What? You Don’t Have A Radio?

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You’d Never See This Statistic Today

Radio History – 1957

The year was 1957 and radio was making a big comeback.

Disappearing were series and serials with actors and actresses. Coming on strong – disc jockeys and music. Top-40 music was making a big impression with certain station/group owners out front including Storer, Storz and McLendon. You notice I didn’t say NBC, CBS or ABC. The independent operators were making a big difference because – they understood radio’s new direction.

I thought I’d share this tidbit from the summer of 1957 – radio ownership. 96% of all homes had a radio.

Back then, they were “radio sets.” Radios were still expensive – the average radio (AM) cost about $20.00 – and that’s over $100.00 in today’s dollars. So, let me share this with you.  Also – you’ll see an ad for the Storz stations. Todd Storz was a radio pioneer who observed (while sipping beer in a bar) – that the same jukebox songs were playing over-and-over.  The same songs. Usually they were newer releases.

Storz had a radio station and so, he developed a format that played the same 10 records over-and over. The ratings went through the roof. By 1957, he had more stations – and they too, were doing quite well. By then, he expanded the playlist a little – but the concept of playing the most popular songs in a fast rotation – was money in the bank – as long as the station sounded good, had talented DJ’s and was entertaining.

Storz stations 1957 radio history

1957 Storz Stations


Gary West

Historian Gary West built his first website in 1998 with www.pophistorynow.com. That addressed now forwards to www.mrpopculture.com - an amazing pop culture/news database with 25,000 pages, covering the years 1955-2014. He's also the author of www.technologynewstimeline.com - covering consumer technology from 1952 to the present. West has been a contributor to numerous books, radio-TV shows, CNN & USA Today & the History Channel.

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