It is currently Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:36 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 229
I've been listening to old radio dramas on YT. They're quite engaging. Any members here old enough to have grown up pre TV?

If so what to you recall of radio dramas and when did your family get TV? What was that like?

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:21 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36120
Location: United States of Kabuki
*raises hand*

Got our first TV in the early or mid-1960s, I think it was. It was black-and-white screen, which was what most people had, and we were hooked. Of course I was big on the Lone Ranger and Mighty Mouse and all that stuff, but the best part for me was educational TV. Back then it was largely college-produced and highly eclectic, so I actually got to see real surgeries, and they were in your face. I don't know if they were live, but it's pretty cool - and gnarly - to see an actual C-section for yourself when you're 7 years old and into all things gross. There was also a very artistically astute production of a section from the Tale of Genji, but I'm pretty sure it had to have been produced in Japan, such were the overall aesthetics and camera angles; I didn't know squat at the time, but I understood intuitively that no American production would have shown such subtle sophistication in presenting what I was later to learn were fleeting impressions of Heian court life. I've tried to find it since, but haven't been able to track it down. We were in a largely agricultural area, so you'd get a lot of that on EduTV too, of course, and since I love animals, I was always happy with those programs. Those were the days.

Then came the day when NBC broadcast The Wizard of Oz in color for the first time, and the whole neighborhood went to the only house with a color TV for the spectacle. It was great. Up to and just after the tornado ride everything was in sepia tones, and we wondered what the big deal was, but when Dorothy opened her door onto Technicolor Munchkin Land, everyone gasped. That was a good touch.

Radio dramas don't resonate in my early memory, though. They existed, but I don't recall us gathering around for them; either you paid attention, or you didn't. Radio was a standard feature at breakfast, and most of it was agricultural stocks (which had nothing to do with us, but no one minded; that was our community, too); but there was always a section called "Breakfast Brevities", led by the English tune Country Gardens, and the program was meant to be entertaining in a homespun sort of way. I don't remember much about it other than I thought it was called "Breakfast Remedies", which Mom thought was hilarious.

I only really started listening to radio dramas later in life, and I found them surprisingly entertaining. But for me the real go-to radio show was always A Prairie Home Companion. It was more a variety show that incorporated comic skits, but that was part of the charm. There's a spinoff now, and I expect it's just as sophisticated and trenchant as its predecessor, but I haven't caught it since the other ended. In fact, I don't listen to any radio broadcasting at all, now, unless someone else wants to. When I'm driving, I just drive. If I want music, it's already there for me in my head.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 936
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
TV - black & white - 9" screen with, a huge (glycerine?) magnifier on the front so we could all see it from about 4ft away. Quatermass & the Pit was a major serial in the late 50's, & Dr Who in the early 60's. Watch With Mother - Andy Pandy - Rag, Tag & Bobtail - Magic Roundabout - Roy Rogers - The Lone Ranger - The Avengers - Perry Mason - The Tonight Program - just some of the programs I remember being on the BBC in my childhood years.

Radio - Family Favourites - The Clithero Kid - The Navy Lark - Tony Hancock's Half Hour - The Archers - Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy - some crime serials, are some of what I remember listening to.

Didn't have ITV until the late 60's, & never saw a colour TV until abroad in the Army, early 70's.

Those were the days......as they say..... :D

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:24 pm
Posts: 229
I have gotten some interesting responses to this query. This motivated me to look up a bit of TV history. I was surprise to find there was a mechanical TV in the late 1800s. Electric TV was invented in 1927. It much surprises me to read responses here of people who first got a TV in the 60s. I was born in '62 and TV just seemed to always be part of life. When I tell people now I have been without TV for 26, 27 years it makes them stumble in the conversation in incredulity.

_________________
A moment of carelessness, a lifetime of regret.
A lifetime of carelessness, a moment of regret.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:47 pm
Posts: 85
Michael w6 wrote:
I was born in '62 and TV just seemed to always be part of life.


As Alan Kay said:
Quote:
Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:48 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36120
Location: United States of Kabuki
Michael w6 wrote:
It much surprises me to read responses here of people who first got a TV in the 60s. I was born in '62 and TV just seemed to always be part of life.

I have no idea why we didn't have it sooner, other than maybe we couldn't afford it until then. But it's probably more likely that TV just wasn't a cultural priority until it became a matter of "keeping up with the Joneses". I never asked, because it never occurred to me to do so; I'd simply assumed that TVs weren't readily available in my locale until then. And it's entirely possible, because our little town on the Plains was very much a commercial outlier at the time; sure, we had frozen shrimp and it was ridiculously cheap (somehow I never tired of Mom's frequent shrimp curry), but TVs were more of a rumor. If anyone else had one before we did, it must not have been a big deal - at least to me - because I distinctly remember that I didn't go to my friends' homes just to watch it (with the exception of the Great Wizard of Oz In Color Event - and by then we had our own TV anyway, so that doesn't really count). So either I simply didn't care about it if we didn't have one when others did, or most of the neighbors also didn't have TVs for whatever reason. In any event, my family's pre-TV home entertainments were almost exclusively by way of LPs, books, and catalogs; the radio wasn't that big a presence by comparison, and the piano was more of a chore than a pleasure. It was only after getting our own TV that the media spell was well and truly cast. Our popcorn intake increased exponentially.

