The Radio Tower
The Radio Tower is the podcast of the Long Island Radio and Television Historical Society. We feature stories of the men and women that worked in the field as well as the myths and the machines that made Long Island an early cradle of radio history.
info_outline Radio Tower 47: John Kannenberg and the Museum of Portable Sound 11/20/2023
Radio Tower 47: John Kannenberg and the Museum of Portable Sound John Kannenberg is the man and the mind behind the . Based in Portsmouth, England, the Museum is actually found wherever John has his iPhone 4S. Visitors sit down with John, don their headphones, and enter the Museum by listening to the curated galleries of MP3s on the device. We talk to John about the inspiration for this unique institution, how he keeps it running, and the implications for the presentation of radio history. Additional Links
info_outline Remembering Bob Lundquist 09/17/2023
Remembering Bob Lundquist We were saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Lundquist. Bob was a long-time member of the Long Island Radio & Television Historical Society who spent much of his professional life as an engineer at the RCA "Radio Central" facility in Rocky Point. This interview between Bob and Connie Currie was recorded in 2015. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Bob's family and all who knew him.
info_outline Radio Tower 45: Long Island Home Front with Josephine Eichner 06/07/2023
Radio Tower 45: Long Island Home Front with Josephine Eichner We're revisiting our Long Island Home Front oral history project! Although most of our interviews foccused on people who experienced the years of World War II on Long Island, we also met a few current Long Island residents who, in the 1940s, were living nearby. So today we're bringing you excerpts of our talk with Jo Schenk Eichner. Born in Brooklyn, she was living in the Bronx when war broke out. In her oral history, she discusses her youth in a working class family of German immigrants living among the wealthy residents of Spuyten Duyvil. She also discusses shortages during the war, air raid drills, ships on the Hudson, and more. Radio notes: The Make Believe Ballroom was a musical program that debuted on New York's WNEW in 1935. Gabriel Heater was a Brooklyn-born radio commentator for WOR and the Mutual Network. Links Music
info_outline Radio Tower 44: Nick Hirshon, WFAN, and the Nassau Coliseum 03/13/2023
Radio Tower 44: Nick Hirshon, WFAN, and the Nassau Coliseum In the late 1980s, WFAN was on the rise as the first all-sports radio station in the country. They brought a fast-paced, rowdy style to the air, epitomized by the likes of Don Imus, Steve Somers, and Mike Francesa. At the same time the New York Islanders, years past their glory days and playing in an aging barn of a stadium, found themselves on the wrong end of WFAN's jokes. Imus, Somers, and Francesa mocked the team and the Nassau Coliseum mercilessly. On today's episode, Queens native and media historian Nick Hirshon describes his research into this moment in sports and communication history. We discuss the rise of WFAN, the struggles of the Islanders, and the importance of recovering radio (and Long Island) history. Links The myth of the Nassau Mausoleum: A brainchild of the first all-sports radio station. Journalism History, 41(3), 139-152. (Audacy)
info_outline Islip Radio History with Connie Currie 02/19/2023
Islip Radio History with Connie Currie Listen to LIRTVHS board member Connie Currie relate some of the radio-related stories and personalities from the town of Islip, Long Island. Including: Edwin H. Armstrong in Bayport and Sayville Norman Brokenshire in Lake Ronkonkoma Clarence Mackay WRST in Bay Shore - Suffolk County's first radio station Music from Pixabay.
