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Radio History


''Radio Here and Abroad'' (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

During the early days of radio, as in the early days of the internet, there was much scrambling done all around in order to figure out a way to make the technology profitable. When this article was on the newsstand the pioneers of radio were getting closer to achieving this goal but they were not there yet. In Europe, by contrast, the concept of commercial radio was held askance by many; some nations barred all ads from "the invisible wave", while others preferred that commercials only be heard during certain hours of the day.

"Educational broadcasting is growing in popularity in Europe and is being extended into the afternoon school hours."

A good deal of column space explains how the Soviet Union used radio.

Read about the radio program that was produced by the WPA writers and actors branch in order to celebrate American diversity; click here.

 

Cecil B. DeMille Tries his Hand at Radio (Pic Magazine, 1941)

"At the age of 63, after 44 years in show business, and ten years as director of the Lux Radio Theater, Cecil B. De Mille is still producing. He can't stop and he probably never will. He is first, last and all the time a showman. The show business is in his blood, and whether he is on a set or taking his leisure at home, his heart and mind are in the theater. He loves to have people around him so that he can play a part, for consciously or unconsciously, he is always acting... C.B.'s father was an actor and playwright, and later a partner of David Belasco. His mother was an actress, and later a very successful play agent."

 

Propaganda Radio (Direction Magazine, 1941)

This magazine article first appeared on American newsstands during February of 1941; at that time the U.S. was ten months away from even considering that W.W. II was an American cause worthy of Yankee blood and treasure; yet, the journalist who penned the attached column believed that American radio audiences were steadily fed programming designed to win them over to the interventionist corner. He believed that it was rare for isolationists to ever be granted time before the microphones and quite common for newscasters to linger a bit longer on any news item that listed the hardships in France and Britain. Objectivity was also missing in matters involving the broadcasting of popular song:

The morning after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt stood before the microphones in the well of the U.S. Capitol and became the first president to ever broadcast a declaration of war; CLICK HERE to hear about the reactions of the American public during his broadcast...

 

Christian Radio Broadcasting Begins in Earnest (Current Opinion, 1925)

Believing that vast numbers of broadcast-clergy can only damage the credibility of the church in the long-run, this article was written which concerned the personal quest of one observant Christian who wished to see that the amount Christian programming be reduced. The author pointed out that by 1925

"One out of every fourteen broadcasting stations in the United States is today owned and operated by a church or under a church's direction..."

Click here to read about the Christian broadcasts of Oral Roberts...

 

A Monopoly on Radio Talent? (Pic Magazine, 1941)

This article will cue you in to a 1941 dust-up between the FCC and the biggest radio broadcasters in America.

Apparently CBS, NBC and the Mutual Broadcasting System were in cahoots, united behind a scheme to fix the prices they had to cough-up in order to pay all the various assorted musicians and acting talents they needed to hire if they were to attract their radio audiences. The feds got wind of the plan and smelled a rat:

"The big radio networks are currently worried by the Federal Communication Commission's accusation that they are talent monopolists, part of the FCC's blanket charge that the radio chains constitute a trust within the broadcasting industry..."

 

The Timeless Comedy of Bob and Ray (Quick Magazine, 1952)

A single page from the petite pages of the short-lived magazine QUICK, heralding the arrival of the Bob and Ray radio show:

"Two young fugatives from from a Boston radio station (W.H.D.H.) ,Bob Elliott (b. 1923) and Ray Goulding (1922 1990) were proving that radio - and some 15 million listeners - could take anything. In exchange for lampooning radio's most sacred cows - soap operas and commercials - Bob and Ray now have four separate radio shows (two on NBC's network; two on NBC's New York station), were on the air five days a week..."

Click here for a related film clip

 


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