To Receive Old Time Radio Shows On Cable
It's easy, and best of all, it's
free! Just turn on the cable, and
instead of HBO or ESPN, tune to YUSA. Remember,
we're talking "old time radio" here,
so there will not be any pictures. Most of
the time you will see the bulletin board channel
(scrolling text), while you enjoy the old
radio shows. The programs are always there,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, free
of charge and without commercials.
(The original old time commercials within
the programs don't count. We always leave
them in because they were a part of the program
too. You may even hear cigarette commercials,
but we do
not endorse the use of tobacco
form). From time to time you will hear announcements,
for and about the people or companies who
make YUSA possible, but even PBS does that
now days. There is even some vintage music
(big band, old country, doo-wop, etc.) just
like in the good old days, but 90% of the
time it's old time radio. One great old show
after another, 24 hours a day, all year long.
Hundreds Of OTR Shows A Year
In an average 2 week period you could hear
as many as 45 different shows, all with excellent
sound quality, and all in the public domain.
You can record it all on audio cassettes and
build your own library, or trade with other
collectors. Play the cassettes in your car,
when you're stuck in traffic, or while driving
on vacation. The tapes make nice Xmas or birthday
gifts, and some listeners donate their tapes
to hospitals or rest homes for others to enjoy.
The 26 YUSA DJ's are all collectors themselves,
and their combined collections include over
a half million different shows; perhaps the
largest library of old time radio shows in
the world! There is live
programming too, six nights a week, and the
DJs even take requests. YUSA is one of the
few stations left in the world that still
reads every letter it receives on the air
(unless you mark it personal).
And, every Sunday night, we feature live
interviews with the stars of OTR. The list
of past guests reads like a "Who's Who"
from the golden days of radio, plus you'll
get valuable tips from the experts when we
visit with professional historians or persons
who are active in the hobby. The phone lines
open, and on Sunday nights (believe
it or not), every caller gets on the air!
The Studio And Become A Star!
Listeners are referred to as "family
members", and once each year, everybody
is invited to come to the Studios in Richardson,
Texas for a giant family
reunion. They meet one another
and the station staff in person, trade radio
shows, swap stories & tips and visit the
world's largest broadcast and communications
museum. There is even an "on air jam
session & party", and everybody gets
a turn at being a radio star. This has been
going on for 9 years, and several people have
perfect attendance records, while others travel
from as far away as Canada to enjoy the fun
and fellowship. If you can't make the Reunion,
the welcome mat is always out year round.
Give us a call ahead of time to make sure
we are going to be here. It is not unusual
to see a travel trailer or motor home with
out-of-state license plates parked at the
perhaps even millions, of persons listen
via satellite on backyard dishes. Some
of these people have spent hundreds of
dollars to install a second satellite
system so they can listen and/or record
the old programs without interruption;
leaving the other unit available for news,
weather or whatever. And remember, all
of this is free of charge to
you and the Cable TV Company! Your only
cost is for blank tape to record the old
a day, "Yours Truly" comes on
the air to announce program titles, tell
how the station works and to read letters.
I also invite listeners to pledge their
monetary support to help us "keep
on keeping on". The begging for money
(gosh I hate that word begging) is only
a tiny part of what you hear on YUSA,
less that one half of one percent. "I'll
shut the Station down, rather than turn
it in a beg-a-thon", and you can
quote me on that! Pledge only what you
can afford or feel it's worth to you,
and if you want (or need) to decrease
or cancel your pledge...then do it!
No hard feelings whatsoever, and no mention
over the air. "Always take care of
yourself first, then do whatever you can
to help out". As long as we receive
donations to cover the cost, we'll continue
to be on the air. As founder of the station
I do not receive a salary, nor do any
of the DJs. We are all volunteers!
I forgot about the Auction each December,
with bargains galore and fun for everyone.
And so ends all talk of money,
and I won't take up your time by telling
you how neat old time radio is; or all
about "the theatre of the mind".
I'll assume, that because you are reading
this article, you're already sold on the
value and rewards that OTR has to offer
people of all ages and interests.
Is The Catch!
Now, does all of this sounds too good to be
true? Well I am sad to report, that for most
of you reading this article, it's not
true. As a matter of fact, we are
only on a hand full cable systems in the US.
