Saturday, September 29, 2007

Recommended Reading: Radio History Post-Crosley

If you've finished reading CROSLEY and want to know where radio went after Powel Crosley, Jr. dropped out, I recommend a new book titled Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution that Shaped a Generation, by Marc Fisher. It's a chronicle of the evolution of radio broadcasting and programming after World War II. Learn how the "Top 40" concept originated, where radio went from there, how radical FM programming led to radical AM programming and angry white men taking over talk radio--pretty much everything that's happened and who's responsible. And all the angles are covered: social, political, corporate, financial, cultural, ethical, and legal.

Of course, literally everything and everyone could not be included in one book, but every aspect of the radio evolution is covered. Lots of fascinating people and anecdotes, too. The intro to Rush Limbaugh's story will surprise many readers, and the tale of Jean Shepherd's I, Libertine book hoax on WOR (aided and abetted by Ian Ballantine and Theodore Sturgeon) is worth the price of the book on its own. If you want a fascinating page-turner, Something in the Air is it.

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