Nine decades of radio voices
The story of the first ninety years of radio
18 October 2012 marks the ninetieth anniversary of the formation of the BBC and the beginning of the country's love affair with radio. This fascinating book takes as its starting point those early, tentative programmes broadcast from Marconi House on the Strand, and follows the story of radio through the years of economic depression, war and austerity, to the swinging sixties and up the present. Above all, it celebrates the great, the forgotten and the notorious figures of radio from the last nine decades and the programmes they made: Marion Cran in the 1920s, who pioneered the first gardening programme; Lord Haw Haw, whose sinister catchphrase 'Germany calling' punctuated broadcasts throughout the Second World War; the comedy greats of the 1950s - the Goons, Kenneth Horne and their ilk; Tony Blackburn, Simon Dee, Dave Lee Travis and other heroes of Radio Caroline; not to mention the John Humphrys, Zoe Balls and Simon Mayos of today.
The result is a wonderful blend of insight, history and nostalgia that will appeal to all radio's many aficionados.
“A lovely book, especially for those who, even when we throw the tea towel at it, still love the radio”
Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph
“Pulses with [Elmes’] own love of the medium ... an engaging read”
“Elmes’ beguiling book offers an appealing blend of history and nostalgia”
Good Book Guide
“[A] charming history of the call signs, catch-phrases, repetitions and modulations of tone that make up the world of the radio … The stories behind the voices are told with real affection for the subject”
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
“[A] fascinating book charting the story of the great and forgotten names of radio from today and the last nine decades”
Full House magazine