The History of WBZ NewsRadio: The 1920s

September 15, 1921: WBZ was the first station licensed as a “commercial” radio station. It's located in East Springfield, MA.

September 19, 1921: WBZ airs first broadcast from the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA. Gov. Cox of Massachusetts and Gov. Lake of Connecticut gave speeches.

November 28, 1921: Madame Louise Homer, famous contralto, gives a live radio interview. It's the first time her fans have heard her on the radio.

February 1922: Live broadcast of Madame Louise Homer (below center, with daughters Katherine and Louise), from the Springfield Auditorium.

Madame Louise Homer With Daughters Katherine And Louise

Madame Louise Homer With Daughters Katherine And LouisePhoto: WBZ Archive Photo

April 11, 1923: WBZ broadcasts one of the first French-English bilingual programs, with a concert from a Montreal-based vocal group and announcing by Jacques N. Cartier of CKAC Radio in Montreal.

October 3, 1923: WBZ begins a series of courses for credit, in association with the Mass. Department of Education.

In 1924, announcers are still not allowed to use their names – just their initials. Chief announcer Arthur F. Edes is known as EFA. Gordon Swan, who will later become WBZ’s program director, is known as AGS.

Gordon Swan,1924

Gordon Swan,1924Photo: WBZ Archive Photo

February 24, 1924: WBZ’s first broadcast from the new Boston studio at the Hotel Brunswick, Boylston and Berkeley Streets; it was torn down in 1956 to make room for an office building. WBZ was known as the “Herald – Traveler Station” with news supplied by the Boston Herald and its sister newspaper the Boston Traveler.

October 31, 1924: Continuing to increase its schedule, WBZ begins offering late night programming (11p.m. to 12 a.m.) twice a week.

November 1924: Thornton W. Burgess, author of many children’s books, begins a weekly series of talks about nature and the outdoors. He also starts the Radio Nature League, to get kids interested in the natural sciences.

December 1, 1924: WBZA broadcasts live from the 4th annual Boston Radio Exposition.

December 1, 1924: First radio broadcast of the Boston Bruins. The play-by-play was done by Frank Ryan, a sportswriter for the Boston Herald.

March 4, 1925: WBZ is one of the key stations broadcasting the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge.

April 14, 1925: WBZ broadcasts Boston Braves baseball, live from Braves Field. (Other live sports events that year will include the October broadcast of Harvard College football.)

April 17, 1925: WBZ airs a program commemorating the 150th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride.

August 20, 1925: WBZA is officially on in Boston, at 1240 AM; WBZ remains in East Springfield, at 900 AM.

March 31, 1926:WBZ is given permission to experiment with 5000 watts, a power few stations had back in those days.

October 9, 1926: WBZ does its first broadcast of the Boston SymphonyOrchestra, featuring famous conductor Serge Koussevitzky.

November 15, 1926: WBZ becomes one of the first affiliates of the first network, NBC.

January 1, 1927:WBZ becomes one of the 5 original NBC-Blue stations.

Radio News,1923

Radio News,1923Photo: WBZ Archive Photo

January 24, 1927: WBZ begins its first regularly-scheduled daytime programming.

May 1927: WBZ begins broadcasting the Boston Pops concerts.

June 1, 1927: WBZ’s Boston studios move to the Hotel Statler, which is today the Park Plaza Hotel.

November 11, 1928: The Federal Radio Commission, which had been created in 1927 to bring order to an increasingly chaotic radio dial, moves WBZ to 990 KC. That is where WBZ will remain until 1941.

January 3, 1929: WBZ becomes the first station to broadcast the inauguration of a Massachusetts governor; the station is live at the State House when Frank G. Allen takes office.

November 1929: WBZ puts a shortwave station on the air, using the call letters W1XAZ.

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