In December of 1921, the U.S Government officially regulated the growing medium of radio. In no time, stations popped up across the country. The first Kentucky radio station was in Louisville. The second was in Paducah. At the time, no one was 100% sure what to do with it. But an enterprising department store owner on Broadway needed fodder for selling radio sets. What he didn’t realize at the time is that he was making history, helping establish how radio would transform our nation and pave the way for other forms of electronic media.
Later, a second Paducah station opened that would take the reins of history, giving rise to even more unique Paducah programming. It became a center for tying the community together, becoming a point of entertainment as well as a source of information during some of our most trying moments.
PADUCAH RADIO HISTORY: THE FORMATIVE YEARS, looks at Paducah radio from its most inventive days to its golden era.
J.T. Crawford is a radio fan. As a child, he carried his dad’s old transistor radio with him wherever he went, falling in love with the magic in the airwaves. A graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School where he studied Radio and Television Productions at the Paducah Area Technology Center, he went on to get a Master’s in Mass Communications at Murray State University. It was there that he discovered the lost history of Paducah’s first radio station. He wrote about the subject, eventually producing a documentary that regularly aired on KET.
J.T. has been the Associate Editor of Paducah Life Magazine for 15 years. His first published article there was a two-part series on the history of Paducah radio in 2005.
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