Before there were iPhones, the internet and cable, bringing you the Greek news, there was the radio. During the golden age of Greek radio in Philadelphia (1975-2000), some five radio programs and several radio station broadcasts competed for your attention. They all came and went, but one of them left an indelible mark and broke new ground in Greek broadcasting in America. Much of what you heard then was local… all about who was getting married, baptized and Greek music. George Gatsoulas and his son Constantine (Dino) changed all that when they launched Radio EDRA.
From 1990-1998, Radio EDRA was a full time Greek radio station (broadcast from Castor Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia), that rewrote the way radio programming was formatted in Philadelphia and the country. When other radio stations wanted news, they went to Gatsoulas, who gave Greeks in Philadelphia the news from Greece and diaspora communities from around the world. Through his network of affiliates in Greece, his ability to communicate, and his son Dino’s technical skills, they broke new ground on live broadcasting via the telephone. It was the envy of Greek-American communities throughout North America.
George was born and raised in Patra, Greece. “I came to America in 1967 as a young man of twenty-five. It was an adventure for me. I wanted to see what America had to offer,” said Gatsoulas. Shortly after arriving in Rhode Island, he had a casual meeting with a family friend who ran a radio station. A conversation about his voice and his skilled use of the Greek language, led to a job offer which Gatsoulas accepted. That launched his long-time affair with radio.
Gatsoulas settled into America and married Eleni Alexion in Rhode Island, and had two sons. He was a skilled carpenter who got the bug and changed radio programming. He has had a long career with many radio stations around the Delaware Valley and reached tens of thousands of listeners with his voice and program. Today he is retired and is happy knowing that he was part of the golden age of Greek radio in Philadelphia.
Originally published on Cosmos Philly by Eleftherios Kostans. Video by Vasilis Keisoglou.