Alan Boris author of Philadelphia Radio

Friday, September 30, 7pm – Author Event

Alan Boris author of

Philadelphia Radio ($21.99 Arcadia Publishing)

Philadelphia Radio is the first book devoted to the history of radio broadcasting in Philadelphia. Written by [a] life-long Philadelphian, the book features over 200 photos (many rarely seen) designed to entertain as well as educate. Philadelphia radio broadcasting began in 1922, when the city’s first officially licensed stations went on the air. Within a few years, what had begun as a small, experimental medium became a full-fledged craze as families listened to live news, sports, and entertainment for the first time. In 1932, the first building designed for radio broadcasting opened on Chestnut Street, coinciding with the golden age of radio that featured live orchestras, soap operas, and imaginative dramas. In the 1950’s, a few stations began playing rock and roll, and Philadelphia became known as a city that not only produced hit music but also consistently broke new acts. By the 1970s, FM radio began to grab the majority of listeners, and once again Philadelphia stations were responsible for breaking new artists, such as Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.

Alan Boris is a local radio historian and the founder/director of the Philadelphia Radio Archives. In Philadelphia Radio, he has compiled a collection of rarely seen images from a variety of sources, including Philadelphia radio personalities, listeners, stations, and historical societies.

Philadelphia Radio Personalities, Photos include: Hy Lit, Ed Sciaky, Georgie Woods, Bill Wright, Jerry Blavat, Joe Niagara, Jerry Stevens, Jim O’Brien, Sid Mark, Perry Johnson, Louise Williams, Pierre Robert, Michael Tearson and many more!

The history of Philadelphia Radio is also the history of Philadelphia: its people, locations businesses, and interests. In addition to well-known radio personalities, here are some of the Philadelphia icons you’ll see in this book: Walter Annenberg, Frank Palumbo, Richardson Dilworth, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Cecil Moore, Frank Rizzo.

  • Philadelphia radio broadcasting just celebrated the 89th year anniversary of the city’s first broadcast on March 1.
  • Some of the city’s well-known buildings were built by and used as radio stations, including the Art Institute at 1622 Chestnut (formerly WCAU_ and the 1619 Walnut building (formerly KYW).
  • Philadelphia was one of the first cities to originate teen dance radio shows, starting with the 950 club on WPEN in 1946 and later on WFIL’s American Bandstand.
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