"Old Radio" thread

"Old Radio" thread

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 7th, 2006, 12:14 am #1

This is the "Old Radio" thread that was down below and is now up here:

Yay! April 5 2006, 8:00 PM SHADOW (no login)

Good, I like it. It reminds me of an old radio show...I had a horse by that name a long time ago, and I spend a lot of time lurking these days...so it sort of fits, you know?\

Old radio April 5 2006, 8:11 PM Nat (Login Nafana)

I didn't think you were old enough to remember "The Shadow". I just got in on the end of the golden age of radio as TV was taking over in the 1950s. In fact, for a while many shows were broadcast on both radio and TV.

The shadow would say something like "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The SHADOW knows! Hah-ha-ha-ha-ha!"\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 8:30 PM peter (no login)

I remember listining to Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, and the greatest of them all The Lone Ranger! I would rush the radio every evening to hear what happened next.\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 8:40 PM Nat (Login Nafana)

Gee and I thought I was the only old fart here. Yeah I loved Fibber McGee. You know most of those shows eventually went to TV but they didn't seem as funny on TV. It was more fun to imagine all the junk falling out of Fibber's closet.\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 9:47 PM peter (no login

yep....one of things I looked forward to hearing!\

I'm Not Really April 6 2006, 8:20 AM SHADOW (no login)

I didn't get to hear the original broadcasts of these shows because I was nowhere to be found in the fifties. I think they must have been recordings of the originals rebroadcast for us on NPR and AFR, or something like that. \\
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 7th, 2006, 2:19 am #2

I'm sure no-one here cares a toot about this but me- but I'm utterly fascinated with the 'wild west' period of radio- the few years before 1923 when there was little regulation and almost anybody who wanted a radio station could set up a little 10 or 25 watt station in their store or home and start broadcasting- usually just a hour or two a day. Hundreds got licenses and a thousand more didn't even bother- they just got a little transmitters and went on the air. Sometimes things got pretty testy if one station thought another was encroaching on their frequency and sabotage was not too uncommon.

All this came to an end May 15, 1923 when the Dept of Commerce (who issued licenses in those days, before the FCC was created) set up new frequencies and strict new rules as radio became a business rather than a hobby. Soon the little guys were banished completely and the big boys like KDKA, WBZ, WOR, WJZ took over. I often wish I had been around in the 1920s to experience this exciting new era. In fact, I think the 1920s is the most fascinating decade there has ever been for so many reasons.
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Joined: October 23rd, 2005, 3:12 pm

April 7th, 2006, 11:11 am #3

Something interesting in program format is that there was always a definite good and bad guy. It is also interesting that the hero always had to hide his identity.

I dont have an anger problem. I have an idiot problem.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 7th, 2006, 10:17 pm #4

I'm sure no-one here cares a toot about this but me- but I'm utterly fascinated with the 'wild west' period of radio- the few years before 1923 when there was little regulation and almost anybody who wanted a radio station could set up a little 10 or 25 watt station in their store or home and start broadcasting- usually just a hour or two a day. Hundreds got licenses and a thousand more didn't even bother- they just got a little transmitters and went on the air. Sometimes things got pretty testy if one station thought another was encroaching on their frequency and sabotage was not too uncommon.

All this came to an end May 15, 1923 when the Dept of Commerce (who issued licenses in those days, before the FCC was created) set up new frequencies and strict new rules as radio became a business rather than a hobby. Soon the little guys were banished completely and the big boys like KDKA, WBZ, WOR, WJZ took over. I often wish I had been around in the 1920s to experience this exciting new era. In fact, I think the 1920s is the most fascinating decade there has ever been for so many reasons.
Since my post about 1920s radio generated such massive interest and response I know you are clamoring for more so I'm going to tell you about my unfulfilled boyhood dream.

No, it wasn't to be a fireman or cowboy or famous pitcher in the big league. It was to have my own radio station. So while other boys were out playing ball I was building radios and "DXing" (listening for distant stations) and wishing I had my own. Eventually I built a 10 watt transmitter (quite illegally) and for a time became rather popular in the neighborhood for my entertaining commercial free broadcasts.

Then in high school a I met another guy who share my aspirations, and for a time it look like our dream might actually materialize when the owner of a local music store seemed mildly interested in financing our idea of building a small FM station. Unfortunately once we got down the nitty-gritty we found the cost and difficulties were more than we had antisipated and our great dream died.

So I had to settle for working for other people's radio and TV stations instead with the idea of saving enough along the way to someday fulfill my goal of having my own.

