Talking Radio: An Oral History of American Radio in the Television Age

Talking Radio: An Oral History of American Radio in the Television Age

Talking Radio: An Oral History of American Radio in the Television Age

Talking Radio: An Oral History of American Radio in the Television Age

Synopsis

Includes interviews with such well known personalities as Walter Cronkite, Dick Clark, Steve Allen, Art Linkletter, Paul Harvey, Howard K. Smith, Ed McMahon, Bruce Morrow, as well as more than fifty other individuals who were or continue to be actively involved in radio.

Excerpt

This is not a history per se of radio--at least not in the traditional sense. It does not aim to be conventionally comprehensive, but it does seek to be inclusive in its own chatty way. The reader should regard it as a well-informed discussion about post-World War II radio by the people who were instrumental in making radio history from around 1945 until the present (albeit, with occasional pre-war flashbacks for the sake of illustration and comparison). What takes place between these covers amounts to an exchange of perspectives concerning the role that radio has played in our society and culture since the arrival of television displaced it as the object of our attention in those long-ago evenings of the recently bygone millennium.

Why focus just on the second phase of radio's existence? The medium's golden age (ca. 1920-1950) has been the subject of numerous excellent retrospectives. There is an abundance of radio "heyday" studies--both serious and sentimental. For those interested in works mostly of the former kind, authors like Michele Hilmes, Gerald Nachman, Christopher Sterling, Leonard Maltin, John Kittross, Susan Douglas, Robert Hilliard (with me), Erik Barnouw, Tom Lewis, John Dunning, and J. Fred MacDonald do a very thorough and commendable job. So the ground has been covered well enough without my attempting to cover it again in this volume. (Incidentally, most of those authors just cited are contributors to this book.)

Talking Radio is an informal and intimate post-heyday review of radio--wherein nearly one hundred voices engage in a thoughtful and often provocative dialogue. Most of the participants in this colloquy . . .

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