Music Radio

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Music Radio

Postby Stewart » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:46 pm

Music Radio: The Great Performers and Programs of the 1920s through Early 1960s
By Jim Cox

Radio brought live entertainment into American homes; not only dramas and comedies, but also live music programs were beamed across the air waves during the Golden Age of Radio. Because of Radio, listeners could hear live music of every genre without ever leaving their homes.

Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that only a relatively few overview books have been written about the music programs of Radio's Golden Age. Old-Time Radio authority and author Jim Cox has helped rectify this oversight with the publication of Music Radio: The Great Performers and Programs of the 1920s through Early 1960s. In doing so, he has significantly increased our knowledge of broadcast music.

Music Radio covers the entire gamut of radio musical programming starting in the 1920s and continuing through the early 1960s. Classical, operatic, big band, jazz, country, western, gospel, sacred, pop, and semi-classical music forms are explored in the entertaining and informative style that is a trademark of Jim Cox volumes on American Old-Time Radio.

Jim has written comprehensive essays on ten major musical programs: The Bell Telephone Hour, The Bing Crosby Show, The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, Cities Service Concerts, The Fred Waring Show, Grand Ole Opry, The Kate Smith Show, The Railroad Hour, The Voice of Firestone, and Your Hit Parade. The treatment of each of these series includes considerable information on performers, writers, production personnel, sponsors, ratings, dates on the air, and time slots.

Additionally, he has provided chapters on The Big Bands, The Classics, The Contests, The Disc Jockeys, The Hummert Musicales, The Horse Operas, The House Bands, The Sacred Singers, and The Vocalists. These chapters provide significant insight into the origins and development of these music genres on the radio air waves. Also included is extensive information on many radio series in these various genres.

Throughout his book, the author provides extensive biographical and program credits information on more than 125 prominent performers and groups, conductors, producers, announcers, hosts, and disk jockeys from the Golden Age of Radio Broadcast Music. For example, The Vocalists chapter includes information on the signature and hits tunes, career highlights, and radio programs of The Andrews Sisters, Jack Berch, Eddie Cantor, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Bob Crosby, Morton Downey, Eddie Fisher, Jane Froman, The Happiness Boys, Dick Haymes, Al Jolson, Peggy Lee, Curt Massey, Vaughn Monroe, Jane Pickens, Lanny Ross, Ginny Simms, Jack Smith, Jo Stafford, Mel Torme, Arthur Tracey, and Rudy Vallee.

Jim Cox is one of the most productive writers on the Golden Age of Radio. He has written entertainingly and authoritatively about Radio soap operas, audience participation shows, detective and police shows, the programs of Frank and Anne Hummert, and the final decade of the Golden Age of Radio. With his new book, Music Radio, Jim has added much to our knowledge of this important segment of Old-Time Radio.

Music Radio is a book well worth adding to your Old-Time Radio library.

Music Radio: The Great Performers and Programs of the 1920s through Early 1960s
By Jim Cox
ISBN 0-7864-2047-2
photographs, notes, bibliography, index
380pp. hardcover 2005
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
Box 611
Jefferson, NC 28640
Fax Order: 336-246-4403

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