Books on Urban Radio

“The history of black radio, like the history of many black enterprises, starts with a fight simply to exist. That story takes up a good part of Voice Over, an extensive history that makes it clear this subject could fill a half-dozen books…Happily, nothing serves that kind of discussion as well as a sturdy foundation of history, and Voice Over tells its part of the story well.” –New York Daily News “Media and cultural history at its best. Voice Over offers riveting accounts of the innovations, struggles, failures, and triumphs of black radio from its beginnings to the present. Barlow’s unique perspective gives its personalities and institutions long-overdue credit for their pivotal role in changing the soundscape of American music and culture.” –Herman Gray, author of Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for “Blackness” “In the first book-length study of Pacifica Radio, Lasar recounts the history of ‘our nation’s only independent nonprofit [radio] network.’ …Lasar concentrates on the conflicted early years of Pacifica’s development…useful as a behind-the-scenes account of Pacifica’s growing pains.” –Publishers Weekly

“For the first time, Gilbert A. Williams, professor of broadcast and cable programming at Michigan State University, gives us an up close and personal backstage look into Black radio and the legendary voices behind the microphones. Filling an overdue void, these one-on-one interviews examine the role African Americans have played in the development of American broadcasting and how these announcers transcended their jobs as radio station employees, often to go on to become cultural heroes….Legendary Pioneers of Black Radio would be useful for high school students or college freshman considering broadcasting as a career, and instructors teaching courses on race and media.”–Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Black-oriented radio emerged after World War II. Full time programming from sun-up to sun-down; blues, spirituals, rhythm and blues replaced jazz as the primary form of music. These improvising “street rapping” Disc Jockeys dominated the airwaves. Welcome to Black Radio…Winner Takes All!


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