I first developed a love for old time radio (a.k.a. “o.t.r.”) in 1979/1980. I was 10 years old and we had moved from Dallas, Texas to Roxton, Texas–a tiny little town about 100 miles NE of Dallas.
Being 1979, cable had not made it’s big boom yet, and it would be years before cable television was available in many small U.S. towns, so our only option was to put up a TV antenna. The antenna stood for a month or two, but was knocked down in a big storm and was never erected again.
I had spent my first 10 years living in front of a television, so the thought of going without TV simply mortified me. My brother and mother weren’t quite as grief-stricken as myself because they were both avid readers. I, on the other hand, had spent my years at school being considered “slow,” and found reading to be more of a chore than an enjoyment.
Mom finally got me interested in reading to pass away the hours that I would have normally been vegetating in front of a TV set, so between book and the radio, we were usually thoroughly entertained….especially when my brother and I discovered old time radio!
One of the Dallas AM stations (that came in quite clearly 100 miles away) aired old radio shows on Saturday & Sunday nights. I discovered Fibber McGee & Molly, Burns & Allen, Baby Snooks, Eddie Cantor, The Shadow, The Whistler and many more shows that I had never knew existed.
Weekly, Mom would take us to the library to check out more books. I discovered that our library had an extensive collection of between 300 and 500 old radio shows. I was on Cloud 9!
I’ve enjoyed old time radio ever since, and with the free shows that are available on the internet, I will forever have entertainment at my disposal without haveing to resort to the boob tube.
I’d love to hear from other otr fans–especially those who remember the good old days when old time radio wasn’t old.
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