“Border Radio tells the 50,000-watt clear-channel story of the most outrageous and audacious phenomenon to ever hit the airwaves.”—Los Angeles Times
Before the Internet brought the world together, there was border radio. These mega-watt “border blaster” stations, set up just across the Mexican border to evade U.S. regulations, beamed programming across the United States and as far away as South America, Japan, and Western Europe.
This book traces the eventful history of border radio from its founding in the 1930s by “goat-gland doctor” J. R. Brinkley to the glory days of Wolfman Jack in the 1960s. Along the way, it shows how border broadcasters pioneered direct sales advertising, helped prove the power of electronic media as a political tool, aided in spreading the popularity of country music, rhythm and blues, and rock, and laid the foundations for today’s electronic church. The authors have revised the text to include even more first-hand information and a larger selection of photographs.
“The magic of [a] wildly colorful chapter in broadcast history lives on in this entertainingly informative look at the forces and the people who contributed to the rise of the medium.”—Chicago Tribune
“Characters like Wolfman Jack, Reverend Ike, Norman Baker, “Dr.” J. R. Brinkley, Pappy O’Daniel and others were master showmen and tremendously successful salesmen. Secret-formula medicines, magic prayer cloths, Crazy Water Crystals, and goat-gland rejuvenations are just part of this often hilarious telling of this outrageous period in broadcast history.”—Variety
“If you’re wondering where Herbalife, Home Shopping Network, No-Money-Down Seminars, and Jim and Tammy Bakker found their inspiration and techniques, look no further than this superb book.”—Dallas Morning News