Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What was radio?

I was writing a letter to Melvin and I thought I'd share:

When I was a kid, I had an old Grundig record player/tuner. In Minneapolis WDGY (Storz), KDWB (Drake) and KSTP were blowtorching at each other. Full service WCCO would pull 50 shares on a regular basis. I’d DX the evening trying for the furthest catch. Just not the same to hear a live stream from the internet and anyhow who really cares if they’re listening to a satellite feed from a station a thousand miles away. I guess some kids must get excited about radio today. I’m not sure why. Generic garbage, or sometimes someone mispronouncing voice tracks from far away.

A well recorded AM aircheck from the 60s sounds better than present day FM. It was part of the romance of radio. It was a friend. They’ve done so much to wreck AM and eventually managed to kill it. I’ve had line airchecks from WABC or WCFL that didn’t sound as good as an aircheck from a tuner. The sound chains were that good.

Radio was a contest. It was a life. It was a love. It was my career. I kicked tail it some markets and was bruised up in others, but it was a fight by people who cared playing by the same rules.

Armed Forces Radio is where I learned a lot of lessons and honed my skills. It would always be special.

The great stations were always a lot better than the sum of their parts, the magic and momentum. Now it’s an ipod with music that isn’t as good as on my ipod.

So what happened to it?

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. The bean counters and American corporate greed have destroyed radio. Ironically, I enjoy listening to Radio Caroline more than anything else on the "air". Unless you enjoy hearing the same "John Boy And Billy" idiocy in every damned city, which is what the bean counters have done in order not to have to pay real talent with real local connections. I don't even enjoy listening to morning radio in Norfolk, Va. where I live. Although they have actual live local talent, all they do is talk. Nobody plays music or gives a damn about music.