Radio Waves

Feeling Much Better

Mar 27, 2020
teemus08 / Wikimedia Commons

Take that, you hucksters!  This month, as I thought about trying to come up with something remotely scintillating to say about BORDER RADIO, I had trouble generating much enthusiasm.

Don’t get me wrong:  my problem wasn’t because of the book.  BORDER RADIO is a great read—and certainly a perfect choice for a RADIO Readers book club pick.  The writing is fun and fluid and interesting and entertaining.  The information is perhaps fairly new to many of us, but it might also bring back long-lost memories of hearing Wolfman Jack in the middle of the night, most of us probably not even knowing or wanting to know much about where he was broadcasting from.  We just enjoyed listening to him talk and play music.

The information about Dr. Brinkley, the goat gland man, and other hucksters may have lurked in the back of our memories too—especially if we were from Kansas. Learning about Brinkley’s weird science is both laughable and horrible at the same time.

What Are We EVEN Talking About?

Mar 25, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

This is PJ Pronger from Amarillo with an HPPR Radio Readers BookByte. The third and final selection for this season is “Border Radio” by Gene Fowler and Bill Crawford. Subtitled, “Quacks, yodelers, pitchmen, psychics, and other amazing broadcasters of the American airwaves”, this breezy and easy-reading book focuses on the years in radio broadcasting when people were beginning to see huge commercial potential in it, but regulation was behind the curve.

Lessons from Journalism Class

Mar 23, 2020
Ray Bowers, U S Air Force / Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

As entertaining and enjoyable as I found Gene Fowler’s “Border Radio” my senses perked up at two different tones of voice on two different stories. One story seemed to have only a single source and the other numerous source documents. One made me suspicious that facts were invented and the other made me suspicious that facts were mangled.

The Birth of Broadcast Journalism

Mar 6, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from the Sociology Department at Fort Hays State University for HPPR's Book-Bytes. This is a discussion of the book, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism  by journalist Bob Edwards. 

In reading this book from a sociological perspective, I am reminded of how media and technology interact with society, and can not only shape, but be shaped by cultural trends. 

Just as a reminder, to those not familiar with Murrow's name, Edward R. Murrow is famous for his cutting-edge journalism, including his World War II radio reporting, the team of well-trained reporters he mentored, his goals to educate the public on current events, his efforts to save scholars from Nazi Germany, and for standing up to the persecution of colleagues by the powerful McCarthy political machine under the guise of anti-Communism.  Upon reflection, Murrow's story is as timely today, as it was when Murrow lived it. 

Now More Than Ever

Feb 28, 2020
Public Domain

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer from Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk about this month’s Radio Readers book club selection, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism.

First, I just want to say what a ridiculously fun little read this was. I knew about Murrow’s role in putting an end to Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting scare tactics. And I had even heard some of Murrow’s broadcasts from London during the German air raids of World War II.

Pioneer Who Shaped Broadcast's World

Feb 12, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza talking to you from Topeka about Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism by Bob Edwards. One of the selections for this season’s theme of Radio Waves. 

Radio Readers BookByte: The Comfort of a Mythic Place

Jan 31, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

Hi. I’m Valerie Mendoza talking to you today from one of my favorite places—my public library in Topeka. I just finished reading Stormy Weather by Paulette Giles and wanted to share some thoughts with my fellow HPPR Radio Readers.

Radio Readers BookByte: Family Troubles

Jan 20, 2020
Dorthea Lange, Farm Security Administration / Library of Congress

This is Leslie VonHolten with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

Jeanine and her sisters Mayme and Bea, and their mother Elizabeth, are forced to forge a new life in the book Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

Their father was, to put it mildly, a drunken lout who worked hard and played harder in the oil fields of Texas.

Leslie VonHolten lives in Strong City, Kansas, in the heart of the beautiful Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. Her writing interests are in the area of environmental art and culture. “Our land, the weather, the seasons, and even the night sky dictate the terms of our lives,” she said. “No one knows that better than people who live and work in the High Plains. That’s why I love discussing books for HPPR. Our conversations  always expand my perceptions.”