Why were farmers special?
Before 1960 local radio stations, even in big cities, spent a LOT of time serving farmers and agricultural occupations. Early morning typically featured one or two hours of market reports, detailed weather reports, advice from the local extension agent.
A little piece of the WHB schedule in 1953. From 5AM to 7AM, Town and Country, Livestock. The rest of the daytime was aimed at housewives.
After 1960, farm coverage disappeared along with all other adult programming. As abovementioned, most AM stations gave up on adults entirely and switched to The Teen Market. WHB became KC's rock-n-roll specialist.
In percentage terms, farmers were already rare in 1920 when radio began, and got sparser every year. Industrial workers replaced farmers as the majority. Yet radio NEVER had programs focused on industrial workers or salesmen or grocers or any other specific occupation, until the '70s when late-night radio discovered truckers.
At least one NYC station seems to have been run by and for unions, but that's the only exception.
Personal sidenote: I used to listen to WIBW's farm report around 1959. WIBW had four hours of ag-related coverage each day. Their theme music was the rousing but obscure Marche Lorraine. This version sounds about right:
The piece has remained in my earworm rotation ever since, though I didn't identify it until recently.
Later: Here's a 1928 PROFESSIONAL performance of the vocal version of Marche Lorraine. Shows how much classical performance standards have improved since then. The band might get a C+ in a small junior high, but the soprano would be instantly kicked out of any school chorus. She can't hit the notes, can't keep up with the rhythm. She's horrible enough to be an intentional parody, like Florence Foster Jenkins. Reminds me of a cat yowling at an enemy while its lick-button is being tickled.
¶ 12:57 AM
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.