* Richmond’s airport was dedicated as Richard Evelyn Byrd Flying Field in 1927 in honor of aviator Richard E. Byrd, brother of then Gov. Harry F. Byrd. Charles Lindbergh attended the dedication ceremony.
* The Radio Broadcasting of America (RCA) company produces the National Broadcasting Company in 1926. NBC is composed of a Red Network (sponsored broadcasts) and a Blue Network (non-sponsored broadcasts such as news and culture).
* The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is founded in 1927.
Although three-letter call signs were still available when the station was started, “WRVA” was chosen since RVA was short for Richmond, VA. WRVA AM 1140 kHz was launched at 9:00 p.m. on November 2, 1925. Known initially as “Edgeworth Radio”, the radio station later known as WRVA was founded was owned by Larus and Brother, a tobacco company known as the House of Edgeworth. The radio station was originally operated as a public service 2 nights per week. The early WRVA facilities were a small studio in a corner of a warehouse on Richmond’s Tobacco Row and a tower mounted on the roof of the building.
In 1929, RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world’s largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous “Victrola”) and phonograph records. The new subsidiary then became RCA-Victor
On April 5, 1927, NBC reached the West Coast with the launch of the NBC Orange Network, also known as The Pacific Coast Network. This was followed by the October 18, 1931, debut of the NBC Gold Network, also known as The Pacific Gold Network. These would be later merged in to the Red and blue networks, respectively.
By 1930, WRVA was on-the-air 7 days a week, 24 hours daily, with broadcasting power increased to 50,000 watts.
* In 1930, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) agreed to occupy the yet-to-be-constructed landmark building of the Rockefeller Center complex, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which in 1933 became known as the RCA building, This critical lease in the massive project enabled it to proceed as a commercially viable venture.
* May 1, 1931 — The Empire State Building (Tallest skyscraper in the world from 1931 to 1970) is completed in New York City after about a 17 months of construction.
* March 1932, Aviator Charles Lindbergh’s son is kidnapped and murdered in the “Crime of the Century.” (The trial occurred in Feb 1935, and after the trial, Lindbergh spent several years in self-omposed exile in Europe. )
* May 2, 1932. After having appeared on Ed Sullivan‘s radio program earlier in the year, Jack Benny is given his own radio show, “The Jack Benny Program” which would run in various forms from 1932 to 1948. Program sponsors ranged from Canada Dry, to others such as Chevrolet , General Tire, General Foods, Jell-O & Grape-Nuts, and American Tobacco‘s Lucky Strike.
* December 27, 1932, Radio City Music Hall opens in the RCA complex.
* Edwin Howard Armstrong patents FM radio, although it was not popularized until 1936/7. There is a lot more drama related to RCA using its clout with the FCC to undermine Armstrong’s FM Yankee Network and allow AM to continue economic viability until after WWII. Also, the Yankee network saw some censorship from FDR after critical editorials of him in 1938.
* 1933-1934 — Chicago holds its centennial celebration (1833 – 1933) via the 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair … “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms”
* In 1933, “Famous Funnies,” the first true comic book, is introduced in the United States. Soon After, Canada Dry (invented at the turn of the century but popularized in America as a mixer during prohibition) begins to distribute free comic books as part of its self-promotional activities.
* Fear continues to build as unemployment and other economic indicators of trouble peak during the Great Depression
* FDR is sworn in as POTUS (FDR replaces Hoover) (Happy Days are Here again!)
* End of Prohibition (Happy Days are Here again!)
* Glass-Steagall Legislation limits how much banks can gamble with your money (Happy Days are Here again!)
May 1933 — FDR signs legislation for the Tennessee Valley Authority, which will eventually transform the economy of the Tennessee River Valley.
December 10, 1933 = The first ever NFL Championship game after the previous year’s split into Eastern and Western NFL Divisions.
* January 1935 — Krueger’s Brewery debuts the first ever “canned beer” in Richmond VA
* February 23, 1935 — Three months after his big screen debut in the Western film In Old Santa Fe, Gene Autry takes his first leading film role in the 12-chapter serial movie The Phantom Empire. In this movie, Autry plays a singing cowboy who stumbles upon an ancient subterranean civilization living beneath his own ranch (the ranch is called Radio Ranch).
* With passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 on April 8, 1935, US Congress creates the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was initially intended to be an extension of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration work program, which funded projects run by states and cities.
* FDR signs the Social Security Act of 1935 on August 14, 1935
*The sickly King-Emperor George V dies in 1936. The immediate heir, Edward VIII, abdicates the throne because he loves an American Girl. His brother George VI (father of Elisabeth II) takes over the family throne.
* February / March 1937 FDR introduces “court-packing” legislation that would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court to make it more friendly to New Deal initiatives. The measure ultimately fails.
