QUINCY — Media historian Donna L. Halper of Quincy will give a presentation on the history of local radio, including some of her rare artifacts and memorabilia, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington St..
Her talk will include Quincy's WJDA and Marshfield's WATD-FM.
Halper's new book, “Boston Radio, 1920-2010,” was released recently by Arcadia Publishing. It's the story of Boston's radio history from the days of 1XE/WGI, one of America's first radio stations. It includes the first station to receive a commercial license, WBZ, the first FM radio network, W1XOJ and W1XER, and one of the first news networks, the Yankee News Service.
Among the people Halper writes about are Arnie “Woo-Woo” Ginsburg, Dick Summer, Dale Dorman, Charles Laquidara, Larry Glick, Arch McDonald, David Brudnoy, Eddie Andelman, Glenn Ordway,Curt Gowdy and “Big Brother” Bob Emery.
Broadcasters with South Shore connections include Jerry Williams, Don Kent, Sherm Feller and Herb Fountaine, longtime news director of WJDA in Quincy.
Halper’s last book was “Icons of Talk: The Media Mouths that Changed America,” a history of talk shows, published in 2008. She also wrote the 2001 boo “Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting.” She also contributed a chapter to “Radio Cultures,” a 2008 book by Michael Keith about how radio brought women's issues into the public sphere.
Halper does freelance writing for magazines and newspapers, and her essays have appeared in scholarly and mainstream publications. She has been a fact-checker and/or copy editor for encyclopedias and educational foundations, and a researcher for other authors
Halper graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, where she was the school’s first female announcer. She spent 13 years as an announcer, music director and assistant program director in four major markets.
While working as a disc jockey in Cleveland, she discovered the rock group Rush, who dedicated their first two albums to her. She later worked for 23 years as a radio programming and management consultant.
Halper is an assistant professor of communication at Lesley University in Cambridge. She also taught journalism at Emerson College in Boston, where she was named Instructor of the Year in 1995.
"Boston Radio" is the latest in Arcadia's "mages of America" series, which has documented hundreds of cities and towns in vintage photos.
Halper has readings tentively scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Barnes & Noble in Hingham and 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy.