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Timeline of National Radio Networks and Music Shows
by Alex Cosper



1924 - National Barn Dance begins on WLS in Chicago
1925 - Barn Dance debuts, created by George D. Day on WSM in Nashville
1926 - NBC, developed by RCA, is launched as the first national radio network
1927 - NBC introduces its Blue Network as its original operation becomes the Red Network
1927 - CBS is launched as a national radio network
1927 - Barn Dance on WSM in Nashville becomes Grand Ole Opry
1928 - Big band leader Paul Whiteman begins hosting NBC radio show Victory Hour
1928 - NBC introduces classical music show The Finest Hour, later becoming The Voice of Firestone
1933 - NBC picks up National Barn Dance from WLS in Chicago
1933 - The Kraft Music Hall debuts on NBC, running through 1949
1934 - Benny Goodman begins hosting weekly NBC radio show Let's Dance
1934 - Mutual Broadcasting System forms as a national co-op, owned by regional stations
1936 - Benny Goodman debuts on CBS Radio show Camel Caravan from Hollywood
1936 - Bing Crosby hosts The Kraft Music Hall through 1946
1939 - NBC Red Network broadcasts Grand Ole Opry through 1956
1939 - NBC spins off its Blue Network, which becomes ABC
1940 - The Bell Telephone Hour debuts on NBC
1942 - Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) is launched
1970 - Dr. Demento begins on KPPC in Los Angeles, then moves to crosstown KMET in 1971
1970 - American Top 40, hosted by Casey Kasem and distributed by Watermark Inc, debuts
1971 - Armed Forces Radio Service begins airing national show hosted by Wolfman Jack through 1977
1973 - D.I.R. Radio Network launches King Biscuit Flower Hour, which runs through 2007
1973 - American Country Countdown, patterned after American Top 40 is introduced by Watermark Inc.
1974 - Dr. Demento begins national syndication then is picked up by Westwood One in 1978
1976 - Westwood One radio network is launched by Norman Pattiz
1976 - Breakfast With The Beatles is created by host Helen Leich
1979 - RKO Radio Network introduces the first satellite radio network
1981 - Rockline, hosted by Bob Coburn, debuts and airs through 2014
1983 - John Leader begins hosting Countdown America via Westwood One
1983 - Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 launches through Compass Media Networks
1985 - Westwood One radio network purchases the Mutual Broadcasting System network
1987 - Westwood One radio network purchases the NBC Radio Network
1987 - Dave Sholin begins hosting Countdown USA
1988 - Live From The 60s, hosted by The Real Don Steele, debuts
1992 - Dr. Demento is syndicated by On The Radio Broadcasting through 2000, then becomes self-syndicated
2007 - ABC radio network is acquired by Citadel, which merges with Cumulus Media in 2011
2017 - Entercom announces it will acquire CBS Radio assets, as the radio network prepares to shut down







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