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About Radio Spirits Radio Spirits is the leading publisher and marketer of classic "old time" radio programs. Our mission is to preserve and popularize radio entertainment, from every era, keeping it alive and available to audiences today. The Radio Spirits library includes tens of thousands of radio programs, predominantly from the 's to the 's, a "Golden Age of Radio" when radio was a dominant force in entertainment and news for listeners of all ages.

It was the most popular of the popular arts, an integral part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans.

Carole E. Scott, State University of West Georgia

The finest actors, performers, writers, producers, directors, and technical craftsmen delivered outstanding programming that fueled the imagination of listeners with drama, comedy, westerns, detective stories, science fiction and adventure. Radio Spirits digitally remastered products are available on compact disc and as digital downloads directly to consumers through our web sites and catalogs, and through fine resellers.

Radio Spirits programming can also be heard on broadcast and satellite radio. We very much welcome your comments and suggestions on any aspect of our products or service and invite you to email us through our contact email form , or write to us at Radio Spirits, PO Box , Little Falls, NJ Yet the CBC was only one among a number of sources of radio programming.

A survey of one broadcast week in April showed that the radio scene boasted a range of different styles of programming because of the mix of CBC-owned outlets, privately owned network affiliates and 36 independents.


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The amount of British material broadcast was minuscule. Canadian-originated programs might be dominant throughout the broadcast day on the public outlets and in the evening hours on all but the independent stations; but Canadian listeners could enjoy American records and programs at any time, especially on private stations, making the US the single most important source of programming in English Canada.

The top shows in the ratings were usually American. What was called "local live" programming - news, sports, entertainment, religion and talks - persisted, notably on the independent stations where over one-third of evening air time was devoted to such offerings. Yet imported popular music had become the most common program ingredient, except on CBC's French network, which still devoted much air time to "serious" music.

The CBC's own stations supplied a varied and Canadian brand of programming, notable for the number of sustaining noncommercial shows, which explained why the corporation was perceived as a Canadian version of the British Broadcasting Corporation. But the programming of the major private stations, even the CBC affiliates, was designed on the American model to attract large audiences and more advertising revenue. In English Canada then, radio was bringing listeners into closer contact with the cultural mainstream of the US.

Radio After The Golden Age: The Evolution Of American Broadcasting Since 1960

The arrival of Canadian television in spelled disaster for radio's golden age. As Canadian families acquired television sets, evening radio lost money, listeners and eventually programs. The popular American hits had been taken off the air by the end of the decade. The radio play series was retired. The CBC officially recognized the change in radio's significance by closing down the Dominion network in If radio had lost family and evening audiences, it swiftly regained stature as the companion of the individual.

Assisting that renaissance was the spread of transistor radios and car radios which enabled consumers to listen when they pleased and in solitude. Private radio made the transition with ease, actually increasing its ad revenue by two-thirds during the s.

Golden Age of Radio - Wikipedia

Programs as such disappeared in the new radio format, which emphasized the continual playing of recorded music interspersed with newscasts and commercials and which was hosted by disc jockeys who changed every few hours. The exceptions were broadcasts of sporting events and the new "open line" or phone-in programs, both legacies of the tradition of live radio.

More and more stations came to specialize in a particular brand of music: "middle-of-the-road,""easy listening,""rock" and eventually "country. The Canadian Radio-television Commission did promulgate various regulations to ensure a minimum of Canadian content on AM and to differentiate programming on FM.

American music remained the staple because it was so obviously popular with listeners, even in French Canada where regulations were necessary to protect the broadcast of francophone songs threatened by stations giving too much air time to American rock. As early as private stations had captured over three-quarters of the radio audience. The listening peaks were now in the early morning and in the late afternoon. The CBC was much slower to adapt to the times.

Up to the late s its schedule continued to look old-fashioned, filled with short, distinct programs. Finally, after , the CBC scrapped the old daytime program format and added 7 hours a day of morning and late-afternoon information programs. Revamped programs in popular music, arts, drama and criticism remained, especially in the evening hours.

Pirate radio

Likewise the CBC established its FM stereo network to offer listeners a chance to indulge their taste for high culture, particularly classical music and sophisticated learning. These changes were complemented by the elimination of all advertising in The renaissance of CBC programming almost doubled the audience share of the network's own stations in English Canada between and CBC radio gained a North American reputation as a showcase of excellence.

Little has changed in recent years. At present, however, radio remains the grand music box even CBC radio, where the majority of broadcasting is devoted to music , dispensing a range of sounds to serve a variety of different tastes.


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McNeil and M. Powley, Broadcasting from the Front ; S. Search The Canadian Encyclopedia. Remember me.