Some 1,500 radio shows, listed in alphabetical order, are described in concise articles linked with an extensive system of cross-referencing. The cross-referencing is crucial, because someone looking for Ozzie and Harriet or Sam Spade will need to know that both programs are listed in the main part of the text under The Adventures of.... The articles vary in length, from the briefest of paragraphs (The Billie Burke Show and Linda's First Love) to several pages (The Lone Ranger and The Mercury Theater of the Air). Each program entry consists of title and broadcast history (including exact starting and ending dates, day and timeslot, network, announcer, sponsor, etc.). This is followed by an essay that often imparts all manner of detail, or, in the case of those short entries, a capsule description of the program.
Although the majority of the articles are about individual programs, there are also a number of survey articles, such as sports broadcasts, concert broadcasts, and news broadcasts. Here, too, the cross-referencing is essential in order to find information about a specific program that might fall under one of those categories and is not listed separately. There is an extensive bibliography, which will be of great help to those wishing to pursue the subject further.
In the electronically connected world of today, it is hard to imagine a time (not so long ago) when there was but one medium of electronic information. The rich detail in this solid work helps convey the flavor of that earlier time. Devotees of classic television shows may be surprised to find out that such programs as Father Knows Best, Our Miss Brooks, Queen for a Day, and Sky-King all started as radio programs. A worthy addition to most reference collections, this volume is an interesting portrait of a time when radio was more than background music or xenophobic talk shows. Another recent publication, the Historical Dictionary of American Radio [RBB Ag 98], covers a wider range of topics related to radio but has far less coverage of individual programs.
I loved listening to John Dunning's old time radio shows.
Of course, even with a book this size, not all of the shows are going to have exhaustive articles, but Dunning has done as much as one man possibly can.
Book provides behind the scene detail for each program along with cast detail and sponsors through the shows run.
This book has become my primary resource for research on old-time radio programs and people in preparation for writing articles for Wikipedia. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eddie Blick
A great book and a wonderful resource to get behind the scenes information on classic radio. I highly recommend this book.Published 1 month ago by Buddyboy
This book has brought back memories of my childhood, listening to the Radio Shows, on Saturday afternoons, and week day evenings. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Brian D. Workman
If you're an old time radio fan, this is the most comprehensive book available. think the actual book is like $100, got the kindle version for about $15, making this a stealPublished 8 months ago by ejm
Great enjoyment remembering so many of the old radio programs that delighted us when we were so very young. Highly detailed.Published 10 months ago by Mountain Hiker
Lots of information and leads to other books. Love the completeness on some of the programs like Gunsmoke. Good buy for the money.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. I have collected a pretty large library of old time radio shows over the years and this is a fantastic companion to my... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Old time radio fan
John Dunning's book is amazingly comprehensive, but so are many other such assemblages of old-time radio data. Read morePublished 12 months ago by richievee