Monday, April 30, 2012

BOOK WEEK: The Airwaves Of New York

This week I am dedicating to just some of the books I refer to most frequently in my research. Some of these are reference books, others are history books, but they are only the most important and frequently used books in my radio library. Every book I write about in BOOK WEEK is a must-own, but among them all this one comes first. Today I'd like to start with the one that is certainly the most important, Airwaves Of New York by Bill Jaker, Frank Sulek and Peter Kanze.

Airwaves Of New York was first printed in 1998 this book catalogs the complete histories of 156 AM radio station sin the New York metro from 1921 to 1996. I go back to this book more than any other because it covers the biggest radio market and it does so in canonical thoroughness. The book desperately needs an FM-band sequel. Actually Scott Fybush was collaborating on just such a book with Kanze and Sulek. Sulek is now deceased so I presume it's just him and Kanze now. More here. Knowing Fybush it'll be worth the wait. In the bibliography you'll find other favorites of mine, both The Golden Web and A Tower In Babel by Erik Barnouw are there but also The Deejays by Arnold Passman. Much of the rest is also on my wish-list.

Author Bill Jaker is a producer at 89.3 WSKG up in Binghamton, NY. He appears innumerable times in the thanks lists of other radio history books. Frank Sulek is a radio producer for the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Peter Kanze was the PD over at  88.1 WARY at Westchester Community College. He's known widely as a collector of radio airchecks, and as a co-producer of  the BBC/Billboard series Twenty-five Years of Rock. He has a radio resume as long as my arm. There's a nice profile here.