Meet RTVF radio historian, scholar, and former DJ Professor Mike Adams

28 06 2010

RTVF Professor Mike Adams needs no introduction:   he’s the former Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Arts and former Chair of the Department of Television-Radio-Film-Theatre.

Mike’s is the voice we all hear on SJSU’s phone system, narrating interesting and unusual facts about the university.  You can thank his experience as a top-40 disc jockey during the golden age of rock and roll AM radio for that. In fact, Mike  spent 12 years as DJ and Program Director of legendary station WCOL-AM in Columbus, Ohio.

But did you know that Mike is a also a first-rate radio historian and scholar?

Mike has presented papers on broadcast history topics at conferences sponsored by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) the IEEE, the Antique Wireless Association (AWA), and the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

In fact, Mike’s scholarly work is of such high caliber that the AWA awarded him the prestigious “Houck Award” for historical documentation in 1995.

In addition, Mike has written numerous articles for historical radio journals and periodicals and two books on radio and television production, the biography Charles Herrold, inventor of radio broadcasting.

Mike is currently writing a book  about Lee de Forest and his invention of Phonofilm, the first sound-on-film process, that eventually became Movietone in 1927.  Most of the  materials he needs to consult are  in museums and private collections. Fortunately, the de Forest paper collection is at History San Jose, where, as he says, “I have spent many days with it over the past four years.”

Mike’s passion for the research and writing he does in early broadcast technology history (1900-1920) extends to speaking engagements as well.  This summer he will speak twice on the topic of his book (under contract at Springer) — first at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in July and then in Rochester, New York  in August.

As Mike says so often himself, the hits keep on coming!

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