A century after the first commercial radio station began broadcasting, 83% of Americans ages 12 or older listen to the radio in a given week. It’s a technology that we may take for granted now, but the rapid development of radio technology and programming in the early 1920s led to significant changes in American culture and communication. [Read more…] about The WGY Players: A Pioneering Radio Acting Troupe
The boom in home radio usage began in the early 1920s. The Department of Commerce issued regulations to control the chaotic spread of radio stations in December of 1921.
A listing from March 10th, 1922, included 67 stations that were officially licensed to use the public airwaves. One of those would become extremely significant in the life of Jared van Wagenen, Jr., a graduate of Cornell University and a farmer who lived at Hillside Farm at Lawyersville (north of Cobleskill) in Schoharie County.
Van Wagenen (1871-1960), though a self-proclaimed “dirt farmer,” was a prolific writer and speaker on all things agricultural. He championed an agricultural civilization where human values were prized over profit. [Read more…] about Farm Paper of the Air: WGY & The Sage of Lawyersville, Jared van Wagenen
Capital Region radio station WGY, New York State’s oldest broadcaster, will celebrate their 100th year with a live afternoon of broadcasting on Sunday, February 20th.
WGY’s original licensee was General Electric (GE), headquartered in Schenectady. In early 1915, the company was granted a Class 3-Experimental license with the call sign 2XI. That license was canceled in 1917 due to the First World War, but 2XI was re-licensed in 1920. [Read more…] about Radio Station WGY’s 100th Anniversary of Broadcasting
This week on The Historians Podcast, a look at the 100th anniversary of WGY, the pioneer Schenectady radio station founded by General Electric in 1922. GE sold the station in the 1980s. Featured are the voices of broadcasters Kolin Hager, Martha Brooks, Howard Tupper, Earl Pudney, Don Tuttle, Elle Pankin and Diane Ward. [Read more…] about New York’s First Radio Station WGY Celebrates 100 Yrs
“Sing a song of sixpence, and eke of dollar bills,” he wrote in a poetic ditty, published October 3rd, 1922 in The Post-Star of Glens Falls. “Four and thirty thousand fans, paying for their thrills.” [Read more…] about 1922 World Series Was First To Be Broadcast
This week on “The Historians”, Jamie Bologna, a graduate student at Boston University, interviews me about my years in radio, including a stint in the 1960s at B.U.’s WBUR-FM. My career took me from WCSS in Amsterdam to WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass., WGY in Albany and WVTL in Amsterdam. I retired from my job as morning host at WVTL on November 14, 2014. I will continue to do a regular podcast on history on my Web site.
Listen at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
[Read more…] about Personal Radio History with Bob Cudmore
My first foray into local history was in 2000 when Steve Dunn and I co-produced the WMHT television documentary “Historic Views of the Carpet City: Amsterdam, N.Y.” Amsterdam is my home town. That same year my first book came out, self published. You Can’t Go Wrong: Stories from Nero, N.Y. and Other Tales (2000). [Read more…] about Bob Cudmore: How ‘The Historians’ Came to WVTL Radio
John Gabriel and Rick Kelly, two cousins who grew up together listening to radio in the Capital Region, have written one of Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series books entitled Capital Region Radio 1920-2011. The book tells the history of Albany region radio programs and personalities from its early days to recent years through more than 200 vintage images.
The General Electric Company, with one of its main plants in Schenectady, began experimental broadcasts in conjunction with Union College in the early 1900s. Using many culled from the miSci Museum in Schenectady, and others, this new pictorial history shares the story of when WGY officially began broadcasting in February 1922 and General Electric started a long and storied history of pioneering radio technology and programming, which ultimately set the pace for worldwide broadcast development. Capital Region Radio pioneer WGY provided entertainment and news nationally during World War II, WTRY kept listeners updated during the blackout of 1965 and WOKO introduced rock and roll to the area. [Read more…] about New Book: Capital Region Radio 1920-2011