Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finding "Negro Audiences" in 1954

Image via the fabulous Lantern media history site
People often forget the virtual apartheid of the radio airwaves in the 1940's, '50's, and early '60's -- but here's one powerful reminder that none of it happened by accident. Not only are stations here competing for bragging rights in reaching the biggest share of the "Negro Market," but there's a mention of Alan Freed's Moondog show having "Negro-appeal"! Perhaps this was in the wake of the Moondog Coronation Ball, the year before, which revealed that nearly all of Freed's audience was Black, or perhaps Freed was in fact quite conscious of who was listening to his show all along; its popularity with Black listeners seems to have been a key selling point in plans for syndication.

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