WMAQ went on the air on October 22nd, 1922, with their first broadcast featuring the comic stylings of Ed Wynn. Some of the stars to give live performances on the station in its first few years were Jackie Coogan, Maurice Guest, Fritz Lieber, and Arthur Craft.
The station broadcast Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration in 1925 and the 1924 World Series.
WMAQ was managed by Judith Waller, dubbed “The First Lady of Radio.”
When Gosden and Correll arrived at the station’s offices in The Palmolive Building, they were given a modest room in which to write the shows.
The broadcasts were originally recorded in WMAQ’s studios in the Daily News Building. But when NBC bought the station in 1931, the recording sessions moved to Studio F, in the Merchandise Mart. Bart Andrews and Ahrgus Juilliard paint the picture:
During the live broadcast, the pair sat at a wooden table opposite each other.
Using one microphone, they adjusted their seating positions according to which
character they were voicing. To play Andy, Correll spoke in a very low
voice close to the mike, whereas Gosden--impersonating the reverent Amos--
would pull back about two feet from the mike and use a distinctive high-pitched
- Amos ‘n’ Andy.
- Andrews, Bart and Ahrgus Juilliard. Holy Mackerel. New York: Dutton. 1986.
- Gootee, Tom. The History of WMAQ Radio 1922-1935.