The WallBreakers

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About

Project — Breaking Walls: The History of American Network Radio Broadcasting

I launched Breaking Walls in 2014 with a scalable and linear concept: sit-down conversations with luminaries, centered around helpful topics, all laddering up to a monthly theme.

The show next expanded to include on-the-scene reporting at places like The American Museum of Natural History, The Maggie Flanigan Acting Studio, and Industry City.

Eventually I began to produce mini-documentaries about people, programs, and moments during the Golden Age of Radio. For a time, I was producing all of these kinds of shows concurrently, but the listening audience kept asking for more audio documentaries on the history of radio. I decided to move Breaking Walls solely in this direction.

Today Breaking Walls is a once-per-month audio documentary on the history of American network radio broadcasting, focusing on people, places, and events. Since switching solely to this topic the podcast's monthly traffic has increased significantly. 



Personal Backstory
In 1999 I discovered the Golden Age of Radio with my grandfather. He opened a box set of sixty old-time radio shows selected by Walter Cronkite. He popped a cassette tape of a science fiction show that ran on NBC in the 1950s called X-Minus One. I was instantly hooked! I’ve been listening to and collecting shows, as well as reading about that early era of broadcasting since.


Why Am I Producing This podcast?
Audio drama truly is the "theatre of the mind," as it's been nicknamed, and many of its stars directly influenced the stars we've grown up watching. Episodes of Breaking Walls weave a combination of dramatic story, audio quotes, interviews, golden age of radio clips together with sound effects and narration.

There are so many entertainment standards that came from radio! For example, did you know the term Soap Opera originated in the Chicago radio industry because many sponsors were local soap manufacturers? 

With your help, I can dedicate the time and resources to making this documentary series happen while the last members of the radio community who were working during the Golden Age of Radio are still with us. It's a wonderful way for an entire generation of young people to learn about what Americans of past generations were listening to and why. 

I have access to interview libraries, show archives and will secure new interviews with radio historians and radio veterans who’ve worked in radio since the death of widespread network audio drama, as well as go to view private library collections in person. 

if I can, I'd like to make Breaking Walls the most comprehensive history of radio industry ever produced. 

Goals
8 of 111 patrons
Reaching this goal will allow for the necessary time and resources to produce this docu-series in a way that gives the topic it's deserved respect. Find the show at www.TheWallBreakers.com or by searching for Breaking Walls everywhere you get your podcasts.

I'm incredibly grateful for your help. I hope you keep getting out there and keep breaking those walls!

James
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