Term Paper-Radio

Term Paper-Radio - Brenda Chan 03/19/2012 Term Paper-Radio...

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Brenda Chan 03/19/2012 Term Paper-Radio “Race records” was the music industry term that was used through the 1940s to identify recordings being produced by and marketed towards African Americans (Burnim). As race records were no longer becoming race records and just regular records because of the gaining popularity within the white audience in the 1940s and 1950s (soul, gospel, rhythm and blues), the radio was being used as an effective tool to help spread black music to many listeners across the country. This paper will explore the effect that the radio had on helping further the popularity of black music not just in black audiences but white audiences as well. The history of music radio will be briefly discussed and a more in depth discussion of the key disc jockeys, radio stations, and other factors that played a role into black music being integrated to white listeners on the radio will be addressed as well. The invention of the radio itself began with the help of the inventions of the telegraph and telephone. Beginning as wireless telegraphy, the radio was developed towards the end of the 19 th century. The first radio program broadcast (the first transmission of AM radio) was on Christmas Eve in 1906. Most of the early radio stations were created by colleges and universities. Union College in Schenectady, New York became the first college radio station in October of 1920. In August of 1920, station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan became the first radio news program to be broadcasted. The world’s first commercial radio station was in November of 1920 with KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Music had been playing on radio stations since the early 20 th century.
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Along with news, sports, weather reports, etc., music would be part of the program as well (Wakefield). There were a few notable African Americans that were important in the radio industry. Jack Cooper is considered to be the patriarch of black radio in the United States. He was the first black disc jockey and radio announcer. Cooper is the first black broadcaster to have a successful career in the music industry. Paul Robeson sang “Ballad for Americans” for the CBS program “The Pursuit of Happiness” that premiered on November 5, 1939, two months after World War II had started. The cantata the “patriotic anthem of epic proportions that celebrated the history of American democracy” (Barlow). After World War II, this idea of “black appeal” emerged in America. Instead of setting aside a certain amount of time to air black-oriented shows, some stations tried to dedicate their entire broadcast schedules to programming by and for African Americans. Jack Cooper set the stage for this black appeal prior to WWII with his successes such as pioneering the modern disc jockey format and launching the first successful black radio production company (Barlow). Before 1948, the radio industry had been dominated by four national networks that were geared
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2012 for the course ARLT 100 taught by Professor Thompson during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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Term Paper-Radio - Brenda Chan 03/19/2012 Term Paper-Radio...

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