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Great War was over. It was over over there and the joyful America rolled up its rugs and put in fresh needles and let music fill the air. The older killers were all wound up and while Sis and I both was running in the pile a dad and a kid brother were messing around with oils and cat's whiskers. One list was an astonishing and magic making toys. What. Was. That plane. It was just like that. Somebody put a phonograph on next to a microphone junket a few discs and made a match. It
hasn't ended yet. There are no live. In 1920 virtually overnight radio came off the hobby table and into the parlor.
Economics. Got taken up particularly well I had a cock. There had been other concerts for looks and rather of the weeks we broadcasted Harding comics election returns and an impact that echoed all over the country. Rockhampton it was to affect American life in a way nothing had ever done before. A hundred other has happened within a couple of years. The Dempsey Carpentier direct from Jersey City first remote from a church. The first talk by a national figure. The first live orchestra the first comedian. I want but you don't I don't my king for a living you got you got you got Mary did no doubt did that. But as far as the record industry was concerned radio could go to blazes.
The vast amount of the music beginning to vibrate the ether was still getting to the microphone from a big big problem. It was in that office and filled with static and who'd want to neglect the handsome photograph councils and homes throughout the nation. Records when loud and clear when you wanted records were popularity itself. Records what concert. Records were money one thousand of the recording of best unless he was the industry's first million selling. And then nine hundred twenty one record sales hit well over 100 million things look great. The 20s were getting ready to roar.
But it was radio that was coming on like an army of lions. W. W. J. Troy. Frank wake up. Sure there were 314 radio stations and they are 19 or 20 to creating such a crush that it required a national radio conference and the establishment of what later became the Federal Communications Commission. Three hundred fourteen stations in 1922 by 1924 there were fourteen hundred from ten us from living rooms from converted garages and rug draped warehouses. The great stars began to take their place in front of the funny cans and boxes. I needed a new job. Not a you just get a late afternoon paper to read what Congress and the audience and I left in on the receiving end. Did those boxes sell said radio broadcast in its first issue May 19 20 to the rate of increase in the number of people
who spend at least part of their evening in listening is almost uncomprehensible. It seems quite likely that before the market for receiving apparatus becomes approximately saturated there will be at least 5 million receiving sets in this country not even the dedicated radio not in his wildest imaginings could ever conceive that it would be over 300 million. Oh it was a grand time as the radio spoke. So did the speech. Even the skirts went up stock went up and record sales went down. Down and Out. And to make matters worse along came Talking Pictures bang that radio my name was. The recording genius who started it all snorted and came up with a pronouncement said Mr Edison
Americans require a restful quiet in the moving picture theater. And for them talking on the screen destroys the illusion. Devices for projecting the film actor's speech can be perfected but the idea is not practical. The summaries and the old the prologue was no longer proving very practical even in 1926. The National Broadcasting Company started the first nationwide network. You household names were being born in Luton cross Graham McNamee the happiness boys Billy Jones and then any hand. Right the way our own sponsors finding a new advertising medium that sold beyond their dreams. If at the time there were sports. Political conventions. I had
America. We are back. And named the next president of the United States. Even culture. CBS was organized. Lindy crossed the Atlantic. America lives. But one Thursday in 1929 came a very bland General Electric General. Read by the following Tuesday the market crumbled. The great hoo ray was over. The 1933 phonograph record sales had sunk to five and a half million and 95 percent drop. People began writing a big Where is for the record
industry and some were writing them for the whole nation. Let me live. That's the only thing we have. There was a lot of consolation in the old family radio now. If the depression heard it wasn't only when you left you wouldn't have said that of my writers were here. When a man walks into a hotel and requests a room on the 19th floor that right there for sleeping on him. I thought I would. Yes sure. How did he know Minute Maid.
They would talk is as familiar to the air as the voice of daddy. I've got a problem with the world when I know it's. Going to get me going around Hollywood may not be I've got a bug and. Now called him Barney and it's the news. Good evening everybody. I've come to Washington and then there was drama of every conceivable kind. Out of the many friends away boy we present just playing the barber of you. Mean the go bag. I'm.
A fiery horse with the speed of light a cloud of dust and a hearty how you want to hurt me. Let's maybe when you're alone and use nice is to understand that you there's a six in ten euros or so crowded around the big and little speakers radio who discovered the Wheaties generations back. And I think. Oh OK.
