The History of Talk Radio

The history of talk radio shows a definite improvement with the inclusion of Robert Wilson and Cowboy Wisdom!

It all began because the world wished to express and debate political opinions back in the 1920’s. It was an Aimee (Semple McPherson), who began her own radio broadcasts during this time period and purchased her own station, KFSG, which went on the air in February of 1924.

In the mid-1930’s, a controversial radio priest by the name of Father Charles Coughlin began his own radio broadcasts that ended up reaching millions per week. And in 1935, a national forum called America’s Town Meeting of the Air began broadcasting once a week, and providing the world with discussions from some of the biggest newsmakers; and, it was the first time that audience participation (members of the studio audience) was welcome; they could do everything from question the guests to heckle them, if they wanted to.

Talk radio came about in 1945 when, oddly enough, a man by the name of Barry Gray became bored with playing just music on the radio and decided to put a telephone receiver up to his microphone to talk with bandleader, Woody Herman. This moment was soon followed with listener call-ins, and with Gray going down in history as the “father of Talk Radio.”

I mention these particular radio shows for a purpose. One thing that we should all keep in mind is that, with every single one of these shows, when they first arrived on the radio, the American public was a bit frightened of them all. Don’t believe me? The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American Radio drama series that was performed on Halloween Eve in 1938. Airing over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network, this ‘fictional show’ was narrated and performed by Orson Welles. Although this was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel, people began having heart attacks all across the land in their own living rooms. The first two-thirds of this sixty-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins,” telling people that an actual alien invasion was occurring. Seeing as that the show ran with no commercial breaks, the listeners truly believed that they were under a serious, paranormal attack.

Radio was a new science and brought about a new sort of fear. Politics scared people because they really had no idea what their government was going to do, or what danger they were being placed in at any given time; and some of the ideas that were circulated were frightening. When it came to religion, lines began to be drawn, and some of the ‘ideas’ and ‘hellfire’ also scared listeners, bringing about new fears in the country. And, of course, when it came to music – through each and every genre that came about – more and more people drew lines between the world of country and that ‘devil-made’ rock-n’-roll – fearful of the new sound that was reaching their children’s ears.

In 2011, there are a great many radio shows. From talk radio to music channels, to politics, religion, community, local, PBS stations – everything that you can possibly choose from – yet, there is still that fear when it comes to something new. I recently spoke about a man who has come on to the radio waves that, quite frankly, should’ve been there long before now. Loyalty, integrity, honesty, a learned mind, AND one of the most relaxing and entertaining voices on the radio – this man goes by the name of Robert Wilson.

Robert Wilson and Cowboy Wisdom has been grabbing people’s attention to say the least. This one extraordinary individual has been able to take life’s negatives and turn them into positives. He has brought guests to the masses that stem from the world of writing, and soon will bring more from music and other areas that involve creativity, imagination and the ability to find wealth and wisdom in your everyday life.

When I first began my ‘quest’ to discover Robert Wilson and what he was all about, I came to find that through all of his works including his Daily Visions CDs, as well as his amazing nonfiction books titled, The Wisdom of a Cowboy and The Visions of a Cowboy – Mr. Wilson does not provide empty words. This is not a man who is a ‘motivational speaker’ who thought he could make a buck. Robert Wilson has proven to a pessimist like me, as well as a ton of others, that he has something truly learned to say that aids the rest of us. Actual words of wisdom stem from a man who has been stuck in triumphs, adversity and moments where he struggled to find the answers to expand the wisdom and wealth in his own life.

Yes, there are those who don’t quite understand the skills that Robert Wilson owns. And what I mean by that is, the fact that Robert Wilson is a hypnotherapist, a motivational speaker, a Licensed Neuro-Linguistic Life Coach, an NLP Practitioner, and more. But this is not a ‘new age’ radio program we are speaking about, this is a program with a truly fantastic interviewer and some amazing guests. This is a show that offers people a chance to relax, have a cup of coffee and learn so much about artists in other areas of life – a perfect radio show that Talk Radio has been missing for years.

Many radio shows as well as news programs are constantly debating – not discussing, mind you, debating – they are protesting and being as extremely negative as humanly possible when speaking about economics or politics, wars or famine – the harsh subjects of this world. They do NOT offer solutions, ways of looking at things in a positive light so that we can go forward and re-gain America. They do not speak the words that allow Americans to feel good and want to work hard to get this country back in shape, they actually simply put on a new version of “War of the Worlds” every time their program hits the airwaves. Only difference? They aren’t putting on a ‘show,’ they’re actually trying to make the rest of us so scared that we don’t even want to come out of our homes, and we remain with a negative and pessimistic outlook no matter what subject someone is speaking about. People say this is highly important. I agree. It is important to know the truth and how to solve it. It is not important to beat the population down into such depression that they can longer seem to stand up.

Robert Wilson changes that. He gives solutions to difficult situations and throws in some seriously fun and rejuvenating entertainment. In fact, he has such phenomenal interviewing skills that the guests, themselves, drop their celebrity façade and sound like the ‘kids’ they used to be – their heart, soul and passion is issued across the airwaves into homes that could use a big boost of positivity.

Many call-in programs were out there in the past, but it was in 1965 that KTKK in Salt Lake City independently developed the all-talk format, and adopted a full time talk schedule. Beginning with local talent and local guests, this is now a station that can boast having a schedule featuring the most local talent and entertainment that audiences simply love.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, many listeners abandoned AM music formats for the FM radio world. It is then that the Talk Radio format began to catch on in major cities. Dallas, Cincinnati, New York, Los Angeles – they all came on board and made the switch to all-talk as their ratings slumped due to listeners heading to the FM band.

Politics became huge with conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh as well as Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, and a slew of others. A group of syndicates picked up religious shows with Billy Graham, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and more. And then the conservative talk show hosts were blended in with people like Dennis Miller, who brought comedy and entertainment to some pretty tough subjects. Soon, Talk Radio headed into the world of alternative, mostly notorious and outspoken talk radio hosts, like Bob Grant and Morton Downey, Jr., then on to the raunchy ‘shock jocks’ like Howard Stern and Don Imus.

Talk Radio has become a solid staple of the American folk, but as we all know the voice needs to be charismatic and the interview skills have to be well done, and offer the listener a true experience that they will wish to have each and every day – and THAT is what Robert Wilson gives!

For all you listeners out there who are looking for a great radio show that teaches, entertains and shows solutions to some seriously difficult questions – Robert Wilson and Cowboy Wisdom Radio is a new voice that is the voice to choose!

Amy Lignor
The Write Companion