On November 17, 1995, the first show of "Your Radio Playhouse" aired on Chicago’s public radio station, WBEZ. Hosted and produced by journalist Ira Glass, the hour-long program featured quirky tales about ordinary Americans. Reviving the narrative storytelling format popular in the 1930s and 1940s, the early shows consisted of stories, documentaries and monologues narrated by artists, reporters and writers. The show was such a success that it was nationally syndicated in less than a year and renamed "This American Life." With over 700 episodes, "This American Life" continues to air weekly on public radio and as a podcast and has won numerous awards, including Peabody Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.
The New York Review of Books: ‘To Get Things More Real’: An Interview with Ira Glass
November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!