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Radio Daze

During my recent trip down memory lane, I must have picked up some strong radio vibes, because old radios are on my mind today.   

Do you remember those gigantic floor-model tube radios of the 1930s?  My parents had one, probably made of mahogany.  I can clearly remember sitting on the floor with my head up against the huge, booming speaker (yes, it only had one) so I could listen to Mom's favorite radio station.  I guess that was my version of headphones.  (Mom and I also watched American Bandstand together, but I'll save that story for another day.)

I'd love to know what ever happened to that old console.  It gave me hours of enjoyment.  Years later, I stumbled upon one at a flea market or garage sale (I've forgotten the details), had it refinished, and brought out the rippled oak grain.  It worked just fine and was a beautiful piece of furniture.  Then I moved and gave it to my brother-in-law, who still owns it.  Every time I visit him, I gaze upon it longingly.  But it does look great in his modern loft.

As I got older, I graduated to smaller radios.  My transistor radio was my constant companion to and from school in my teens, and sat on the window sill while I washed dishes (my nightly chore back then).  I can't say much for the sound quality, though!

Then there was the night in the 60s when my brother called to me from his room, "Hey, Lori, you've got to  hear this!"  He was listening to his transistor radio, which was playing the Beatles, "Love Me Do."  It was the first time I heard of the Beatles.

I also have a vivid memory of listening to "She's a Woman" by the Beatles on my grandmother's bedside powder blue clock radio.  (Now there's an image for you.)  One Sunday afternoon, while the rest of the family shouted and hollered to a Buffalo Bills football game, I had retreated to Nanny's bedroom for some quality time with WKBW (Buffalo's only rock-and-roll station back then).

Hugh Masekela once said that the first time he heard music on the radio, he thought the musician was actually inside of the radio, and he decided that some day HE would get inside of the radio.  And he did!

I'd love to hear about YOUR radio days.  I think I'll turn on my radio now (the more modern version, live streaming from my computer).  But don't worry, I won't put my head next to the speaker. 

Comments

Ramblin' Jim
November 19, 2010 @01:50 pm
Jenny said, when she was just five years old you know there's nothin' happening at all Every time she put on the radio there was nothin' goin' down at all not at all One fine mornin', she puts on a New York station and she couldn't believe what she heard at all She started dancin' to that fine-fine-fine-fine music ooohhh, her life was saved by rock 'n' roll hey baby, rock 'n' roll despite all the amputation you could dance to a rock 'n roll station and it was alright - Lou Reed Rock 'n Roll
terry
November 15, 2010 @08:56 am
What Wonderful memories Lori...Really nice post.
Carlos
November 14, 2010 @10:18 am
...a wonderful narrative! I, too, was shaped profoundly by the magic of radio. I remember when my brother and I would come home from school and turn on the big Magnavox console (it was maple) and listen to that unbelievable sound of early rock and roll! It also had one speaker, but it was LOUD ;)

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