Joe Smith

Roger Kolakowski
Mon Jul 10 18:01:40 EDT 2006


It would seem that MIT, with it's technology support base, "continuous
learning" (not just a 4 year student cycle), and the long time existence of
the MIT Radio Society (back to the 30's at least), combined with the typical
sprawling buildings that a century old city campus provides, would be an
ideal location for a "display museum." Maybe not the final project for an
engineer, but more for an "engineering historian," the challenge would be
upkeep, maintenance and rotation of displays behind locked glass cases.

A computer on location might allow access to current databases and research.
MIT allows "non-students" to join the MRS and perhaps an affiliation with
the RCA could be explored (Boston Chapter Style.)

Just a thought....


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donna Halper" <>
To: "Shaun Hayes" <>;
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 12:55 PM
Subject: RE: Joe Smith

> >Shaun wrote--
> >
> >Why isn't there a Boston Museum of Broadcasting to collect research into
> >Boston radio history and its historical artifacts?  Determining where a
> >figure like Joe Smith was at a given time just shouldn't be this hard.
> There have been plans off and on for such a museum, but funding is the
> issue.  Scott, Dan, Garrett, Peter, myself and others do this research as
> labour of love.  I pay large sums out of my own pocket for databases and
> buy up memorabilia, and I am not the only one who does.  But what makes it
> difficult to find dates of major figures is that (a) due media
> consolidation, few stations are owned by the same people anymore,and the
> new people often have no respect for the heritage of their station, and
> even those folks who do have respect did not always think to preserve some
> of the now-rare memorabilia.  What I have found at flea markets amazes
> forget looking for stuff on ebay (where you can find people charging
> outrageous sums of cash for old magazines and photos); I mean I've found
> old photos just lying around in the sun about to be thrown away because
> people getting rid of them had no clue who these folks were or why they
> were important.
> But that's the problem in a nutshell.  There is no one central repository
> of top 40 information in most cities, and Boston is no exception.  The
> museums that do exist (like the Museum of Broadcasting) are much more
> interested in video than in audio, and many exhibits are about the great
> shows of the 50s and 60s.  The history of top 40 radio and the great
> d.j.'s?  Well, not so much.  So we are restricted to what we can find, as
> well as to what the newspapers and magazines wrote about.  That is made
> more complicated by the fact that the print media of the 50s hated rock
> music.  I am friends with, and dearly love, Bill Buchanan-- one of the
> nicest human beings who ever lived.  He was the radio columnist for the
> Boston Daily Record and later the Globe.  But back then he was among the
> many Boston critics who despised the new pop music-- they all came from
> Big Band era, and thought rock was noise.  Bill wrote endless columns
> how awful rock music and rock d.j.'s were.  Most newspapers, however, just
> ignored rock stations entirely.  And reclusive owners like Mac Richmond
> didn't even send the daily listings of shows and d.j.'s to the
> perhaps because he fired so many of the d.j.'s so frequently, but also
> because the rock stations and the local newspapers were such adversaries.
> I'd love to compile an accurate listing of who was where and when they
> there.  I'm trying  my best to do that, as are the others who maintain the
> Boston Radio Archives.  But it's not an easy task, given how scarce the
> information and the artifacts are.

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