When Radio Memories Was Heard on KDKA

Photo of Harold Peary and Jane Darwell eating a meal in the 1942 movie The Great Gildersleeve
Harold Peary and Jane Darwell in the movie The Great Gildersleeve (1942)

An honorable mention-winning entry in the KDKA Radio Memories essay contest:

About two years ago, a week before Christmas, I was putting up the Christmas decorations in my room and decided to listen to the radio. A little tired with the music on the FM band, I switched it over to AM. After twiddling around with the dial, I came upon KFKA and heard someone yell with what seemed like anger, "Leroy!" Which was followed by a little kid's voice angelically answering, "Yeah, unc?" And so I was then wrapped up into the world of The Great Gildersleeve. So wrapped up that I forgot about my Christmas decorations.

Every week I tuned in to hear The Great Gildersleeve, The Shadow, Musical Memories and many others. I am also into the historical snippets. My father is a history teacher at the university and it's really cool to hear those variations of major events. The shows also give me an idea of how life was in the '30s, '40s and early '50s. I am interested in that period of time, when radio played a major role in people's lives. It gave them news, weather and entertainment. It has given me memories now, such as sitting on a cold Sunday night, bundled up in my room listening to The Shadow, or hearing about an old baseball game in the summer. The program gives me a feeling of relaxation that I can forget everything for the time being and listen to the actors as they make a story come alive in my head. I look forward to it every week and will for years to come.

Jacquie Welsh in Return With Us Now, May 2002

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