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 Post subject: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Mon 06, 2017 5:48 am 
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I have recently noticed this radio for sale, a Coronado Model 15RA-43-8365 aka "The Westerner". This radio was made in 1952 and is an AM Model only with an RCA Phono Jack on the backside, and actually named "The Westerner" as noted on the back cover of the AM Model I have seen.

This same style cabinet was also released with an AM/FM version, the only difference I can tell is the Dial Face having of course the AM/FM Dial and a Brass bezel, as opposed to the AM Model with a Chrome Bezel, otherwise they seem to be the same. Both Radios do appear to have a heavy duty Bakelite cabinet of the same shape and design with what appears to have added receptivity abilities to the existing attached internal antenna.

It appears from some of the photos I have seen the AM/FM Model does have a Dial Lamp behind the circular dial pointer and I assume the same to be the case with the AM only Model. The Dial Face is painted on somehow, with no protective covering.

Both Radios have a 5 X 7 inch oval speaker, and the AM/FM version may have a smaller speaker in addition to this large one as listed. This leads me to believe this radio capable of great sound with very good tonal qualities, especially if made by Wells-Gardner in Chicago for the Gamble-Skogmo Stores.

I only assume this radio in both AM and AM/FM versions to have been made by Wells-Gardner for the Gamble-Skogmo Department Store line, as they made many of their better radios under the Coronado name for Gamble-Skogmo.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know why this Radio was named "The Westerner"? Most of these older radios were not officially named, just given Model numbers. I am not sure if the AM/FM Model is also named "The Westerner", seems the name applied only to the AM version. Also, the AM/FM version may have a Dial lamp behind the brass dial pointer, but not sure about the AM "The Westerner" only Model. Thanks for any information.

I will probably purchase this Radio, as the one in question although very, very dirty, otherwise seems to be in good condition with no cracks. There appears to be a great deal of corrosion on the chrome bezel and also the medium rounded chrome Dial pointer.

Anyone with any knowledge of this particular radio, let me know what your experiences with it have been. It appears from all accounts to be a well made 1952 Radio and sold by Gamble-Skogmo Department Stores. I have been unsuccessful in finding a Photofact for Sale on Ebay, although there is one for sale on the AM/FM Model.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Tue 07, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Not sure why you posted this under "Old Time Radio Shows" but I do like these radios. I thought I had one recently for a good price but the Etsy seller backed out of the transaction and I never got it. I particularly like the dial on these radios and the phono input is a plus. No idea why it's called "The Westerner" but I suppose it was trendy at the time to give a line of radios a name. Here is a link to a Sams folder on eBay for the AM model:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/351465419799

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Tue 07, 2017 9:55 pm 
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I did it by accident. But, your post got me to thinking about the popularity of Old Time Radio Western Shows (especially in the 1950's) and their popularity at the time this Radio was produced in 1952. There were many popular Western shows on the radio at the time including Dr. Sixgun, The Roy Rogers Show, Luke Slaughter, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Frontier Town, Fort Laramie, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch and many others.

Have Gun Will Travel actually started on Television and was then put on Radio, and then back to television or both ran at the same time. I think it was the only radio show do actually start on television, and then go to radio and back again. Of course by early 1960's, most all the Westerns that remained went to Television and new ones came on line, notedly Bonanza.

Coronado had put out an earlier AM/FM Model of this same cabinet styled radio a year or so earlier (the only difference I can see is a brass bezel on the AM/FM version versus the AM only model with a chrome bezel), that came out with the AM only model and named it "The Westerner" whereas the AM/FM model had no name other than its' model number. So maybe that has answered the question about the name of "The Westerner". The Western programs so popular at the time on radio, were probably only on the AM Dial as opposed to the FM Dial as FM was still not available to many people.

