Monday, February 13, 2017


It's World Radio Day, according to the internet. It's trending on Twitter and if you click on the #worldradioday hash tag there are many nice posts, some of a historical nature and some of people working at radio stations and listening to the radio, like this of two girls in Mozambique dancing to their transistor radio while carrying water.

The radio has a place in my heart and my psyche. Like many kids I had a transistor radio. It looked almost exactly like this one but was a whitish color. It was a cheap one but it had a case which enhanced its status. The other day I was in the bath tub listening to music on my cell phone without headphones or ear buds, just holding the puny speaker up to my ear, and suddenly realized that the sound was pretty much that of my old transistor radio. Oh ye technophiles.

After I got a car, of course, I listened to billion of hours of rock and roll on a car radio. Chicago Top 40 stations WLS and WCFL beamed straight across Lake Michigan into my little Michigan town of New Buffalo. Some of those disc jockeys have legendary status among radio aficionados. Clark Weber. Dick Biondi. There are many, many old radio web sites.

When I went on the road in the semi I again listened to a lot of radio. Eventually I'd go to border towns and start finding Mexican stations and listening to a lot of what was, to me, exotic and incredibly beautiful music.

My flagship station was La Ranchera de Monterray. These last pictures are from their Facebook page and a web site where you can listen to their broadcast. On some nights it beams out across much of America. It's of course all in Spanish and in order to be sure I'd actually found it I'd have to wait for their station identification announcement. Then there it was. A man with a deep, wonderful radio announcer's voice intoning, almost singing; "La Ranchera" (slight pause) "de Monterray."

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