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Stephen Cisler

February 20, 1984 OHC59 158 min.


Pioneer radio executive. Born 1907. Executive with Chicago radio station WLS during radio’s formative years of the late 1920s.

Interview Summary

1984 February 20
(2 hours, 38 minutes)
Pioneering radio executive Stephen Cisler talks about his work at Chicago radio station WLS during the late 1920s. Discussion includes his introduction to radio while in high school; his first radio jobs; the formation of WLS and its early programming, including Showboat and National Barn Dance; producing early radio shows; working with program director George Biggar; early WLS radio personalities, including Jim Poole and Hal O’Halloran; early Barn Dance stars, including Bradley Kincaid; working as the Barn Dance announcer; memories of radio dramas and dramatic performers; the role of John Lair; sponsors of the early shows, including Swift & Company; and comments on the WLS audience and popular performers of the day.

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