The Band on Radio and TV… and Beyond
June 4, 2019
The World Wide Web first became publicly available in August of 1991. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when television and radio first got started in the United States, widespread commercial television did not become available until the late 1940s—and the first commercial radio station in the U.S. is generally thought to be KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, which began operating in November 1920, two years before the Municipal Band began its first rehearsals.
The Band, however, might be considered an “early adopter” of radio. On June 5, 1924 it participated with several other bands attending that year’s Confederate Veterans Reunion convention in Memphis, TN, in a broadcast concert over local radio station WMC. The following year on May 21, 1925 the Band gave a concert sponsored by the Dallas Morning News over radio station WFAA in Dallas, TX, while attending that year’s Confederate Veterans Reunion. Then on September 23, 1926 the Band made its Virginia radio debut, presenting a live concert broadcast by radio station WRVA in Richmond. Finally, on September 29, 1927 the Band again performed live on station WRVA in a concert that was heard by listeners all up and down the east coast. The local press later received a letter from a Mr. Anthony Arsenault, a resident of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, who wrote to say how much he had enjoyed hearing the Band. Summerside is about 950 miles from Richmond and this may be the farthest distance anyone has heard the Band over live open-air radio.
Prince Edward Island isn’t the farthest away anyone has ever heard the Band on radio, however. In 1956 the Band performed a concert that was taped and later broadcast via the Radio Free Europe network to countries in Eastern Europe and the then-Soviet Union.
As for television, the Band’s TV debut occurred on March 8, 1970, when the Band gave a live televised concert from the studios of the Jefferson Cable Company as part of that year’s Apple Blossom Festival festivities. Since that time, the Band’s television appearances have mostly been limited to brief clips in local news reports, but in 2011 the Band was featured on WHTJ’s program “Charlottesville Inside Out” hosted by Terri Allard – and that leads directly to the Band’s most recent media involvement.
The Band’s history and evolution has closely paralleled the history of radio, television and the Internet in the U.S. With each advance in mass communications technology the Municipal Band has tried to stay in step with the times. Like many organizations today, the Municipal Band has its own web page and an internet presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection can now learn about the Band and enjoy listening to and watching programs such as the “Charlottesville Inside Out” feature mentioned above, as well as listening to a host of musical selections from some of our many concerts. We invite you to join us on the web via your favorite social media platform, so we can entertain you anytime and anywhere! And rest assured that whenever the next new communications technology comes along, the Municipal Band will be right there using it!