We were watching these live television shows; it was the "Bell Telephone Hour" or something, and the announcer was up there dressed in a tuxedo and all he said was, "This is the NBC Television Network," and I asked the page how much the announcer made, and he said about 0. I always wanted to say (in deep voice) "This is the NBC Television Network." (Laughs.) BARD: Who would you say inspired you most to work in radio?LANGE: There's a broadcaster back in Minneapolis, a fellow named Steve Cannon, who I used to listen to when I was thinking about becoming a DJ.My interest in radio was strictly announcing and sports, and I really didn't know what I wanted to do.I listened to him and another fellow named Jack Thayer, who went on to become a big owner and programmer in New York.Jim Lange was the original host of the show, appearing from 1965 to 1980.He passed away this week at the age of 81 after suffering a heart attack, his wife Nancy tells the Associated Press. Lange, here are some of the famous faces who appeared on “The Dating Game.” Some were on because they were famous, like a young Sally Field, who was starring on “Gidget” in 1966.You choose the elements that make this fellow perfect for the role: you give him appealing looks, a definite charm, so people are drawn to him just because ... In your story, you give him certain story-book touches. What if you told them that it isn't fiction, that it's the true story of Jim Lange, host of the morning show on San Francisco's Magic 61 (KFRC 610 AM, -10 a.m. Lange, whose triumphant broadcasting career is punctuated by fifteen years as host of TV's "The Dating Game," was born in St.You make him a big star, first as a radio personality in a big city. hey, what the heck let's write it so he gets to marry Miss America. Paul, Minn., and began in radio as a schoolboy announcer on a local station.
After leaving the service in late 1957, he returned to Minnesota, decided he didn't like the snow, and quickly migrated to San Francisco.It branched out, and now we've got oldies stations, "new" oldies, and we've got "golden" oldies; they're breaking everything down until there is just a hair's difference in what you're broadcasting. BARD: In spite of all the years you've worked in radio, you'll probably always best be remembered as the host of "The Dating Game." What are some of your fondest memories of that? And the fact is that the thing is kind of legendary now. I visited Howard and we had a little fun on his show not too long ago. I met my wife doing a show in San Francisco called "AM San Francisco." Actually, I met her while I was working for KSFO she came through as Miss America in 1961, I interviewed her and she disappeared from my life, I never saw her again until 1974 or 1975 when we met again on "AM San Francisco." BARD: What brought you back to Magic 61 and San Francisco? It finally worked out where something opened up at Magic 61.LANGE: The best memories are working with the wonderful people who were on the show. I mean, you know you're legendary when you've been satirized by Saturday Night Live and Johnny Carson. BARD: You did not meet your wife on "The Dating Game," though. LANGE: What brought me back actually was a job offer. (Laughs.) There was just nothing opening up in the Bay Area. All my kids are up here, and all of Nancy's kids are up here, and it was just really painful to live down there, for that particular reason. They've made some changes and they're in the process of making some more now. I think they were a little narrow in their selection earlier on. Plus, you don't have to wear makeup and you don't have to shave.I'd listen to them, and I later became close friends with Steve Cannon, and he was inspirational in getting me to come out to San Francisco.He's still working at WCCO (Minneapolis), one of the major radio stations in the Midwest. I loved to listen to Dave's show and his relaxed style. Maybe even Arthur Godfrey, with his personal attitude toward radio and his listeners.Over the years we had, I guess, almost every celebrity who was single, from Michael Jackson to Burt Reynolds to Tom Selleck. So I got to meet all those people I think that was a great thrill, and also the fact that I got to see nine beautiful women everyday. So when the job opened up, we just jumped at it and came up here instantly. The listeners are responding well, the ratings are good. I've never been happier at a radio station actually. You don't have to worry about lighting directors and cameramen or script writers and all that. (Laughs.) AUTHOR'S NOTE: Jim Lange was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006, with the first class to be honored.