Well it never happen, and I guess it was for the best because in time I realized I lacked the business skills that would be necessary to make it successful.

This boring little story is to help you understand why I wish I'd been around when it was much easier and cheaper to build a station. Many or those little 10 watt stations that started in broom closets are now worth millions today. But oh well. I have Potpourri. What could be better than that?
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Bob
Bob

April 9th, 2006, 5:09 pm #5

Nat, you are lucky to have had that dream and even had the modicum of success you had in fulfilling it. So many people today don't seem to have dreams . . . or maybe its just to "get rich", without any real accomplishment behind it but money and fame.

I also miss the times when it was easier for "the little guy" (or gal) to make it big. Today, everything is so specialized, it takes so long to become proficient, and one gets trained into a specific skill set and stays there. Plus, the small companies got swallowing up by huge corporations that dominate most markets. So, it becomes exceeding difficult for a person with a dream to make it a reality. The closest thing tday to fulfilling a dream is probably some aspect of entertainment -- if you can be that lucky young actor or singer to break through the pack of aspiring performers. But, even then, you hear them say that the business end of things . . the corporate influence . . . dominates and dictates what they do. Everything is sales and money.

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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 9th, 2006, 5:55 pm #6

Yes, it's a different world now. When I was a kid electronics was a great hobby. It was easy to build things, modify things, experiment and learn how things worked. But today all circuitry is sealed up in tiny chips and you can't hardly do anything will modern electronic stuff. I still miss those cute little glowing glass tubes.

As for radio it's a totally different business now. Nearly all stations now are owned by hugh conglomerates like Clear-Channel and Infinity and the little guy just can't compete. Plus there are too many stations and too much competition from all kinds of things like Ipods, satellite-radio and podcasts now.
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Bob
Bob

April 10th, 2006, 1:06 am #7

This is the "Old Radio" thread that was down below and is now up here:

Yay! April 5 2006, 8:00 PM SHADOW (no login)

Good, I like it. It reminds me of an old radio show...I had a horse by that name a long time ago, and I spend a lot of time lurking these days...so it sort of fits, you know?\

Old radio April 5 2006, 8:11 PM Nat (Login Nafana)

I didn't think you were old enough to remember "The Shadow". I just got in on the end of the golden age of radio as TV was taking over in the 1950s. In fact, for a while many shows were broadcast on both radio and TV.

The shadow would say something like "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The SHADOW knows! Hah-ha-ha-ha-ha!"\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 8:30 PM peter (no login)

I remember listining to Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, and the greatest of them all The Lone Ranger! I would rush the radio every evening to hear what happened next.\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 8:40 PM Nat (Login Nafana)

Gee and I thought I was the only old fart here. Yeah I loved Fibber McGee. You know most of those shows eventually went to TV but they didn't seem as funny on TV. It was more fun to imagine all the junk falling out of Fibber's closet.\

Re: Old radio April 5 2006, 9:47 PM peter (no login

yep....one of things I looked forward to hearing!\

I'm Not Really April 6 2006, 8:20 AM SHADOW (no login)

I didn't get to hear the original broadcasts of these shows because I was nowhere to be found in the fifties. I think they must have been recordings of the originals rebroadcast for us on NPR and AFR, or something like that. \\
Nat, I came across this info. by accident and thought you might enjoy reading it and seeing the pics:

http://www.oldradio.com/archives/statio ... wlwpix.htm
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 10th, 2006, 1:31 am #8

Thanks Bob. Yes I'm familiar with Barry's site. I'm also on his mailing list for current broadcasters. But he does have some new WLW photos I haven't seen before.

That place is like a holy place for engineers and they come from all over the country to visit and see the old 500-KW monster. It's still there although it hasn't been used since 1938. Gosh that's 68 years! Everything is getting so old.
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Bob
Bob

April 10th, 2006, 11:48 pm #9

The one thing that might match the size of that monster transmitter is the egos of the on-air personalities. I seldom listen much to them because I just can't stand to hear people who think their own sheet doesn't stink! They can really talk down to the callers.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 11th, 2006, 12:41 am #10

I haven't listen to WLW in years. Probably not since moving to FL. There is so many Cuban and Caribbean stations that come in down here that it makes listening to distance stuff a pain. Ofcourse, now a days most stations just run syndicated programs so you hear the same things everywhere.

And WLW's "glory days" are long over. These days they are just another 50-KW station like dozens of others.
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