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Radio Days

More than eighty years ago, when commercial radio was still relatively new, families often set their household routine by the schedule of their favorite radio shows. In 1938, the Plain Dealer was carrying a rudimentary listing of the top radio programs, arranged by networks, or, in some cases, by independent stations powerful enough to be heard here.

In the summer of 1938, Wabash folks were tuning in on weekday evenings to such programs as “Amos ‘n’ Andy”, and “Major Bowes’s Amateur Hour”,

During the day, soap operas were the choice fare. Favorite soaps with Wabash housewives were “Just Plain Bill”, “Lorenzo Jones, “Helen Trent”, “Our Gal Sunday”, “Backstage Wife”, and one with a particularly steamy title for 1938, “John’s Other Wife”.

Missing from those logs were some of the best-known of the old-time radio shows, such as “The Jack Benny Show”, “The Bob Hope Show”, and “Fibber McGee and Molly”. The reason? In July, all of those popular programs were off the air for the summer.


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