That could be the answer to why the AM Coronado radio is named "The Westerner", promoting buying this particular radio in honor of the many Westerns so popular on AM radios during the entire 1950's. There were actual radios such as the Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers radios built specifically honoring the very popular western radio stars of the time, and some are highly prized by collector's, especially the Hopalong Cassidy radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Tue 07, 2017 11:07 pm 
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ZenithStratosphere wrote:
I did it by accident. But, your post got me to thinking about the popularity of Old Time Radio Western Shows (especially in the 1950's) and their popularity at the time this Radio was produced in 1952. There were many popular Western shows on the radio at the time including Dr. Sixgun, The Roy Rogers Show, Luke Slaughter, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Frontier Town, Fort Laramie, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch and many others.

Have Gun Will Travel actually started on Television and was then put on Radio, and then back to television or both ran at the same time. I think it was the only radio show do actually start on television, and then go to radio and back again. Of course by early 1960's, most all the Westerns that remained went to Television and new ones came on line, notedly Bonanza.

Coronado had put out an earlier AM/FM Model of this same cabinet styled radio a year or so earlier (the only difference I can see is a brass bezel on the AM/FM version versus the AM only model with a chrome bezel), that came out with the AM only model and named it "The Westerner" whereas the AM/FM model had no name other than its' model number. So maybe that has answered the question about the name of "The Westerner". The Western programs so popular at the time on radio, were probably only on the AM Dial as opposed to the FM Dial as FM was still not available to many people.

That could be the answer to why the AM Coronado radio is named "The Westerner", promoting buying this particular radio in honor of the many Westerns so popular on AM radios during the entire 1950's. There were actual radios such as the Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers radios built specifically honoring the very popular western radio stars of the time, and some are highly prized by collector's, especially the Hopalong Cassidy radio.

That does make some sense. Westerens were all over tv and radio back then so why not?

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Tue 07, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Thanks for the LINK to the AM Photofact of this radio. I had only seen the AM/FM Photofact. The AM version is named "The Westerner" and the AM/FM version has no specific name other than the Model Number. This is a very heavy rather large tabletop radio, with a very thick Bakelite cabinet. From the AM ones I have seen restored, they certainly clean up and shine brightly.

The knobs are generally very dirty and the bezels heavily rusted, but they would clean up well. I assume if a Company wanted to design a rugged looking old West style of radio, they achieved their goal in the design of this radio with its' bold and square style. Nothing fancy, but a very heavy duty Bakelite cabinet, with a large grill cloth over a large speaker. The tonal quality is probably very loud and clear.

These radios would have played many of those classic Western shows on the AM Band so popular during the end of the Golden Age of Radio during the 1950's, so the name "The Westerner" fit quite well and probably helped to sell many of these Coronado radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Sun 19, 2017 3:54 am 
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I got the Photofact on this Radio, and it does use a No. 47 Dial Lamp bulb. The one on my radio is burned out. I opened the back up, and it is a bit tricky, as the RCA Jack and the Phono/Radio jack and switch is attached to the back cover board of the radio (as opposed to the internal chassis which is generally the case) and does not allow for much room in working on this Radio, although it is an over sized cabinet for an AM tabletop radio and does have what is referred to as a Power Rod for the Antenna.

The Dial Lamp is also in an obscure position in the front portion of the radio chassis, and it appears the entire chassis would need to be taken out to replace just the Dial Lamp unless it could be replaced if the Dial Pointer could be removed, as it is in that general area.

The external Dial pointer does not appear and easy one to remove either. Maybe I am overlooking something, as if the Dial pointer could be removed (which would also need to be removed to take the chassis out), the Dial Lamp may be easy to reach from the front. Trouble is I haven't been able to figure out how to remove the Dial pointer. It appears that the pointer could simply be pulled off, or maybe turned to a certain position for easy removal which is not explained in the photofact.

Whatever that position is (if there is one), I just haven't been able to figure it out. Maybe it can be pulled hard enough and it simply just comes off, but I haven't wanted to apply that much pressure on it, if there is another way.

