The joys of radio

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2013 at 1:53 AM

Earlier today, I got rid of the iHeart Radio app that I had, as it appears they had dumped KFAN, which I used to listen to the Minnesota Wild games. In its stead, I discovered an old-time radio app. I am listening to an episode of “Gunsmoke” as I type this. My father introduced me to it when I was a child. Now, as a grown adult, I can smell his cigarettes burning away and his coffee.

Young kids nowadays think the radio is just for the Justin Beaver kids or some such nonsense. I remember as a child, I would watch “Remember WENN” which was a TV show about the radio business in there 40’s. I loved it, and wish that I could find the DVDs online…

Radio, as your grandfather can tell you, used to be the sole source of entertainment for the country before the 1950’s influx of the television. As I listen to Gunsmoke, or even Dragnet, I can imagine the story unfolding in front of me. To me, this and reading a book are the best forms of entertainment available.

Nowadays, as I said before, the radio is dominated by “music” on the FM spectrum, and talk radio on the AM side. Kids today do not know the joys that I had when the mailman rang and I saw the box of cassettes that dad had ordered. I knew that therein lies my evening. If I rode with my grandma to pick up my mom from the late shift of the state tax board, we took a cassette of a radio program with us; neither of us said a word while we rode. She smoked, I listened. I was entranced by the story of Orsen Wells’ “War of the Worlds”. I could picture the orchestra playing, the news program cutting in with the story of the attack; the people running in panic. I was in heaven with thoes tapes.

Sadly, we lost the radio tapes in our old storage unit, but dad found some Dragnet episodes online and made a copy of them that I now own. I can picture Sergeant Joe Friday shooting the kid who fired at him, and his anguish over what he had done when he later had to deal with his situation as he filled out the paperwork.

I think my favourite part of the old, original broadcasts was all of the Chesterfield advertisements that filled the station breaks. “Doctors recommended Chesterfield brand cigarettes because studies show that smokers who smoked 10-40 a day (10-40 cigarettes a day, mind you) had no ill effects on the nose, throat, lungs or auxiliary organs”. That tagline still brings me a great deal of laughter. Not just because of the absurdity of the claim, but because of the fact that you can no longer advertise ANY tobacco product over the airwaves.

Well, I think that I will continue my excursion into Dodge City now. Thanks all, and be sure to comment with your favourite radio memories


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