National Negro Network

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The National Negro Network was a black-oriented radio programming service in the United States founded on January 20, 1954 by Chicago advertiser W. Leonard Evans, Jr.[1][2] It was the first black-owned radio network in the country, and its programming was broadcast on up to 45 affiliates.[3]

The network featured a variety of different programming, including a popular soap opera The Story of Ruby Valentine, which was based on CBS's We Love and Learn and As the Twig is Bent, and starred Juanita Hall, Ruby Dee and Terry Carter.[4] The serial was sponsored by, among others, Philip Morris and Pet Milk. Other short-lived series included The Life of Anna Lewis with Hilda Simms, and It's A Mystery Man with Cab Calloway.[4][5][6]

Some shows were produced by Calloway and Ethel Waters. Other fare included broadcasts of symphony concerts from black colleges, and programs hosted by black DJs at affiliate stations.[3]

The network drew up plans for several more series, but—with the TV era exploding—fell apart within a year due to inadequate capital.[3][5][7]

Notes, References[edit]

  1. ^ Evans, born in 1914 in Louisville, raised in South Chicago, published a magazine aimed at black readers called Tuesday in the 60s and 70s. He died May 22, 2007. [1] A 1965 interview can be heard here.
  2. ^ "Radio: New Net". TIME magazine. Dec 28, 1953. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Christopher H. Sterling (2003). Encyclopedia of radio. Taylor & Francis. pp. 277–8. ISBN 1-57958-249-4. 
  4. ^ a b Jim Cox (2002). Say goodnight, Gracie: the last years of network radio. McFarland. p. 78. ISBN 0-7864-1168-6. 
  5. ^ a b William Barlow (1999). Voice over: the making of Black radio. Temple University Press. p. 334. ISBN 1-56639-667-0. 
  6. ^ Pat Browne (2001). The guide to United States popular culture. Popular Press. p. 97. 
  7. ^ Baraka, Rhonda (October 13, 2001). "For Three Decades, The Nation's Foremost Black Radio Network...". Billboard magazine 113 (41): 25. ISSN 0006-2510. 

External links[edit]