Cui bono? Non-combatants (part 2)

The American Radio Library has added a series of ‘Radio in Education’ journals from the ’30s. These were published by an arrogantly academic group who HATED normal people and normal businesses. They weren’t satisfied with the existing mix of classical and modern music, which was HEAVILY classical at that time. This group wanted stations to give up ‘weak’ and ‘popular’ composers like Bach and Brahms, and focus strictly on ‘advanced’ and ‘challenging’ music like Schonberg and Stravinsky. Their approach to other subject areas was similarly screechy. Fortunately they didn’t get their way. American radio, both local and network, continued playing plenty of ‘weak’ Bach and Beethoven until 1960.

The group also wanted to get commerce out of radio entirely. Pure government radio, financed by receiver licenses, was obviously the only way to go. Advertisements were horrible ‘pollution’.

The 1932 issue included a full list of radio arrangements in foreign countries. Despite the bias, it’s an interesting list. Most Euro countries were doing it correctly by this group’s standards. Total government control, totally funded by mandatory license fees. Britain and Norway and France were partial exceptions, with licenses plus some private stations. Spain and Portugal and Yugoslavia were the only full exceptions, with no direct or indirect government control.

Spain and Portugal were the most effective NEUTRAL countries in WW2. Both favored the Axis in propaganda, but remained entirely out of the war and didn’t get bombed. Yugoslavia started out with the same flavor, but a coup overthrew the carefully quasi-neutral government and joined the US side. Germany immediately invaded and occupied. Shoulda stayed neutral.

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