* May 1937. 25 year-old newlyweds Joseph and Jackeline Ukrop open the first Ukrops grocery story, on Hull street. The Czechoslovakian immigrant family had actually moved back to Pittsburg in 1925, but because of the Great Depression, they had been forced to return to their failed family farm in Richmond in 1932. The Ukrops family mortgaged the farm to start the (source: Harry Kollatz Jr.)
* July 7, 1937, the second Sino-Japanese War begins (it would last through 1945)
* July 11, 1937 — George Gershwin dies at the age of 39 of a brain tumor.
* Mid 1937 through 1938 — The US Economy experiences the Recession of 1937-1938
In 1937, John Steinbeck published Of Mice and Men
- In March 1938, the Germans invade Austria in an onslaught (“Anschluss“)
* October 30, 1938 — Orson Welles’ broadcast of The War of the Worlds on the radio fools some Americans into thinking the earth is being invaded by aliens.
* Kristallnacht — 9-10 November 1938, Nazis embark on pogrom against the Jews, shocking people worldwide.
*The Superman comic book (first drawn/writen in 1933 by Cleveland high school students ) is sold to Detective Comics in 1938, thus beginning the “Golden Age” of comic books.
* July 1939, the New York World’s Fair debuts such technologies as television, color photography, nylon, air conditioning, fluorescent lamps, the View-Master, and Smell-o-vision.
* September 1939 — Germany Invades Poland, initiating World War II for Germany, France, and the UK. (Russia was not initially involved due to a non-aggression pact signed between Russia and Germany in August 1939 that held until June 1941)
* WPA is liquidated on June 30, 1943, as a result of low unemployment due to the worker shortage of World War II,
1 October 1947 was the first magnetic tape broadcast in America.
HMMM SHOULD I INCLUDE THESE TOPICS?
* Jimmie Rogers dies May 26, 1933 in NYC at the Hotel Taft, 2 days after his last recording session for Victor. On his next recording session, Gene Autry recorded “The Death of Jimmie Rogers” and The Life of Jimmie Rogers” in addition to 9 other songs
|1. The Yellow Rose Of Texas (unpublished version found from 1858, with another “Autry”co-written version of the song dated to Jun 2, 1933.|
|2. The Last Round-Up (published by Billy Hill in 1933 and widely sung. Autry 1933, with Autry movie of same name in 1947.)|
|3. Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds (associated w/ Rogers & Sons of the Pioneers, but there was a 1935 Autry film release of this name)|
|4. Mexicali Rose (published 1923, recorded by Autry 1935. Movie of same name 1939)|
|5. Take Me Back To My Boots & Saddle (??? recording attributed to Autry 1935, with 1937 Autry film “Boots and Saddles. 1935 Sheet music –Words and music by Walter G. Samuels, Leonard Whitcup, Teddy Powell)|
|6. Back In The Saddle Again (released 1939, cowritten by Autry)|
|7. El Rancho Grande (??? Autry film of same name released 1940 )|
|8. Blueberry Hill (published 1940 and recorded 6 times by Autry et al 1940)|
|9. The Call Of The Canyon (title of a 1923 “lost” film rediscovered in 2010, Billy Hill wrote this song in 1940. Included in the 1940 Autry movie entitled MELODY RANCH. Call of the Canyon was also a separate Autry film in 1942)|
|10. You Are My Sunshine (first recorded 1939)|
|11. It Makes No Difference Now (By Floyd Tillman and LA Governor Jimmie Davis… first recorded by Cliff Bruner in 1938. Featured in 1939 Autry Movie “Mountain Rhythm” with Autry and Smiley Burnettte singing from jail. )|
|12. Amapola Written in 1924 with Spanish lyrics. Popular version by Tommy Dorsey in 1941. 1941 version by Autry –> here|
|13. Maria Elena Song written 1932 in spanish (Lorenzo Barcelata). Sung by Lawrence Welk, Jimmy Dorsey, et al in 1941. Autry 1941 Version –> here|
|14. Deep In The Heart Of Texas. First recorded by Perry Como in 1941. Autry sang the song in Heart of the Rio Grande (1942)|
|15. I’m Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes. popularized by the Carter Family in 1929. Billboard #34 Country hit by Gene Autry in 1944|
|16. (I’ve Got Spurs That) Jingle, Jangle, Jingle. published 1942. Version sung by Dick Thomas in the film The Forest Rangers reached Billboard #1 in July 1942. Autry 1942 version is –> here|
|17. Ole Faithful. written in 1934 by Carr and Kennedy. Autry performed this song in the 1936 movie “The Big Show” video –> here|
|18. Red River Valley. Rumors that it was written in the 1880s. popularized by several singing cowboys in the 1920s. Autry sang it in the 1936 movie of the same name.|
On Amazon: here
Billboard did not have a country best sellers chart until 1944?