Park Radio

Established September 30, 1930 at 604 W. North Avenue near Park Avenue

Thomas Lee Dorsey, Our Founder:

Lee Dorsey, 1930’s in front of 604 W. North Ave

Lee was an amateur radio operator at age fourteen. Even though he dropped out of high school, his interest and proficiency allowed him to persuade Johns Hopkins to accept him in the electrical engineering program. ¬†After a brief interlude at Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) it soon followed that he opened Park Radio Service. This was at a time when commercial radio was not much more than five years old. He thus embarked on a 50-plus year adventure. (Lee participated in the business into his 80’s. At age 90 bought a new top-of-the line car, sunroof, trick paint job, fancy wheels, the whole nine yards, drove until he was 93 and passed away at age 96 in 2001. It had a nice radio, too.)

Of course at first the business really was radios, small and large, at first only AM and perhaps some shellac 78 records. Selling records was part of the equation. Park Radio way back when had a notable record department. Through the 1930’s and the late 1940’s, the typical music system was a cabinet containing the radio, a speaker and perhaps a record player. RCA Victrola, Zenith, Pilot, Capehart and other now-long gone companies were the high-end of the day.

High fidelity components and systems began to leave the fancy furniture behind after World War II when all the electronics expertise gained during the war effort needed an outlet. Avery Fisher, Herman Hosmer Scott, Sidney Harman, Stuart Hegman and countless others who had become seasoned electronics designers and tecnicians during the war then came out of the woodwork, designing and bringing audio components to market and putting an emphasis on performance, not on cabinets except reluctantly perhaps. As interest in better audio progressed, others such as Saul Marantz and Frank McIntosh, raised the performance bar.

Great transitions have taken place since the Golden Age of Audio of the late 50’s through the mid-60’s. In 1975. Lee Dorsey’s sons came along and found an affinity for both the musical and hobbyist attractions of the business. Making a living counted too!

Soundscape 1975

Soundscape storefront 1970’s

In 1975, the next stage took place when the present location we opened at first with one-half of the building we presently occupy. John and Ed Dorsey both were proficient musicians and additionally their father’s interest in electronics and mechanical thing rubbed off on them so they both took naturally to the water. A little later came Richard Dorsey, a college music major grad.

A new name was deemed advisable so that every old-timer in the nearby neighborhood, Roland Park, didn’t dig out a long-broken radio and drag it in for service. By that time the business was steadfastly oriented to high performance audio systems, as it is today. Seasoned audiophiles will remember the landmark Dahlquist DQ10 speakers in the later 70’s and who can ever forget Ampzilla, a king of the high-power audiophile amplifier world.

Twenty-First Century Men

Several years ago, Ed’s son, Justin, became part of the team. A bit later, John’s son, Ryan, after receiving a degree in composition from Peabody Conservatory, came on the scene full-time. We have also had the good fortune to have some fine associates. Andrew Myer has been a leader in design and installation for several years with notable success and is heroically assisted by Anthony DiMenna.

© 2019 Park Radio, Inc. ™ / Soundscape / 406 West Cold Spring Lane | Baltimore, Maryland 21210 | 410-889-1134

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