Ep. 3: The Sound of America
Father Coughlin starts broadcasting his religious services over the radio. As listeners flock to his broadcasts, he develops his signature sound and sharpens his message.
Father Coughlin’s decision to broadcast his sermons over the radio scandalizes the American listening public, with angry letters pouring in to radio stations and politicians. Preaching on the dial next to Amos ’n’ Andy was sacrilegious, inappropriate, crass. But soon listeners were hooked by the radio priest’s sonorous voice, and his increasingly deliberate messaging.
Radioactive is hosted by Detroit-based journalist Andrew Lapin and produced by Tablet Studios. The series weaves together archival material and present-day interviews to tell the dramatic story of Father Charles Coughlin’s embrace of radio, the nascent mass media of his day, to attain nearly unparalleled cultural influence and broadcast his antisemitic, nationalist views into millions of living rooms across America.
Our theme music is from The Ghost Writer and was composed by Alexandre Desplat. All speeches and material of Father Coughlin are authentic to the source, as well as music and other audio from his radio program.
For more information on all of Tablet’s podcasts, visit tabletmag.com/podcasts.
- RadioactiveEp. 8: The Ghost of Royal OakIn the final chapter of this series, Father Coughlin disappears from the public eye, but his legacy looms largeNovember 23, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 7: SeditionFather Coughlin incites his most extreme followers to violence, and the FBI uncovers the Christian Front’s plans for an anti-government uprisingNovember 16, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 6: Social JusticeFather Coughlin’s political movement gains momentum as his church superiors look the other wayNovember 9, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 5: His Cross to BearPresident Roosevelt embraces radio while distancing himself from Father Coughlin, whose broadcasts are becoming increasingly antisemiticNovember 2, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 4: ‘Driving the Money Changers From the Temple’Father Coughlin blames the Great Depression on bankers, greedy politicians, and communists, expanding his pulpit to politics and mobilizing his listeners behind FDROctober 26, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 3: The Sound of AmericaFather Coughlin starts broadcasting his religious services over the radio. As listeners flock to his broadcasts, he develops his signature sound and sharpens his message.October 19, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 2: Radio DaysFather Coughlin builds his church, with a little help from some famous friendsOctober 12, 2021
- RadioactiveEp. 1: In the BeginningWho was Father Charles Coughlin, and what were the conditions that allowed for the rise of the first mass media demagogue? October 5, 2021
- RadioactiveRadioactive: The Father Coughlin Story — Coming soon from Tablet StudiosA new podcast tells the story of how a crafty bigot used a new medium to spread hate and get much too close to political powerSeptember 29, 2021