La estación de radio CYL (1925)

Si bien este es un blog dedicado al cine silente, me pareció de elemental cortesías hacia los historiadores de la radio en México, subir este artículo publicado en el Radio Digest del 14 de noviembre de 1925. La estación se localizaba en Av. Juárez. Como dato curioso aparece el simpático locutar y anunciante “George Marron” quien no es otro que Jorge Marrón que con el tiempo se convertiría en Dr. IQ. Se nota la deferencia con que se refieren a Plutarco Elías Calles quien a la postre usaría la radio para fines electorales y políticos. Los comentarios sobre su bien modulada y grave voz permiten entender que la relación entre los dos países había comenzado un nuevo rumbo después del desaguisado revolucionario. La relación entre medios de comunicación y gobiernos en turno se remonta a la gestación. El nombre está bien: Raúl Azcárraga, quien fue el propietario de la estación de radio CYL. El artículo se titula Viaje pagado a los Estudios CYL de la ciudad de México

Artículo publicado en Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, pp. 7 y 12 del sábado 14 de noviembre de 1925.
Artículo publicado en Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, pp. 7 y 12 del sábado 14 de noviembre de 1925.

A Junket to the Mexico City Studios of CYL

Susan Haymes

When one dials CYL of “El Universal” and “La Casa del Radio” (The House of Radio), Mexico City, Mexico, a thrill is experienced akin to that of visiting on foreign shores; one feels, too, a keen desire for becoming better acquainted with the station that sheer nerve built on the other side of the silvery Rio Grande.

For it was in November, 1923, that CYL went on the air as the first broadcaster in  Mexico with its initial concert; this, despite a law prohibiting Radio broadcasting and reception except for governmental purposes, on account of the revolution in Mexico. Later on, ironical as it may appear, General Calles himself made his campaign for the presidency of the Republic, via CYL.

Incidentally, the voice of Calles has a rare and extraordinary quality in it; a depth and cadence that can only belong to a powerful man. The part CYL played in carrying to the people the voice of this man, his subsequent election and eminently successful reign is too well known for further elaboration on these pages.

This station was the idea of the late President Porfirio Diaz. It was designed by Raul Azcarraga, who owns and directs the station, and was built by Sandal Hodges. George Marron is the gracious and popular announcer. The cost to the Mexican government was eight million pesos. That’s something else for you to consult your banker about; ascertain just how many good American eagles that represents.

CYL is ideally situated from the standpoint of transmission, in the center of the city, facing the Garage Alameda directly in front of the famed National theater. Wonderful records have been obtained from points in North America, Central America and South America. During the transcontinental tests, this was the only station that reached Buenos Aires, London and the Berring Strait. High altitude, clarity of atmosphere, the unusually fine antenna system and standard 500-watt equipment are attributes to its success.

Acoustically perfect, the studio is artistically draped in heavy folds of rich red silk; with the dim lights of decorative floor lamps and antique candelabra, a most alluring roseate hue is lent to the surroundings. Both a piano and an organ are in evidence. Quite an interesting history is woven around this beautiful handmade organ.

The organ originally belonged to the magnificent old church, Basil de Guadalupe ; this mecca of tourists and haven of worshippers was established by the Spaniards over a century ago. But queer things happened to churches back in the fourteen stormy years of revolution and destruction, and this hand-carved, seventy-five year old instrument, with its unique engraved marquetrie of solid ebony, passed eventually into the hands of CYL. Its tone is as rich as of old, yet one idly fingers its yellowed keys with mingled emotions and thoughts of God, of love, of human sacrifices, and of man’s inhumanity to man.

The programs over CYL are varied and recipients of much praise. The Cathedral of Mexico sends a priest each Sunday at 10:30 a. m. to conduct very impressive church services. Music is broadcast each Tuesday from the Hotel Regis and from Abel’s Cabaret. On Friday nights, two-hour concerts are given. The first part consists of Mexican typical music and folk songs by well-known charro singers and senoritas, and the charro typical band. The most popular selections, beloved alike by Americans and natives. are: “La Paloma” (the Dove) and “La Golondrina,” known as the Mexican Home Sweet Home song. A real treat for the Radio fan, accustomed to box-office prices, Is the last half of the program which is given by real opera finger.

Emphasis Is placed on the better type of music always, for the Mexican is easily a musician and a lover of good music, from the president in the national palace at Chapultepec to the humble peon his little hut. And we might say right here that King Jazz doesn’t hold the sway over their hearts—and feet—as it does in the States.

CYL has played no small part in teaching students of the Spanish and Mexican languages the correct pronunciation of their softly spoken tongues. Spanish throughout the country listen regularly.

Many telegrams and cables of appreciation are received by CYL. An Innovation for confirmation to the listeners in, instead of the Ekko stamp, is their decorative genuine zarape. This blanket, in miniature, is beautifully designed in a combination of many colored yarn; often two or three days are required for the native Aztec  Indians to weave one by hand. A charge of one dollar for a size 8×14 inches is made; a smaller size may be had for fifty cents. These may be used as souvenir mats, as a decoration or framed for use as a tray. The charge is necessary on account of postage, wrapping and payment to the Indians, many of whom obtain their meager livelihood by handweaving. Those desirous of obtaining these original zarapes may send remittance to Radio CYL, Juarez No. 62, Mexico City, Mexico.

Through arrangements made with stations in the United States, it is expected to increase the number of listeners to CYL during the coming winter season.

Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, Nov. 14, 1925, p. 7 & 12.

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