Review: The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting

The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting
The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting by George H. Douglas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent and scholarly look at the beginnings of radio as both a broadcasting medium and a cultural medium in America, Douglas’ book is not quite as homey as say Hello Everybody!, but it covers many parts of those formative years that the other book glosses over (just for the nature of the intent of the book). The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting is really centered on the formation of the first radio networks in the twenties, and the steps that had to be taken to get to that point. The book ends with the appearance of Amos ‘n’ Andy on the scene, the much-maligned original situation comedy that was a regular ratings winner the likes of which have never been seen since (40 million listeners every day for 15 minutes). This is a fascinating look at how the medium started, and was reluctantly and even inadvertently commercialized, but yet still managed to bring high culture to masses of Americans who would never be able to attend a proper opera or see a symphony orchestra in person.

If you are a fan of broadcasting, and/or old-time radio in particular, this is yet another book you NEED for your personal library. Highly recommended!

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