Oral History Project

I chose to interview Mr. David  for my oral history project, who happens to be my father and is 72 years old.

Who chooses to keep his identity secret.

Sound Recording
Mr. David enjoyed and enjoys listening to R&B music, classical music and some Country Western music.  His favorite artists were Hank Ballard, Clyde McPhatter and Laverne Baker and many more. He used a Pioneer turntable that was in the house. The only music he was not allowed to listen to was then “Nasty Music” as he called it which was like love making and baby making music. This music was taboo to the older generations. Mr. David bought his music from the 5&10 cent store. Mr. David’s parents thought records and record playing were alright as long as they were playing church music. He found out about Hank Ballard and others on the radio, the transistor radios. He remembers buying records for anywhere from 40-55 cents.

Mr.  David experiences with radio were pretty simple he turned it on to listen to the news and music and then cut it off. As far as programs on the radio all he did was listening to music. He doesn’t really remember any early commercial other than the Gillette Razors blades. He says there were really no public concerns about stations, and no educational radio programs. The only real problem he remembers with radio was like frequency signal problems. He doesn’t really recall any specific memories of radio and when asked about FM radio, he replied “Shit I don’t even remember when FM became available.”

Mr. David says it was great when television became available because he could watch Dragnet and Amos & Andy. The first time he watched television was at his sister’s house when they got their TV. He would have to walk across the railroad tracks just to watch TV. He recalls the experience of TV being in black and white but exciting for the most part. His brother who lived in the house with him bought a used television for $35. Because he wanted one, he remembers the rabbit ears; antenna and how sometimes they would have to put aluminum foil on the ends of the rabbit ears to bring in the picture better but it was TV. “Pretty good for rabbit ears”, he said. The typical family viewing session consisted of everyone sitting around watching TV; some were closer to it than others. TV really didn’t change his home life because he still had to do homework and chores around the house. He doesn’t remember any corporate sponsors on TV or anything about the quiz show scandals. When it came to the first 30 second commercials he doesn’t remember because at that time he would go get water or something to eat. “I didn’t like commercials then and I sure as hell don’t like them now,” said Mr.David . In the 1950’s vs. now is that technology has grown a whole lot since the 50’s, “now I have a 65 inch flat screen HDTV with surround sound and I can watch movies without commercials whereas back then I had the rabbit ears.” In fact he decided to get DIRECTV for the great movie channels and fast forward, rewinding features.


Mr. David first movie going experiences were exciting black and white Cowboy pictures, todays is fast pace and in color but still exciting. Some of his favorite films were Roy Rogers and Little Beaver because he really enjoys westerns. He doesn’t remember anything about Al Jolson and the first talkies. Surprisingly Mr. David has never seen “Gone with the Wind” however I told him to put it on his bucket list. He doesn’t remember any movies they could not see because movies were not they are today. The film that was most influential to Mr. David was the film “Airport”. He loves planes and was in the Air Force. He now has a flight simulator in his house.


Mr. David said in the small town of Alexandria, Louisiana, they didn’t go anywhere specific to get new or the newspapers it was pretty much word of mouth. So the newspaper didn’t really play a role in his life nor did they depend on it because they didn’t get it. He notices that now days the news it’s mostly politics, “everything is political” he says.

Internet/Today’s Media

The media Mr. David uses today in the internet, he watch You Tube, and see’s the news, on the television he has DirecTV where he watches his movies and shows Maury and Steve “Wilkos. He uses today’s newspapers and magazines as media sources today. He said that feels uncomfortable about how the media has developed in some ways like how nothing is kept secret, they talk too much and form their own opinions; they are all critics in the media now. The biggest change he notices throughout his lifetime is that everything is done by satellite now.


One thought on “Oral History Project

  1. I think this is really interesting: “Mr. David said in the small town of Alexandria, Louisiana, they didn’t go anywhere specific to get new or the newspapers it was pretty much word of mouth.” This word-of-mouth media still is an important form of communication…and some may say that Facebook etc are replacing it.

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