Tag: Dr. Herb Johnson

History of Radio

History of Radio

Edwin Howard Armstrong is featured in Ken Burns “Empire of the Air Documentary”.  Click Here

Ken Burns: Empire of the Air; The Men Who Made Radio

Ken Burns: Empire of the Air - The Men Who Made Radio

For 50 years radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first “mass medium.” In Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility for this invention and its early success, and whose genius, friendship, rivalry and enmity interacted in tragic ways. This is the story of Lee de Forest, a clergyman’s flamboyant son, who invented the audion tube; Edwin Howard Armstrong, a brilliant, withdrawn inventor who pioneered FM technology; and David Sarnoff, a hard-driving Russian immigrant who created the most powerful communications company on earth.

Against the backdrop of radio’s “Golden Age,” Empire of the Air relates the history of radio through archival photographs, newsreels of the period and interviews with such well-known radio personalities as Garrison Keillor, the late sports commentator Red Barber, radio dramatist Norman Corwin and the late broadcast historian Erik Barnouw.

For a Brief Time in the  1930s, Radio Station WLW in Ohio Became America’s One and Only “Super Station”

HUMANITIES, May/June 2015, Volume 36, Number 3

“When President Franklin Roosevelt, sitting in the White House, pushed a ceremonial button on his desk in May 1934, a five hundred thousand-watt (500 kW) behemoth stirred in a field outside Cincinnati. Rows of five-foot glass tubes warmed. Water flowed around them at more than six hundred gallons per minute. Dozens of engineers lit filaments and flipped switches, and, within the hour, enough power to supply a town of one hundred thousand coursed through an 831-foot tower.

Thus began WLW’s five-year, twenty-four-hour-a-day experiment: a radio station that used more power and transmitted more miles than any station in the United States had or would. The so-called super station—licensed by the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on a temporary basis—amped up the debate among broadcasters, government regulators, and listeners about how radio should be delivered to serve the “public interest,” a mandate laid out in the Radio Act of 1927, and influenced legal, programming, and technical decisions that shape the broadcast system we know today.”    Cnt’d on this link   America’s One and Only SUPER STATION



Appalachian  Journey with Alan Lomax



Go inside one of the greatest-ever untold stories: how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time.

Click on phonograph photo to go to PBS’  page

AMERICAN EPIC three-part historical documentary will air in the U.S. on PBS on Tuesdays May 16, 23 and 30 at 9 p.m. (check local listings).

British documentary about record making.


WPVM Featured in “Capital at Play” Magazine

WPVM Featured in “Capital at Play” Magazine

Ms. Davyne Dial and Dr. Herb Johnson, president and treasurer of Friends of WPVM,
Inc.—and husband and wife—are featured with nine other regional non-profits in
the November issue of
Capital at Play magazine. The
couple is profiled 
in an informative two-page spread about how they came to be involved with the station.
Additionally, other station volunteers,
including Blaine Greenfield, host of “Blaine’s World,” and Jessica Rice, host of “NC
Serves Veterans Radio Hour,” are featured in a section called 
“Fun for a Better WNC.” 

Davyne and Herb thank editor Fred Mills and his staff for including WPVM is this distinctive annual issue! The magazine is available at a number of locations in the WNC region.

Radio History

Radio History


For anyone
who has visited the WPVM studios in downtown Asheville this summer, they would have noticed a “work
in progress”—displays of vintage radios and informational posters being
arranged and rearranged around the station’s cozy lobby!
WPVM’s Davyne Dial and
Herb Johnson are putting together a unique historical mini-tour and exhibition, “Asheville World of Radio.” (Inspired by Herb’s collection of radios and accessories as
well as his knowledge of radio history.)
Stay tuned
for announcements about the exhibition opening to the public!
WPVM Honors Veterans

