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"Radio"

 

 
   

 

 
  Most of the pages on this web-site are full of photographs.  But this page is dedicated to radio and there will be few images here.  Radio is not about pictures.  Radio is the sound track of 20th and 21st centuries.  From fireside chats and the Jack Benny Show to rock and roll, then (on the AM dial at least) back to talk radio with whole networks dedicated to the right or the left.  Even some of the news organizations stopped trying to be objective and forgot their own rules against taking sides.  
  There is a misconception that the people who get themselves hired to be on the radio are outgoing and self assured.  Sometimes they are the opposite, not exactly shy, but not comfortable getting up in front of a room full of people.  Instead, they like being invisible, behind a microphone.  Talking to lots of people, but able to do so without having to stand in front of a crowd. News is where I spent a couple of decades pounding out stories about mayors and city councils, state representatives, governors and U.S. Senators.  I covered fires, plane crashes, a blizzard, a tornado or two, school boards, elections, babies born in taxi cabs and on and on and on.  The photo below is from back when I was news director, before the engineering bug bit.  

 

Since giving up being on the air on a daily basis, well actually even back while being on the air every day, one of the projects which has been the most enjoyable has been producing an annual Christmas Show.  The tradition started back in the '70s and varies from year to year, but is usually based on a theme.  The latest version is was entitled "Christmas Memories" (ok, not all that original, but I recorded the show late into the evening on my last day at work before my annual Christmas vacation).

CLICK HERE to listen to a short segment of the 2007 show.

I was going to write more, about how radio has fallen down the long slippery slope from "live", meaning there is a real person talking to you right now as you are hearing it, to "voice-tracked", meaning somebody spent 20 minutes recording a series of 35 second "tracks" into a computer which then scatters those tracks throughout a four hour radio show heard later the same day, or later the same month, or whatever.  I was going to write about all of that, but it's 2am and my brain is tired.

 
 

There's a big chunk of radio history which has gone across the dial since 1966.  We had a big, black Associated Press teletype machine, dial telephones and Ampex Reel-to-Reel tape recorders the size of washing machines back then.   Now, we're all computed up, and cell-phoned, and digital, but that's just a passing phase too.

 Over four decades, you run into a lot of good radio people:  Jim Lloyd (the best radio salesman period ... given the right time and the right place, he could sell a dead horse to the Pony Express); Marvin Cade (whose sage advice included something about always having a cold glass of milk with chocolate cake); Rick-the-Rocket (who moved south to a warmer climate); Mark Hellinger (who also moved south to a warmer climate); Mark Nordstrom (who was way too smart for radio, so he became a collage professor); Bill Steensland (who moved to Iowa or Idaho, I don't remember which) and others I should be mentioning, but do not come to mind at this moment.  Here's to all of you for making a journey through radioland so much fun.

 

 

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