Growing up in the 50's and 60's
The Radio Programmes of the 1950s gave much entertainment to all the family
1950's - The Radio
What we listened to on the Wireless, many had no TV
The thing to bare in mind here is that, during the early 50's, very few people actually had Television and it was seen as very much second fiddle to radio.
Some programmes, such as Workers Playtime which began during WW2, were still running from 'A factory somewhere in England'.
Morning Radio was heavily slanted toward Wives and Mother's (because career women were almost unheard of) with programmes such as 'Housewives Choice', 'Music while you work' and 'Mrs. Dales Diary' (an early Soap).
The afternoon radio was more relaxing and there would be a lunchtime light drama almost every day, seen as time for the hard working housewife (and they were) to put their feet up before the kids coming home and preparing herself for the return of their husbands from work!
Evenings were a mixture depending on what Channel you preferred. IN Sport, live Boxing was very popular and these fighters were more folk heroes to many. Band Shows were thriving still with Billy Cotton and Victor Sylvester leading the way.
Personally, during the whole of the 50's, I listened to far more radio than I did watch TV and certain programmes still ring in my ear.
Sundays was Family Favourites, The Billy Cotton Bandshow. These were always followed by a comedy series at Lunchtime. Programmes such as 'The Navy Lark' (Lesley Phillips). 'Hancocks Half Hour', 'Life with the Lyon's' and 'Beyond our Ken' (later to become 'Around the Horne') with the now folk legend, Kenneth Horne.
Radio was a medium in which safety came first. There wasn't much experimentation and censorship was strict. It seemed it was for security. The World had gone through a catastrophic conflict and with The Cold War building up, serious stuff was for the News only. All around the news was entertainment and escape.
Children's Radio 1950'swas virtually non existent!
I'm sure the reason was that kid's in those days weren't inside when they got home, we were either outside playing, inside building thing's or reading a Book!
'Listen with Mother', a short 15 minute slot at about 1.45pm every day was for the youngest of listeners. This consisted mainly of a short story, some Nursery Rhyme reading and a song.
Again, a chance for Mother to have quiet time between the chores and hoping the little one would doze off and allow her to listen to the afternoon Play!
However, on a Saturday morning from the mid-fifties came 'Uncle Mac'.
By the late 50's, Radio did start experimenting with more alternative programmes and probably the most major step towards the 60's TV 'Monty Python' etc. was 'The Goon Show' and Michael Bentine's 'Round the Bend'.
Music as well was changing. Rock and Roll came in from the States and we were going into Skiffle with Lonnie Donegan and 'pop' with Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard, all of which would lead to drastic changes in the 60's.
Without a doubt, many people of my age group were greatly influenced by Radio, not like today where it is more background, but because that was the number one media tool
The problem with hearing a few snippits of the programmes from then, it seems a hundred years ago and with modern technology, it is extremely hard to believe that 'I was there' But I was - I think!
Growing up in
50s and 60s
1960's Year by Year
More from the 50s / 60s
The Three BBC Radio Channels