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Holly Johnson: Were On Air – Austin Daily Herald




What do Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly and War of the Worlds have in common? These were popular radio shows that kept the whole family entertained at home.

Well, the War of the Worlds broadcast in 1939 wasn’t popular at the time, but looking back it was a great lesson for the radio industry.

At the recent History Happy Hour event, our guests in person and online learned about the impact of radio shows on family life by bringing theatrical performances directly into the living room.

The golden age of radio lasted from the 1920s to the 1950s, when it was limited by the increasing availability of television.

As broadcasting grew nationally, stations had to find ways to fill airtime. Coverage of live events such as sports and musical performances was interspersed with news broadcasts, agricultural and weather reports. The development of live game shows, hours of comedy, soap operas, radio plays and children’s programming has been rapid, varied and enjoyed around the world.

Austin newspapers printed schedules from a variety of state and local stations, and many retail stores capitalized on selling the much-needed equipment that brought entertainment into family life. The history of Austins broadcasting has been formed by a few stations, but the local constant since 1948 has been KAUS. Current station manager Bob Mithuen said the main point of difference for KAUS Radio is the many personalities who have come and stayed here. Their voices are a recognizable sound for news, community information and entertainment. They are your friends and neighbors, they are the ones who protect you in a storm, help you win elections, and generate traffic and sales for businesses in the area.

Radio content has evolved over the years, but Austin is fortunate to have such a long tradition in the industry just south of town.

Theatrical radio is now resurrected in Austin for two shows in March by Matchbox Childrens Theater and Hormel Historic Home. The delivery platform will be via your computer instead of your radio. The 2021 technology will let you peek inside the radio of yesteryear to see the actors play. Sponsored by Primrose Retirement Center, The Style Lounge, Seniors Helping Seniors, The Spam Museum and Sweet Reads Book and Candy Store, the shows will be complete with sound effects and mystery.

So what do Matchbox Childrens Theater and the historic Hormel House have in common? We are two cultural entities passionate about bringing history and theater to your home, no matter what platform we can.

Oh, well give you some concessions too!

Ticket information is below.

Events to come

Happy Hour Story – Let me introduce you to Lizzie Hormel

6 p.m., Monday March 8

Limited capacity. Free for members of HHH, Mower County Historical Society, and Friends of the Library. $ 5 for non-members

Old fashioned radio shows

via Zoom

Saturday March 13: Murder through the looking glass

Friday March 26: Broadways My Beat: The Howard Crawford Murder Case

$ 10 per household; Purchase on

Wedding and event showcase

10 am-1:30pm, Sunday March 21

$ 5 per person

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