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Most of the postings found herein are of a Seasonal Musical Kind. Playlists from a show called "Mistletoe Mix" on Kringle Radio & Merry Christmas Radio will be found as well as general musings of lyrical & melodically significance as applicable to Christmas music and the enjoyment thereof.

However, the proverbial right for straying from the musical notes and verse is respectfully hereby instated to include the wanderings therefrom a mind that may every now and again think of something else of which to set to prose.

Welcome! Pull up an earphone or speaker and enjoy!
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Radio: It Is What It Is, But Ain't What It Was.

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Posted 07-03-2009 at 09:59 AM by RadioJonD
Updated 07-03-2009 at 11:34 AM by RadioJonD

Two things yesterday caused me to wax the nostalgic broadcast radio surfboard.

First, Sdkluger posted a thread asking about an item he heard on the radio around Christmas when he was growing up. Of course I started digging in my “usual spots” to locate the answer (I’m still working on it).

Second, I was digging around on FaceBook and found a Disc Jockey (Dee-Jay) from back in my teen day named John “Records” Landecker and one from my early adulthood called Slats. When I listened to John in the seventies, he broadcast on 89 WLS-AM out of Chicago. Does anybody else remember his famous “Boogie Checks?” John would take as many phone calls as he could in an allotted amount of time of about one to three minutes. Slats was a high energy dude on KDF out of Nashville, Tennessee. You never knew what was about to happen next! (It's crazy cool that both accepted my FaceBook friend request!)

Chances are, no one here under forty years of age will have any idea what I’m talking about, but radio used to be live. By live, I mean all the way live; a local person was sitting in a local studio spinning tunes (often local) that actual local listeners had requested. Get it? The Dee-Jay would even call listeners by name on the air! Hearing your "shout out" and tune on the radio was a thrill to a kid that you wouldn’t believe! That’s not all! One could dedicate a tune to that special love interest as well! If you were shy, this was a sly way of getting that person to notice you! All you really had to know was to which station he or she listened. If you weren’t sure, you would call up all the stations in the area and channel surf until you heard the dedication. And who can forget all those contests where one could be the designated caller and/or correctly answer a trivia question for an item from the “prize stash?” Sometimes your own voice could be heard on the air as the Dee-Jay quizzed you up!

Still think your local station’s programming of today is live? Look up the phone number for the request line. I bet there ain’t one. In lieu of a request line, call up the station’s listed number and ask to speak to the person currently on the air. I bet you can’t. Now ask whomever answers the phone (after you go through the automated prompts) to get a particular song played. It ain’t gonna happen. The closest one will come today is being able to call up your “morning/after work drive team” and talk about a current topic. Even then, the team is often broadcast over several stations in a syndicated network, usually with a toll free number and a regional following. Just don’t ask them to play a tune.

You long-time Christmas forum members will now expect me to launch into a tirade about the sorry state of broadcast radio of the past thirty or so years. Well, I’m gonna spare you…somewhat. A good deal of what one hears on the radio today is from a syndicated (not local) source. Even if the on air “personality” is local, chances are their show is prerecorded hours or days in advance. They aren’t playing the music; it’s automated. Though I am certainly not a fan of nor regularly listen to broadcast radio, today’s programming is what it is. It’s been around long enough and has filtered through a few generations that no one but us middle age and up geezers seem to notice any difference. (We don’t appeal to station advertisers but that’s a whole ‘nother gripe!)

In this digital age much of today’s programming can be stored somewhere. That means that there are plenty of places online to search for archived programming. Many stations (commercial/public broadcast & internet only) offer a stream and/or podcast so that one may listen from the internet or download for their convenience. There is a plethora of alternate programming that reminds some of us of radio days gone by as well as sites offering “airchecks” of actual radio programming from the fifties up!

Anyway you slice the audio pie, there is plenty of it online. As applied to Christmas, don’t forget to visit the music forum and see what’s on our collective mind (if you’ll pardon the expression). You’ll find a bunch of “favorite song/artist/cd” threads, current release threads and questions about this and that of which you may know the answer. Some of us are digging deep and offering Christmas audio archives for your listening pleasure as well. Look for a new thread soon about syndicated/canned Christmas programming that one may hear (or have heard) on their “local holiday station” this year…next year…and the next year…
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