Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Golden Age of Radio in Photos

1 comment:

Dean Opperman said...

The gal behind the KFEL microphone is 22 year old Jean Hay a.k.a. Beverly of "Reveille With Beverly" fame. She did an early morning record request show for soldiers at nearby Fort Dix in Denver in late 1941. Immediately following Pearl Harbor, Life Magazine did story on her which gave Hollywood the idea that the lady DJ concept was a good idea for a new Ann Miller movie. Jean was brought to Hollywood to consult on the film ("Reveille With Beverly" with Ann Miller, Frank Sinatra, Freddie Slack, et al - released 1942) and while there was hired to bring her radio show to KNX Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, the Armed Forces Radio Network was launched and her show was among the first to be transcribed and syndicated to allied troops around the globe. In that capacity she was the allied counterpart to Tokyo Rose in the Pacific theater. Following the war, Jean married bandleader Freddie Slack and and continued in radio and pioneered in West Coast television. In 1999, she hired me to locate her wartime broadcasts at the Library Of Congress and to write her biography. Shortly before her death in 2003, she was honored as a keynote speaker at the World War II memorial and appeared on CBS This Morning with Harry Smith. A fascinating gal and a true unsung heroine of the Greatest Generation. - Dean Opperman, Las Vegas.