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AM Radio Stations
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Gary_N_WV    Posted 01-11-2005 at 11:33:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
When I was a small boy, my grandmother had remarried and moved away to a different neighborhood. My mother, 2 brothers and I moved into her now vacant home.
Her house was located on the side of a hill, which to "flat-landers" would probably be considered as "on the side of a mountain."
It was a very nice place to live in times of good weather… a couple of nice Catawba trees to shade the front porch in the heat of the day and the "most wonderful" night sounds of any place that I ever lived.
The crickets and katydids put on a nightly concert ….some times louder and other times softer…
My older brother by three years, was at "that age" that he had to listen to the radio when he went to bed….one of those things I guess, that is embedded in the soul of teenagers……one of those "do it or you will die" things.
Back then, FM radio stations were non-existent, at least in the part of the country that I lived in…and radios were the size of a small dishwasher today....... every night, my brother would twist the knobs of "the radio"…knobs which were shoe-polish brown in color, and he would stare intently in the dark, at the little red hand that moved behind the dimly lit glass face that was painted with numbers and hash marks.
He would turn the dial back and forth…stop and listen to a voice semi-hidden behind the heterodynes of two interfering stations…he would twist the dial some more and perhaps you would hear a voice say ""WO-WO, Fort Wayne, Indiana…he would crank to "WLS in Chicago, 890 on your radio dial", stopping momentarily to listen and then continue on until he found the right spot on the dial….a spot where a big , booming voice would say…"W C F L, Chicago, the Voice of Labor".
AM radio stations, as anyone who listened to them at night at that time, will remember, the stations faded "in" and "out" periodically, especially in the summer.
I can remember WCFL fading out, ...always in the middle.... of the only song…..that you wanted to hear during the whole night. It always seemed that just when the song was ending, the signal strength would increase and the voices at the other end would seem like they were right in the same room with you again..
But,…. there was something exotic about those far away places like Chicago, Fort Wayne, Cleveland, Boston……exotic and magic to a kid that hadn’t ever been more than a couple of counties away from where he was born…..
Anyway, to finish this story, I always had to get up each night and turn the radio off…..After my brother finally decided which station he wanted to listen to and got into bed,………. he usually lasted about five minutes before sleep overtook him and he would begin to snore….To this day, …I can close my eyes…and I can hear …..…
"W C F L , Chicago, the Voice of Labor"
and the sound of my brother snoring….
and the sound of crickets and katydids after I turned off the radio.
And when I rolled over onto my side, I heard my own small voice say
"Goodnight brother!"

KellyGa    Posted 01-12-2005 at 16:10:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wowweeee, I am in awe. Love your story telling. Please tell us more!

Fawteen    Posted 01-11-2005 at 14:04:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
When I was a kid growing up in Michigan, I had a crystal set I built myself on a piece of plywood. Had a long-wire antenna strung between my upstairs bedroom window and the corner of the barn, maybe 100 feet.

On a good night, I could just hear WBZ outta Boston.

Dang, that was a LONG time ago...

Jim(MO)    Posted 01-11-2005 at 13:24:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't remember the call letters but Wolfman Jack broadcasting from Del Rio Texas could almost reach around the world. Corrupted my youth with that Rock & Roll.

Gary_N_WV    Posted 01-11-2005 at 15:05:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What prompted me to put my WCFL story on here was that I heard someone trying to mimic the Wolfman yesterday, which kinda made me "long for" the old days, which in turn reminded me of the WCFL story I had written a couple of years ago.

mud    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:37:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
well done gary. brought back some fine memories. mostly of wowo - westinghouse's powerhouse radio station.

say, did you also have a crystal radio? mine was red bakelite and i hooked the aligator clip to the bail handle on the dresser drawer. sometimes, on a rare night i could get wgl in fort wayne also.

Gary_N_WV    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:44:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yep...had a crystal radio once with a red case too, but I can't remember where it came from......I wanna say Sears, but that might not be correct.

Wisereader    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:09:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good story, thanks for bringing back memories of my own. I grew up in SW Pennsylvania, so the only flatlanders were from Ohio or all the way up near Lake Erie ;-) Katydids did, and still do, sing me to sleep - ah what a symphony.