Unfortunately, YUSA is the best kept secret
in the world. But
you can change all of that...with very little
effort or expense!
bother to tune to the Billboard Channel,
because you won't find YUSA on your cable
system. Instead, all you're going to hear
is "elevator music". When you
call in, and get past the voice mail down
at your cable company, you'll get the
usual answer.....YUSA what?". And
that brings me to the real reason for
this article, "How To Get Your
Cable Company To Carry YUSA".
I know that this is my job, but my hands
are full. It's all I can do to keep the
station on the air, 24 hours a day.....7
days a week. Please, I need your help
and I need it now! Not your money...only
your help! We're only talking
time, some letters, a few telephone calls
and a couple of postage stamps. You have
already missed 13 years of old time radio
shows, and I'll bet you're tired of "elevator
music". I am going to tell you, step-by-step,
how and what to do, so please read
Should You Bother To Help?
Be selfish! Do it for yourself and for your
family. Surely you have grown tired of all
of the violence, sex, endless talk shows and
"trash" on modern day television.
But most important, do
it for your community, your neighbors and
your friends. This is the best
way I know to change the world for the better,
and to make a positive impact on society.
Let me show you how, and all it will cost
is your time.
average cable system serves thousands
of households, about a quarter of a million
people. Even more in the larger cities!
Mr. Ken Badt, working single handed, got
YUSA on (not one but two) cable channels
in Dallas, Mesquite & Garland, Texas.
That's over 2 million households, with
up to 4 persons per house! That could
have almost as much impact on the local
population as getting a law passed at
City Hall. Ken tells me he had fun with
the project, spending only a few hours
a week for a couple of months, and not
having to fight City Hall. What a legacy
to leave behind for future generations!
Congratulations to Ken Badt of Dallas,
Let's Get Started!
As of March 1st, 1996, YUSA began feeding
it's program audio live
on the Internet worldwide! Our web page has
links to most all OTR sites on the Internet.
There is even a live
OTR chat room! YUSA has quickly become one
of the most popular sites on the Internet!
We went to over 500 hits a day during our
first week on the Net, and our numbers continue
to increase daily. Our Internet audio address
you'll need to know a bit about YUSA.
The signal is broadcast from my home in
Richardson, Texas, via several satellites.
It can be heard throughout the entire
North American Hemisphere using a backyard
satellite dish, or by persons who live
in limited areas that are served by cable
television companies or radio stations
that re-broadcast the signal. YUSA is
an audio only service; transmitted
to the North American Hemisphere.
We are heard on the audio sub-carrier
of WGN, at 6.8 Mhz. narrow band, on Transponder
#07 of the C Band satellite named Galaxy
5 (also known as satellite G5).
If your cable company now carries
WGN then they are automatically
receiving the Yesterday USA signal and
discarding it rather than passing the
service along to YOU. YUSA is free of
charge, without commercials, and all program
material is in the public domain. It is
the official nationwide radio voice of
The National Museum Of Communications,
Inc. of Irving (near downtown Dallas),
Texas. Our purpose is twofold, "tell
the world about the Museum and preserve
the history of broadcasting". The
Museum is the largest of its kind in the
world, a non profit organization, tax
exempt under section 501 (c) 3 of the
IRS Code. In 1994, over 100 thousand persons
toured the museum. YUSA is not tax exempt
yet, but I am working on that too. (I
told you I have lots of stuff to do, and
oh yes, I'm founder of the museum also)
We can also be heard anywhere in the world
via the Internet!
Here is a quick lesson on Cable TV, how it
came to your town, how their management works,
a little technical info, and how to get through
to the person who has the power to say YES
to your request for old time radio shows.
your City Council decided it was time
for you to have cable TV, a request for
bids was made public. Cable companies
came from far and wide, with a slick proposal
and a fast talking salesman. This is not
a "put down" to the cable industry.
Instead, this is how we do business in
America. To make a long story short, the
company with the most benefits to the
community (lots of public access channels
for schools, churches, etc.), the best
selection of programming, the best service
package for customers and the lowest price
got the long term contract. Since
there were millions (perhaps even billions)
of dollars to be made during the life
of the contract, they spent big bucks
to set up fancy cable access studios.