As to radios, it was definitely a big deal for me when the small transistor radio came out; it was the first media source that could be my own personal possession, and its easy portability was the seal of my growing independence.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 1012
We had a Philco, because we lived with my grandfather and he was foreman of the electroplating shop at Philco. My brother and I slept in an unheated attic.. It seems to me it arrived when I was four or five, which would have been 62 or 63, but there might have been a tv there earlier. Jackie Gleason. Odd religious shows on Sunday morning, before mass. Soap operas. Local stations with Saturday morning shows. Watching Kennedy’s funeral. Phillies games.

Color came in probably not long after, maybe 65? The Batman tv show. Adjusting the rabbit ears. Occasionally Somebody going up to the roof to adjust the antenna, and yelling back and forth


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 936
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Quote:
As to radios, it was definitely a big deal for me when the small transistor radio came out; it was the first media source that could be my own personal possession, and its easy portability was the seal of my growing independence.

That, & the newly discovered Radio Luxemburg, playing our kind of music, not our parents & grand parents music! :wink:

Then it took off when Radio Caroline hit the air waves, quickly followed by Radio London, these were 'our' Stations in the 60's. :D

But then the old fuddy duddies banned them, & introduced Radio One as a substitute, & it all went downhill from then. :(

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 632
In the late 50s we had the first TV in my small town, though we were not its first owners. It was about 20 inches tall and about 30" square with a screen smaller than my current laptop. It had been previously owned by the town doctor who was a friend of my dad.

My dad was carpenter by trade but a genius by genetics who had wanted to be a doctor himself. He had had been accepted to go to college, but it was the great depression so he dropped out of high school to work on an uncles farm. He was a National Merit Scholar and was allowed to graduate with his brother bringing home his school work. When I was sorting through the last box of papers I had stuffed into my attic after we closed down their house 20 years earlier I found his acceptance letter with the $600 bill attached. The inflation calculator has that at less than $12,000 today, but it may as well have been a billion. There was no money to be had. People were working for literal chickens. I also found a sophomore essay on Hitler written in 1932 and a bit of art work. It is interesting the things that get saved. That letter and the artwork sort of broke my heart for him.

As you may remember from my egg slicer thread hijack, my parents became pack rats after WWII. So even after that TV had long given up the ghost and had been replaced at least three times, it lived on a work bench in our garage under a tarp. He always thought it might be worth something someday.

No one really watched it or listened to the radio serials much. Though the folks did turn it on daily for the news and a radio was always on for music. My sister remembers Howdy Doody. I do not. Programming in the 60s got catchier though and I remember the TV would always be on in the background if someone was in the living room.

In the 70s an old boss of mine became obsessed with the old radio serials that were being re-broadcast on some Chicago station. He carefully recorded them on cassette and would enjoy sharing them while were were doing work that involved our hands. They weren't half bad.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:44 pm
Posts: 600
Location: Washington State
As a child in the 80s, my parents would rent cassette tapes of the old radio shows. We did not have a tv set most of our childhood, so the radio dramas were like gold to me. Our Miss Brooks, Lone Ranger, Cisco Kid, Sgt Preston of the Yukon, Life of Riley, various others. My favorite by far was X minus 1.

I recently moved halfway across the US, and spent a good portion of the drive listening to some of these. I've often thought there should be modern radio drama - but i cannot see a scenario in which it would be popular enough to thrive.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:23 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36120
Location: United States of Kabuki
awildman wrote:
I've often thought there should be modern radio drama - but i cannot see a scenario in which it would be popular enough to thrive.

There are indeed modern radio dramas, but you only find them on independent or publicly funded programming.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:27 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36120
Location: United States of Kabuki
fatmac wrote:
Quote:
As to radios, it was definitely a big deal for me when the small transistor radio came out; it was the first media source that could be my own personal possession, and its easy portability was the seal of my growing independence.

That, & the newly discovered Radio Luxemburg, playing our kind of music, not our parents & grand parents music! :wink:

Then it took off when Radio Caroline hit the air waves, quickly followed by Radio London, these were 'our' Stations in the 60's. :D

But then the old fuddy duddies banned them, & introduced Radio One as a substitute, & it all went downhill from then. :(

Do I take it that these were unlicensed, underground broadcasts, then?

Back when AM radio was the only game in town, the fare where I lived was often delightfully eclectic: You'd have country, R&B, Doo-Wop and the latest rock music all together in one program. Very egalitarian in its diversity. It was only later on that programming became genre-specific.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Detroit Metro
Nanohedron wrote:
It was definitely a big deal for me when the small transistor radio came out.

I have a few transistor radios. They are only occasionally used; my Grundig shortwave set gets used much more frequently. Yet I hope that radio won't undergo a major shift like TV going digital, rendering cool vintage equipment nearly worthless.

As far as I know, I always had a TV when I was growing up. However, my parents only had over-the-air programming; I'd already joined the Navy before they had satellite service. If there was nothing on the five or six channels we received that I found appealing, then I did something else. I'd rather go without a TV entirely than go back to over-the-air only!

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:20 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36120
Location: United States of Kabuki
Dan A. wrote:
I'd rather go without a TV entirely than go back to over-the-air only!

Sometimes I wonder. Apart from the news, almost all of it is reruns - even on the public programming I value so much. It's still Newton Minow's "vast wasteland", only much vaster. Plus now I pay tons for the privilege.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: PRE TV?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 381
Location: Detroit Metro
Nanohedron wrote:
Plus now I pay tons for the privilege.

I pay for both cable and Internet service. For some goofy reason, it's cheaper to have both, so I'm paying for cable that I rarely use. Why they don't offer me just Internet at a lower price, I don't know.

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.093s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)