Monday, February 22, 2010

The Big Broadcast

"The Big Broadcast" is a radio Show on WFUV in New York City. When I lived in the City, it was a station I listened to on a daily basis. Rich Conaty hosted the program spinning vocal pop and jazz from the 1920's and 1930's. It's not the only Big Broadcast, but you have to start somewhere.What I find most interesting abotu The Big Broadcast program. is it's duration. Rich started the program 35 years ago. That's before WBGO even began airing Jazz. Now strangely in 1992 Conaty left WFUV in an attempt to take the program to a commercial venue, 1560 WQEW-AM. Conaty himself actually claimed that the gig was for less money. He goal was to reach a bigger audience. Ultimately it didn't work out. Commercial radio is narrow, unforgiving and always under pressure to sell ads. In 1997 he came back home to WFUV. A year later WQEW dropped their under performing Nostalgia format and became a Radio Disney Station.

I tell you all this because "The Big Broadcast" is has a great etymology. In 1932 it was the name of a feature film (series of films actually) There was a Big Broadcast film in 1936, 1937 and 1938. They were films about radio variety Shows. The 1938 version Stars Bob Hope as the Radio host Buzz Fielding on New York radio Station WADX.

Inexplicably There is also a Big Broadcast at WAMU in Washington D.C. This one is hosted by Ed Walker but mixes in more oldies to the playlist reaching as far up at the 1950s. That program dates back to 1964, but only picked up the "Big Broadcast" name in 1990. It's also the name of an encyclopedia of radio history by Frank Buxton known to contain a number of errors. (hello kettle)