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On November 4, 1920, radio station KDKA, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, carried the results of the presidential election between Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox. This historic election-night broadcast is widely considered the birth of commercial broadcasting in the United States.
The number of licensed radio stations operating in the United States jumped from four at the beginning of 1922 to 576 by the end of that year, and the sale of radios and radio equipment soared from $1 million in 1920 to $400 million in 1925. Radio, which broadcast music, plays and series, sporting events, news, and political speeches brought Americans closer together and provided them with shared cultural experiences.
At the same time, motion pictures were becoming an increasingly central part of most Americans' lives. By the mid-1920s, most small towns had a theater. Major cities such as New York and Chicago boasted hundreds. Like radio, Hollywood motion pictures exerted a profound influence on popular culture. Americans copied the hairstyles, clothing, speech, and behavior of their favorite actors or actresses.The Silent Screen
After World War I, movies replaced vaudeville theater as the most popular form of commercial entertainment. By 1922, Americans purchased an average of 40 million movie tickets each week. In 1928, the nation contained an estimated 28,000 movie theaters. Typically, the entertainment might include a newsreel, perhaps a comedy short or two, and then the feature attraction.Â
Since films contained no synchronized sound until the advent of the "talkies" in 1927, actors and actresses conveyed emotions through pantomime acting, with dialogue or plot points conveyed via title cards between scenes or takes. Most neighborhood theaters featured a pianist or organist who supplied musical accompaniment. Grand movie palaces offered large orchestras, which might contain as many as 100 members, to set the mood and heighten the drama onscreen.The Hollywood System
By the 1920s most American film production took place in Hollywood, California, where a warm climate meant that filming could take place all year long. During the decade, the Hollywood motion picture companies developed the so-called studio system. Under this system, a handful of studios-Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Paramount Pictures, Fox Film Corporation, Warner Brothers, and RKO Pictures-controlled every aspect of the production, distribution, and exhibition of their films.
As the industry expanded, Hollywood began to shift its marketing from working-class to middle-class Americans by producing bigger budget movies with glamorous stars, sophisticated camera shots, complex plots, better-developed characters, and elaborate costuming and sets. The fledgling Hollywood star system matured into a full-blown cultural phenomenon as studios aggressively promoted their performers to capitalize on the nation's fascination with celebrities. Among the most popular stars of the silent era were sexy "It Girl" Clara Bow, "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford and her athletic husband Douglas Fairbanks, comic actor and director Charlie Chaplin, horror film star Lon Chaney, and glamorous romantic lead actors Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino.Commercial Radio
Beginning in 1920, popular music broadcasts formed the core of radio programming. Stations generally broadcast live studio performances or "remote" broadcasts from opera houses, concert halls, and hotel ballrooms, as opposed to phonograph records.Â
Middle-class homemakers listened to the radio during the day while performing household chores, and entire families gathered around their radio sets for an evening of entertainment. By 1930, an estimated 51 million listeners tuned in nightly to listen to radio programs, and when they heard a song they liked, they often purchased the phonograph recording, the sheet music, or both. Commercial radio sparked national crazes for certain songs and sometimes helped to make musicians into overnight celebrities.Â
During the highly experimental era of the early 1920s, radio stations broadcast a wide variety of musical entertainers, and as late as the mid-1920s, radio listeners might hear a pianist, an opera tenor, a classical violinist, an old-time string band, a glee club, a Hawaiian guitarist, and a jazz dance band all on the same day on one station.National Broadcasting
In 1926, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) formed the nation's first radio network, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), followed by the launch of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in 1927.Â
As a result of the establishment of national broadcast networks the range of popular music heard over the nation's airwaves became narrower and more standardized. Network radio typically featured corporate-sponsored musical programs, such as The Palmolive Hour and The Voice of Firestone, from the network's main studios in New York City. As affiliated stations across the country began carrying the network's national programs, these network shows crowded out local programming and reduced the radio opportunities of amateur singers and musicians.ÂThe "Talkies" and Singing Sensations
After synchronized sound revolutionized motion pictures in 1926, a number of singers emerged as the nation's first multimedia celebrities. Success on the stage often led to popularity on the radio and starring roles on the big screen.Â
The nation's greatest pop star of the 1920s was Al Jolson, a veteran vaudeville showman who billed himself as "the World's Greatest Entertainer." During the 1920s, he recorded a dozen No. 1 hits and became one of Hollywood's biggest box office attractions as a result of his starring roles in Warner Brothers' pioneering "talkies,"Â The Jazz Singer(1927) andÂ The Singing FoolÂ (1929).
Hollywood attempted to replicate the success ofÂ The Jazz SingerÂ by signing other vaudeville stars to Hollywood contracts, among them Eddie Cantor in film versions of the Broadway hitsÂ Kid Boots(1926) andÂ WhoopeeÂ (1930), Sophie Tucker, known for her racy, sexually suggestive songs, and comedian and singer Fanny Brice.
