Radio Progreso and its History
December 15th, 1929 was the first time when Radio Progreso reached the Cuban homes. Fever radio in Cuba considerably marked Domingo Fernandez, owner in the twenties of the electrical effects store called “El Progreso Cubano”, which was located exactly in the same place where his radio station was inaugurated. By the early 1940s the station was moved to the underside of the Galician Centre in San Jose number 104 between Prado and Consulate streets, in the Centro Habana municipality . It was there that the Fernandez family then decided to give the name “El Progreso Cubano” (The Cuban Progress), which still identifies station Radio Progreso: The Wave of Joy. In the beginning it was a low-power station, serviced by an engineer, transmitting Spanish, Mexican and Argentina music. During the 30s it increased its power to a kilo and had a studio for up to 50 people. Its programming was live and included spaces dedicated to La Sonora Matancera, Antonio Maria Romeu and Barbarito Diez, among others. Over time a time for plays and radio-theaters was created, with figures like “the Martinez Casado brothers” Carlos Badías, Arturo Liendo, Elvira Cervera and Otto Sirgo. In 1941, new artists and groups like Orlando Vallejo, the Velo family and the Almendra orchestra directed by Abelardito Valdes started working. Its main sponsors were El Potro Seasoning and Pilon Coffee. In 1943 Luis Vilardell, representative of the Partagas cigar reaches an agreement with Radio Progreso to convey what would be called the Disco Partagas. This space occupied times in the morning and afternoon and quickly gained the public favor. It gradually incorporated into the station’s programming dramas such as World News and Real Drama, The Police Interview, Heroes of Justice, the Poor Advocate and Sunday´s program The Man in the Meadow House. This provoked an greatly increased audience and blocks of programs were added from six to eight in the evening, with a full study and speakers onto the street, which often caused traffic disruptions. In these blocks were included: La Sonora Matancera, Olga and Tony, the Castro Brothers orchestra and the most important rural singers of the time as Celina and Reutilio, Raul Lima and others. At this stage a team of 50 kilos is installed – on the Fuente Blanca farm, on the old road of Guanabacoa – and repeaters that allowed the late 40s Radio Progreso became a national broadcaster. So they decided to build the new studies in 105 Infanta corner 25, where the transmissions were launched on November 28th, 1953. The amount and quality of the studios of Radio Progreso apart it from the rest of the existing stations in the country especially the famous Studio One, with capacity for 300 people. From 1954 the dramatized programming strengthens, basically sponsored Crusellas and Sabates.
Radio Progreso at the Triumph of the Revolution
With the triumph of the Revolution Radio Progreso was noted for transmissions of many popular meetings that took place in those years. On July 2nd when it was underwent it had several changes and new spaces were created such as Latin music, The Song and You, with César Portillo de la Luz and the “Sisters Marti”. Its news programming has been strengthened along their years. A large number of bulletins, newsletters, newspaper commentaries on current affairs and news musical magazines are included in it.