WorcesterThen: 1929



Radio Highlights: a look at the week’s programming by Worcester’s only radio station

The ad for Isenberg Insurance gives their location as the Slater Arcade.  Have you heard of it before?  Do you know where it was, or still is? 




“This Week in Worcester” – a weekly guide to goings on in the city, published in the late 1920s to the late ‘30s.  Its pages included brief essays on Worcester history by Prof.  Zelotes W. Coombs, of WPI, what was showing at the movie theatres, written articles on various topics, ads for the Bancroft and other places to eat or stay, and the like.


Radio broadcasting began in the 1920s and was still in its infancy at the end of the decade.  A few minutes spent reading these highlights of the week’s radio offerings could prove to be  worthwhile.  This is Worcester History Lite, of course, but some might enjoy it, as did I. It might enrichen one’s sense of everyday life in those days between the Wars.


A few standouts:  “Why I Fly” by the Navy’s only ace from the World War; song hits from the Ziegfeld Follies of past years;  four  pieces by Franz Liszt featured on the Mobiloil Concert; and hearing the Raybestos Twins disclose “just exactly how much is ‘Much More Mucher Than Much,’ the latter at 6:30 Friday evening.

Then there’s the Schradertown Band,  the interplanetary satire of “Hello Mars,” the General Motors Family Party, “Jack Frost Melody Moments,” the Lucky Strike Orchestra, and the General Electric Hour. Count me in.

Somewhat strangely, the 1929 page did not identify the radio broadcasting source, as if to say “it was the radio station.” but by 1931 it was WTAG, an affiliate of NBC, which is still going strong at this writing (2016).


Not long afterward, the function of radio schedule listings fell to the daily newspapers.

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Don Chamberlayne, 2016