Listen While You Work: Homefront Housewives and Radio

Home front housewives listened to a variety of radio programs during the day. It helped to pass the time when the day was full of household chores. Many of the shows they listened to, like “The Guiding Light”,  became television shows later on. Since many of us are staying home right now, I thought I would provide some links so you can listen to the same programs that a home front housewife would have enjoyed during the war years. 

The Guiding Light

“The Guiding Light” is probably a familiar name to many of you. After 1975 it was known as just “Guiding Light”. It is one of the longest-running broadcast programs in the United States. The radio portion of it ran from 1937 to 1956. You can find episodes to listen to by clicking the link below. 

The Guiding Light

One Man’s Family

This program actually ran once a week on Friday nights instead of during the day, but I’m including it here because of its popularity. It started in 1932 and ran until 1959, making it the longest-running uninterrupted dramatic serial in American radio history. It also had a shorter television run that began in 1949. It follows a family of 7 living in San Fransisco and you can find episodes below.  

One Man’s Family

Pepper Young’s Family

After a few name and format changes, “Pepper Young’s Family” could be heard on NBC from 1932 to 1959. The show was about a high school athlete, his family, and his friends. 

Pepper Young’s Family

Vic and Sade

“Vic and Sade” was a popular 15-minute program that aired two to three times per day, five days a week. It began in 1932 and lasted until 1946. It also later appeared on television. The link below will take you to recordings of episodes from 1940 and 1941. The program followed a middle-class family in Illinois.

Vic and Sade

Information, Please

“Information, Please” was a morning quiz show that began in 1938 and ended in 1951. The show had a panel of experts try to answer questions that had been submitted by listeners. Panels included three regulars and a guest panelist. The guests were well-known people like Fred Allen, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Alfred Hitchcock.  Prizes changed, but wartime episodes had prize packages that often included war bonds. The program was sponsored by Encyclopedia Britannica and winners received sets of encyclopedias.

Information, Please

Ma Perkins

Here is a bonus program. This weekday serial drama ran from 1933 to 1960. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any wartime episodes. I’ve linked to some both before and after the war if you’d like to listen. Ma Perkins was a widow with three children in a small southern town where she owned and operated a lumber yard. 

Ma Perkins 

This is a 1947 Stewart Warner radio that my 16 year old son and I are restoring. It belonged to my husband’s grandparents. It has a radio and record player inside. The two lower side doors are storage compartments.

Sources

Oldtimeradiodownloads.com and archive.org are terrific websites to explore old radio programs, period music, and more. The above radio programs are linked to one of these locations. There is great stuff to be found with a little exploring. I hope you enjoy these radio programs as much as I do.

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