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.