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For Boston Radio, a Welcome Look Back
Paul McLane is U.S. editor in chief of Radio World.
I've raved before about the cool series of history books in the "Images of America" series, put out by Arcadia Publishing. These are paperbacks that take a given town, or one aspect of a town's history, and explore it through great archival photos, with text and editing by an expert on that topic.
Eunice Randall, Boston's first female announcer, is shown in 1921 at the AMRAD studio in an image from the book. Courtesy Arcadia Publishing/Eunice Stolecki
I wrote in 2008, "If Arcadia knows what's good for it, the company would launch a full series of radio station history books in the mold of this WLS title. They'd have a hit." Maybe they were listening, I don't know. But the latest book is about Boston radio, and it is written by Donna Halper, a friend to Radio World whose writings and love of our medium are familiar to many. She takes readers from Boston radio's formative years and the ensuing Golden Age, right up to the "Internet age." There are pix and stories about WBZ, the Yankee News Service, Arnie Ginsburg (that's "Woo Woo" on the ladder), Curt Gowdy and pioneering 1XE, later WGI, the "AMRAD" station. And muuuuch more.
The book of black-and-white photos retails for $21.99, and you can find out more about it at the
As I stated in my
, it's fun just to browse the thousands of topics Arcadia addresses. It has titles, in the Images series and others, on stories such as the history of WLS; broadcasting in Birmingham, Ala.; Philadelphia radio (pending); Detroit sports broadcasters; the history of WIVK(AM) in Knoxville, Tenn.; the "Cincinnati Sound"; and WNAX(AM) in Yankton, S.D. And now, the history of Boston radio.