Jim Harmon has an ear for radio. Reading the Great Radio comedians is like hearing the broadcasts again. Calling upon one of the first major collections of radio recordings in the country, Harmon has also employed many interviews with such stellar radio comics as Edgar Bergen, Ezra Stone (“Henry Aldrich”), and Jim Jordan (“Fibber McGee”) to produce a history of broadcasting that refuses to lie on the printing page but bursts forth into life. The first edition received many major enthusiastic reviews from Time, Life, Newsweek, New York Times, Chicago Tribune. Now in 2007, he returns to his seminal work with revelations as to what has transpired in the art form in recent years including a full chapter on Garrison Keillor and his present- day Prairie Home Companion. Harmon’s favorite review came from a fan: “God created Jim Harmon to remember old time radio for us.”
Born in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, in 1933, he barely survived a childhood too ill to do anything except listen to the radio. In 1967 he wrote the Great Radio Heroes, followed by the Great Radio Comedians, and other books which helped establish a cottage industry of books on radio. He hosted the first West Coast program on radio, about radio, Radio Rides Again, KPFK, Los Angeles, 1961. He wrote, produced and was featured in the 1983 revival of the Tom Mix radio show for Ralston, the original sponsor, as well as adapting and producing the 1992 album of I Love a Mystery: the Fear That Creeps Like a Cat. Author of numerous mystery, science fiction, and other novels, Harmon’s latest is Contested Earth. He serves on the board of SPERDVAC (Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama Variety and Comedy), and is a member of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters and an honoree of Who’s Who in America.