WPVM Honors Veterans


In February of this year,
WPVM premiered a new monthly show, “NCServes Western Veterans Radio Hour.”
NCServes, now known as Veterans Services of the Carolinas (VSC)—a local division
of AmericaServes—is a non-profit organization that o
veterans, service members and families of both, access to a range of supportive
sources from superior housing and emergency service providers to employment,
recreation and fitness, health and well-being, financial capabilities and more.
Kevin Rumley 
Coordinator, Buncombe County
Veterans Treatment Court 
The show is presented
live on the first Thursday of the month at 11 a.m. and rebroadcast on Tuesdays
at 5pm. Each show presents experts in specific fields important to veterans and
their families. One of the featured guests, Christy
Shortridge, an Air Force veteran currently working on her master’s degree in
social work, shared: “WPVM is giving us veterans an unstifled voice to speak to
our brothers and sisters in a very candid manner that otherwise we wouldn’t
have. We are so grateful.”
Following their mission of
giving back to their much-loved Asheville community, managers of WPVM 103.7FM,
Ms. Davyne Dial and Dr. Herbert Johnson, who acquired the FCC license for the
not-for-profit station in June of 2015 (building the long-dormant station into
a strong, positive voice of the community), consider it a privilege to
broadcast the “NCServes Western Veterans Radio Hour.” The couple sees the
program as a vital addition to their already notable lineup of informed show
hosts well-versed in the fields of arts and culture, with a focus on vintage
and regional music, as well as politics and current events—all covering
subjects important to Asheville and the surrounding communities.
“It’s especially
reassuring to know that women veterans and veterans’ families are being cared
for and offered support services through NCServes Western,” remarked Ms. Dial,
who is the daughter of a World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran, as
well as the former wife of a Vietnam War combat serviceman. “I’m happy that
WPVM can play a part in focusing on these needs. In fact, I felt working with
this group was nothing less than a sacred opportunity.” ~


Our Beloved Patron

Our Beloved Patron

Welcome to
WPVM’s new blog! Most fittingly, our first feature is Dr. Herb Johnson, the
station’s main and most beloved patron.

Recently Dr.
Herbert Johnson had a revelation while sitting in the lobby of WPVM 103.7 community
radio station in downtown Asheville—a station which he and his wife, Ms. Davyne
Dial, manage since acquiring the FCC license in 2015. He was looking at the old
black and white photographs on the wall, taking him back to his childhood in
Chicago when his father was a professional musician, playing during the Big
Band era of the 1920s and ‘30s with the likes of Paul Whiteman, known as the
“King of Jazz.”

“My God!”
thought Dr. Johnson—who has had a long and fascinating life full of both
disappointment and success—”my life has come full circle! It started out
in ‘show business’—listening to my dad on the radio—and now it’s circled back
again!” Indeed, a feature of WPVM 103.7FM is their musical programs of vintage
music including live and recorded Big Band music.


The decades
in-between have been just as revelatory. Dr. Johnson graduated from medical
school at Northwestern in 1960 (attending less out of his own passion and more
because his immigrant parents were committed their sons be “professional” men),
but he was not happy in private practice—a time when family medicine was
becoming too much about the business of medicine. After a stint in the Public
Health Service, Dr. Johnson was assigned as doctor aboard the legendary tall
ship USCGC Eagle, a Coast Guard
training cutter (built in Germany before WWII), but had to retire from the
Coast Guard (retiring as a full colonel) when he became sick with encephalitis.
Suffering organic brain damage, Dr. Johnson spent nearly a decade relearning to
speak and to walk. Wondering what to do during his rehabilitation time, he
“heard” the message: “you’ll read what you’ll find most boring” and, in turn,
read every available book on the stock market. (The only one he found not boring was Andrew Tobias’ The Only Investment Guide You’ll Need,
reading it twice!) As a result, he became a very successful investor.

It was not
the last time Dr. Johnson heard “a mystical voice,” as he calls it, speaking to
him, sending him messages of guidance and instruction. Although he moved to
Asheville in 1989 because of the VA hospital, there could have been a “message”
of a more intimate nature in that decision because he met Ms. Dial a year later
and they’ve been together ever since. In Asheville, Dr. Johnson, putting his
successful investments to good use, became the largest personal donor to
UNC-Asheville, starting a book scholarship for students. But the real satisfaction for Dr. Johnson—highlighting his
generous spirit—was the deep pleasure of philanthropy!

Back to that
“full circle.” When they had the chance to acquire the FCC license for the
long-dormant community radio station WPVM 103.7FM, Dr. Johnson and Ms. Dial
didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to give back to their much-loved adopted
city. Concerned with the country’s dwindling sources of independent media, the
couple welcomed their new career, investing
time, money and joy in the station! Through the not-for-profit Friends of WPVM,
they’ve established a dynamic community voice, with a roster of informed and
entertaining show hosts including programs featuring music of all stripes—and
with a little “show biz” vibe! ~