info_outline Radio Tower 41: Norm Prusslin and WUSB 04/25/2022
Radio Tower 41: Norm Prusslin and WUSB Norm Prusslin came to Stony Brook in the late 1960s and was immediately drawn to the radio station. WUSB was then an AM station heard only in the dorms and building on campus. But there was music in the air, not the least of which was coming from the vibrant concerts given on campus by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, and others. Thus began Norm’s long association with the station, which included its transition to the FM channel as well as a number of thorny issues before the FCC. In this interview, Norm describes the growth of WUSB and what goes into the care and feeding of a college radio station. Links
info_outline Radio Tower 40: Peter Kurz 03/30/2022
Radio Tower 40: Peter Kurz Peter Kurz is a patent attorney from Germany who fulfilled a lifelong dream by writing a technological thriller set in the early days of the radio industry. The Marconi-Patent weaves together historical events and people into a tale of intrigue, danger, and romance. What's even better, it features the Telefunken transmission site in West Sayville! On today's episode we discuss Peter's background and the state of radio circa 1914 when Britain was at war with Germany in Europe and the British Marconi Company was at war with the German Telefunken Company in a courtroom in New York. Peter's book is currently only available in German but he is working on an English translation so stay tuned! Links: by Peter Kurz , Sweden
info_outline Radio Tower 39: Talking with Judy Blitzer 03/01/2022
Radio Tower 39: Talking with Judy Blitzer Today we talked with LIRTVHS member Judy Blitzer. Straight out of high school and Brooklyn she marched her way into a job at RCA at 60 Broad St. in downtown Manhattan. What followed was a thirty-five year career working for John McKenna at RCA. Judy describes for us life at RCA, the intricacies of teletype machines, and how to meet the pope. Related Links:
info_outline Episode 38: Richard Dillman and Radio History 12/23/2021
Episode 38: Richard Dillman and Radio History Richard Dillman grew up in Westbury and was soon on track for a life pursuing radio history. After getting his ham radio license in the late 1950s, he began unravelling Long Island's radio secrets and visiting the area's important sites: WSL in Amagansett, RCA in Rocky Point, Press Wireless in Brentwood and, yes, the old Telefunken site in West Sayville.
info_outline Long Island Home Front: Dick Wolfe and Oakdale 11/29/2021
Long Island Home Front: Dick Wolfe and Oakdale Dick Wolfe moved with his family from Floral Park to Oakdale in 1940. In these excerpts from a longer oral history interview he gave to the Long Island Home Front project, he describes the bucolic nature of Oakdale during his early years. His family lived on Chicken Street (now Dale Drive) and the surrounding area was dominated by dairy farms.
info_outline Radio Tower 35: John Schmidt and WBAU 07/13/2021
Radio Tower 35: John Schmidt and WBAU On today's episode, John Schmidt describes the saga of WBAU radio at Adelphi University - a story that involves, among others, Nassau Community College, Sewanhaka High School, the FCC, and the Mariott Hotel in Uniondale.
info_outline Radio Tower 34: Bernie Bernard on WCWP, WBAB and More 06/08/2021
Radio Tower 34: Bernie Bernard on WCWP, WBAB and More Bernie Bernard got her start at CW Post on station WCWP. Drawn by progressive rock and the chance to interview members of the music industry, she went on to a career that included stints at WBAB and WNEW as disc jockey, music director, and sometime newscaster, followed by work at Voice of America and as a teacher and voiceover artist.
info_outline Episode 33: Tom Kuser of WSHU 05/12/2021
Episode 33: Tom Kuser of WSHU Tom Kuser is the Program Director and Morning Edition host at WSHU, an NPR station out of Sacred Heart University in Connecticut with a sizable Long Island audience. On this episode, Tom discusses his career - from college and commercial stations to television to public radio. He also relates some of the history of WSHU, memorable stories he has covered, and just how early he has to get up in the morning. Links podcast Station Bibliography: WNHU (88.7 FM); WNHC (1340 AM); WMMM (1260 AM); WTNH (News 8 TV)
info_outline Radio Tower 32: Golden Crest Records in Huntington Station 04/12/2021
Radio Tower 32: Golden Crest Records in Huntington Station Clark Galehouse started out as a swing band sax player from Illinois and wound up running Long Island's most prolific independent record label out of Huntington Station. We take a detour from radio history this episode to talk with John Broven about the life and legacy of Galehouse and his label, Golden Crest Records. Broven started out a lover of American rhythm & blues from East Sussex, England, and wound up a consultant for Ace Records and, eventually, the husband of Clark Galehouse's daughter, Shelley. Together the couple rescued the label from obscurity, reissuing the stunning array of music that Galehouse recorded from early rock and roll to jazz to local and regional school orchestras. The Golden Crest catalog is now housed in the Library of Congress. Links (Amazon author page) (Long Island History Journal) (The Blues Foundation) (Pacific Northwest Bands) (Offbeat Magazine) (YouTube Playlist)
info_outline Episode 31: Ed Lacinski on Audio Engineering and Patchogue-Medford Schools 03/15/2021
Episode 31: Ed Lacinski on Audio Engineering and Patchogue-Medford Schools Ed Lacinski recounts his career in audio, from recording and hosting Patchogue Medford school concerts on WLIM to work at Harman Kardon.
