The Story Behind the Birth of Hollywood as Radio's Top Recording Location


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By 1934, Los Angeles was beginning to be a cultural and recording center for radio broadcasting. This clip, from Breaking Walls Episode 77: The Birth of The Radio Networks—From NBC to CBS to Mutual Broadcasting (1922 - 1934) tells the story of Hollywood's radio origins. Los Angeles was the third and final major network radio recording destination after New York in the 1920s and Chicago in the early 1930s. In 1935 NBC opened a $2 million complex, followed by its and CBS’ expanding into leased theaters and sound stages. NBC’s inaugural west-coast broadcast boasted stars such as Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Ruth Etting. In 1936, CBS paid $1.25 million for Los Angeles’ KNX station. CBS expanded into their Columbia Square complex, and NBC expanded into a Hollywood Radio City. Hear the rest of the story in Breaking Walls Episode 77, available now everywhere you get your podcasts or at

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