Cheap, free music

Still, phonographs and record players were an expensive product and not everyone could afford to buy new music to play. It was not until the radio waves spread across the world that music truly became available for everyone to enjoy in their homes.

Coleman writes, "Thanks to its vacuum tubes and amplified speakers, radio was a sonic revelation for listeners. Music on radio sounded better than on a phonograph. And once you owned a radio, it didn't cost a thing" (33).

Critics of radio.

However, the invention of the radio was not without its critics. An article about radio in the New Grove Dictionary of music states, "When broadcasting began there were many who claimed that the immediate availability of music in the home would make live concerts obsolete. There is no evidence to suggest that this has been the case. On the contrary, radio has inspired the development of musical life in many areas without established musical traditions" (5).

Mega stars.

The rise of the radio brought about the rise of many new musicians. Megastars like Elvis Presley and The Beatles transformed the culture of music. Now there was a universal sort of music and artist that the whole world hear at home and accept or reject.

This universal music experience was a new turn for music. Today, we assume everyone in the world has heard of The Rolling Stones or Madonna. But we forget there was a time when that was not true.

The radio brought free music to the masses, a concept that alarmed those who made a living off of performing live concerts.



Radio made artists like Elvis household names. A new universal, world-wide star was now possible.