We all listen to the radio. Spending many hours in our cars going to and from work or shopping, the radio is our constant companion. We check it for news, talk shows, sports updates, weather reports and the music genre of choice. But Boomers look back fondly to Golden Age of Radio, when a radio was truly the center of our lives.
We recall our younger days, waking to radio programs and music. Our stay-at-home moms kept the radio tuned to favorite programs throughout the day while they attended to household chores. And when the father came home, the entire family ate together and listened to the radio. If kids had their homework assignments complete, they were allowed to stay up a little later and continue to listen.
Today, we are a visual people. Everything must be in plain sight. During the Golden Age of Radio, everything was in the imagination. We sat by the radio and imagined what Mortimer Snerd would say next to his puppeteer friend, Edgar Bergen. We wondered at the roar of laughter from the hilarious pauses of Jack Benny as he milked his audience for every chuckle. We imagined what kind of hair-brained scheme Kingfish would come up with next on the Amos and Andy Show.
As for sheer terror, nothing is more frightening than anticipation, and we had plenty of frightening moments during the Inner Sanctum, The Shadow and other mystery radio programs. Our Miss Brooks, Fibber McGee and Molly and Groucho Marx made us laugh while the Lone Ranger, Gangbusters and Sky King kept us glued in suspense to the side of the Philco. Other great programs of that era, such as Ozzie and Harriet, Burns and Allen, Bob Hope, the Cisco Kid, FBI In Peace and War, Mr. and Mrs. Burns, Arthur Godfrey, Gun Smoke (before TV) and Tales of the Texas Rangers, stir a huge pot of memories.
Children today are showered with every activity and convenience imaginable, but often at the expense of using their imaginations. One of the most cherished memories of today’s Boomer generation is to look back and remember family time around the radio, a time where we were allowed and encouraged to use our imaginations. It was truly a Golden Age.