Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gretchen McMullen's Radio Cooking School

Gretchen McMullen's Radio Cooking School on 590 WEEI-AM from Boston and was designed to supplement lessons broadcasted from January to July, 1928.  The book was compiled to promotes the "Housekeeper's Chat" radio show on WEEI.

It was one of the earliest cooking/housekeeping programs , but it turned out to be long-lived. The show was not only still running 14 years later, just not on WEEI.  By then also syndicated on all 12 Yankee Network stations: WNAC-AM, WICC-AM, WEAN-AM, WLLH-AM, WRDO-AM, WTAG-AM, WSAR-AM, WCSH-AM, WLBZ-AM, WTIC-AM, WNBH-AM, and WFEA-AM. That's  according to the December 10th 1938 issue of Radio Guide.  But it's congruous with WNAC being a part in the Yankee Network after 1930. More here.

Alexander Russo refers to her in his book Points on the Dial: Golden Age Radio Beyond the Networks. Apparently John Shepard III had a hand in co-branding “The Gretchen McMullen Household Hour.” More here. The book is worth reading on it's own merits.

In 1941 she appears in the Radio yearbook on the staff of WBZA, and in 1942 she's noted in a 1942 issue of Broadcasting as taking a job at WBZ as a part of the new England Regional Network. The article also describes her as a food expert with 15 years broadcasting experience.  That matches nicely with a start date +/- 1 year from the publication of the that cook book. But where she went after 1943, I have no idea...