The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Subscription Radio Ahead Of Its Time

Subscription Radio of the 1940s Was the Scrambled Porn of Its Day
Here is another example of an idea that was ahead of its time.  As noted by Paleofuture, someone proposed subscription radio with no commercials in the 1940's, well before the days of Sirius and XM.  The idea was similar to premium channels on early cable TV, when the signal to premium (i.e. pay) channels was scrambled unless you paid the requisite fee.  In the 1940's radio proposal, a listener who tuned in without paying the fee would hear a series of whistles and cat calls.  If you paid the fee, either through a subscription or even with a coin operated mechanism, you could choose between classical music, popular music or news. 

No comments: