Cover image for Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960
Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960
Sies, Luther F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, NC : McFarland, [2000]

Physical Description:
vii, 904 pages ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1991.2 .S57 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



This encyclopedic work comprehensively covers the performers and programming on American radio from its inception to its golden age. Extensively researched over the course of more than twenty years, this new work is the definitive source for scholars of communication, social and cultural history and the popular arts, as well as devoted fans of radio history.The encyclopedia includes entries for programs, announcers, orchestras, musicians, vocalists, comedians, vocal groups, readers, whistlers, musical saw soloists, ministers, sports commentators, reviewers (of books, plays and movies), celebrities, and other personnel broadcasting over American radio from the 1920s to the 1960s. Additional entries cover commercial radio, educational broadcasting, firsts in radio history, opera on radio, religious broadcasting, sports broadcasting, women in radio, border radio, children's programs, comedy on radio, crime shows and mysteries, daytime dramatic serials, and disk jockeys, among other topics.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

American radio's first 40 years was a period of great innovation and growth, resulting in a medium that flourished as a source of both entertainment and information. This massive encyclopedia from Sies, a retired college professor who has coordinated programs in speech, hearing, and language, contains thousands of numbered, alphabetically arranged entries describing specific radio programs and performers. Several different indexes help readers search the entries. For informative, capsulated information on radio programs during the Golden Age of radio, Sies's book is a great start. Although much of the time it doesn't go beyond providing introductory information, it does give in-depth coverage of general areas of radio study such as sports broadcasting and daytime dramatic serials. To date, this work is one of the most comprehensive relating to radio programming of the period, containing far more entries than Ron Lackman's recent Encyclopedia of American Radio A-Z (LJ 3/1/00), though it lacks illustrations. Recommended for academic and public library media collections.DDavid M. Lisa, Mercyhurst Coll. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Sies's encyclopedia captures the people, programs, and stations that make up the history of radio as a broadcast medium from its beginnings through its Golden Age. The author spent 30 years researching extensive radio archives in New York to compile the work. Besides predictable citations identifying performers and short essays on each program's contents, the work provides lengthier essays on broader topics; e.g., "Religious Broadcasting," "Wartime Radio," "Stations--Growth and Development." Readers interested in the rationale behind radio call letters will be delighted to find multiple examples here. Compared with recent similar works on this topic, such as Vincent Terrace's Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of over 1800 Shows (CH, Apr'99), Jay Hickerson's The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide to All Circulating Shows (1992), John Dunning's On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time-Radio (1998), Frank Buxton and Bill Owen's The Big Broadcast, 1920-1950 (2nd ed., 1997), Sies's book appears more comprehensive. Indexes include stations by call number, programs by title, and performer names. An appendix containing a useful chronology of US radio history is provided, as is a bibliography of books. ; formerly, University of Pennsylvania