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United States Radio History

Radio history in the United States is a colorful timeline of inventions, events, and personalities. From its earliest moments, through the Great Depression into the rocking 1950s, the legendary Top 40 stations in the 1960s, the growth of FM in the 1970s, the "Morning Zoo" phenomenom of the 1980s and 1990s, and into today, it's a great story.

WOR-AM, A Long and Winding Road Since 1922
New York City's oldest radio station, WOR-AM (720), has been sold to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. The sale of radio stations is common in the radio industry. What is also common after sales are changes. All this news creates a good time to salute WOR-AM as the legendary radio station it is. Here's a short history with links to some...

WFAN New York Continues 25th Anniversary Celebration
WFAN, the CBS owned and operated sports-formatted radio station in New York started celebrating its 25th anniversary on July 1, 2012. Here are some fun facts about the station's history.

WCBS-FM 101.1 New York Hits the Big 4-0
It takes a special radio station to stick around with the same basic format for 40 years. One such operation is WCBS-FM in New York. This weekend (July 6 - 8) the Classic Hits outlet is celebrating the station's 40th anniversary. For listeners in the New York, New Jersey and Southern Connecticut area this is a big deal. If you don't live there,...

Sports Radio 66 WFAN Reaches 25th Anniversary
In a volatile business where radios station formats are chewed up and spit out by corporations that expect ratings performance and high revenues, CBS Radio's sports-formatted WFAN in New York City has stood the test of time in both arenas. Now, the station is getting ready to mark its 25th anniversary. Read more.

Sports Radio 66 WFAN Rings Closing Bell at New York Stock Exchange
WFAN/New York and CBS Radio Celebrate station's 25th Anniversary by Ringing Closing Bell at NYSE on June 29, 2012

25th Anniversary: Sports Radio 66 WFAN
On July 1, 2012 New York City's Sports Radio 66 WFAN celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Here's a timeline of important events in the station's first quarter-century of programming.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Alan Freed Radio Studio
Every year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio inducts more famous musicians and performers. But radio and some of its famous deejays haven't been left out. The radio studio at the Rock Hall is even named after the disc-jockey who coined the term "rock 'n' roll." Read more.

Corporate FM Documentary puts Corporate Radio Under Microscope
Some filmmakers from Kansas City, Missouri are not especially pleased with the state of radio today and have been working years on a documentary about corporate radio. The film is finally ready to show. Read more.

The Day Radio Gave Thanks
On November 23, 1927, the fledgling medium of Radio marked another first when then president, Calvin Coolidge, used it for the first time in a new official capacity. Read more.

Bob Shannon Captures the "Second" Golden Age of Radio - and M…
In "Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996" Bob Shannon ushers the reader behind the scenes of the lives of special Radio people, most of whom are considered legends in an industry which has changed so dramatically in the past decade it's possible we will never see the likes of such individuals again in Radio. Read my Review.

My 6 Favorite Books About American Radio
This is the time of year a lot of folks are shopping for gifts and if you’re searching for a good book about Radio for yourself or someone else interested or working in Radio, I’d like to recommend 6 of my favorites which you may want to track down.

South Florida Radio Pages Keeps Watch on Sunshine State
David Citron has been the webmaster of South Florida Radio Pages for 11 years. I recently posed a few questions to him about his website, its focus and its future. Read more.

Maybe Commercial Radio Didn't Know JACK All These Years
If a station pops up in your city named “JACK” or “DOUG” or any other number of names don’t be surprised. There's a new format trend in commercial Radio popping up in cities across America and ironically, it's a direct reaction to the power of iPods, mp3 players, the ability of users to store thousands of songs in their pocket and put it all on "shuffle mode". Read More.

Bashing AM and FM - Putting "Old Radio" Into Perspective With "New Radio"
Lately, AM and FM radio has been taking a back seat in the arena of public respect as Satellite Radio signs big talent, makes itself portable and tantalizes potential listeners with a variety of programming not found elsewhere. But, all this AM and FM bashing? Is it fair? Read more.

A Chronology of AM Radio Broadcasting
A Chronology of AM radio broadcasting covers 1922 through 1960.

History of American Broadcasting
Call letter meanings, chronology of AM broadcasting 1900-1922 and 1923-1960, old radio slogans, various station histories, chronology of early FM stations and much more.

Radio's Forgotten Years: Tuning Through The Great Depression
This article by Elizabeth McLeod, one of the foremost authorities on Radio history, recounts Radio during a difficult time: the depression years of the 1930s.

Broadcasting in Chicago, 1921-1989
This well put together site includes history on NBC, WMAQ, WLS, Chicago Radio shows, pesonalities, and more.

Broadcasting in Chicago, 1921-1989
This is an incredible, one-stop reference to Radio and TV in Chicago. It is categorized nicely and laid out well.

A Brief History of Talk Radio
It is a brief history of talk Radio, but well done and nicely documented.

NJ, NY and Philly History Pages
These pages of Radio history for New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia are part of a website run by "Pirate Jim", a Radio enthusiast.

New Jersey Radio Museum
The New Jersey Radio Museum chronicles all of New Jersey radio, including college stations, at the museum.

Philadelphia Radio Archives
"...dedicated to preserving the history of Philadelphia radio."

The American Museum of Radio And Electricity
"Our vision calls for the American Museum of Radio to be the best at presenting the relationship between early investigations into the phenomenon of electricity and the subsequent development of radio."

Surfing The Aether - A History of Radio
This is a fabulous timeline of radio events from pre-1900s to today with an incredible audio introduction on the front page.

Early Radio History, 1897-1927
If you are a history buff, you'll enjoy this collection of "Articles and extracts about early radio and related technologies, concentrating on the United States in the period from 1897 to 1927".

Early Radio History, 1917-1927
Articles and extracts detailing the history of Radio broadcasting from 1917 through 1927.

Radio History On The Web
Historical materials on both pioneer and current broadcast stations with additional links and references.

The Radio Historical Society
The Radio Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of Radio and Television history. Learn more about their museum in Bowie, Maryland, current exhibits, how to join and explore their suggested links.

Library of Congress Recorded Sound Reference Center
Access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress including old radio broadcasts.

The Media History Project Timeline
A comprehensive chronology of media events, including Radio, from the 1880s to the present.

Sparkmuseum - Vintage Radio and Scientific Apparatus
An online "virtual" museum featuring items collected over many years by the webmaster.

God Loves Himself Some Radio!
For almost as long as there has been radio, there have been radio preachers. Though many are good intentioned, there have been more than enough who have raised a few eyebrows with their antics. Read more.

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