Entertainment in the 1920s

Mitchel Lewis
Mrs. Baker
Literature analysis
April 9, 2014

Lewis 1

Mitchel Lewis
Mrs. Baker
Literature analysis
April 9, 2014
Entertainment in the 1920s
People in the 1920s had a very hard time communicating with each other and many
people were not able to go the cities to see all the different types of entertainment that there was
during this time. In the 1920s the radio was invented. The radio was one of the first
communicating devices that were invented. It enabled people to listen to music, movies,
important news updates, the president speaking, television series, etc. the united states had a
great deal Impact of the radio on our culture and how it changed lives, also When was the first
broadcast went on air, and people in rural area had a great connection to the jazz age.
The radio changed our culture significantly; by people not having to go out in the city and
stay home and listen to entertainment. From 1923 to 1930 there were a sixty percent of American
families purchased radios and a custom where families gathered around the radio and the nighttime entertainment took place forever changed American culture. American culture changed from
people going to see entertainment to people having friends over to their houses and having “radio
parties” where they would listen to popular radio shows. Many teenagers began to dance to the
different types of music that were on the radio. Radio became deeply connected into American’s
lives. Families began to schedule their day-to-day activities around popular radio shows (“Radio
in the 1920s”).

Lewis 2

The first broadcast on the radio was the station called KDKA. In 1920 there were only a
few thousand receivers around the United States. With the next two years the demand for radio
receiver sky rocketed. When the radio was broadcasting there were many different types of
shows like, westerns, detective shows, children’s shows, soap operas, romances, and comedies
(“History” 2). The most popular music on the radio was jazz. Jazz made people develop a new
sense of fashion, such as hair styles, clothes, slang, and the way people danced.
(Chicago’s first station, KYW, was launched in 1921 by Westinghouse Electric and
Manufacturing Company. At first KYW broadcasted only opera music setting a trend for
focused, channeled content types. When the opera season ended, KYW began broadcasting
popular music, classical music, sporting events, lectures, fictional stories, newscasts, weather
reports, stock market updates, and political commentary (“History”2).
NBC and CBS were founded in 1926 and 1927 and these stations were heard coast to
coast for the same shows. Other broadcasts were important news; like when the president was
giving a speech. The news would tell people about how the war was going on or whether the
president was going to perform a speech o the radio. The first president to speak on the radio was
Calvin Coolidge. Another form of broadcast that had millions of viewers was sports. Certain
sports were NFL, Negro National League, baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, and tennis. Some
stars of those sports were Red Grange, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Helen Wills, and Bobby Jones
(Ratsmee Vang).
The Jazz age was one of the most popular word choice that came out because of the
radio. There were many different reasons why jazz was successful. Most teens and adults loved
jazz music and based there looks, how they dressed, talked and conversed with each other on this
style. The radio not only reported the events but shaped them as well. With the help of national
radio, the barely known new jazz sound spread quickly over America, and found many
supporters. Lots of important clubs or speakeasies (illegal pubs) helped jazz bands become

Lewis 3

famous and featured their songs. Jazz often got connected with alcohol, intimate dancing and
“other socially questionable activities (“World book, Radio”). Rural families were helped out the
most by the radio and jazz age by telling them how the world around them was working and
what certain situations were happening
The radio was a life changing aspect in people’s lives, especially in rural areas. The radio
brought people together and made life a lot easier. People were more in tuned with what was
going on in the world because of the radio. By the 1930s almost every home in the United States
had a radio. The radio impacted our culture more than anything else in history and has forever
changed the lives of people around the world.

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Work Cited
"Emergence of radio in the 1920s and its cultural significance." Radio in the 1920s. N.p., n.d.
Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

Herron, Edward A. Miracle of the Air Waves; a History of Radio. New York: Messner, 1969.
Print.
The World Book Encyclopedia; Radio. Chicago, IL: World Book, 1997. Print.
Vang, Ratsmee. Http://blog.lib.umn.edu/troc0020/classes/THe%20Jazz%20age.pptx.None:
Ratsmee Vang, n.d. Ppt.