July 23, 2014

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Radio-A-Go-Go

The internet can tell you how much radio has changed.

As I've written before, my first job in broadcasting was at a local radio station.  I didn't know then what I know now...that radio was about to change, and, in my opinion, not for the better.

And there's plenty of evidence around to demonstrate what radio was like in the 1960's and 70's.

One is a website I promoted a couple of years ago on "Surfin' With Kirk".  Called "Dan's Aircheck Emporium" (www.radiowasbetter.com), it's a collector's site with hundreds of old radio broadcasts from the early days through recent years.

If you're not into collecting, there's all sorts of sites dedicated to the glory days of various radio stations. One of the best is dedicated to the station many consider the greatest "Top 40" station of all time.

WABC owned the New York ratings through the Top 40 era of radio, particularly in the 1970's, when much of its competition threw in the towel on rock and roll. It became a talk radio station in 1982, but a Saturday night show still celebrates its music years.

Even before that show went on the air, in 2005, a tribute website (www.musicradio77.com) was up and running.  It has had webstreams of old broadcasts and interviews with the DJ's and others who were part of its heyday.

More recently, it has streamed recordings of DJ shows which aired for more than a decade on WABC, called "Rewound", usually on Memorial Day, when its talk show hosts were taking the day off. There are, by my estimate, more than 100 hours of programming which run on a continuous stream.  If you have the proper media player, you can log in any time and hear a portion of this stream.

What I loved about radio of that era was, that it wasn't just fun hearing the music (which you can still find on the radio...although maybe not much longer), but singing along with the station jingles, and even some of the commercials, made listening fun.  And, frankly, there's no better way to measure where we've been as a society, than to see and hear advertisements of a particular era.

By the way, the title of this blog was taken from a popular radio jingle of the '60's.

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