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Old Time Radio
I know that there are fewer and fewer people out there who remember the old-time radio shows. I am probably one of the few who still have one of the big console tube radios. The thing is 40 inches tall and a foot and a half wide. No, it doesn’t play anymore, but it is an attractive piece of furniture. Several great companies made them. Mine came from the Gamble Store back in 1939 when Bill Smith- Ollie’s brother – was a salesman for Bill Witt.
In those days, announcers would introduce the program. One of my favorites was “Mr. District Attorney.” The announcer would open the program with these words: “And it shall be my duty as District Attorney not only to prosecute to the full limit of the law all persons accused of crimes perpetrated within this country; but to defend with equal vigor the rights and privileges of all its citizens.” The boldness of the announcer just made you feel safe and secure.
We had so many great radio programs like Doctor I.Q., Great Gildersleeve, The Thin Man, Amos and Andy. You tended to set aside your own problems or troubles. There was no radio station in Kirksville. We listened mainly to WHO Des Moines, IA, WSM Nashville, WCKY Cincinnati, OH, KDKA Pittsburg, PA, WJJD, Chicago, IL.
Back in those days cigarette, soap, and pills of all description were the great advertisers. Automobiles, appliances and photography would soon follow. And who can forget Carter’s Little Liver Pills. Shortly before TV replaced radio, radio broadcasting companies were in contest to see who could come up with the greatest broadcasting voice. Till the government came up with a law that no one could go beyond 100,000 watts. So, Del Rio, Texas station simply moved across the Rio Grande into Mexico and built a 100,000-watt station.
Old time radio, what a friend. There was something for everyone: music, sports programs, on the spot news, local, national, and world news. You could listen to the best bands of the day, free. The soap operas, educational game shows like Doctor I.Q., The World Series, national disasters, and news of the neighborhood.
Radio, one of the greatest inventions of all time and still in everyday use. Radio – why, we even bolted car radios to the fenders of our tractors. You would be surprised how much clearer radio comes in out in the open fields at night. Of all the great inventions, radio still stands very near the top of the list.
Contributed by Bill Lewis