I’m not much for doing book reports.
It has something to do with a nasty third grade teacher. But that’s a whole other story.
Anthony Rudel’s new book ‘Hello Everybody’ is a great read about the dawn of American radio.
Rudel is a radio guy who programmed WQXR and SW Networks.
He takes you back to radio’s earliest days and puts the history into perspective.
There is the story of Dr. Brinkley and his goat gland cure sort of an early Viagra. More importantly it is the tale of quirky owners and how radio grew into a cultural force.
Rudel traces Herbert Hoover’s involvement in developing radio first as Secretary Of Commerce and then as President.
It shows how radio’s influence impacted the 1924 and 28 elections. In a short time radio grew from a novelty to a true information medium.
Many of the challenges faced today existed during the 1920s.
Radio certainly had its skeptics but also believers especially in the manufacturing ranks. In 1925, a new radio was as hot a Christmas gift as the Wii or Plasma TV is today.
Rudel traces the history of sports broadcasting with the story of Graham McNamee’s ‘accidental’ audition that led to an announcing job at WEAF.
McNamee became the era’s best known announcer doing everything from Opera, to baseball to the Rose Bowl.
Rudel’s material is very good and well written.
It’s a fun read especially for a history buff or radio geek.
You’ll love it if you’re both.