The old-time radio era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Radio, was an era of radio programming in the United States during which radio was the dominant electronic home entertainment medium. It began with the beginning of broadcasting in the early 1920s and lasted until the 1950s. During this period radio was the only broadcast medium, and people regularly tuned into their favourite radio programs, according to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey,82 out of 100 Americans were found to be radio listeners. Since this era, radio programming has shifted to a narrow format of news, talk, sports. It allowed subscribers to eavesdrop on live performances and hear news reports by means of a network of telephone lines. The development of radio eliminated the wires and subscription charges from this concept, on Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden is said to have broadcast the first radio program, consisting of some violin playing and passages from the Bible. The first apparent published reference to the event was made in 1928 by H. P, davis, Vice President of Westinghouse, in a lecture given at Harvard University. In 1932 Fessenden cited the Christmas Eve 1906 broadcast event in a letter he wrote to Vice President S. M, Fessendens wife Helen recounts the broadcast in her book Fessenden, Builder of Tomorrows, eight years after Fessendens death. The issue of whether the 1906 Fessenden broadcast actually happened is discussed in Donna Halpers article In Search of the Truth About Fessenden and also in James ONeals essays. It was not until after the Titanic catastrophe in 1912 that radio for communication came into vogue. Radio was especially important during World War I as it was vital for air, after the war, numerous radio stations were born in the United States and set the standard for later radio programs. The first radio program was broadcast on August 31,1920 on the station 8MK in Detroit, owned by The Detroit News. This was followed in 1920 with the first commercial station in the United States, KDKA. The first regular entertainment programs were broadcast in 1922, and on March 10, Variety carried the front page headline, a highlight of this time was the first Rose Bowl being broadcast on January 1,1923 on the Los Angeles station KHJ. Several radio networks broadcast in the United States, airing programs nationwide and their distribution made the golden age of radio possible. The networks declined in the early 1960s, Mutual and NBC both closed down their operations in the 1980s, while ABC lasted until 2007 and CBS still operates its network as of 2016. Mutual, ABC and NBCs radio assets now reside with Cumulus Medias Westwood One division through numerous mergers, cBSs radio assets are in the process of being integrated with Entercom as of 2017. Mutual was run as a cooperative in which the stations owned the network
Boy learning how to build his own radio circa 1922.
Rehearsal for the World War II radio show You Can't Do Business with Hitler with John Flynn and Virginia Moore. This series of programs, broadcast at least once weekly by more than 790 radio stations in America, was written and produced by the radio section of the Office of War Information (OWI).