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Harold T. "Hal" Gibney (August 26, 1911–June 5, 1973)[1][2] was NBC's West Coast announcer for more than 20 years.[3]

Hal Gibney
Born
Harold T. Gibney

(1911-08-26)August 26, 1911
DiedJune 5, 1973(1973-06-05) (aged 61)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materSan Mateo Junior College
OccupationAnnouncer
Years active1935–1970
Spouse(s)
Gay Williams
(m. 1935; div. 1941)

Juanita Fields (m. 1946-?)
Marion L. McKinstry
(m. 1955; div. 1970)

Julie Pratt-Tripp
(m. 1971; his death 1973)

He was best known as the announcer for The Six Shooter and The Mickey Mouse Club. He was also known as the announcer for the radio and the original television version of Dragnet.[3]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Gibney was born Harold T. Gibney on August 26, 1911. He was born in Woodland, California to parents William H. Gibney, (died August 15, 1933) and Hattie V. Gibney, (1888–1970). In 1920, the family moved to Alameda, California. Gibney graduated from San Mateo Junior College in 1930.[4]

CareerEdit

RadioEdit

Early radio careerEdit

Gibney first started out in radio at KTAB, (now KSFO) in San Francisco, California. He was an announcer there. In March 1935, Gibney relocated to Portland, Oregon where he joined the announcing staff of both Portland-based radio stations KGW, (now KPOJ) and KEX. Gibney's first noted announcing job was the KEX broadcast of the homecoming of the Oregon National Guard from Fort Lewis on June 25, 1935. He was joined by Van Fleming and Larry Keating.[4]

Gibney began announcing on a weekly basis for the first time with the first broadcast of the radio series Safeway Circus Court on November 2, 1935. The series came on KGW. He would stay with the program until he left KGW in January 1936. Safeway finished its run on February 8, 1936.[4]

Move to NBCEdit

On January 16, 1936, Gibney left KGW, KEX and Portland altogether and went back to San Francisco where he joined NBC-affiliated station KPO, (now KNBR). His first major job there was part of the cast of NBC Salutes KGW, a tribute to KGW in which many former and, at that time present, cast members celebrated KGW's unveiling of a 625-foot tower. Former employees at the celebration included Keating, Fleming, Helen Kleeb, Archie Presby, Jane Burns, Harry Anderson, Larry Allen, Mary Alice Moynihan, Glen Hurlbert & Dave Drummond. The special aired on August 14, 1937.[4]

Gibney left KPO in July 1939 and began working for NBC Radio and Radio City in Hollywood. At that point, Gibney became the official West Coast announcer for NBC.

Within a year, Gibney could be heard announcing the Red Network's Hawthorne House and The Standard Symphony. He was also heard on the Blue Network's Speaking of Glamour and Capt. Flagg & Sgt. Quirt which both premiered in 1941.

Jimmie Fidler from Hollywood, a gossip columnist program, was Gibney's last announcing gig before he enlisted in the military.

Career during militaryEdit

On July 8, 1942, Gibney enlisted in the military. He became a private in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Even while in the service, Gibney continued his career as an announcer on the radio broadcasting his shows from the West Coast Training Center in Santa Ana, California. All of the show's he produced during his time in the military also included an all-army cast.

Those shows were Uncle Sam Presents for the Red Network, Soldiers with Wings for CBS, Wings Over the West Coast for Mutual, and Hello Mom also for NBC.

On January 28, 1946, Gibney was discharged from the Radio Production Unit of the Army Air Corps and returned to Hollywood.[4]

Career after militaryEdit

Upon his return to Hollywood, Gibney immediately got back to work. He went back to Jimmie Fidler and also began announcing for two new shows; Names of Tomorrow Finding Stardom Today in 1947 and the single season The Dorothy Lamour Show in 1948.

DragnetEdit

On June 3, 1949; NBC Radio would premiere one of the most memorable radio programs of all time and the program was called Dragnet. This would be the start of a whole franchise which included two films and four television series. The series starred Jack Webb as Detective Sgt. Joe Friday and Barton Yarborough as Sgt. Ben Romero. Gibney shared announcing responsibilities along with George Fenneman.[5][6]

Gibney, alternating with Fenneman, was known for announcing the opening of the show which went as so:

Gibney stayed with the show until its end on the radio on February 26, 1957.

Other showsEdit

Gibney served as the announcer for The Penny Singleton Show. The series premiered as a summer replacement series on May 30, 1950 on NBC radio. The series starred Penny Singleton, Jim Backus and Gale Gordon. He was also the announcer for the entire two-year run of Tales of the Texas Rangers starring Joel McCrea.

On September 23, 1953, Gibney began announcing another memorable radio program; The Six Shooter.[8] The series starred James Stewart as Britt Ponset, a drifting cowboy during the final years of the wild west.[9]

A typical opening that Gibney would announce would be the following:

Gibney was later replaced as announcer by John Wald beginning in January 1954. The series ended June 25 of that year.[10]

TelevisionEdit

Gibney first announced for a television show when the successful radio show Dragnet, (which Gibney also announced), premiered on NBC Television. The television version premiered on January 3, 1952. Gibney first announced for the show starting with the third episode.

Also starting with episode 3, each show ended with epilogue of sorts, narrated by Gibney, in which it was told the fate of the criminal and parties involved with the crime mentioned in any given episode. An example of this can be found below:

Gibney stayed with the show until its end on August 23, 1959.

Gibney also was the announcer for the original run of The Mickey Mouse Club on ABC from 1955–1959.

Later yearsEdit

On July 7, 1954, Gibney bought radio station KPAY in Chico, California. 17 months later, on December 28, 1955, a transfer of power was put into effect for $87,750. Power was transferred from Gibney to Jack O. Gross.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

MarriagesEdit

  • Gay W. Williams (April 26, 1935–December 14, 1941)
  • Juanita V. Fields (July 28, 1946-?)
  • Marion L. McKinstry (April 16, 1955–1970)
  • Julie Pratt-Tripp (August 21, 1971–June 5, 1973)

DeathEdit

Gibney died on June 5, 1973 in Santa Barbara, California. He was 61 years old. He was survived by wife Julie. He had no children.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hal Gibney on IMDb
  2. ^ "Hal Gibney, announcer – actor". Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Today in Broadcast History .. June 5". www.pugetsoundradio.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Hal Gibney: "Dragnet " Announcer, Newscaster & Host". archive.pdxradio.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Hal Gibney". soterradamente.weebly.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "Dragnet". www.myoldradio.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Dunning, John (March 14, 1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. p. 210. ISBN 0199840458. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "Copyright 2015, The Six Shooter". www.radiogoldindex.com. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Reinehr, Robert C. and Swartz, Jon D. (2008). The A to Z of Old-Time Radio. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-7616-3. P. 236.
  10. ^ French, Jack; Siegel, David (October 31, 2013). Radio Rides the Range: A Reference Guide to Western Drama on the Air, 1929-1967. McFarland. p. 168. ISBN 0786471468. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  11. ^ Hayde, Michael (2001). My Name's Friday: The Unauthorized But True Story of Dragnet and the Films of Jack Webb. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 1581821905. Retrieved March 2, 2015.

External linksEdit