Review Piano Lessons

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10

Piano Lessons was among the earliest regularly scheduled television programs. Aired in New York City from 1931 to 1932 on station W2XAB (now WCBS-TV), it consisted of piano lessons given by Professor G. Aldo Randegger, and aired on mechanical television. Originally a 30-minute series, it later aired in a 15-minute time-slot. It aired without commercials, as American television was not yet a commercial service, due to the highly experimental nature of early TV broadcasting.

In a TV listing from 1932, the series is listed at 8:15PM on Mondays, preceded by The Television Ghost and followed by Ukulele player Jack Peterson.[1] In an earlier TV listing from the same year, it is listed as airing at 9:00PM, preceded by songs by Doris Sharp and followed by songs by the Shannon Brothers.[2]

The first episode aired October 8, 1931, as announced in the Radio News section of The Daily Star newspaper.[3]

The November 19, 1932, edition of The Sun featured a section called The Picture Gallery with letters from viewers. A letter writer named Allen Polner in Brooklyn said "television programs are improving, especially from W2XAB" and "last week I looked in and was more than pleased with the results", citing both Piano Lessons as well as segments with Gladys Kahn and Kane Whitney. The same viewer was not impressed with programs by stations W2XR and WIXAV, and felt television needed longer programming hours.[4]

G. Aldo Randegger also appeared on vaudeville and was also a composer. A picture of him appears on the University of Washington website in their digital collections.[5] He was born circa 1874 and died in 1946 at the age of 72.