Crazyhorse beat me to the LA Times story. A few weeks ago I heard the hard G from an (LA-based) announcer on an old-time radio rerun. And I was recently watching an old Perry Mason program where a rich tycoon uses it. So I think it was not uncommon until the early 1960s.
I have also read that Los was a nickname for the city before LA became universal, but I haven’t yet found much evidence of that.
When I hear it with a hard G, I remember a sports announcer in the 1990s who intentionally used it as an unusual pronunciation. I want to say it was Van Earl Wright, who used to do the sports updates on CNN Headline News, but it might’ve been someone on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
Some of the Warner Bros cartoon characters voiced by Mel Blanc used the funny pronunciation, but in a context that indicated it was an affectation of those villian characters, or the hero (usually Bugs) mocking their pronunciation.
How does Arnie say it? In standard German it would have a hard “G”. Incidentally, I once saw Brecht’s “Happy End” (which takes place in Chicago) at the Edinburgh festival and the British actors consistently pronounced Chicago with the hard “CH” sound (of church). Very disconcerting. But it does remind you that that part of the midwest was originally settled by French.
I am a big fan of old time radio (OTR) and the annoucers on the shows almost without exception pronounce the city “an-GAH-leez.” Some even do the double hard “g” with “ang-GAH-leez”
I had a thread on this years and years ago.
Oddly enough the actors in the OTR shows say the city with the soft “G” it’s only the announcers at the end that say it with the hard “G”.
Such as the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show has been transcribed for broadcasting at a later time zone at studios in KHJ Los “an-GAH-leez”
I like the way they say lees with the half s and half z sound.
I’ve heard that pronounciation from announcers on almost all OTR shows, but as I said, only by the announcers. The radio actors say it with the soft “G” so I was thinking there may have been some network standard about pronouncing the name of the city. You know like how newspapers have ways of writing things.
This topic reminds me of my introduction to the concept that there are differing pronunciations. Frank Black’s song Los Angeles mentions it. Listening closely, he seems to consistently use a hard G except for one instance where he intentionally uses an exaggerated soft one (for the four lines starting at 1:44).
I, too, listen to a lot of OTR and there are many, many shows where the actors use the hard G. It’s on the old Dragnet radio shows, sometimes on the variety shows (Bing Crosby, George Burns, etc.), Mike Waring (The Falcon), Dangerous Assignment, and many others. It seems that I hear it mostly in the 1940s-50s and early 60s programs. But that might be biased by the fact that radio’s heyday was 40s-50s before TV was a widely-owned household item.
I just heard a show today on YesterdayUSA.com. Dangerous Assignment (lead character Steve Mitchell played by Brian Donlevy) where one character mentions Los Angeles with a hard G to Mitchell and the latter corrects his pronunciation, saying that the Chamber of Commerce officially voted to go with the soft G.
I don’t know if this is a statement of fact, or something the writers just threw in, but I did find it was interesting to be sure.
But is he referring to the one in south California? Because, you know, they’ve got one in South Patagonia.
Regarding the one in California, Frank uses the Loss ANgle-iss pronunciation in Ole Mulholland, where he paraphrases William Mulholland’s comments on the LA Aqueduct. Who knows whether Mulholland himself pronounced it that way though.