Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Aug 20th National Radio Day

Radio, I can still remember listening to the radio before we got TV. That would have been in the early 50s.  In spite of, or may-be because of, the many advances  we still turn on the radio, for news and music. 

There was not much information on National radio Day, seems it's origins were in the 80s or may-be the 90s.  Radio itself was invented about 100 years earlier.  They were. and still are, a staple in American homes since  the 1920s, there were also a hand crank models for those who did not have electric yet.  The day when radio brought  soap operas, serials like Little Orphan Annie and The Lone Ranger or dramatic programming are gone, though some of the programming is still available, complete with the crackling and static.

We had an old gray Zenith radio on top of the refrigerator, and I had a few transistor radio to see me through my teen years from the British invasion, to the Jefferson Airplane.  TV was not aimed at the young audience in those days, Radio was still the place to get news, and little did I realize I was getting an education from those 5 min news segment every half hour.  The not so accurate weather forecasts fostered an interest in backyard meteorology. Radio was quick to find a new niche when TV came along and people wanted to see and  hear their "stories".   And that of course was music, especially once the very portable transistor radio came along.  My introduction to the transistor radio came during the 1960 World Series, one of the boys in our class started wearing what the teacher thought was a hearing aid, though most of us knew it was the earpiece of a transistor radio.  Radio also began to program with a younger audience in mind. My favorite station went off the air just before 6PM every day, way back then, and I would sit and listen to the "dead air" wondering what the town the station was in was like.    Those little radios accompanied me everywhere, on hikes or fishing, anywhere I might go.  It sang me to sleep at  night, when I was crushed by a heartbreak.  But then in the morning the battery was dead, and I was out of music until I could get another battery. 

 The huge furniture like tube radio sets, remnants of the previous decades  still sat in people parlors. The man who repaired our TV in those days also repaired  the furniture/radios.  It always seemed so very strange to listen to the Rolling Stones on a set meant to play Gabriel Heeter's newscast, or Kate Smith.   Listening to will Rodgers on  YouTube strangely doesn't seem the same way, at least to me. 

 ``images from

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No moon and no stars lightening bugs flicker past watch the sparks of love's song