Audio and the Golden Age of Radio


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Accompanies a Mass Media Class at Montana Tech.

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Audio and the Golden Age of Radio

  1. 1. Audio: Music and Talk Across Media
  2. 2. Storing Sound <ul><li>Creation of the recording industry </li></ul><ul><li>Changing ways of experiencing music </li></ul><ul><li>Popular music and social change </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and transformation of music </li></ul><ul><li>Radio and transformation of news </li></ul><ul><li>Changing role of radio </li></ul>
  3. 3. Storing Sound <ul><li>1877: Edison invents phonograph, records sound on foil cylinders. </li></ul><ul><li>1888: Emile Berliner develops gramophone, plays music on mass produced discs. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Storing Sound <ul><li>1953: Hi-Fi (High Fidelity) is combination of technologies to create better music reproduction. </li></ul>When you're having friends over ... what makes a glass of beer taste so good? &quot;Hi-Fi&quot; by Haddon Sundblom | U.S. Brewers Foundation, 1956
  5. 6. Signals at a Distance <ul><li>1844: Samuel Morse ’s telegraph allowed messages to be sent over wires. </li></ul><ul><li>1890s: Guglielmo Marconi develops wireless telegraph. </li></ul><ul><li>1905: Reginald Fessenden makes Christmas Eve broadcast with voices and music. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Radio Music Box Memo <ul><li>Written in 1915 by American Marconi engineer David Sarnoff. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested major uses for radio as mass communication tool including news, music, and sports. </li></ul><ul><li>Big surprise of the radio business was more receivers than transmitters were sold – following the model of print. </li></ul>
  7. 8. RCA Monopoly <ul><li>Radio Corporation of America created to bring together patents, develop radio as medium. </li></ul><ul><li>Composed of General Electric, AT&T, Westinghouse, & United Fruit Company. </li></ul><ul><li>United Fruit Company??? Held many radio patents to communicate with ships carrying fruit . </li></ul><ul><li>1920: KDKA in Pittsburgh first commercial radio station. </li></ul><ul><li>1922: BBC created as noncommercial station for news. </li></ul>
  8. 9. How To Make Money With Radio? <ul><li>Taxes? </li></ul><ul><li>Selling radios? </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising? </li></ul><ul><li>By contrast, BBC was supported by revenue from selling radio receivers. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Golden Age of Radio 1920s-40s <ul><li>People getting entertainment inside home not outside. </li></ul><ul><li>Music and Drama programming. Little Orphan Annie, The Lone Ranger , The Shadow </li></ul><ul><li>Soap operas Guiding Light started on radio in 1937, moved to television in 1952, ran until 2009. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Golden Age of Radio <ul><li>Amos ‘ n ’ Andy </li></ul><ul><li>Started in 1926, became most popular show on radio. </li></ul><ul><li>Story of two African American men; writers/actors were white. </li></ul><ul><li>Controversial, but popular with both black and white audiences; portrayed a black middle class. </li></ul>
  11. 12. The BBC <ul><li>British Broadcasting Company created as public service in the 1920s. </li></ul><ul><li>During World War II was international voice against Nazis, transmitting around the world on shortwave. </li></ul><ul><li>Current BBC reaches 95 percent of world ’s population, uses Internet as well as FM, shortwave, and satellite. </li></ul>
  12. 13. The Changing Musical Experience <ul><li>Death of “Social Music.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of the “personal soundtrack” with Sony Walkman, followed by iPod and other MP3 players, “ personal music cocoon. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Can lead to “withdrawal from social connections.” </li></ul>
  13. 14. Rock ‘n’ Roll & Musical Integration <ul><li>Rhythm & blues | Hillbilly music </li></ul><ul><li>Rock ‘n’ roll. Blend Black and White Music. </li></ul><ul><li>1950s: Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry </li></ul><ul><li>1950s and 1960s: Motown took black music and sensibilities and took to mainstream. </li></ul>
  14. 15. British Invasion <ul><li>A rougher sound from British bands </li></ul><ul><li>The Beatles </li></ul><ul><li>The Who </li></ul><ul><li>The Rolling Stones </li></ul><ul><li>Dusty Springfield </li></ul><ul><li>Many others </li></ul>
  15. 16. “ Payola” <ul><li>Money or gifts provided to DJs to get them to play a particular record. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns persist eg 2004 when record companies were accused of keeping music by indy artists off the air in favour of their own performers by paying off stations owned by major media companies. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Rise of Digital Music <ul><li>Digital CDs introduced in early 1980s, sold for premium price. </li></ul><ul><li>With analog recordings, quality of copies degrades with each generation. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital recordings allow consumers to make perfect copies. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Consequences of Digital Music <ul><li>Consumers “share” music over the Internet, violating copyright law. </li></ul><ul><li>But artists can use Internet to promote music directly to consumers, bypassing record labels. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Public Radio <ul><li>NPR founded in 1967 </li></ul><ul><li>All Things Considered goes on the air in 1971 </li></ul><ul><li>NPR ’s Morning Edition news show has bigger audience than any of the morning TV programs </li></ul><ul><li>NPR ’s Web site is key part of network’s strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Is no longer National Public Radio, just NPR. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Future of Sound Radio <ul><li>HD trying to bring new life to broadcast radio, but few receivers so not commonly available. </li></ul><ul><li>Satellite Radio—XM and Sirius merge. </li></ul><ul><li>Are people willing to pay for subscription radio? </li></ul>
  20. 21. Future of Sound Long Tail Alternatives <ul><li>Webcasting Streaming sound over the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting Downloading programs to take with you on your MP3 player. </li></ul>