History of New York City Radio Comes Alive in New Photo Book

NYC RadioBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Authors Alec Cumming and Peter Kanze have unearthed many rare photos of the Radio New York style. The new book, Images of America: New York City Radio by Arcadia Publishing, takes readers from a 1909 wireless telephone display to present day WAXQ/Q 104.3 with a shot of longstanding personalities, Jim Kerr, Carol Miller, and Shelli Sonstein.

In between, there are dozens of images from the last century, when radio was king.

While the paperback is only 126 pages and there is no actual text, just an extended caption for each picture.

Many on-air folks and stations are represented, some more than once, but others are oddly missed. For example, there are no photos of WFAN, New York and the country’s first all-sports station, which celebrated 25 years on the air in 2012. But the title doesn’t include the words “comprehensive history.”

However, the book does have some vintage pictures, including a look at the beginnings of WOR in the early 1920s when it started as a radio station for Bamberger’s department store.

Former Country powerhouse WHN recently marked 40 years since its debut. But the book shows the original WHN staff from 1922 (along with one in its Country heyday.)

As the 1920s came to a roaring end, William Paley is shown cutting the ribbon on the new CBS digs on Madison Avenue.

We are taken to Broadway theaters as live radio shows are the rage in front of studio audiences. Except, when the “glass curtain” is lowered, allowing people to view but keep the sounds controlled.

Of course, WABC from the Musicradio days is part of this reading experience with group photos of Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie, Harry Harrison and others.

There is a revealing memo from the WOR-FM program director as the station was about to flip to WXLO.

Sports personalities are sprinkled throughout the book. Look for a classic shot of Marv Albert interviewing Mickey Mantle on WHN.

Oh and there’s  Jerry Barmash getting a mention on page 71 for an interview with former WCBS-FM program director Joe McCoy.

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