info_outline Episode 30: Andy Mendelsohn on WBAB and WRCN 02/22/2021
Episode 30: Andy Mendelsohn on WBAB and WRCN Andy Mendelsohn gravitated to radio from an early age. By the time he was in high school in East Northport, he found himself on the school's station and at an internship at WBAB. This brought him into the orbit of Bob Buchmann, Roger Luce and Rockin' Robin, among others. After a stint in college and radio in Connecticut and Westchester, he returned to Long Island in the nineties on WRCN to battle WBAB for ratings and local bragging rights.
info_outline Episode 29: Chris Verga and the Long Island Home Front 02/08/2021
Episode 29: Chris Verga and the Long Island Home Front Historian and author Chris Verga discusses his new book, World War II Long Island: The Homefront in Nassau and Suffolk.
info_outline Radio Tower 28: The History of Radios with John Vuolo Part III 01/24/2021
Radio Tower 28: The History of Radios with John Vuolo Part III Join us for part III of our conversation with board member John Vuolo. We continue our look at the advancement of radio technology up through the 1970s with some detours along the way.
info_outline Radio Tower 27: The History of Radios with John Vuolo. Part II 12/01/2020
Radio Tower 27: The History of Radios with John Vuolo. Part II We're running a miniseries of interviews with LIRTVHS board member John Vuolo about the history and development of radios.
info_outline Radio Tower 26: The History of Radios with John Vuolo, 1920s edition. 11/07/2020
Radio Tower 26: The History of Radios with John Vuolo, 1920s edition. LIRTVHS board member John Vuolo, a radio collector and restoration expert, discusses radios from the 1920s. How did they operate, how many survive, and how do you go about making them work again?
info_outline Episode 25: Bob Hobday and the Antique Wireless Museum 10/12/2020
Episode 25: Bob Hobday and the Antique Wireless Museum Today we speak with Bob Hobday about the operations of the Antique Wireless Museum in Bloomfield, New York.
info_outline Long Island Home Front: Look to the Skies 03/22/2020
Long Island Home Front: Look to the Skies On this episode of the Radio Tower, we feature more excerpts from the Long Island Home Front oral history project. The subject is aviation and a time of frantic activity on Long Island. With companies like Grumman and Republic Aviation and airfields like Mitchel and Roosevelt Field, there was plenty for a young boy to see in the skies overhead.
info_outline Radio Tower #21: Larry Davidson 02/04/2020
Radio Tower #21: Larry Davidson Life has taken Larry Davidson from a bodega in Spanish Harlem to a vineyard in Aquebogue and many places in between. Through it all, his keen mind and relentless curiousity have helped him forge a career in broadcasting as an interviewer of authors, singer songwriters, politicians, and more. He's worked on WGBB and Cablevision as well as on a number of well-received series conducted at libraries and other cultural centers around the region. His latest is a foray into podcasting with The Artful Periscope.
info_outline Long Island Home Front: Marie Mack of Brooklyn and Mt Sinai 01/11/2020
Long Island Home Front: Marie Mack of Brooklyn and Mt Sinai We're featuring more segments from the Long Island Home Front, our oral history project focusing on the impact of World War 2 on Long Island. Today we hear from Marie Mack, Brooklyn Native and longtime Mount Sinai summer resident.
info_outline Long Island Home Front: Jack Beebe and West Sayville 01/01/2020
Long Island Home Front: Jack Beebe and West Sayville The Long Island Home Front is an oral history project being conducted by the LI Radio & TV Historical Society (LIRTVHS), Sayville Historical Society and Sayville Public Library. Our mission is to preserve and share memories of Long Island during World War II and we will be sharing portions of interviews via the Radio Tower podcast of LIRTVHS.
info_outline Radio Tower 18: Dave Vieser of WGBB 11/04/2019
Radio Tower 18: Dave Vieser of WGBB Beginning his broadcasting career in his basement as a child in Baldwin, Dave Vieser went on to learn radio at WVHC at Hofstra before landing the dream job: playing music on WGBB in Freeport. He started on weekends, then night shifts, then afternoons and finally mornings. On this episode we sit down with Dave to talk about his career in radio and beyond, from spinning records to covering high school sports to working for Nassau County's Press Office.