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The movie Radio is based on the true life story of James Robert "Radio" Kennedy, an African-American male with a slight mental disability, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The setting of this movie is in the small rural town of Anderson, South Carolina in 1976.The movie begins with the main character, Radio, pushing a grocery cart filled with his personal belongings and a radio, which he was affectionately named after, along a train track. During Radio's frequent journeys through the small town, he frequently passes the practice fields of the local high school football team, the T.I. Hanna Yellow Jackets. During these journeys, Radio's presence catches the eye of the head football coach Harold Jones, played by Ed Harris. At first Radio is hesitant of Coach Jones persistent good nature towards him, but their relationship begins to grow through a common love of football and the excitement it brings. As time passes Radio is integrated into the lives of the football team, and the entire high school. Coach Jones then begins to introduce Radio into his social circles, and Jones wife Linda played by Debra Winger, and his daughter Mary Helen, played by Sarah Drew become his family also. At first the community is taken back by this unusual relationship between Radio and Coach Jones, but soon people start to realize the sincerity of Radio's presence and Coach Jones helping hand. The main opposing character of Radio's presence in the school setting was Frank, played by Chris Mulkey, the father of Hanna's football and basketball star Johnny. Frank believed that Radio's presence in the school caused a distraction to the students, and his own son's success in athletics. The sentiment of Frank wasn't felt by the rest of the community and the subsequent controversy caused Coach Jones to step down as head football coach. The controversy of Radio's presence soon ended, and Radio was embraced by the community and made an honorary coach and student of T.I. Hanna, where he remains to this day.
The atmosphere within the setting of this movie was during a time period where disabilities and people with disabilities were looked upon in a negative and often threatening way. This movie showed two aspects of societies view on people with disabilities. Ed Harris' character Coach Harold Jones portrayed the empathetic view towards a person with disability, which led to questions about his motive. The other aspect shown was that of fear, which is portrayed when Frank and other opposition to Radio's presence in the school, spoke out. The in-depth research on the fictional character this movie was based on created an accurate depiction of a person with disabilities similar to Radio's condition. The combination of societies views on people with disabilities during that time, and the theatrical interpretation of Radio's condition gave the movie a realistic representation of people with disabilities. The movie also contained instances where the initiative of inclusion was argued. A main instance is when a mental health supervisor comes to the high school and discusses with Coach Jones the option of sending
By: Fonta • Essay • 322 Words • November 8, 2009 • 472 ViewsEssay title: Radio
The movie Radio is based on the true life story of James Robert “Radio” Kennedy, an African-American male with a slight mental disability, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The setting of this movie is in the small rural town of Anderson, South Carolina in 1976.The movie begins with the main character, Radio, pushing a grocery cart filled with his personal belongings and a radio, which he was affectionately named after, along a train track. During Radio’s frequent journeys through the small town, he frequently passes the practice fields of the local high school football team, the T.I. Hanna Yellow Jackets. During these journeys, Radio’s presence catches the eye of the head football coach Harold Jones, played by Ed Harris. At first Radio is hesitant of Coach Jones persistent good nature towards him, but their relationship begins to grow through a common love of football and the excitement it brings. As time passes Radio is integrated into the lives of the football team, and the entire high school. Coach Jones then begins to introduce Radio into his social circles, and Jones wife Linda played by Debra Winger, and his daughter Mary Helen, played by Sarah Drew become
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Family Conflicts Essay, Research Paper
The movie Radio Flyer, starring Tom Hanks and Elija Wood, is a wonderful
example of a film which illustrates family conflict. Radio Flyer is the story of a father,
played by Tom Hanks, telling a story about his childhood to his to young sons. The
childhood of the father was an extremely unpleasant one which involved much physical
and mental abuse from his new stepfather he and his brother called ?the king. The
stepfather was a drunkard who liked to administer pain to the youngest boy, Bobby,
whenever he was intoxicated. The children do not want their mother to know what her
husband had been doing to Bobby, so the eldest son, played by Elija Wood, helps Bobby
hide his wounds. The mother in this picture is waitress who works all throughout the
day. The stresses of a nine to five job make her very edgy and she is very vulnerable to
lashing out at her kids. When she does this she hurts the kids mentally. The conflict in
this movie is resolved in an unconventional manner. Bobby and his brother create a small
airplane, using a lawn mower engine and some wood, for Bobby to fly away in. The last
few scenes of the movie show ?the king. drunk as usual, chasing Bobby and his brother.
Bobby decides that this is his time to get away from it all and he flys away. The police
then arrive with the mother and arrest the stepfather. Bobby is now gone but he keeps in
contact with his family by postcard. This effectively resolved the conflict but Bobby was
now gone. To me this symbolizes his death. Two children could not have made an
airplane, and even if they could there would be no way that a eight year old boy could fly
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