The Return of the Age of Radio Stories
During the 1950s, 60s and 70s it would not be unusual for children and their parents to sit around the radio and listen to a classic story, documentary or insightful news item. Television was mainly a black and white, low quality picture with less than two channels to select from and the radio was king when providing a source of entertainment for children and adults alike.
Comedy shows based on the spoken word, quiz shows like That Was the Year That Was, The Adventures of Charlie Chan, Desert Island Discs, Inner Sanctum Mysteries and the Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore Show. Classics like these radio shows would grace our wireless sets and keep us hanging on the edge of our seats.
Listening to radio has a distinct advantage over television, movies, videos and DVDs because, like a good book, it leaves part of our imagination to fill in the gaps that are given when we watch and listen rather than just listen. Our imaginations work wonders and a very good at filling it a character you might hear on a soap opera on the radio such as The Archers or The Lives of Harry Lime (remember the famous theme tune?).
Radio is now accessible to all thanks to a combination of the internet and of course the mobile smartphone. Apps are freely available for iPhone or Android users to download and receive radio shows on their devices. You can even listen to radio programs that have been broadcast last week or last month, depending on whether they are still available on the iPlayer or On Demand services.
Radio is a great tool for educating young minds; in the 1960s many baby boomers were given a nightly 15 minutes sat beside their radios to a program called Listen with Mother. The show was often narrated by a well-known actor or children’s presenter and would be read in a slow, easy to understand voice.
It often saved the mother or father with the need to buy and read a novel for their children at bedtime and became a great way to get the kids off to bed. Parents would, “You can listen to ‘Listen with Mother’ and then it’s time for bed, OK?” Children would know their ground and limits and bedtime was always much less of a fuss than it is in many households today.
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