Although nighttime skywave signals made it possible to hear distant stations after sunset, during the daytime stations could only be heard within the limited range of their groundwave signals. In early 1922, this meant that many small towns without their own radio stations could not hear any daytime signals. Small stations like WHAW, first licenced to the Tampa, Florida Pierce Electric Company in July, 1922, were often established to provide at least some daytime programming in isolated areas, although the lack of local talent meant they were often dependent on such things as phonograph records and piano rolls for their programs.
The rapid expansion of broadcasting in the 1922 meant that eventually the Tampa-Saint Petersburg area was served by a number of local stations, so WHAW was quietly deleted in the summer of 1923.
The Radio Dealer, September, 1922, page 34:
Concerning "Canned Music Now Broadcasted"
Don't Be Too Hasty in Condemning Broadcasting Programs Now in Evidence
By GEORGE H. FISCHER, JR.
Radio Dept., Pierce Electric Company, Tampa, Fla.
Merchandizing of radio apparatus like any other mechanical or electrical device requires demonstrations. We could hardly expect to sell an electric washing machine or a vacuum cleaner without first demonstrating, nor a phonograph without playing a record or two.
An electrical appliance business could not be successfully operated where no current was available nor a phonograph sold where records could not be procured. What then is the likelihood of selling radio sets where nothing can be heard during the day? All the sales cannot be made at night when atmospheric conditions are favorable.
In the territory where broadcasting stations are found in great numbers the " canned music " may have little appeal but in the territories at a distance beyond the daylight range of the big stations it is almost a necessity.
Our dealers had been obliged to try to sell a radio set without being able to give the prospective " fan " any idea of what radio was like other than to let him listen to an occasional ship out in the gulf or the ever present " static." Realizing this, we installed a small broadcasting station, now WHAW, for the purpose of aiding these dealers. Of course, phonograph music was used. The thing took well and we established a schedule, playing from 12 to 1 p. m. and 4 to 5 p. m. This permitted demonstrations at times when the business people were on the street, at lunch hour and after office hours in the evening.
To our surprise we received many requests from radio " fans " for evening programs which we now give from 8 to 10 p. m. on Mondays and Saturdays. Our modulation is good, about 80 per cent. and our program made up entirely of phonograph records. " Listening in " on some of the " live programs " of some broadcasting stations the writer has heard attempts of amateur entertainers which would have failed to get by at the local picture house. Aside from the value of the broadcasting of " canned music " to the radio retailer the phonograph concert can be made an entertaining one for most any type of listener.
Too many stations have persisted in filling the air with " jazz " and nothing else. Following is a sample program of ours made up of phonograph records :
Bed time stories : Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, Porter.
Overture : Rifle Regiment, Marine Band.
Tenor Solo : O-sole-mio, Caruso.
Piano solo : Prelude F, Rachmaninoff.
Popular number : The Sheik, Club Royal Orchestra.
Violin solo : Souvenir, Kreisler.
Quartette : My Mammy, Peerless Quartette.
Soprano solo : Barbiere, Galli-Curci.
Orchestral : Walküre, Philadelphia Orchestra.
This much gives a good idea of what a variety can be obtained and the class of entertainment furnished. On the other hand we have listened to " live " programs on which appeared choruses from a Sunday school and amateur " pick-up " jazz band and lectures by long-winded orators with no time limit and uninteresting subjects.
Some day, in the near future we hope, the broadcast stations will be served through an entertainment circuit similar to our vaudeville or Chautauquas and that the material shot into the air will be acceptable to all.
Meanwhile, let us not be too hasty in " Canning the Canned Music," for in many cases it is well worth listening to.