The Golden Age of Radio

Orson Welles
Orson Welles

The old-time radio era, sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of Radio, refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until the 1950s, when television superseded radio as the medium of choice for scripted programming and radio shifted to playing popular music.

During this period, when radio was dominant and filled with a variety of formats and genres, people regularly tuned into their favorite radio programs.

During the Golden Age of Radio, new forms of entertainment were created for the new medium, which later migrated to television and other media: radio plays, mystery, adventure and detective serials, soap operas, quiz shows, variety hours, talent shows, situation comedies, children’s shows, as well as live musical concerts and play by play sports broadcasts. In addition, the capability of the new medium to get information to people created the format of modern radio news: headlines, remote reporting, sidewalk interviews (such as Vox Pop), panel discussions, weather reports, farm reports.

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