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Archive for January 22nd, 2009

Long Live The All American Five. Or, Recovering a Piece of Radio History

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“Watching” the Radio

Right now, in 2009, radio and “wireless communication” is ubiquitous and part of the landscape.  As such, no one really notices it.  It is a taken for granted reality of everyday life.

aa5_jackbennyIt’s hard for modern people to put themselves in the position of people in the early 1900’s when radio was a new invention.  Imagine, hearing voices and music from across the country, or across the world – without wires.  Instant communications.  You don’t have to wait for the newspaper to find out what was going on. Entertainment?  Sure.  Turn on the radio and hear Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, The Great Gildersleeve, The Inner Sanctum, Sam Spade, The Shadow,  GI Journal, and hundreds more.

It’s always interesting see pictures from the 1930’s and 1940’s of a family sitting in the living room “watching” the radio.  Watching the radio as if someone was talking directly to them – from hundreds or thousands of miles away.  And that is exactlywhat it was – astrounding.

Recovering the Past

I can only imagine that some folks who collect old broadcast radios have some sort of appreciation for this era.  When you get that radio from the 1920’s to 1940’s one can imagine how many families sat in front of that radio listing to music, news, or entertainment.  Perhaps, in 2009, that family has passed away.  But the radio, which you have in your hands right now, just may remember.  On that radio from the 1940’s perhaps they heard the call to buy war bonds.  Or, that was the radio on which they heard the start of the D-Day invasion, or the end of the war.

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Written by frrl

January 22, 2009 at 7:15 am

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