I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2016. The challenge is to read books that you already own.
Raised on Radio – Gerald Nachman
Radio as popular medium in the US enjoyed its classic days from about the mid-Twenties to the end of World War II. This overview for the general reader is breezily written and enjoyable. It covers all genres, from soap operas to comedy to variety shows to cop and robbers.
For readers seeking to improve their pop cultural knowledge, he gives the reasons why these figures were popular: Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Walter Winchell, and Jack Webb. His treatments of Amos n Andy, Bob n Ray, Burns n Allen, and Vic n Sade were very informative to me. His discussions of Fibber McGee n Molly and The Great Gildersleeve (“Leee-roooooy” “Ah, unc, for corn’s sake!”) are informed not only by his own warm memories of these shows but also by his understanding that we post-moderns may not grok these shows.
Any reader into the history of popular entertainment or old time radio will get a great deal out of this book.