Living the Revolution | Radio

The Cultural Revolution radio provides some examples of music typically heard on Chinese radio during the 1960's.

Radio also served as an important political tool, beginning with the Chinese Civil War. Mao said, "People in all the liberated areas should listen to the Yunnan broadcast regularly. If they haven't got a radio receiver set, they should try every means to get one."

During the Cultural Revolution, radio broadcasting played a key role in the mobilization of the masses, carrying Mao's authoritative instructions.

Perhaps the most innovative development in the Communists' political use of broadcasting was that of the so-called wired public loudspeakers, which aimed at direct reception by each household in China's vast countryside... In the early 1970s, 70 million loudspeakers were installed nationwide... in such public places as school playgrounds, factories, rice paddies, and in rural villages and urban areas. Anybody who visited China during those years would find a common sight -- large loudspeakers hanging on telephone poles, building roofs and treetops.

Photo of loudspeakers in street, 1967

["Broadcasting and Politics: Chinese television in the Mao Era, 1958-1976," by Yu Huangxu, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Oct. 1997.]

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