Experiencing the Golden Years of Radio in the 1940s

The 1930s and 1940s are known as the Golden Age of Radio. This segment of Iowa PBS’s "Picture Perfect: Iowa in the 1940s" documentary includes Iowans’ firsthand recollections from a time before television, when radio was king of the airwaves.


Narrator: Money was tight when Everett took his photographs. Buffeted by two world wars and the lingering hardships of the depression, the residents of Ridgeway coped as best they could. Dancing to big bands and gathering around radios to listen to their favorite programs were welcome diversions to the economic realities of the time.

[ Radio Broadcast ]

Announcer: The Amos and Andy Show!

John Moe, Ridgeway High School Alumnus: I remember Amos and Andy. That was one where the family got together to listen to that.

Bob McQueen, Ridgeway High School Alumnus: We used to hurry home from school. There were programs for youngsters. I remember Jack Armstrong, the all-American boy sponsored by Wheaties cereal, and I think there was Little Orphan Annie, and there were a number of shows, Buck Rogers or Buck Jones or something like that. That was youngsters and that normally needed around 6:00. Then we had normally our evening meal, and then the evenings at our home, the radio became the priority of my parents. If it was something that they weren’t interested, maybe I could use the radio. But my turn was after school ‘til dinner time. After that it was their turn.


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