Baltimore Radio and Television by Gary Helton

I get some pretty amazing book mail, but this one? This is the best book mail I will EVER get! It’s not every day that a book that talks about Oprah has your GRANDFATHER on the cover! Everyone, meet my granddad Stu Kerr!

My dad (Stu’s son) sent me a text a few months back with a picture of this cover. I FREAKED out and got so excited! How had we not heard about this? Well, that’s because it hasn’t been published yet! A friend from his work happened to see the cover on one of Amazon’s top bestseller lists and sent the link to my dad. I cannot thank Arcadia Press enough for sending me over an early copy!

You may have seen these books around for awhile, and you may own some yourself, but this particular books is from Arcadia Publishing and The History Press. These are the sepia-tinted books you see in gift shops and bookstores talking about the history of a specific town or location. This one happens to be about, you guessed it, Baltimore Radio and Television History.

Synopsis: Beginning with Calman Zamoiski’s unlicensed and short-lived “wireless telephone” station in 1921, Baltimore would boast five commercial radio stations within the next 20 years. Before the 1940s ended, commercial television appeared with the debut of WMAR, Channel 2, in 1947. WMAR was unique in that it had no personnel with television experience and, initially, no studios, broadcasting instead from various remote locations. Over the years, Baltimore radio and television stations served as the launchpad or stopover point of some of the most beloved personalities in the industry. Garry Moore, Arthur Godfrey, and Jim McKay all got their starts here, while Gene Rayburn, Jon Miller, Oprah Winfrey, John Saunders, Nick Charles, Spencer Christian, Bob McAllister, and others passed through en route to national broadcasting prominence. Baltimoreans did not just bond with the people and programs of their local stations. It was a genuine love affair.

The book is divided into three parts – Baltimore’s Stations, The Shows, and The Stars. Each page is filled with beautiful, wonderful quality photos that blast you back in time to what seems like yesteryear. Each photo has detailed captions that give you a little taste of the historical impact each station, show, and star had on Baltimore and the nation as a whole. You can tell that a lot of hard work and dedication was put into this book, making it pure gold, rich in history and love for Baltimore. This awesome video sums up a lot of what you will find in this book:

Stu Kerr was a pretty awesome fellow. I have to say I’m quite lucky to have found so many pictures and images of my grandfather throughout this book. He is best known in Baltimore as the Early Riser and weatherman for Channel 2 News WMAR. He is probably better known for all of the kids shows he did! He is remembered for his shows Professor Kool, Bozo the Clown, the Conductor on Caboose, and more! I’m so glad there are so many people out there who get to continually tell me stories of how he always put a smile to their face. Though he is not with us anymore, I still look up to him ’til this day.

I mean, I’m pretty sure you can guess that I’m head over heels for this book. The prints, pictures, facts, and layout are phenomenal. I just wish there was more to it! I have learned so much about my birth town’s history and have done a lot more research on my own for fun after reading this. ALL THE STARS for this one! If you love Baltimore or grew up in Baltimore, you NEED to get this! Get your copy here!

While I was looking up some links for this review, I found the jackpot. Enjoy a FULL EPISODE (impossible to come by these days) of one of my grandfather’s shows, Pop’s Place!

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