The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting


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About the Book

Precisely how and why radio developed as it did is a fascinating story, told with authority in this book. Of interest to both the specialist and the general reader, this history concentrates on the years between 1920 and 1930 in the United States when radio was rapidly growing and changing. It covers all important areas in the development of the radio industry: business, programming, regulation, finance, the manufacturing of radio sets and equipment, the development of technology, the rise of networks, and the flowering of radio as a medium of entertainment and news.

About the Author(s)

George H. Douglas, a retired English professor, has written a number of books about American people and places. He lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

George H. Douglas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001 [1987]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1199-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction vii
1. KDKA 1
2. The Radio Rage 23
3. Up from the Crystal Set 38
4. The Rise of the Radio Announcer 52
5. A Million Sets Are Sold 68
6. The Beckoning Hand of Advertising 81
7. The Wavelength Wars 91
8. The Birth of Radio News 98
9. Sportscasting in the Twenties 113
10. Networks 127
11. The Educational Stations 142
12. Classical Radio Music: The Cultural Windfall 153
13. The Sounds of Popular Music  166
14. The Expanding Broadcast Day 186
15. “Amos ’n’ Andy” 196
16. Radio Reprise 206
Notes 211
Bibliography 215
Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Delightful…informative…detailed…recommended”—Choice
  • “Detailed…myriad subjects are covered extensively and clearly…fascinating…makes this period come alive with his colorful, persuasive writing”—Classic Images
  • “Extremely well detailed…worthwhile…captivating…thoroughly researched…entertaining anecdotes flow in abundance…fun…informative”—Past Times
  • “Lively…exciting…informative…recommended”—Big Reel
  • “Of interest to both the specialist and the general reader. It covers all important areas in the development of the radio industry…fascinating…an excellent job of covering the territory in considerable detail without sacrificing continuity and drama”—DX News
  • “Jam packed with facts and figures…a must have…delves into the era before the ‘Golden Age’ and gives insight as to how that entertainment medium eventually developed”—The Illustrated Press
  • “Meticulously researched…enlightening”—Radio & Electronics World
  • “An excellent source of information about broadcasting in the early 20’s”—Radio Active
  • “Lively…interesting”—The Monitoring Magazine
  • “Engaging…compelling depiction”—Back Stage
  • “Well researched”—SPERDVAC Radiogram
  • “Meticulously researched and contain[s] a wealth of detail”—Mayland Public Radio
  • “Contains everything you wanted to know”—Hello Again
  • “Lively and interesting…makes for good reading”—Popular Communications