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Goldin, J. David



  • Existence: October 20, 1942 -
  • Existence: 1942-10-20    


When David Goldin was six, his mother asked him what he wanted for his birthday. In response, young Goldin cupped his ear and replied, "radio station WOR New York or a big brother." He never got a big brother, but over the years he amassed the most comprehensive collection of radio programs in the world, becoming known as "the man who saved radio."

Born in 1942, a child of World War II, J. David Goldin became obsessed with radio while growing up in the Bronx. As a teen, he began collecting 78rpm records and became a "ham" operator. After graduating Stuyvesent High School, Goldin attended New York University, where earned a degree in radio production. While at NYU, Goldin launched his career in radio, hosting Varsity Drag, a program featuring 78s and "Radio Yesteryear," showcasing old time radio programs.

After leaving NYU, Goldin went to work for KSEW, a 250-watt station on Baronoff Island, Alaska. Goldin recalled: "I was on the air 48 hours a week. I also operated the transmitter, wrote advertising copy (mostly copied from the Sitka Yellow Pages, all 20 of them) and sold time on the station." After a short stint at KSEW, he worked for WVIP in Mt. Kisco, New York, and WHBI-FM in Newark, New Jersey.

Goldin soon moved to the other side of the microphone and became an operating engineer for NBC, Mutual and CBS networks. At CBS he engineered news coverage of the Apollo 11 touchdown on the moon and other historic events. On the side, he began collecting 16" discs of radio programs and formed Radio Yesteryear, a mail order record company. In 1968, Goldin began producing records of vintage radio programs. His first project, Themes Like Old Times, which segued together 90 radio themes was a resounding success. In 1970, Goldin launched his own record label, Radiola, specializing in reissues of programs from the golden age of radio. He won a Grammy in 1981 in the Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording category for his reissue of Donovan's Brain by Orson Welles.

Over the years, Goldin amassed a collection of over 95,000 radio programs. Goldin indexed the programs in his book The Golden Age of Radio, and on his website RadioGoldIndex. Since 1994, Goldin has donated over 10,000 16" discs to the Marr Sound Archives in the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2008, the Miller Nichols Library received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to catalog the Goldin Collection. Goldin, who is now retired, continues collecting radio programs and vintage radios.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

J. David Goldin Collection

Identifier: MS-0016
Scope and Contents The collection is searchable in the UMKC Libraries catalog. Cataloged Sound Recordings from the J. David Goldin CollectionThe collection includes nearly 15,000 radio programs on lacquer and vinyl transcription discs that were broadcast from the 1930s through the 1950s. The programs include variety shows, radio plays, political...
Dates: 1926 - 1962