History of Radio 1922 to 1928

About the history of radio from 1922 to 1928 including government legislation of radio, the rise of the FRC precursor to the FCC, the start of the Grand Ole Opry and NBC, and more.



Feb. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover called the Washington Radio Conference to straighten out the chaos of stations broadcasting on the same wavelength. Concerning advertising on radio, Hoover said, "It is inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service to be drowned in advertising chatter."

Aug. 28 WEAF, New York, broadcast its first income-producing program, a 10-minute message promoting the sale of apartments in Jackson Heights.

Oct. 16 Nineteen years before Pearl Harbor, former Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels predicted flatly, "Nobody now fears that a Japanese fleet could deal an unexpected blow on our Pacific possessions. . . . Radio makes surprise impossible."


Nov. An estimated 25 million people across the nation heard the clipped tones of President Coolidge's election eve address.

* Americans spent $358 million on radio sets and parts, six times the figure of two years before.


Feb. David Sarnoff, now an executive of RCA, dashed off another memo: "Put all stations of all parties into a broadcasting company which can be made self-supporting and probably revenue-producing, the telephone company to furnish wires as needed."

Nov. 28 Nashville's Grand Ole Opry debuted.


Nov. 15 NBC began broadcasting with a program from the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria.

* Uncle Don (Carney) debuted over WOR, Newark, with his bedtime stories. He spent the rest of his long career denying the story which made him famous--that one night, after signing off and assuming the mike dead, he said, "There! I guess that'll hold the little bastards for another night."

* Sales of radio sets and parts topped half a billion dollars.


Jan. Congress passed the Radio Act, which provided for the licensing of stations "in the public interest, convenience or necessity" and for the establishment of a supervisory body, the Federal Radio Commission (later to become the Federal Communications Commission).

Sept. 18 The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System, forerunner of CBS, transmitted its first program, featuring Howard Barlow and a concert orchestra playing "Tales from the Vienna Woods."


* The National Association of Broadcasters issued a code of ethics. One of its provisions banned commercials between 7:00 and 11:00 P.M.

Sept. William S. Paley became president of the foundering CBS, and things started looking up.

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