Topic: "Limbaugh Hero"(7)
In the late 1930's radio was becoming king. The opportunities that technological change makes available are typically omnipresent, and those days were no different. On the other side of the border with Mexico, entrepreneurs sprang to life developing super-stations with wattage far beyond the limitations placed on domestic broadcasters. This afforded stations with call letters like XERA, physically placed in towns with names like Del Rio, to send their signals almost all the way to Canada. Sponsors, with names like the Consolidated Royal Chemical Corporation, were anxious to draw listeners who might also become customers and that meant that entertainers of the day had a ready market for their talent and services.
The founding owner of XERA was a gentleman named John Romulus Brinkley, and that's "Doctor" Brinkley to you, dear reader. The opulent estate of Doctor Brinkley is legend even today. Let it be said that the successfully transplanted palm trees placed about the swimming pool each sat atop 400-pound blocks of ice beneath the root systems. Expense was no concern to Doctor Brinkly, particularly given the revenue.
Doctor Brinkley informed the world about his medical miracles through the entertainment he provided via XERA. As an alumni of the Kansas City Eclectic School of Medicine, this Jackson County, North Carolina, native was sensitive to the common male complaint that time had withdrawn the "pep" from masculinity. In response, the good doctor offered to graft goat glands onto the testicles of the afflicted. When the potential patient arrived at XERA he brought $750 with him, payable in advance. The operation, performed under local anesthesia, took about 15 minutes.
To accentuate the audience, Brinkley needed to expand the good news of his miracles to more and more increasingly susceptible people. This brought A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter to Del Rio, and their unique musical skills to the world. Famous already in "country" or "hillbilly" circles, the virtual nationwide broadcast brought the rural and agrarian populations together all listening to "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Wildwood Flower," and "John Henry", twice a day, every day. The audience stayed, and listened to Dr. Brinkley.
Frodo has often wondered about the linkage between conservative miracle workers, and the extensive population that they address over the radio. He never imagined that it is a part of traditional Americana. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and Fox & Friends are sending a message to the susceptible, just as Doctor Brinkley did so many years ago. Now we understand why conservatives have no balls.
Frodo strongly suggests "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone," by Mark Zwonitzer & Charles Hirshberg.