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Radio Historian Randall Davidson to Speak at UWFox

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Randall Davidson

The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is hosting noted radio historian Randall Davidson on Monday, November 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Thrivent Financial Lobby of the campus’ Communication Arts Center. His presentation and discussion will focus on the impact of AM radio on the history and culture of the United States during the first half of the 20th century. His appearance at UWFox is in conjunction with the current exhibit in the campus’ Aylward Gallery, “On the Air: The Vintage Radio Collection of Clyde Stephenson.” The exhibit runs through December 4.

Davidson spent 18 years at Wisconsin Public Radio, serving as the network's chief announcer, and was heard weekday afternoons as the network’s statewide newscaster. A native of Neenah, he began his radio career at WRST-FM at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he now is a lecturer in the Radio-TV-Film department and serves as the university’s Director of Radio Services. He also worked as a disc jockey at commercial station WHBY-AM in Appleton and was a reporter for United Press International. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, and is the author of “9XM Talking: WHA Radio and the Wisconsin Idea” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006).

According to Davidson, his book provides the first comprehensive history of the University of Wisconsin radio station, WHA; the affiliated state-owned station, WLBL; and the post -World War II FM stations that were the backbone of the network now known as Wisconsin Public Radio. The book covers the programs that allowed the medium of radio to benefit farmers and homemakers, to bring world-class educators into isolated rural schoolrooms, and to teach people all over Wisconsin everything from literature to history to touch-typing, long before anyone came up with the term "distance learning."  It concludes by discussing the claim that WHA has to the title "Oldest Station in the Nation."

Davidson’s presentation is free and open to the public, with unreserved seating.  The vintage radio exhibit in the Aylward Gallery will be open before and after his presentation for visitors and guests to be able to view free of charge. 

For more information about Davidson’s appearance and presentation at UWFox, contact the campus’ Office of University Relations, 920-832-2611 or email david.hager@uwc.edu.

Posted 11/17/2009