Now long out of print, John Dunnings 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 radios golden age. Here are some 1,500 radio shows presented in alphabetical order.
The great programs of the 30s, 40s, and 50s are all hereAmos 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 shows advertisers. He also lists major cast members, announcers, producers, directors, writers, and sound effects peopleeven the shows 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. Truly a labor of love, this enormous volume updates and greatly expands the authors earlier work, Tune in Yesterday, a Compendium of Information about Radios Golden Years.
When were various episodes of Fibber McGee broadcast? Who were the cast members in The Shadow? These questions and many, many more will be answered by this treasure-trove of information.
Over 1,500 radio shows are covered, with complete indexing. It is unparalleled as a resource for understanding American life, culture, and history in the early decades of this century. Outstanding Reference Sources the 1999 Selection of New Titles, American Libraries, May 1999.
Comp. by the Reference Sources Committee, RUSA, ALA.