Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pat Barnes Pablum

Patrick Henry Barnes wrote trite, mundane,  piffle. Correspondingly it was pretty popular. People like trite fluffy crap. Poetry was common radio fare in the content-strapped 1920s.  Really very little of it survived into the golden era.  Pat Barnes was the Program Director of WHT-AM. By all reports he was also the announcer for this show which collected poem he liked and tried to popularize. By all reports, it was all rather flowery and unremarkable... I'll name a few:
A Son's Letter to his Dead Father
The House with Nobody in it
Is there a Santa Clause
Letter From the Trenches
The Beautiful Snow

WHT-AM began in 1925 on 1260, later slipping the day and broadcasting at night on 750 (possibly 720). It became a dayshare on 1480 with WJAZ-AM and WORD-AM starting in 1928.  That was a big year for the FRC who was re-allocating stations trying to put an end to the chaos. That lasted until at least 1931. In that year pleading for an under-served northern Kentucky all three stations were forced off air for WCKY-AM in Covington. They ;later moved to Cincinnati, negating the argument but by then it's 3 adversaries were long gone.  All those call letters were re-used by various entities, WJAZ by Zenith actually... except for WHT.  There is no 1480 in Chicago today, nor is there a 1260... a legacy effect of the frequency shuffling almost a century ago.

In 1930 Radiophone Broadcasting Corporation changed the calls to WCHI-AM on 1490, then changed calls to WSOA in 1931 right before the end. Transmitting from Deerfield, IL the Radiophone Broadcasting Corporation did what they could with the crowded 5,000 watt station. In sum, WHT existed for no more than six years in Chicago land radio history. It was a veritable blink in the context of heritage stations like WMAQ, which started earlier and lasted. In between organ concerts and other local programs Pat Barnes found time to read poetry and essays on the air.  The book was published in 1927.. possibly at the height of the briefly lived station.