You may have grown up in the era when families gathered around their radio to listen to the President address the nation (especially Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt), or possibly listen to your favorite baseball team. Many still remember some of the early radio shows from Amos and Andy and Burns and Allen, The Shadow, Popeye, and even Gunsmoke was first a radio show!
The earliest radio programs of the 1920s were largely unsponsored; radio stations were a service designed to sell radio receivers. By the late 1920s, radio had reached critical mass and saturated the market, necessitating a change in business model. The sponsored musical feature soon became most popular program format. Most early radio sponsorship came in the form of selling the naming rights to the program, as evidenced by such programs as The A&P Gypsies, Champion Spark Plug Hour, The Clicquot Club Eskimos, and King Biscuit Time; commercials as they are known in the modern era were still relatively uncommon and considered intrusive. During the 1930s and 1940s, the leading orchestras were heard often through big band remotes, and NBC’s Monitor continued such remotes well into the 1950s by broadcasting live music from New York City jazz clubs to rural America.
Maybe you remember Kate Smith, or Bob Hope, or even War of the Worlds!
The history of the radio is very much linked to our country’s history. Radios were used to help us through bad economic times, wars, and more. It was a time when the nation shared the same experience: gathered around their radios and listening to the same news and other programming.
We have floor model radios and a new selection of recently acquired table and portable models. Stop in soon and see how beautiful some of these are. And yes, we’ll be watchin’ for ya.