The glorious days when radio ruled the airwaves

Before there were flickering pictures on televisions and in movie theatres, you gathered round the radio and listened to it crackle with the voices of your favourite radio show. Radio shows represent a golden age, and shows such as Dad and Dave, When a Girl Marries, The Lone Ranger, Dragnet and This Is Your Life were all first brought to you via a wireless.

If you got a kick out of those radio shows, then remembering the glory days when radio ruled the airwaves should conjure a host of memories.

Dad and Dave

Dad and Dave from Snake Gully was a radio show based on the stories of Steele Rudd. You might remember the theme tune to this show was ‘The Road to Gundagai’. Dad and Dave first aired in 1937 and rand for a wonderful 16 years. George Edwards — popularly known as ‘the man of 1,000 voices — was the radio actor and producer who brought the character of ‘Dad’ to life.

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When a Girl Marries

This was a radio drama from the United States followed the trials and tribulations of married couple, Joan and Harry Davis. You sat close to the radio and shared your opinion on the dramas the Davises had with family and friends in their hometown of Stanwood. First airing in the late-1930s, the show ran for almost 20 years.

The Lone Ranger

Who can forget the adventures of The Lone Ranger, a masked hero with his Native American side kick, Tonto? No one expected the show to be a hit when it was launched in 1933, but when it took off creator Fran Striker was prompted to write a whole series of books for the character and it spawned the popular television show of the same name, comic books and several movies.

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Premiering in 1949, Dragnet followed Los Angeles police detective Sergeant Joe Friday and hsi partners. You sat on the edge of your seats as you listened to all the dangerous situations and the heroism that the characters got themselves into. In fact, so fond of the radio show were listeners that the public opinion of police officers was lifted during the nine years it aired.

Jack Davey Radio Show

There weren’t many quiz and variety shows in the ’40s and ’50s that Jack Davey didn’t have his voice on. Born in New Zealand, Davey was a star of Australian radio for several decades. He was quite the singer and often crooned for the ABC station 2BL before his career took off. Renowned for his trademark greeting, “Hi Ho Everybody”, Davey became Australia’s highest paid and most popular radio host, even getting his own show.

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How Green Was My Cactus

This is Australia’s longest running radio show and has been broadcast since 1986. Fans of political satire will remember fondly the characters portraying ministers and shadow ministers of Australian parliament. It commenced during the Labor Government led by Bob Hawke and Hawke was the main character (affectionately referred to as ‘King Bonza the Charismatic’, which is said to reflect the former-prime minister’s larrikin image).

Blue Hills

This radio show was about the lives of two families living in the Australian country town, Tanimbla. It ran for 27 years from 1949 to 1976, and was once the world’s longest running radio serial.

Do you remember listening to radio shows when you were younger? What was your favourite radio show growing up?