Huntington’s Golden Age of radio is highlighted by two Huntington authors, Dr. Corley F. Dennison III and Joseph Platania, in the current issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine. Dennison explores the history of WSAZ, Huntington’s first radio station. Platania reveals the story behind Huntington’s Air-Ola Radio Company and introduces readers to Huntington’s Museum of Radio & Technology.
In the article, “WSAZ Radio: ‘The Worst Station from A to Z,’” Dennison focuses on the young station’s early struggles and its development into a major radio station. He also explores the exciting days of live studio performances, the 1927 agreement with Marshall University which made WSAZ the flagship station for Marshall sports, and the nine-day commercial-free broadcast during the 1937 flood. The article ends with WSAZ’s move into television, known today as WSAZ-TV NewsChannel 3 Huntington-Charleston, and the transition of WSAZ radio to WRVC at 930 on the AM dial.
In “Just-Rite: Huntington’s Air-Ola Radio Company,” Platania tells the story of the 1923 founding of Air-Ola by Charles V. Cheuvront and the creation of the Just-Rite radio. He includes the personal, and sometimes humorous, experiences of Cheuvront and his partners, and the company’s transition from manufacturer to wholesaler during the 1920's and ‘30's. In “The Museum of Radio & Technology,” Platania explores the local museum which houses more than 500 radios and bills itself as “the largest facility in the nation dedicated to the radio collecting hobby.” Visitors to the museum, located in the former Harveytown Elementary School, can also view telegraphs, early telephones, windup Victrolas, and television sets from the 1940's and ‘50's.
The fall issue of GOLDENSEAL, on sale now, also includes articles about the USS West Virginia, Taylor County’s color guard of retired veterans, the Civilian Conservation Corps experiences of two Huntington residents, and Spaniards who moved to southern West Virginia to work in the coal mines.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is a quarterly publication of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. It is available for $4.95 from Borders Books, Music and Café at Huntington Mall, or by calling (304)558-0220, extension 153.