It does point to a funny thing happened to the rocket industry on the way to the south. Those sales that hit bottom after all. And they began to go up again. The nation was recovering and it seemed that the great radio windscreen impact was stimulating a desire for even more entertainment. People couldn't get enough of their favorites. And it appeared to be new. And this was the beginning of a mutual aid society that grew and grew
and is still going strong. Radio stars became motion picture stars and many became recording with the introduction of the 35 cent disc the latest hits were in reach of just about everyone. Then came the inexpensive record player an electric pickup which could be hooked into any radio big or small. It happened almost all at once. The era of the big bands was upon us. Many splendid jukebox appeared in every nook and cranny in that blooming monster alone thumped up 13 million records a year. Oh it was a two way street. Well the record business was fueled by the voracious
pop appetite drummed up by radio's hit parade radio turn more and more to records to give young America the music it wanted to hear. When I hear your name the disc jockey was. In recordings greatest threat radio revolution became a star salesman and promoter. America was dancing the Lindy Hop loving to young Sinatra and Helen Forrest. Laughing at Fanny Brice's juvenile alter ego. Laughs interesting. What kind of she was can you make out of banana skin like me.
Edgar Bergen is wooden one for your liking. Ever thought of that I could be in prison there now we're going to be a primary I guess. Europe was burning. In about two million. He would have to break out in the in Ireland during the war. America instituted the draft to hold up defense production. Well the radio record partnership had its own squabble with composers and authors and later musicians for a while. Listeners had to be content with old chestnuts. They do read a lot of heat a lot and on a lot of the sounds of what James who zippered Trillo president of the Musicians Union had ruled was not a musical instrument. THE POET. The
but but this was after only a small scrap. It was only weeks after the s Gap Band was settled that we were exploded into the battle that was supposed to and the 60 million Americans listen when Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the United States on December 8th 1941. Yesterday 7 1941 a date which will it make. This is your bream headquarters allied expeditionary correspondence from the major networks were soon everywhere in the world on the front lines and in the air figuratively and literally. I am a Ahmadi do not even get on the bob Camp Pendleton Marine Base hope to tell you all you Leatherneck to us perhaps that because your girl want your Squeezer if you've got a vacancy down to your BS or Bob Hope was
keeping them alive back home and over there in on the turntables from El Paso to America's disc jockeys in khaki and in mufti played music that range from light hearted parody to stow would sentiment thanking Romney. Oh. Boy. Leon. Harris American radio covered the globe and it was over. And you know exciting and the Beautiful. You live. In America went back to the pursuit of what had been missing most. Things to buy technology galloped. And while radio was looking over its
shoulder at the iconic scope tube the record industry went through the Battle of the speeds which would have beat 33 or 45. Both were unbreakable both provided much higher fidelity and more grew for a buck. Both won the 78 was finished on singles became 45 singles and the 33 days took over the long haired market plus all the albums including pop the innovation of quality recording on tape brought a flood of new record labels. One thing was certain. Sound matters level. Has the hi fi bug began to spread over the country. Radio would respond with FM. Radio personalities were still being introduced.
The reason I want to find out is because if you're not one of nine million people calling up Coincidently I just found out the switchboard has been clogged and running a clean new concepts of drama. But it was time for another revolution. TV began broadcasting and America sat there mesmerized giggling nibbling and passionately in love. The prophets of doom spoke again. They predicted the same fate for radio in the 50 is they had for records 20 years before and for a while it looked like it was so little broadcast they got a present. That big show big shows disappeared with the big radio who's ever here and your husband. Like your amorous. Unpredictable. Bankhead. Will.
Hear it in 1951. The last TV holdouts bent their ears to the last of the radio melodramas to become the first of the TV dramas. Are you not man. But there was a place for radio in America after all. There were roadblocks set up just outside radio could reach out to the people no matter where they were instructed with the logic. Who would you talk to Bill. We see music you'll good talk a message from a sponsor. And I've been kicking in places TV just couldn't or certainly at what. The record field Stereophile out high five. With the advent of the studio record.
It was FM stereo too. Today the production of radios has reached a spectacular an all time high. From the tiniest of transistors to the bedside clock. To the most awesome of High Fidelity installation. An average of four radio sets for every household in America. There are new voices you critics and above all as the man said when he put another Nicco in. Will. Today the record industry is turning out million selling discs to beat any day 7000 new singles and 4000 new album releases every year. Records yes but also on tape. And on the remarkable new carpet.
And they are reaching the public right there at home in cars at the beach and on the air. Whatever the ups and downs they've been good years. Frantic years exciting years for both of us no matter what the past or what Rocky Roads we still have to roll on. Be sentimental friends. They are playing our song. This is the national educational radio network.
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RIAA's "Fifty Years of Scheduled Broadcasting"
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “RIAA's "Fifty Years of Scheduled Broadcasting",” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
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APA: RIAA's "Fifty Years of Scheduled Broadcasting". Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from