Hello, Everybody!: The Dawn of American Radio (Anglais) Relié – 6 octobre 2008
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In "Hello, Everybody!", Anthony Rudel examines the history of radio from Marconi's first transmission in 1895 through the early 1930s. The author provides details about the amateurs who dabbled in radio as a hobby early in the 1900s and cites some little-known pre-1920 experiments in radio transmission.
Rudel examines the rapid growth of radio in the 1920s (even Presidents Harding and Coolidge became avid listeners), with the explosion in the number of radio stations, the formation of the CBS and NBC networks, and station frequency assignments.
The 1920 election returns, widely regarded as the first radio program, are mentioned, and the author talks about early radio programming in areas such as music, entertainment, sports, politics, religion, and agriculture. Rudel discusses some important early stations and important personalities such as Graham McNamee, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Father Coughlin that were heard then.
In Rudel's closing remarks, he states that "radio provided the formidable foundation for all of the electronic mass media that followed". Those who are fans of both radio and history will enjoy this look back at an important chapter in American social history.
"Hello, Everybody" is different. It has the IN DEPTH stories of major radio personalities (mostly performers, but also the "radio quack doctors" and evangelists) in an informal, narrative style. The other books I had read only scratched the surface of these interesting people.
I recommend "Hello, Everybody" as a follow-up to the other old time radio books, or even as an introduction to this fascinating subject.
I would've preferred he had done a more conventional first chapter (detailing the technology or the inventors of radio)and saved Brinkley and his goats for the second chapter after we had been settled in.
Obviously Brinkley was a huge character in the history of radio but it felt so out of place as the first chapter. It felt so off-topic and frankly kind of gross.
The rest of the book was great, a chronological recap of the rise of radio from it's humble origins to the mass communications device it would become. I was struck by three things:
1. How isolated people must've been without radio.
2. How radio was dismissed as a fad similar to how people dismiss websites like Twitter.
3. How there was no broadcast infrastructure before radio. There was newspapers but no reporters or crew to deal with a live broadcast. It made me realize that all the stuff we have today: 24hour cable news, sports broadcasts, show sponsors, the concept of breaking news and the practice listening/watching something at a specific hour M-F all originated from radio.
It is kinda nice to know that even back then people were crazy about getting the news as fast as possible.
It's a great book and highly recommended. It makes you appreciate all the technology we have now compared to back then.
I couldn't help be reminded right away of the Woody Allen movie "Radio Days" with the first chapter of this book when it begins telling the story of Dr. Brinkley and KFKB of Milford, Kansas. At first I was curious where the author was going, but I realized just with the Woody Allen movie that what made radio was not only the shows and the technology, but the characters and stories that came with the medium.
Anthony Rudel does an absolutely masterful job in weaving the story of American radio with technical historical facts, characters that made the industry and perhaps a few tall tales. You begin to realize through the story how Radio really revolutionized the world and how it was the Internet of it's time. Truly a turning point in the history of the entire world (more so than television if you ask me).
This is a fantastic book and I couldn't recommend it enough for someone interested in history of communication and entertainment, or even a gift for a grandparent. I loved every second of reading this book.