They handed out channels to the city,
schools, churches, area colleges &
universities and even to non profit theatre
groups. And while they were busy building
the system, and/or collecting the money
from subscribers, along came the "Must
Carry Rule" from the FCC. That rule
says that the Cable Company must provide
every signal to their subscribers that
is available over the airways. (Even the
low power "rinky-dink" ones
that nobody watches). Well suddenly, they
were short of channels, and that is why
you may have a poor choice of programming
in your area. Over all however, I think
the Cable Industry is doing an excellent
job! With the above in mind, lets finally
If you don't have cable, get it! Request only
the basic service if cost is a factor. Then,
start looking for vacant channels, and especially
for the local (not national) public access
channels. Keep a log, and "channel surf"
daily at different times of the day and night.
You will be looking for a channel to put YUSA
audio on, 24 hours a day. The ideal location
would be an Access Channel that has no audio.
The second choice is an Access Channel with
"elevator music", the kind of music
that only a few people would miss if it were
to be replaced with YUSA audio. Keep in mind
that the audio on some access channels has
a large audience now because it is the only
outlet for opera music or weather forecasts,
for example. The
object of the game is: to add YUSA
audio to a cable access channel with no audio
now, or replace the present audio on an access
channel without generating a large number
of viewer complaints to the cable company.
And, at the same time we have to keep the
cost to the cable company, for making the
necessary audio changeover, at a minimum!
Don't worry, this can be easily done and I
am going to show you how! Your best bet is
to try to get YUSA audio as the replacement
sound on a public access channel, rather than
one of the "regular channels".
an access channel is vacant, or the audio
is silent for only part of the time. That
won't work for us, because we're on 24hrs.,
and listeners would miss a big part of
our programming. If putting YUSA in cable
access won't work in your area, then you
must find a vacant "regular channel
" location. Do your homework well,
so you'll know what you're talking about
when you make that all important telephone
call to the Cable Company or the Access
Channel Manager! This may take up to 30
days, and during that time you will want
to call and get a program schedule from
each access channel (city, school, college,
etc.) Ask lots of questions too, like,
"Where does your background music
come from" or, "Do you have
to pay a fee for the background music"
and, "Have you signed a long term
contract for the rights to use that background
music", etc. Always ask to
speak to an Engineer or Technician, not
the Program Director or Manager! If the
cable access channel does not have a Tech,
then call the number for reporting trouble
on your regular cable system. You will
always find a Tech here, and he or she
will likely become your best friend! Tell
the Tech about YUSA, and what you are
trying to do. The Tech will know how to
direct you; as to whom to call, when to
call and what to say. Chances are, the
Tech will even be an OTR fan already!
Don't make any calls or do anything
until you have read this entire document!
There are still things you need to know,
even before you call a Technician at the
public access channel.
far, all I have really asked you to do
is watch a little TV. That is a small
price to pay for the opportunity to receive
old time radio shows free of charge, 24
hours a day, in the comfort your home!
If after several weeks of "channel
surfing", you can't locate access
or vacant channels, then you may want
to consider giving up the fight. I doubt
that any cable company would go to the
time, trouble and expense to add a new
channel for YUSA. And that is the only
negative thing I will ever say about the
cable industry! If you're quitting at
this point, thank you very much for your
efforts and good luck! If you are
still in the game, it's time for another
The Cable Channels Get To Your Cable Company
Every cable company has a master control room
filled with equipment. This area is called
Remember this (and all other) terms listed
in quotes in this article. Use these terms
when you talk to the cable companies, so they
will know that you're informed about the system
and understand what is involved in making
your request a reality.
back, behind the "head-end",
is an area known as the "dish
farm". This is where the big
satellite "dishes" are installed.
The Channels you see and enjoy on your
cable system (HBO, MTV, CNN, etc.) are
transmitted to the world via satellite
from the main (HBO, MTV, CNN, etc.) studios.
Each satellite in the sky (and there are
many) can transmit up to 24 different
networks at the same time. Every cable
company in America has several satellite
receive dishes in the "dish farm",
pointed at different satellites. One dish
may "look" (as we say in the
business) at the satellite that "carries"
HBO, MTV, and CNN. Another dish may "look"
at still another satellite that "carries"
TNN, Showtime or The Discovery Channel.
There are wires, one from each "dish",
leading into the "head-end".
