Neat Stuff

Red and Blue
NBC had two networks the Red and the Blue so named for the coloured ink used by AT&T to distinguish the lines carrying the programming of those networks.

In the early 1940s, the US Federal Government required RCA/NBC to divest itself of one of its two radio networks (and reduce station ownership to a maximum of seven stations). At that time some (not all) programs closed out with "This is the Red Network of the National Broadcasting Company" (g-e-c chimes), or "This is the Blue Network of the National Broadcasting Company" (g-e-c chimes), although "most" NBC broadcasts prior to the early 1940s simply close out "This is the National Broadcasting Company".

In 1940 or 1941, NBC spun the Blue Network off into a separate holding company called The Blue Network Company, Inc., that had no official connection or affiliation with NBC, although they were apparently still using the NBC Chimes as a system cue.

RCA/NBC sold the NBC-Blue network to Edward J. Noble and it was renamed ABC. For a while ABC still referred to itself as the Blue Network. Digest V2004 #307

Can a broken or cracked phonograph record be repaired?
Yes. Cracks only cause clicks that software can removed. Broken records can be taped together or even glued together by an expert restorer. This was demonstrated with the restoration of the 16-inch Vitaphone soundtrack disc of Al Jolson's 1926 short, "Plantation Scene." Although the picture element was well known to film archivists, all copies of the soundtrack disc were known to be lost as early as 1934. Rumors in the 1970s were that a Baltimore collector had a broken disc, and a few years ago The Vitaphone Project was able to track down his widow and confirm that the rumor was true. The disc had been poorly glued together, and it was taken to a restoration expert who spent weeks undoing the glue and regluing it properly. It even tracked perfectly without a stick or skip the first time. It has been declicked and resynchronized with the picture, and has been shown in several expositions. Source: Digest V2004 #304

Did the War of the Worlds broadcast have any effect on the CBS radio schedule for the remainder of the evening?
Nope. The only effect seems to have been the 12 to 15 second news bulletins between programs reminding listeners that the Mercury Theater broadcast was fiction not real and not based on true events. Source: Digest V2004 #304

How were radio shows recorded?
When broadcast live, radio shows were recorded on transcription disks. Each side would record fifteen or sixteen minutes and then the recording was continued on a second record on a second machine. Actually flipping the disk over and restarting on the other side would have resulted in up to twenty seconds of lost program. This is why there are scratches on one half of a program but not the other and why sometimes there is a fraction of a seconds pause and then the sound begins. If one disk is lost, then so is half the program. Source: Digest V2004 #304

Amos And Andy
Gosden and Correll were the two white radio actors that performed in the roles of Amos and Andy on the radio. While they did black dialect, mostly it was based on social class rather than race. This was true even of the black actors that appeared on the show. So, if Roy Glenn was appearing as a porter in a railroad station he would speak in a dialect -but if he was portraying a policeman or a business executive or other authority figure, the role would be presented in Standard English. Look for an upcoming book "The Original Amos 'n' Andy" for an entire chapter on the use of dialect in "Amos 'n' Andy," from a sociolinguistic point of view.

When Was the First Radio Program Broadcast?
The first formal radio program was broadcast by Reginald Fessenden on Christmas Eve 1906 with an encore the next week on New Year's Eve. There were other experimental stations into 1920, but following the election returns broadcasts on KDKA and the predecessor of WWJ in November 1920, radio stations started doing broadcast transmissions that evolved into "programs" during the next two years. Recognizable programs could be found in listings by 1924.



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Black Dialect in Amos and Andy
How were shows recorded?
Red and Blue Networks
Repairing Records
War of the Worlds
When Was the First Radio Program Broadcast?

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