Radio Broadcast in America Essay

Radio Broadcast in America Essay

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Radio initiated in the latter portion of the 1900’s, a race war and world war shattered America was becoming gradually different than any time in her history. Thanks to the radio and its widespread adoption across the country as the collective form of mass media and entertainment. “The world of fantasy created by commercial radio programming was the most popular medium of entertainment in the United States from the 1920s until the 1950s. Tens of millions of citizens tuned in thousands of stations to hear news, sports, drama, comedy, and the various other formats by which broadcasters had adapted radio to aural entertainment.1

Radio broadcast served as an unintentional tool in constructing a unified African American populous by way of popular culture through music outlets. Radio provided relief from the dreariness and desolation of the Great Depression. “Comic strips, radio programs, and movies were affordable forms of artistic creativity that allowed momentary escape… and families gathered around the radio for nightly programs of comedy and music”.2 The creation of jazz music was developed during this pinnacle of technological change; African-American jazz musicians embraced the development of radio and how it transformed music in the eyes of Americans black and white. The most popular type of radio show was a "potter palm," an amateur concert and big-band jazz performance broadcast from cities like New York and Chicago. Due to the racial prejudice prevalent at most radio stations, white American jazz artists received much more airtime than black jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and Joe "King" Oliver.3 These figures in history embodied African Americans contribution to radio in the primarily white national...

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1. J. Fred MacDonald: Media History eBooks. "DTTD!:African-Americans in Radio:Stride Towards Freedom: Blacks in Radio Programming." Accessed February 25, 2014.
2. Hine, Darlene Clark, William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. The African-American Odyssey. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. (P. 513)
3. Boundless. "The Jazz Age - The Culture of Change." Accessed February 25, 2014.
4. Ibid (P.513).
5. Ibid (P.515)
6. Ibid (P.516)
7. Ibid
8. Ibid (P.517)
9. WTTW Chicago Public Media - Television and Interactive. "Durham's Destination Freedom | Power, Politics, & Pride | DuSable to Obama - WTTW." Accessed February 25, 2014.,4,5,3.

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