These wires are connected to a number
of "satellite receivers" simultaneously,
just as you can connect several TV sets
in your home to a single TV antenna on
your roof. The "satellite dishes"
in the "dish farm" are like
your TV antenna on your roof, and the
"satellite receivers" are like
the TV sets you have located in your home.
of it this way: If you cable company carried
only 24 channels, and all of those channels
were on the same satellite, then the cable
company would only need one "dish"
and 24 "receivers" connected
to that one dish. But your cable company
"carries" many more channels
than 24, and the programs on these different
channels are transmitted to the cable
company on several different satellites.
Therefore, it is necessary for the cable
company to have more than one "dish"
and a bunch of "satellite receivers."
Now you know the reason for the many satellites
in the sky and why a Cable Company needs
more than one receive "dish".
And remember, if your cable company offers
WGN they are receiving YUSA at this very
the above information is fresh in your
mind, let's get a bit technical for a
moment. While I have told you that
YUSA is free to your cable company, they
will have to install an extra "satellite
receiver". The trouble and expense
for the cable company to do this could
be compared to the effort you would put
forth to purchase a small black &
white TV set for your child's room. In
other words, "it ain't no big deal!"
Since almost every cable company in America
carries WGN, here is all the cable company
will need to do:
a second "satellite receiver"
to the "dish" that they
are now using to receive the WGN signal.
this second "receiver" to
the "Separate Audio Channel"
(SAP Channel) on new TV sets, you
can also tune the audio on a "satellite
receiver" separate from the picture.
So, they will need to tune the audio
from 6.2 MHz to 6.8 Mhz and push the
"narrow band button", so
they can receive YUSA audio instead
of WGN audio. The end result will
be a receiver that has an output with
WGN picture and YUSA sound.
they need only to feed the YUSA sound
("audio") to the vacant
channel that you are going to help
how easy this is, and most cable companies
have a closet full of spare "satellite
receivers!" Don't call yet! Please
continue reading so you'll have all the
to concentrate on the public access channels,
because they will be the most receptive
to the idea and they will have the most
to gain. The above information will be
needed and useful if you fail to sell
your idea to one of the public access
channels, so continue reading so that
you will understand the mechanics of how
the access channels reach your home.
The signals from the access channel studios
(located at City Hall, the Schools, or wherever)
are transmitted to the "head-end"
via telephone lines, fiber optics lines (or
perhaps broadcast by "microwave transmitters").
Some of the larger cable companies even have
an access studio down the hall, or in the
next room from the "head-end". If
that is the case, the signal from the studio
is fed via wires directly into the "head-end".
Regular TV antennas, connected to an expensive
TV receivers (one for each local TV station),
are located on the roof of the "head-end"
building. The outputs from these TV receivers
contain the local off-air TV stations' signals.
Now, the outputs from these TV receivers,
all satellite dishes and the access studios
are combined into one signal, and that becomes
the main output of the "head-end"
that travels down the cable wire to your house.
The Channels Get From The "head-end"
To Your House
In small communities, the output from the
"head-end" is sent, via a giant
network of wires, to the home of everyone
who subscribes to cable. In large cities,
with several suburbs, there is a "head-end"
for each suburb. Theses "suburb head-ends"
receive the output from the "main head-end",
delete some or all of the incoming access
channels and pass on the main channels (HBO,
CNN, etc.) and the local TV station signals.
At the same time, the "suburb head-end"
will also insert signals from other access
channel studios within their own suburb, to
replace the access channels they have deleted.
Then the output of the "suburb head-end"
is sent to subscribers within that suburb
area, via the giant network of wires I spoke
of earlier. This process is repeated in every
suburb within the area served by the cable
company. The end result is: every suburb within
a large metropolitan area receives the main
channels, plus all off-air local TV channels,
along with access channels that pertain to
that individual suburb. Is that slick or what?
Now, you are almost ready to talk to the technician
manager of the public access channel or channels
that you have chosen to contact
Is The Best Way To Insert The YUSA Signal
Into The Cable Network, And Have It Become
The New Sound Source Of A Public Access
The YUSA signal is a part of the normal WGN
signal. That is to say, YUSA is the "audio
sub-carrier" of WGN. That is why I said
earlier, "if your Cable Company offers
WGN they are currently receiving the YUSA
signal". Using WGN only as an example,
it is transmitted as one of the channels of
the Satellite named "Galaxy 5".
