CBS (ended 1967)
|Most, if not all, the famous radio "bloopers," such as the Harry Von Zell-"Hoobert Heever" thing, and the famous Uncle Don and Sonny Tufts bloopers, are also re-creations. When I was in high school, our local public library had a whole bunch of those "I Can Hear It Now" records available for listening and rental. I imagine the one(s) with Daly's "announcements" were among them.|
|Regarding OTR (old-time radio), there are thousands of comedy, drama and other shows available from the old days, but newscasts are a different story. Just like the early days of television, who thought of recording them? It's the same with sports broadcasts ... the famous Russ Hodges "the Giants win the pennant" broadcast was a fluke recording -- a Dodger fan taped it to hear Hodges, the Giants announcer, whine about losing.|ymike673 wrote: On the same radio show where I heard John Daly's announcement of FDR's death there was also a description of FDR's funeral by Arthur Godfrey. I wonder if that was faked also.
The Godfrey broadcast was genuine. He was a staff announcer at CBS's Washington DC affiliate for about 10 years, and the grim duty fell on him to do the FDR Funeral procession. Daly would have covered it, but the events in Europe were more pressing in Mid-April 1945. Godfrey's report was carried live by the entire chain, and was so impressive that CBS big shots promoted him to network personality soon after.
Another big problem with the world of early radio history is what qualifies as the "First" broadcast. For many years it was well established that Pittsburgh's KDKA was the first broadcasting station, and their 1920 election night coverage recording was the earliest extant sample of an American transmission. In it, amidst the din of staticky pops and sizzles, the announcer reads off a bulletin that assures Warren Harding had won over Governor Cox for the presidency, and that if you could hear this, please send a card to us at KDKA, ..." Well it turns out it's as phony baloney as the Murrow-Friendly project. In fact there are two different versions of the bogus broadcast, made by KDKA themselves, to help promote their historical status as the number 1 station.
But for all their glory lust, they are truly a bunch of liars and their efforts have screwed up the fascinating story of U.S. radio for a very long time. In truth KDKA was nowhere near the first broadcasting station, the electronics pioneer and later inventor of sound-on-film, (Talkies), Dr. Lee DeForest was broadcasting voices and phonograph records as early as 1907. He even dabbled in news. He reported the outcome of the 1916 presidential contest as having Hughes the winner! KDKA can't even claim to be the first SUCCESSFUL radio station, because one Charles Herold, in San Jose, began his broadcasting in 1909. Through the years his little project went through many changes but survived to become what is now KCBS. The only bona fide "First" that KDKA has is that they were the first in line to receive a Commerce Department commercial licence when they were first issued in 1920.
So what is the real earliest actual recording of a broadcast? There are some made of a 1915 dot and dash Morse code transmission made by a fellow named Apgar. Not much fun there. The earliest of a more standard idea of entertainment is several pieces of the New York Philharmonic (Frustratingly timed to exclude any announcements!) from the summer of 1923. The earliest speech from the ether is the withered voice of the then dying ex-president Woodrow Wilson, giving an Armistice day address in November, 1923. There are a few other items from 1924, including a marching band in a parade, etc. These were recorded as experiments by several research companies, including Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric. The Victor Talking machine company put on a significant radio stunt by a series of concerts over several weeks in January-March(?) 1925 (International Victrola Concert), to promote the fine quality and variety of things the new consumer toy might bring into your home. I have heard about an hour of what might be the premiere episode(1/1/25) but might also be from a succeeding one. In it, they bring in a live pick-up from the BBC tower in Daventry of a (non-identified band playing a non-identified) jazz tune, which was fed into a large US network by way of a relay system in Canada. It has bad reception sound anyway. The rest of the program, from Victor's studio is mostly slow music and opera.
This was recorded by Victor on a standard shellac disc, so it was possible, that early, to preserve broadcasts, though apparently nobody thought much about saving anything except something considered notable enough that history needed it. For instance, another experimental recording is of President Coolidge's 4 March 1925 inauguration. Presidents were worthy, Comedians and dance bands were not.
The Museum of Television and Radio will say they have material going back to 1920. They hold a series of speeches by prominent men who were news makers of that era, such as General Leonard Wood, Senator McAdoo and Democrat vice-presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt. These are not broadcasts at all, but a special set of commercially available 78rpm phonograph records offered by Columbia from 1918-20 on the specialty label "THE NATION'S FORUM". The museum has been advised that these had nothing to do with broadcasting, and no evidence they ever were broadcast exists. And obviously they must know what they have, yet it sounds better to say their collection starts with the perceived beginning of radio in 1920 than the truth. It certainly impresses potential fund givers more. So if even the expert historians at the foremost repository of our electronic heritage disregard the truth so defiantly, what hope have we?
|I turned 33 last Friday and have been providing you folks some pretty old and cool shows from the past over the past couple of months. Do I count as an enlightened youngster by your definition?|
|Regarding OTR (old-time radio), there are thousands of comedy, drama and other shows available from the old days, but newscasts are a different story. Just like the early days of television, who thought of recording them? It's the same with sports broadcasts ... the famous Russ Hodges "the Giants win the pennant" broadcast was a fluke recording -- a Dodger fan taped it to hear Hodges, the Giants announcer, whine about losing.|
|It's just like who would've saved old TV Guides thinking someday there would be a great demand for them?|
I have a great collection of TV guides and their prenational (before April 1953) competitors. These go back to 1947. It must have been exciting in those primitive days when TV was only on for about three hours some nights, others none at all on any station! My collection goes up to the early 1970's, about the time when I lost interest. The network's output started to inject too much socio-political propaganda. The value of having such a ton of TVGs really shows itself if you are a collector of old TV shows; you can accurately date episodes. If you need an episode list of something, the research material is at hand.
|Yes, and the space once taken by the early and obscure stuff is now taken by tapes of junk from two years ago. Gotta give people what they want. I suppose it also feeds into the needs of the museum's personnel to be relevant and hip. They have black tie parties for current media celebs and important retrospectives of ultrachic superstars whose career goes back to the 1990s, etc.|