Transistor Radios for Music In Your Pocket

Transistor Radios, introduced in 1954. Music In Your Pocket

Transistor Radios

Just imagine a radio that would fit in your pocket! That was big news in the mid 1950s.
Heavy, bulky “tube” radios were being replaced by radios that used transistor-based circuitry.

1950s magazine ad for Motorola transistor radio
Motorola magazine ad for the portable radio, 1950s.

Transistor Radio’s Early Years and what was playing on the radio

October 1954:
Regency TR-1. This is the transistor radio that was the first to be produced commercially. It was brought about by IDEA (Industrial Development Engineering Associates) from Indianapolis, Indiana and Texas Instruments from Dallas, Texas.
What was the number 1 song in October 1954?
“Hey There” Rosemary Clooney

February 1955:
Raytheon 8-TP-1. Introduces in February 1955, this is a portable, but larger transistor radio which included 4 more transistors and a 4-inch speaker. Because of these improvements, the sound quality was enhanced significantly. It also had more efficiency in battery consumption.
What was the number 1 song in February 1954?
“Sincerely” The McGuire Sisters

April 1955
Chrysler Mopar 914HR. Philco and Chrysler declared that they have come up with the first transistor radio.
What was the number 1 song in April 1955?
“The Ballad of Davy Crockett” Bill Hayes

August 1955
Sony TR-55. In August of 1955, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation released its TR-55. This has five transistors created under the Sony brand. It was also the very first transistor radio to use every minute component. About 5,000 to 10,000 units were known to be manufactured.
What was the number 1 song in August 1955?
“Rock Around the Clock” Bill Haley & His Comets

December 1957
Sony TR-63. In December of 1957, this model of transistor radio was presented in the U.S. by Sony. It came in black, lemon, green, and red. To demonstrate the portability of this model, the company had special shirts tailored with large pockets for their salesmen. It was successful.
What was the number 1 song in December 1957?
“Jailhouse Rock”/ “Treat Me Nice” Elvis Presley

The Dobie Gillis Show with Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebbs brings his brand new portable radio to class in 1961.

1955 Chrysler Philco Transistor Radio Commercial

Here’s the music that was playing on the new transistor radios

October 1954: “Hey There” Rosemary Clooney

February 1955: “Sincerely” The McGuire Sisters

April 1955: “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” Bill Hayes

August 1955: “Rock Around the Clock” Bill Haley & His Comets

December 1957: “Jailhouse Rock”/ “Treat Me Nice” Elvis Presley

 

 

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