Sunday, November 2, 2008

Five best: the golden age of radio

At the Wall Street Journal, Anthony Rudel named a five best list of books about the "Golden Age of Radio."

One title on his list:
Raised on Radio
by Gerald Nachman
Pantheon, 1998

Gerald Nachman was hooked on radio from an early age, and his love of the medium comes through on every page of "Raised on Radio." He describes the book as "a kind of memoir in that many of the shows within these pages were more real to me than my own life." Each chapter is devoted to a particular type of show -- the chapter called "Saddle Sore" discusses western dramas like "The Lone Ranger," while "Nesting Instincts" deals with domestic comedies. "Fibber McGee and Molly," he tells us, "seamlessly blended vaudeville high jinks with radio's cozier atmospherics." In addition to conjuring what it was like to sit at home and feel riveted by the stories emanating from the big box that dominated the living room, Nachman interviews many of the old radio writers and performers, who only enhance the sense that there was a certain magic in that vanished time.
Read about the other four books on Rudel's list.

Anthony Rudel is the author of the newly released Hello, Everybody! The Dawn of American Radio.

Visit Anthony Rudel's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue