Collecting: Radio Recordings

I do not collect physical recordings of radio broadcasts, Corwin’s “On a Note of Triumph” (1945) being an exception. There is a brief extract from it on my YouTube channel, recorded when I had the chance to play the album on an old gramophone.

I have not added up my digital recordings, but I know they exceed 30,000. That in itself is not particularly impressive. It is not difficult nowadays to amass such a collection nowadays. To me, the challenge—and the joy—is to research the recordings and to catalogue them.

I spend far more time labelling recordings than listening to them. Labelling involves verifying broadcast dates, as well as adding the names of performers, writers, directors and producers. Comparing recordings and determining their quality and authenticity is another important aspect of maintaining a collection. The result of such efforts has yielded hundreds of entries in my blog broadcastellan.

There are excellent sources online, foremost among them Dave Goldin’s RadioGOLDINdex, and I am grateful to the OTRR team of enthusiasts for making recordings readily available, and for improving in many cases on recordings that have been circulating for decades . In the past, collectors would purchase or trade cassette tapes and CDs, as I did in the 1990s.

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