Has anybody out there worked on one of these radios or know the set-up, and might have some helpful hints or know the exact way for me in replacing the Dial Lamp and really getting the Chassis out of on this model Radio?


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Wed 22, 2017 4:59 am 
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Is it the one here with the silver dial and pointer?

https://radioattic.com/item.htm?radio=1230557

I have not worked on one, but would pull the tubes, pull the knobs, remove chassis screws, and then lay it on its back on a soft pad.
Then maybe a bit of dry heat, but not hot enough to peel the metal foil off. Try a hot facecloth in a ziplock bag to heat the pointer. I am thinking it is just a friction fit, but could be wrong.

We listened to Gunsmoke on a Crosley E-15. Starring William Conrad as Matt Dillon. No way he could play Dillon on TV, but he had the radio voice. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Wed 22, 2017 9:52 am 
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Yes, that is the Coronado AM only radio (there was also an AM/FM same styled radio, but only the AM Model was named "The Westerner". Thanks for the suggestions and recommendations in getting this chassis out. Warming up the front Dial Pointer is a good idea as I also feel it to be a friction fit, but definitely will have to come off if the chassis is to come out. The dial lamp is directly behind the chrome dial pointer, and is also replaced by gently working the dial pointer off. It uses a NO 47 dial lamp according to the Photofact, and looks great when lit up. The AM/FM model has a brass bezel, so there is that difference also but otherwise the same style. The RCA Jack is attached to the back cover on "The Westerner", and will need to be disconnected also. Generally RCA Jacks (for Radio/Phono) were on the bottom backside of the Chassis, but not on this model.

William Conrad was the first Matt Dillon on Radio's Gunsmoke for many years prior to the Television series. William Conrad wanted the part for the television series, but the television folks wanted John Wayne. John Wayne did not want it, but recommended that the part be given to James Arness and the rest is history. William Conrad had the voice but not the looks they wanted for Matt Dillon.

William Conrad was extremely active in many radios shows, especially ESCAPE, SUSPENSE and many other roles. William Conrad had the last laugh though, as when he finally did get his own Television Show (CANNON), it was very popular not to forget he guest starred on many Television shows for many years also. CANNON was not as popular as television's Gunsmoke with James Arness, but none-the-less, is still well remembered for his role on CANNON. That part worked for him, as the COLUMBO part worked well for Peter Falk.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Thu 23, 2017 6:37 am 
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My favorite William Conrad role was as the narrator on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

I like your Coronado. I have a couple of the earlier bakelite sets. Nice little radios.

Dale


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Thu 23, 2017 9:09 am 
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This particular Coronado AM Radio known as "The Westerner" is a larger size of tabletop radio, and quite heavy for its' size. The Bakelite housing is very thick and I am sure adds to the radio's overall weight. I am trying to find an appropriate new grill cloth or New Old Stock that will complete this radio, but haven't had much luck thus far. I want to use a grill cloth that will add a western flavor to this radio, but such is hard to find these days. I have been contacting several people on Ebay that sell Radio Grill Cloths, but haven't had much luck finding what I really like and feel would work best on this large dark brown Bakelite housed Cabinet Radio.

William Conrad was probably heard many times on this radio, as 1952 and forward were very active years for him on Radio and later on television. I didn't realize the voice of Bullwinkle was William Conrad, but it doesn't surprise me, as he was very versatile, and as they often said of the great radio Actors, they had "Million Dollar Voices" which is not the case with the Actors of today.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Mar Thu 23, 2017 11:01 am 
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I didn't see it mentioned earlier in the thread unless I missed it, but one reason that the set is so heavy is that it is transformer operated, a feature kind of rare in table sets of the 1950's. As to the grille cloth, you might poke around in a large fabric store: you never know if something there would do. I have looked several times but never found anything to my absolute liking, but noted a few fall-back possibilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Jul Thu 26, 2018 5:33 am 
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The idea of an "Adult Western" was the idea of the Heads of CBS in the late 1940's and early 1950's. William Conrad was last on the list as he was so well known (and over used) on radio at the time. The CBS chiefs felt using Conrad for Matt Dillion was overkill. According to a Documentary on the History of the Radio version of "Gunsmoke" done in the 1970's, they indicate that every potential Actor read for the part but none were satisfactory.

