Popularity of Radio Programs


The radio had many names like the wireless music box, the wireless telephone, the radio telephone, but it eventually just became the radio. Radio in the early 20th century changed everything. They gave a different way to convey news to the public, gave the armed forces a new way to communicate, entertained the masses, and created a whole new world of potential advertising. Radio brought the nation and families together by bringing news, entertainment, and advertisements into the home. Radio's early days were tough, for it was only understood by an electronic genius. However, it took years of marketing them, before radios started to come into the general public's hands. The major problem was that programs, music, and news could barely be heard over all of the static. In 1925, designers started to make some of the first receiver radios that didn't need batteries. They looked like a small box with three knobs. The first radio receiver was Emerson Radio.

Radio opened up a door full of possibilities. Many newspaper companies took hold of this new technology as a way to promote their papers. Radio soon evolved and eventually took over. Many people saw it as a better way to express opinion and relay news; not only was it faster than newspaper, but it was also able to convey emotion through the diction, unlike words on a piece of paper. Advertising, news, programs, and eventually music, made radios extremely popular. They were also affordable during a time that money was very limited. Radio profits went from $60 million in 1922 to $426 in 1929 and approximately 60 percent of American families owned a radio. Numerous people would stay awake at night and listen to music, such as the big bands and swing music, sermons, news, and sports.
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While the automobile spread out the country,
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the radio brought Americans together

Radio programs became very popular. Broadcasters used different voices to act like many different characters in their shows. Most radio stations had a wide variety of programs ranging from comedy and tragedy to mystery and science fiction. The nation's most popular radio show was "Amos 'n Andy" and first aired in 1926 on Chicago's WMAQ. Unfortunately, it spread racial stereotypes to many Americans.

KDKA was the first radio station. It was based in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. When Warren G. Harding became president, KDKA was the only radio station in the United States. The coutnry knew about his victory because of the radio. A year and a half later, however, there were about 220 radio stations in America. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president to broadcast over the radio. His broadcasts were used to address Americans and calm them down during the Great Depression. Listening to the radio was definitely one way people delt with adversity. In less than 10 years from when radio's popularity started to grow, a survey showed that over 80% of Americans owned one.

Sources:
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=455
https://honorsushistory.wikispaces.com/1920s+Page