(Each satellite has a name). The cable company
could simply "patch in" the "audio
sub-carrier" from WGN in place of the
"elevator music" audio that they
now receive from one of the access channels
at the "head-end". This is all well
and good, except for one thing! Once the "patch"
is in place at the "head-end", the
access channel can not broadcast their own
audio unless they call the "head-end"
and have the the "patch" removed.
This situation can sometimes make the access
channel feel uneasy. That is why it would
be wise to pick an access channel that broadcasts
"elevator music" only as a courtesy
to viewers. Then remind the access cable technician/manager
that their audio be replaced automatically
at the "head-end". That translates
to less equipment to maintain at the access
channel studio and lower overall operating
costs at the access channel site.
YUSA audio will bring an entire new audience
to the access channel; people who would
have otherwise never tuned in!
Thousands of new people will see the picture
automatically even though they tuned in
just to hear the old radio shows; so the
access channel will continue to serve
the people and do an even better job of
getting their valuable information to
the community. Access channels are always
looking for ways to cut cost and increase
the size of their audience. Perhaps
that is the line you should use when you
make your initial call. If the access
channel is not willing to let the "head-end"
insert the YUSA audio as described above,
the only other alternative is to install
a satellite dish at the cable access studio,
at a cost of about $500. Then, they can
tune in the YUSA signal from WGN using
a satellite receive dish (or from a computer
sound card via the Internet) and have
the choice of sending YUSA audio (or their
regular audio) to the "head-end"
themselves, thereby retaining control
of their audio signal at all times. You'll
have to sell them on the idea that the
potential audience is well worth the added
cost of a dish or computer and Internet
access. I am willing to bet the rent
that there is bound to be at least one
access channel that is willing to give
up playing and maintaining "elevator
music", in return for lower operating
costs and the possibility of a larger
audience. Don't give up until you have
contacted every access channel in your
you have no luck with any of access channels,
then contact the main operator and suggest
that the "head-end" could (after
installing a satellite receiver as mentioned
above) just "patch in" the YUSA
audio on that vacant channel number "such
n' such". Do your homework so you
can always rattle those channel numbers
off quickly, each time you need them!
Only one more tiny step, then you will
be ready to make your first call to the
access channels or the cable company technician/manager!
Spend about 4 bucks and get a Satellite Guide
(it's like a TV Guide for satellite) at the
Orbit Magazine" is a good
example. Turn to the fold-out page, the one
that lists the satellites by name and the
Networks located on each satellite. Under
the column for Galaxy 5, you will find the
following: Disney, Playboy, Trinity Broadcasting
Network (TBN), Sci-Fi Channel, CNN, TBS Superstation,
WGN (YUSA is on this audio sub-carrier), HBO,
ESPN, MOR Music TV, The Family Channel, Discovery,
CNBC, ESPN-2, Cinemax, TNT, The Nashville
Network, USA Network, Black Entertainment
TV (BET), CNN Headline News and Arts &
Entertainment (A&E). Your Cable Company
can receive all of these Networks by having
just one "dish" at the "head-end"
aimed at the Galaxy 5 satellite! Inside the
"head-end", they have many satellite
receivers connected to to each "dish",
with each receiver tuned to one of the above
listed networks. Think of it this way: You
have a TV antenna on your roof at home, connected
to several TV sets within your house, and
each set could be tuned to a different TV
channel. It's the same way at the "head-end".
The "dish" is the their antenna,
and the satellite receivers are like your
TV sets. Remember at all times, that if your
cable company offers (even
only one of) any cable channels
that are broadcast on satellite Galaxy 5,
they are automatically receiving YUSA at this
me say that one more time: "If the
cable company offers even one of
the above listed services, they are able
to receive the YUSA signal right now!"
Compare the above list with your Cable
Guide so that you will know otherwise...if
the cable company gives you their stock
answer, "It is not possible for us
to receive the YUSA signal".
you are ready to call the Service Department,
(as if you were reporting trouble with
your cable) and ask to speak with the
Chief Engineer (Head Technician).
