Radiophile Event Recreated Yesteryear for Public

Mike Lano Legendary KGO broadcaster Stan Bunger (a Bay Farm Island native) was master of ceremonies for Radio Day. Bunger helped recreate the atmosphere of classic 1930s and ’40s live radio broadcasts that once united the country’s attention well before television and social media.

 

Radio Day Live! By The Bay held July 24 was a full day of events at Kofman Auditorium hosted by the California Historical Radio Hall of Fame (CHRS) based at 2152 Central Ave. Radiophiles from all over the globe flew in to celebrate radio’s colorful history. 

Former Rolling Stone magazine editor Ben Fong-Torres attended and discussed his roots in radio. Fong-Torres is the author of many best-selling books covering topics ranging from his days in radio to musical acts like the Grateful Dead, Eagles and Doors. 

The award-winning Golden Gate Radio Orchestra played much of the day. The orchestra is a full 19-piece recreation of a radio house orchestra that often played during period shows at radio’s peak like Burns and Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Fred Allen and more.

Another born-and-raised Bay Area legend who participated is longtime radio and television host and film star Terry McGovern. He performed a principle role in and directed the event’s production of The Maltese Falcon, which takes place in the Bay Area. Longtime San Francisco radio and television host Celeste Perry played Brigid O’Shaughnessy to Sam Van Zandt’s Sam Spade portrayal. McGovern specifically adapted the theatrical and movie version for radio.

Besides all the area celebrities, an all-day live auction of 184 vintage radios and audio gear took place. Fong-Torres also donated a signed copy of his book The Hits Just Keep Coming to the auction. 

The 2016 Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame class was announced and many other return-to-radio programs were performed and played. Bake sales, doggie diner and museum store activities helped support the CHRS.

The CHRS was founded in 1974 to promote radio’s unique history, educate the public about its history as well as preserve early radio broadcasts. 

Find out more about the Alameda-based non-profit at chrsradio.com. The organization is among the best-known and respected radio preservation societies of its kind.