Learning Lincoln On-line

TOPIC:  Old Time Radio-- Variety Programs   #11
"By
the Light of the Fire "

RADIO HISTORY AND BROADCASTING  ACTIVITY

     The term variety programs covers a variety of programs--women's hours, special events broadcasts educational documentaries, comedy programs of the Burns and Allen type, and broadcasts like the Farm and Home Hour.  They are programs made up of music, skits, talks, interviews, and occasional round tables.  On holidays in particular members of the staff of a radio station are called upon to arrange variety programs.
     The documentary form of program, used widely by the U.S. government as a means of education and propaganda, is a cross between variety and drama.  Its free form, with sound effects, montage, musical bridges, brief dramatic scenes, interviews, and narration is admirably adapted to teaching purposes.  Time Magazine was one of the first sponsors to use the documentary broadcast.