aspirin as "bare ass prin"), interviewing guests, and even reading news reports during his three-hour shift. Godfrey loved to sing, and would frequently sing random verses during the "talk" portions of his programWIKIPEDIA Arguably the most prominent of the medium's early master commercial pitchmen, he was strongly identified with many of his many sponsors, especially Chesterfield cigarettes and Lipton Tea.Having advertised Chesterfield for many years, during which time he came up with the idea and slogan "Buy 'em by the carton", Godfrey severed his relationship with the company on one of his television programs after his doctors had convinced him that his lung cancer was due to smoking. Subsequently, he became a prominent spokesman for anti-smoking education.

 


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In 1937, he was a host on Professor Quiz, radio's first successful quiz program. One surviving broadcast from 1939 has Godfrey unexpectedly turning on his microphone to harmonize with The Foursome's recording of "There'll Be Some Changes Made." No TV personality in 1950s America enjoyed more clout or fame than Godfrey[citation needed] until an infamous on-air incident undermined his folksy image and triggered a gradual decline. At the peak of his success, Godfrey helmed two CBS-TV weekly series and a daily 90-minute television mid-morning show, but, by the early 1960s, his presence had been reduced to hosting the occasional TV special.

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