Book - "Hartford Radio" History by John Ramsey
(Note that this book was donated to WAPJ by the author.)
Radio broadcasting has been an integral part of the history of contral Connecticut since the early part of the 20th century. WDRC was the state's first station (1922), and they helped pioneer FM radio technology in the early 1940s. Many Hartford residents learned about the end of World War II via radio, and the medium played a key role in keeping people informed during the floods of 1938 and 1955, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the great Northeast Blackout of 1965. Surprisingly, Hartford, the capital of "the land of steady habits," saw two stations break from the pack to help bring the British Invasion to the state in the early 1960s. And thousands of schoolchildren eagerly listened to WTIC's legendary Bob Steele on wintery mornings as they excitedly awaited school closing announcements. Hartford Radio offers a glimpse into the history of the area's broadcast stations and the people who ran them.
Author Bio: John Ramsey grew up listening to Hartford radio and has been involved in the industry as a broadcast engineer since 1978. He is currently general manager of WWUH at the University of Hartford, chief engineer of WCCC, and webmaster of and president of the Torrington Community Radio Foundation, licensee of WAPJ.
Review of "Hartford Radio" by Charles Dube, Director of Engineering, WFCR, Amherst, MA
For the tobacco farmer in rural Windsor, or an insurance executive in the city itself, Hartford Connecticut's radio stations were the lifeline to the world in the early days of broadcasting, much like across America. It's easy to forget how critical this was in the days before television or the internet. John Ramsey's Images of America, Hartford Radio presents a slice of broadcast history that culls the archives of several key area radio stations, and will be of appeal not only to the radio buff, but to those for whom radio was the key place to learn of the new and now; from the as-not-yet-heard Beatles record to the tragedies and triumphs of local and world events.

Ramsey, a veteran broadcaster himself, has spent years compiling a treasure-trove of images and sound for his Hartford Radio History website. He has worked for decades with some of the people in this book and was able to gain access to many images from personal collections never before seen. For the radio buff there are stunning documentary photographs of transmitters, studios and towers. But that is only the apparatus, and we are fortunate that Hartford Radio is greatly enriched with the faces of personalities that have entertained for so many years. Legendary names like Bob Steele and Dick Robinson will be recognized instantly by many throughout New England and beyond.

Ramsey brings us from the very first whispered signals coming from makeshift or modified equipment, through the medium's heyday replete with full symphonies and studios lined with velvet curtains. Images of local talent shows, swing bands and the disc-jockeys that gave many in the Connecticut audience their first, sweet taste of rock and roll, bring to life radio's marriage to the events & trends of each decade. He takes us through to more contemporary times- the era of focused formats, consolidation and great change in the industry. Some of these stations were true pioneers, and I'll leave it to you to discover why. Ramsey's narrations present each decade as a framework, allowing the carefully researched (most names and events are given) pictures to tell their own story.

Discover here the smiling faces behind the voices Connecticut listeners have befriended for almost ninety years.
  • Item #: 002

Book - "Hartford Radio" History by John Ramsey

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