Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuning in to history
Philadelphia Radio, by Alan Boris, relates in a serious, yet also fun and engaging manner, the sweep of Philadelphia's radio broadcasting industry. Through historical details, anecdotes, and- most importantly- hundreds of photographs and graphic images- readers will delight in both learning things they never knew and being reminded of a favorite late-night DJ or radio promotion from the listening years of their youth.
Arcadia Publishing's Images of America regional history volumes have the reputation of taking on a particular topic and covering that subject in a thorough but never tedious manner. Philadelphia Radio is no exception. Mr. Boris, a noted radio historian based in Philadelphia, scoured his own collection and the collections of various libraries and historical societies, for the wonderful images that are the main component of the book, then enhanced the images and linked them together with just the right amount of thoughtful, informative prose. The result is something that has the fun and breeziness of a photo album but also the intellectual feel of something substantial.
With all the great photographs, the book tempts one to just flip through it and read a caption here and there to learn more about the photographic subjects that catch one's eye. But do yourself a favor and do what I did: sit down over the course of a day or two and just enjoy the book from cover to cover. That way you won't miss anything and get a full appreciation of Mr. Boris' skillfully constructed and detail-rich timeline.
Hey, reading about our founding fathers and the birth of our nation is always fascinating, but kudos to Alan Boris for writing about an aspect of Philadelphia history not covered countless times before. Even if you're not a Philadelphian like me, you're in for a great read, as so many national trends and national performers got their start within the AM and FM bandwidths circling the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Radio is available in softcover from Amazon, various other online retailers, and at your favorite bookstore.