Radio Books Make Great Presents
haven’t visited my book shelf in a while! With the holidays coming,
here are three titles that would make nice gifts.
‘Seattle Radio’ by John Schneider: KIRO Chief Engineer James B.
Hatfield shows one of the water-cooled tubes in the station’s new
transmitter to Doris Klemkaski, the University of Washington ‘Queen
of Queens,’ standing, and Warner Bros. starlet Ella Raines at a
dedication in 1941. Photo courtesy of Hatfield & Dawson.
S. Berg was the court administrator for the Massachusetts District
Court system until his retirement; but his career in law is not why I
mention him today.
has been tuning into the radio shortwaves for more than five decades;
and he helps contribute to the survival of shortwave listening as a
member of the executive council of the North American Shortwave
Association and chair of the Committee to Preserve Radio
has just authored his fourth and final book in a series about
shortwave listening and broadcasting. “The Early Shortwave
Stations: A Broadcasting History Through 1945” is published by
first in the set was “On the Short Waves, 1923–1945: Broadcast
Listening in the Pioneer Days of Radio” and covered the early years
of the medium. “Listening on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today” was
about the listening culture, while “Broadcasting on the Short
Waves, 1945 to Today” was a year-by-year account of stations on the
third volume contained more comprehensive station information than
the first had. So in this new book, Berg returns to the years
1923–1945 and applies the same year-by-year approach.
the two volumes present as full an account as there is of the
shortwave broadcasting stations that were heard in the United States
for nearly the entire period of the medium’s existence,” he
writes in the preface, adding that all four books are from an
in a straightforward chronological style, the book includes some
great photos and plenty of fun QSL cards. Any shortwave enthusiast or
radio history buff would enjoy it.
Early Shortwave Stations” is 340 pages and published in softcover;
it retails for $45. Berg dedicated it in part to Dr. Adrian M.
Peterson, another advocate of shortwave, whose byline has appeared in
Radio World several times. Visit www.mcfarlandpub.com.
* * *
may recall that I enjoy the “Images of America” series from
Arcadia Publishing. Each book takes a topic in American history,
often a very local one, and explores it through a series of wonderful
archival photographs. Your hometown or neighborhood may very well be
the subject of one of these books.
series includes several about radio in various cities. The latest is
“Seattle Radio,” written by John F. Schneider, whose own
collection of historical radio photos has often been featured in
Radio World and who authored an earlier book for Arcadia about radio
in the Bay Area.
for many years worked in radio equipment sales in the Northwest and
was chair of the SBE chapter there for a time. He acknowledges the
challenge of trying to tell the story of “the thousands of
important people and events that passed in front of the Puget Sound
microphones during almost 90 years.”
he does a super job, and a reader can easily sense the love behind
his labor. Here you’ll enjoy photos of AM stations KING and KVI; of
Vincent Kraft and Larry Nelson; of the Cobb Building and the Northern
Life Tower; and of Roy Olmstead, “King of the Puget Sound
Bootleggers.” The engineering profession is well represented, as in
a great shot of the KOMO-KJR transmitter staff, where we see a dozen
men in suit and ties standing stiffly outside of their facility, and
another of James B. Hatfield out on a boat on the open water
measuring the signal strength of KIRO(AM).
Radio” is from Arcadia Publishing and retails for $21.99. Find it
online, at a bookstore or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
* * *
from prolific publisher Focal Press is a book that came out a year
and a half ago but is plenty relevant: “Recording Studio Design,
Third Edition” by Philip Newell. The author is a consultant on
acoustic design and was technical director of Virgin Records.
this hefty softcover he covers key principles of successful studio
construction, starting with general requirements and common errors.
How to approach sound isolation? How much space will you need, how
much height, how much floor loading capacity? Then it’s on to
sound, decibels and hearing; room acoustics; designing “neutral”
rooms and rooms with characteristic acoustics; operational
considerations; the studio environment; loudspeaker considerations;
control rooms; and numerous other practical audio-related topics.
is essentially a textbook, illustrated with plenty of technical
diagrams yet not overly esoteric. Its precepts will serve anyone who
must build a studio in which audio quality is a concern, whether
that’s for broadcasting, video/film or music-making.
Studio Design” from Focal Press retails for $89.95. Visit