Make sure you've done your homework and
remember that the YUSA live audio
on the Internet can be used as a super
marketing tool. If any one should ask
the question, "What does Yesterday USA
sound like?" give them our Internet address!!!!
Chances are, that once they listen in,
they will get hooked like you did!
what access channels are offered by
your cable company, ie., (schools,
if there are any vacant channels.
that the Galaxy 5 signal is offered
by your local cable company.
you will want to say and questions you
will want to ask your Head Technician:
yourself and tell him/her what you
are wishing to accomplish.
if there are any other suitable access
channels that would be perfect for
YUSA, other than the ones you have
if an access channel the best
location for YUSA or should
it put it on one of the other
who you should call first at the cable
company and what are his/her name(s)
you have to work directly with
the cable company (instead of
an access channel), hopefully
you will be supplied with the
Affairs/Public Relations Director
This is the person responsible
for the Cable company's "image"
within the community.
you reach this individual
say words to the effect,
: "YUSA is family
and this makes for
This person supervises the
Sales Staff that sells cable
subscriptions to the public.
you call, suggest
that "YUSA would
make a great incentive
for new cable subscribers,
or an incentive to
get current subscribers
to purchase additional
point out the competition
from DBS (Direct Broadcast
and suggest that YUSA
is a service that
cable companies can
offer their customers.
YUSA is not available
on the DBS system.
The person who picks the programs
(channels) you receive on
your cable system.
of the above would
apply to this person.
The person in charge of the
entire cable operation within
all of the above applies
to this person, in
addition to any "tips"
you may have picked
up along the way in
any of your previous
putting your Chief Technician on the
spot), ask your Technician if there
is any other advice he/she may have
to offer, and invite them to get involved
#3. Prepare Your Presentation To The Cable
the managers of your local hospitals
and nursing homes. Ask if old time
radio would be beneficial to their
patients/residents. If they like the
idea, ask them to put it in writing
or give you permission to quote them.
Find out if they are current cable
the antique malls and shops. Ask them
if they think YUSA would be good background
material in their retail outlets and
point out how it would get their "buyers"
in the "proper mood". Ask
if they would be willing to become
a new cable subscriber if program
channels like YUSA were available?
Again, ask for letters of endorsement
or permission to quote.
your "fifties" style restaurants
and shops. Repeat the suggestions
in #2 above.
the organizations in your community
(churches, schools, civic clubs, the
boy scouts, or anyone you can think
of) that is concerned with violence
and sex on TV. Dedicated OTR fans
should be able to have lots of fun
with this one!
that YUSA is wholesome, family
to collect letters of endorsements
of all, you may even want to contact
local, state or national political
leaders. Be creative. The rule
is, "there are no rules".
And don't forget to use the live
audio on the Internet as a selling
#4 Get Ready To Make That "All Important"
Call To The Cable Company!
Using the advice and information from your
technician, along with your good common sense,
decide which person to contact first. I suggest
that you start with the access channels and
work your way up to the general manager of
the main cable company. However, you are now
the expert, because it's your community, your
cable company and you now know how the system
make the decision.
me, by US Mail, an address label for yourself.
Then I will send you a packet of information
(about YUSA and the Museum) that you can
copy and use in your presentation.
to use as you present your "case":
the main operator at the cable company
and ask for the name of the secretary
of the person with whom you plan to
contact. Make friends with the secretary
as they are going to be the one putting
you directly through to the person
you are trying to reach.
"cold call". Instead, send
a short letter stating your
intentions and requesting an appointment
to visit the person you have selected
to call on.
an office visit is not your "forte",
then go ahead and contact them by
argue! Always "agree and proceed".
Example: If you are told "that
YUSA will not, in their opinion, generate
new subscribers"...., respond
with, "yes, but what about using
YUSA as an incentive?". Etc.,etc.,
that's all there is to it! If this sounds
like a lot of work (really, it's not)
remember one thing: "anything
worthwhile takes effort, Rome wasn't built
in a day". If you have any questions
or suggestions, (or would like to share
your successes in any of the above areas),
please call, write or send email.
you and good luck!
c/o Yesterday USA Radio
2001 Plymouth Rock Drive
Richardson, Texas 75081 USA
Fax: (972) 889-2FAX
Audio via Internet: yesterdayusa.com
page was written by Bill Bragg.