Old Time Radio

Today’s “Old Time Radio” was then, my current time radio.

To about 1950, the radio was our connection to the world – as well as the daily Boston Record American tabloid newspaper. TV took over about 1950.

I can remember racing home just before quarter ’til five to listen to my favorite radio broadcasts. This would have been in the early 1940s.

The “quarter ’til five” was hard for me to understand when first learning to tell time. At some point, someone explained to divide the clock into 4 parts, place quarters (25 cent pieces) on a clock face: one on three, two on six, and one on nine. Bingo! One quarter after, two quarters past — or half past, then the quarter on nine was quarter before or “quarter ’til five!” All thanks to four quarters of a dollar.

I would race home on foot or on my bike, slide the rear wheel on the dirt walkway, run up the back stairs, through the kitchen into the living room, jerk the switch out, then wait for the old Philco radio to come alive. It seemed to take forever!

I think Jack Armstrong, “The all American Boy,” was first to come on, “Quarter ’til Five.” Sponsored by Wheaties, “The Breakfast of Champions.”

There were so many. I will mention a few that I liked.
Captain Midnight
Charlie McCarthy Show
Abbott and Costello
Aldrich Family
Amos and Andy
Baby Snooks
Batman and Robin
The Shadow: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

Blondie and Dagwood
Bob Hope Show
Burns and Allen
Jack Benny
Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde
The Inner Sanctum
The Buster Brown Show: “Hi, I’m Buster Brown. I live in a shoe. Whoof! That’s my dog Tyge. Look for him in here too.”

I was six years old and a Junior Detective, I treasured that card.

Dick Tracy
Duffy’s Tavern
Fibber McGee and Molly
Flash Gordon
Gene Autry
The Green Hornet
The Lone Ranger and Tonto
Lum And Abner
Little Orphan Annie
Our Miss Brooks
Ozzie and Harriet
Sky King and Penny and their Songbird
Super Man And Robin
Hit Parade
You Bet Your Life
Popeye and Olive
Red Skelton
Roy Rogers
Sam Spade
The Thin Man
Tom Mix
Victor Borge (A favorite of my Dad’s)
And the WW2 News.

There are so many more. Some of my list were my Mom and Dad’s favorites, which I was hog-tied to the wing chair and forced to listen to!

The loss of the radio was devastating for a youngster of the 40s. The worst happenings would be a storm when we lost electricity, or I would have to go with Mom to pick up my Dad at the Greenbush railroad station!

Then there were the times that the power tube blew out or grew weak! If this happened during the week, it wasn’t so bad because Dad knew which one, took it to Boston with him, and got a replacement. Should this happen on the weekend, off to Chandler’s Radio Store for a replacement. Ya! It cost three times more!

Oh, and there was the “No Radio Tonight” punishment! That was a tough one!

So many shows were dropped in the late ‘40s as television took over. Some shows moved to TV, but it just wasn’t the same.

As I became a teenager I had less interest in the radio shows and they became history. TV took over for a while. Then 16, 17, 18 and on . . . there were other interests!

Google ”Old Time Radio” and listen to some of the shows.

by Ray Freden, 60 years in Seaview, 70 in Marshfield, 7 in Pembroke Maine.
“Maine, the way life should be.”
Down East, “It is that way”

One Reply to “Old Time Radio”

  1. Beam me right back…..I am going to old time radio today ! I remember my dad talking about "Stella Dallas"….. " She comes from Wealth and society!"
    I am so glad I have lived in a time when I can say I experienced a little of both….I love the technology but I crave the quiet! Yesterday I had a day of only quiet and it was lovely!!
    Thick Fog here today at Seaview Cottage..beautiful!

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