To today's radio listener, it is difficult to imagine the influence radio once held over the American people. Unlike movies or newspapers, radio both informed and entertained its audience without requiring them to participate. Part of its success depended upon the people who created the sound effects - a squeaking door, the approach of a horse, or a typewriter.
The author did live sound effects during the "Golden Age" of radio. He provides many insights into the early days of the medium as it grappled with entertaining an audience based on a single sense (hearing). How the sounds were produced is fully covered as are the artists responsible for their production. Stories of successful effects production are balanced by embarrassing or funny failures. A list of artists and their shows is included.