On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio

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Oxford University Press, May 7, 1998 - Performing Arts - 822 pages
4 Reviews
Now long out of print, John Dunning's Tune in Yesterday was the definitive one-volume reference on old-time radio broadcasting. Now, in On the Air, Dunning has completely rethought this classic work, reorganizing the material and doubling its coverage, to provide a richer and more informative account of radio's golden age.Here are some 1,500 radio shows presented in alphabetical order. The great programs of the '30s, '40s, and '50s are all here--Amos 'n' Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lone Ranger, Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour, and The March of Time, to name only a few. For each, Dunning provides a complete broadcast history, with the timeslot, the network, and the name of the show's advertisers. He also lists major cast members, announcers, producers, directors, writers, and sound effects people--even the show's theme song. There are also umbrella entries, such as "News Broadcasts," which features an engaging essay on radio news, with capsule biographies of major broadcasters, such as Lowell Thomas and Edward R. Murrow. Equally important, Dunning provides a fascinating account of each program, taking us behind the scenes to capture the feel of the performance, such as the ghastly sounds of Lights Out (a horror drama where heads rolled and bones crunched), and providing engrossing biographies of the main people involved in the show.A wonderful read for everyone who loves old-time radio, On the Air is a must purchase for all radio hobbyists and anyone interested in 20th-century American history. It is an essential reference work for libraries and radio stations.
  

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On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Mystery writer and radio talk show host Dunning has expertly compiled and organized a massive amount of research data on hundreds of radio shows aired from the 1920s through the 1960s. The entries ... Read full review

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The book is very informative and accurate, though there are a few errors. Before using any information in the book it would be wise to cross check the information from other sources. The book includes background on hundreds of the old radio shows, but it leaves out many of the more popular ones for whatever reason. There are many of the old radio programs that could be listed, but by title only in that more of the radio programs have been lost to history than survived. 

Contents

The Encyclopedia of OldTime Radio
1
Bibliography
747

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About the author (1998)


John Dunning is a popular mystery novelist, author of The Bookman's Wake and Booked to Die. He lives in Aurora, Colorado.

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