Radio Programming Dominates Home Leisure in the US (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: For two “golden” decades, radio broadcasts of music, comedy, drama, news, and sports pervaded Americans’ daily lives.
Summary of Event
The inauguration of radio networking and broadcasting after 1926 and the increasing sale of air time for advertisements by the close of the 1920’s further opened the door for the radio industry’s exploration of entertainments capable of attracting and holding mass audiences. The remarkable profits earned from such efforts were a powerful underpinning to radio’s phenomenally successful insertion of its messages, programs, and personalities into American life. Radio held sway as the reigning entertainment medium until the 1950’s, when its regency was in some respects usurped by the dissemination and public embrace of television.
The “Golden Age” of radio was a result of outside events as much as it was a bonus from the scramble for profits. The onslaught of the Great Depression, the most massive peacetime crisis in American history, forced the leisure of tens of millions of ordinary folk, through economic necessity, back into the home. The manifestations of the Depression, including unemployment, debt, evaporating profits, a collapse of effective government, folk migrations, labor strife, and, by the late 1930’s, the awareness of a distintegrating international order and of impending war, created a popular hunger for morale boosting,...
(The entire section is 2047 words.)
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