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Historical Dictionary of American Radio Soap Operas (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts) Hardcover – November 15, 2005

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...a handy reference volume on the actors, programs, themes, advertisers, producers, unions, program sub-types, and issues and controversies concerning radio daytime serial drama from the 19330s to their demise in 1960. The bibliography is probably one of the more complete ones on the topic available... (Communication Booknotes Quarterly, Volume 37:4 (Fall 2006))

In this compact and useful guide, the author (an independent scholar) chronicles the heyday of the 'washboard weepers,' the melodramatic daytime serials that flourished on American radio from 1925 to 1960....this new book is the only available historical dictionary specific to this genre....Recommended. Undergraduate students of broadcast media history and American studies; general readers. (CHOICE)

This volume by Jim Cox, a well-known radio historian...provides more than 500 entries related to radio soap operas from 1925 to 1960....the entries are thorough and well written...The bibliography will be especially useful for anyone needing to research this topic in depth and using this volume as a starting point. This volume belongs in the communications reference department of academic libraries. (American Reference Books Annual)

...an informative and entertaining look into the economic and cultural powerhouse of the soap opera; with many interesting statistics and sidelights....a very readable book, with a lot of fascinating information arranged in accessible fashion....Reading this book is like trying to eat one peanut. You enter it to look up one show and end up looking up all the soaps you remember... (Radio Recall)

Old Time Radio fans have come to expect informative and entertaining books from Jim Cox. They will not be disappointed with his Historical Dictionary of American Radio Soap Operas. Jim has packed an amazing amount of information into his 320-page volume....Jim Cox has contributed yet another highly informative and enjoyable tome to the literature of American old-time radio. There is little doubt that this book will become the standard general reference on the American daytime radio adult serial drama. If you are a fan of radio soap operas or just interested in old-time radio history in general, this book deserves a place in your library. (Radio Gram)

...an excellent reference source....this is another fine, thoroughly researched book by Jim Cox! (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

The precursor to today's television soap operas, the radio soap opera enjoyed popularity in the U.S. from 1925 to 1960. Cox offers a reference text containing some 450 alphabetically-arranged entries including vignettes of the serials themselves; prominent individuals connected with their success; sponsors, advertising agencies, ratings services, and associated professional organizations; and other related topics that shed light on the aura and mystique of the genre. Also included are a chronology outlining the period, an introductory essay on the genre, an extensive bibliography, and a selection of b&w photographs of major radio soap stars. Cox has published eight books on American radio; he is a member of eight vintage radio clubs and regularly attends old-time radio conventions. (Reference and Research Book News)

...a very good history of the soap opera genre....very unique and very helpful to those doing additional research....excellent research tool. (The Illustrated Press)

About the Author

Jim Cox is one of the best-known writers on American radio, having published no less than seven books on the subject, and he received an outstanding writing award from the largest OTR convention in 2002. He is a member of eight vintage radio clubs and regularly attends annual old time radio conventions.
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Product Details

  • Series: Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press (November 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081085323X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810853232
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,791,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In 1999 the book The Great Radio Soap Operas by Jim Cox was published. This book focused on 31 of the hundreds of soap operas that aired during the Golden Age of Radio and whetted the appetites of Old-Time Radio fans for a more comprehensive volume on Radio Soap Operas.

In late 2005 that more inclusive book arrived, Scarecrow Press published Jim Cox's HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN RADIO SOAP OPERAS as a volume in their Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts series.

OTR fans have come to expect informative and entertaining books from Jim Cox. They will not be disappointed with his HISTORICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN RADIO SOAP OPERAS. Jim has packed an amazing amount of information into his 320 page volume.

It begins with an enlightening Chronology that spans the time period 1925 to 1960, halcyon days of the Radio Soap Opera. The most of the Introduction deals with the origins, basic plot and characterization schemas, and business aspects of Radio Soap Operas. An Overview Of The Dictionary which discusses its content and organization is the concluding section of the Introduction..

The Dictionary constitutes the major part of the book and is arranged in alphabetical order with over 450 entries which fall into one of following four categories.

Series:

There are in excess of 300 entries on the individual series, famous and obscure. These entries contain information on primary titles with cross references to alternate titles, plot and character overview, network affiliations, beginning and ending air dates, and cast, crew, and sponsor information. It is, in all probability, the most comprehensive compilation of American Radio Soap Operas.
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