Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 3, 2012

Go Behind the Scenes of The Big Broadcast at the National Archives on May 10

More Information

Washington, DC…In conjunction with its release of the 1940 Federal population census, the National Archives presents Ed Walker, host of WAMU 88.5’s longest-running radio show, The Big Broadcast. Walker, along with Rob Bamberger, host of WAMU 88.5’s Hot Jazz Saturday Night, will discuss the history of The Big Broadcast, present a sampling of the vintage radio broadcasts, and discuss how the programs enriched the lives of Americans in the 1930s and 1940s. The program will be held on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m., in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The program is presented in partnership with WAMU 88.5.

The program is free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. Attendees should enter through the Special Events entrance on 7th and Constitution Ave, NW.

On air since 1964, The Big Broadcast is WAMU 88.5's longest-running program and features a collection of vintage radio programs from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Hot Jazz Saturday Night features vintage jazz, swing, and big band recordings from the '20s, '30s, and '40s.

Ed Walker
Ed Walker is the host of WAMU 88.5's The Big Broadcast, which airs Sundays from 7 until 11 p.m., and has been a weekly feature since 1964. As a child, Walker dreamed of a career in broadcasting. Blind since birth, listening to the radio was always very important to him. While attending American University, Walker was one of the founders of the campus radio station, which was called WAMU-AM in 1951 and predated the present FM station. In college, Walker met Willard Scott, who became his good friend and radio partner for 20 years; they called themselves "The Joy Boys." The duo began on WOL in 1952, then moved to WRC, the NBC station in Washington, in 1955, and then to WWDC in 1972. That lasted for two years, at which time they were forced to split up the team because of Scott’s television conflict.

Walker has also worked at WPGC, WMAL and WWRC. He worked in television at WJLA from 1975 until 1980 and at News Channel 8 in the early '90s. Walker was asked to take over The Big Broadcast in mid-December of 1990 when his friend John Hickman, the show’s host since its 1964 debut, became too ill to continue the program. In 2009, Ed Walker was elected to the Radio Hall of Fame in the category "Local or Regional - Pioneer."

The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please email public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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