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Books on Old Time Radio

Sometimes it just isn't convenient to do all your reading and research online. Here are a number of books that might help out!

On the Air : The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio
by John Dunning
This tome is considered by many today to be the bible of Old Time Radio. Providing information on 1,500 radio shows, this is a worthy successor to his early tome "Tune In Yesterday."




Handbook of Old-Time Radio
by Jon D. Schwartz and Robert C. Reinehr
Weighing in at a hefty 825 pages (in hardback form) is based largely on 12 years of research using, among other sources, the NBC archives at the Library of Congress. It spans time from 1926 (when NBC was incorporated) to 1962.

The Big Broadcast, 1920-1950
by Frank Buxton, Bill Owen, Henry Morgan (introduction) and William Hugh Owen
Not only is this seminal work a compilation of information about the "Golden Age" of radio programs, but it provides a deeper look at how radio shaped the lives and attitudes of generations of Americans.

Radio's Golden Years: The Encyclopedia of Radio Programs 1930-1960
by Vincent Terrace
This text is out of print but you can usually find a copy or two for sale in Amazon's used book store.

Nostalgia Entertainment Sourcebook: The Complete Resource Guide to Classic Movies, Vintage Music, Old Time Radio and Theatre
by Randy Skretvedt and Jordan R. Young
The publisher claims: This exhaustive directory to entertainment of the 1920s, '30s and '40s includes over 1,100 sources for silent movies and B-westerns on home video,78 rpm records, old radio shows, movie memorabilia and animation art, sheet music, fan clubs devoted to vintage entertainers, traditional jazz festivals, big band and nostalgia radio stations, revival cinemas, libraries and museums, and more.

The Laugh Crafters: Comedy Writing in Radio and TV's Golden Age (Vintage Comedy Series)
by Jordan R. Young
Twelve of Hollywood's top comedy writers and speak their minds about the so-called good old days, and recall the outrageous backstage antics of legendary comedians. No one is spared in frank, uncensored and frequently hilarious conversations about the stone age of broadcasting -- the 1930s, '40s and '50s -- when advertising agencies controlled the programs, stars ran amok and writers were treated with profound disrespect, like a necessary evil.

Radio Voices : American Broadcasting, 1922-1952
by Michele Hilmes
An often evocative study of the sociological impact of the Golden Age of radio. Hilmes (Communication Arts/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) notes that the years in which radio was the principal source of American mass entertainment and information have been almost completely forgotten by the public and ignored by academics. She believes that radio had just as much of an impact on the way we live as the frequently studied media of film and television, and her study is an effort to redress this imbalance. Not attempting a complete history, Hilmes has cast the book as a series of interlocking but essentially self-contained essays on such subjects as the radio images of immigrants (Rise of the Goldbergs, etc.), blacks (Amos 'n' Andy), and women (the evolution of daytime programming, etc.). This is intriguing material and Hilmes, an admitted radio buff, appears uniquely suited to present it.

Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming
by Jay Hickerson
Not much is currently known about this book other than it is rather expensive ($60.00 at Amazon).

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