11/21/11 “The Golden Age Of Radio” was the topic of a presentation by Eugene Howard Graf at Miller’s Senior Living Community on Wednesday. Known to his friends as Howie, Graf states that he has been interested in radio since he was a young a child. He would take a burned out light bulb and pretend it was a microphone and practice his broadcasting skills.
As a young businessman, Graf attended Radio Broadcast School and obtained his third class radio operators license. Every radio man needed such a license and Graf is proud to say he still has the license today.
While in broadcasting school Graf learned many things that we take for granted today. In the world of television “what you see is what you get”. But in radio the voice is a powerful tool. He learned to convey emotions through using different voice inflections and the listener can then use his imagination and see many different things. He also took classes in sound effects and announcing. As Graf became known in the broadcasting world he was given the moniker of “The Voice of the Blue Water” because the radio station where he was working was near a river.
As Graf spoke about the “Golden Age of Radio” he brought back many memories for the audience. He mentioned popular radio serials such as “The Shadow”, “Ma Perkins”, “The Lone Ranger”, and Fibber Magee and Molly”. He also spoke of well-known broadcasters and the sponsors that made radio possible.
Graf ended his presentation with several jokes and funny anecdotes. He also played several recordings of his personal broadcasting from years ago. A favorite was a poignant “Love Letter From Jesus”. It became so popular when he broadcast in Arizona that it ended his radio show every evening.
The Melody Makers of Indiana home extension chorus will appear in concert at Miller’s Senior Living Community on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 2:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information call 936-9801 and ask for Anna Corbett or Cindy Flagg.
Photo: Former radio broadcaster Howie Graf poses with Jean Zandstra and Katie Kaminski at Miller’s Senior Living.