As a last resort, they called in William Conrad to read for the part of Matt Dillon. He immediately got the part and the rest is radio history. "Gunsmoke" on radio ran from Saturday night April 26, 1952 until 1961. William Conrad successfully played the part of Matt Dillon, Parley Baer played the part of Chester Proudfoot, Howard McNear played the part os "Doc Adams" and Miss Kitty was played by Georgia Ellis.

Radios original "Gunsmoke" musical theme was written by Rex Koury and continued on with the television series. John Meston wrote most of the episodes of "Gunsmoke" both on Radio and later for the Television series. William Conrad gave Chester his name and Parley Baer (who played Chester on radio) gave Chester his full name of Chester Westley Proudfoot. In the Television series, Chester's last name was changed to Goode and played by Dennis Weaver. Otherwise "Gunsmoke" for the most part stayed the same, even the musical score written by Rex Koury. "Gunsmoke" probably received more Awards for excellence in radio programing that any show which ever aired on radio including "Amos & Andy" and "The Jack Benny Show" during the Golden Age of Radio.

The "Adult Western" of Gunsmoke brought on many other western shows after its' debut in April of 1952, but no other western show ever reached the popularity of the stories written by John Meston for the radio and later television version of "Gunsmoke".

James Arness may have had the looks for the television version of "Gunsmoke", but William Conrad definitely had the voice on the radio version! And it is in that voice of William Conrad one will find the true personality and character of Marshall Matt Dillon.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Jul Thu 26, 2018 5:59 am 
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DaleMidori wrote:
My favorite William Conrad role was as the narrator on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

I like your Coronado. I have a couple of the earlier bakelite sets. Nice little radios.

Dale

+1 on “Bill” Conrad as listed on the credits for Rocky.

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2018 5:02 am 
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I have this model ready to go, but there is a problem with the volume control. With this radio's 6V6 GT Power tube, the volume can be overwhelming. Unusual for a Coronado tabletop to have a 6V6 GT. The volume control works, but on a scale of 1 to 10 is about at a 4 when the radio warms up and has no problem in increasing the existing volume. The volume goes no lower. It is an acceptable volume and could be enjoyed even higher, but for some it could be a bit loud. Any ideas as to this repair or will a replacement of the volume control mechanism be necessary? The volume control has been cleaned, but it just seems getting a zero volume initially and then working up is not going to be the case with this original volume mechanism.

As this Coronado radio is named "The Westerner", it certainly lets one know "Gunsmoke" is on the air as the radio show always opened with the sound of William Conrad firing his 45 and then the sound of a horse running. I can probably live with this flaw, but if anyone has any suggestions add them to this topic. I am not sure what month in 1952 Coronado released its' "Westerner" radio, but do know that the first episode of "Gunsmoke" on radio starring William Conrad was April 26, 1952.


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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Aug Mon 13, 2018 10:15 pm 
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Congrats, that is a fine example of a better than average table radio. No wonder it is a bit loud.
You could reduce the volume with a resistor in front of the volume control. Not the most elegant way to do it.

Thanks for the Gunsmoke trivia. I could never remember Parley's name, and I thought Miss Kitty was Georgia Alice or Allis.
That was back in the day, and there was only one way to handle the killers and the spoilers. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Coronado aka:"The Westerner" Model 15RA-43-8365 AM Radio
PostPosted: Aug Wed 15, 2018 12:54 am 
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And that was with a US Marshal and the smell of ......... Gunnn smoke.... 8)

I remember now a similar issue I had with volume not going low enough. It was a cold solder joint on the grounded terminal of the volume control.

See also this thread in progress: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=344943

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