The Voice of Firestone brings Classical Music to the Airwaves, 1928

Sponsored by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, the Firestone Hour debuted December 3, 1928 on the NBC radio-broadcasting network. The program featured classical and operatic music in an old time radio shows format, in which selections were performed by the Firestone orchestra. The long running weekly radio show was broadcast at 8:30 p.m. on Monday nights for 28 years.

On November 29, 1943, the show became known as, The Voice of Firestone, which coincided with its television premier on a New York television station. The “voice” of the new televised format focused more on documentary and commentary than its radio broadcast version. Firestone supported and promoted several national organizations on its show. In 1944, the NBC television network began televising the program to a nationwide audience. This series aired until 1947.

The Voice of Firestone continued to evolve and by 1949, the NBC network once again picked up the show. This time, the televised program aired simultaneously with its radio broadcast. Unfortunately, the televised series was less successful than its radio counterpart was. Mixed reviews and low ratings resulted in NBC wanting to remove the show from its prime time line-up; however, Firestone executives refused and the show was acquired by the ABC network in 1954. Radio broadcasting continued until 1956, while the televised show aired until its cancellation by ABC in 1959. Many viewers protested against the cancellation, citing that television lacked high quality programs. The program was revived in 1962, but it was cancelled within a year.

This is one of the few remaining recordings of the musical series from 1953:

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