George Schubel's story is typical of the time. Station owners like him were improvising American broadcasting. They were figuring out what audiences wanted to hear by trial and error. By the mid-1920s, in a big city like New York or Chicago, you could tune in to upwards of 35 different stations, with a remarkable diversity of programs. Some more appealing than others.
It was interesting to read the transcript, but I'd much rather listen to this on the radio. Some programming just works better that way. I'm reminded of Ken Burns' "Jazz" program, which premiered on PBS in early 2001. It was just OK on TV, but it was spectacular on radio. I love this cover image from one of the last issues of Avenues magazine, promoting the program. It's the incomparable Billie Holiday singing while Duke Ellington looks on.
The podcast of "Hearing America" will be available Dec. 18.