Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This Day in Network Radio: A Review

Originally published in the December, 2008, Old Radio Times.(

This Day in Network Radio
By Jim Cox
A Review by Ryan Ellett

Jim Cox’s latest book, This Day in Network Radio, hits the market just in time for Christmas and let me assure you this book is a perfect stocking stuffer for the old time radio fan in your life.

This Day is a step out of line with Mr. Cox’s other works which focus on a single series (Mr. Keen), a single genre (like his previous book Sold on Radio), or a single aspect (Frank and Anne Hummert’s Radio Factory) of old time radio. Instead the book gives the reader day-by-day old time radio highlights including births, deaths, debuts, and cancellations.

This effort is a fun compilation of so much information that Mr. Cox has given us in past works and other new information that surely was compiled during his research but did not sneak into those works. As we’ve come to expect from the jovial pen-weilder, Mr. Cox focuses not only on the well-known actors, actresses, and series of radio’s Golden Age but he delves into the nooks and crannies of the field, spotlighting the lesser-known series and behind-the-scenes men and women who made the industry hum.

The first question that comes to mind in reviewing the book is why didn’t somebody do this earlier?

At $50 it’s a bit pricey, especially for a paperback and one that checks in at 235 pages, short by Mr. Cox’s standards. If one is still missing some of the author’s previous works I would recommend sinking the money into one of those as they only sell for an extra five or ten dollars. If your lucky and have a complete Jim Cox library you won’t regret adding this volume to your shelf.

I plan to leave this book on a shelf in my water closet and read daily entries during my morning visits. The next best thing to starting one’s day with an OTR recording is starting one’s day by reading about OTR.

This Day in Network Radio is published by Mcfarland ( and can be ordered by calling 1-800-253-2187. It is likely available at and other online book sources.


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