My AM station growing up was 13Q in Pittsburgh. Any one remember Radio Mystery Theater?

cachon    Posted 01-11-2005 at 16:33:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
being from near PIttsburgh I remember Mystery Theater very well...heres a link to it

DD    Posted 01-11-2005 at 11:49:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nice story Gary, Thanks for sharing : )

Salmoneye    Posted 01-11-2005 at 11:44:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
You sure you aren't from VT?

I almost never hear the words 'flatlander' and 'katydid' except from a person from northern New England...

PS.....You left out WWVA...That was the one we heard at night that took us to 'exotic' places...


damifino    Posted 01-11-2005 at 16:42:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Remembe WOLO in New Orleans, WSM Nashville, the Del Rio station and of course WCKY Cincy, Ohio (The Wayne and Lonnie show).

Gary_N_WV    Posted 01-11-2005 at 17:00:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Glad you mentioned WCKY. ...thats one I forgot !

toolman    Posted 01-11-2005 at 17:13:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
brings back alot of memories when i was a kid in springhill n.s. no tv but we,d listen to the radio and on the weekend sat. night i think we,d get wheeling west virgina, all country, (opry)mom would sing along she had a beautiful voice , songs she heard there would be sung to us all week long, simpler life and in alot of ways much much better.

Les    Posted 01-11-2005 at 13:16:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Used to listen to all those far away radio stations at night as a kid. WCAU in Philadelphia; WKBW in Buffalo, WPTR in Albany, WBAL in Baltimore, WLS and WJJD in Chicago, WTOP in Washington, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WXYZ in Detroit, WHAM in Rochester, WOWO in Fort Wayne, any number of NY stations and, of course, Boston and Canada.
On a REAL good night, you might get WBT in Charlotte or WSM in Nashville. I even got WACO one night and something from St. Louis a couple of times.

Gary_N_WV    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:15:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
No Salmoneye, I'm not from VT, but I did stay a couple of nights in a motel there when I was a young man.....let's see...what was the name of that all girls school in Poultney?
Green Mountain I think !
I've been back once since then, and on this second trip, I noticed the nice scenery.
Beautiful country up that way.
Yep...there was WWVA and of course there was WSM where we listened to Bill Monroe and others.


Texas    Posted 01-11-2005 at 11:48:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
We call katydids, katydids in Texas.

Yabut...    Posted 01-11-2005 at 11:57:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Most people I have met from 'south' don't even know what a 'katydid' is, let alone looks like...

At least the over-educated flatlanders I have met...I don't get to meet too many normal people from the south...



Randy    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:01:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm sure there are some though.

Oh yah...    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:32:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm just spoofin...

I like everyone...Mostly...

Salmoneye, ;-)

Clipper    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:00:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
We had a lot of these in the deep South.......

Ayuh...    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:33:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lots up here...It used to amaze me though that so many people think that any bug that makes noise is a 'cricket'...Even when they are green LOL


Clipper    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:39:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
We used to catch em and use em as bait fer freshwater bass fishing..... very effective bait!

midway    Posted 01-11-2005 at 12:55:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ole Lee Moore on WWVA,(was he the coffee drinking nighthawk ?) and then there was Asher and Little Jimmy on WSM, then do you remember Dr. Brinkley from Del Rio Texas on XERA I think.

Arnie Ballonoff    Posted 12-02-2005 at 14:59:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Found an old copy of the record album released on the paragon label #559. This record is entitled "WWVA'S COFFEE DRINKIN ' NIGHT HAWK LEE MOORE, Includes The Cat CAme Back and many other legendary musical pieces.

seahag    Posted 01-11-2005 at 19:10:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I remember listening to wixy 1260 0ut of its magic radio, plays all the oldies from the 50 and 60 and 70s...I got a transistor radio when I was probably 12 and I would listen to it at night in bed...the only problem were the batteries...had to pick a lot of corn and strawberries to feed my habit....we lived on the only hill for miles around..Yes I am a flatlander.....I cant climb a hill...we used to have to drive 10 to 15 miles to go sledding

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