Radio Daze…

When EYE was a kid, my world revolved around radio.

My little transistor radio brought music and personalities into my life in a very special way…

Radio was such a big deal in my life EYE’m told my first word was “hotdog!” —a favorite expression of radio personality Arthur Godfrey whom my mother listened to religiously, as did  millions of others…

Back in the 60’s—Godfrey was huge.

Edgy as Howard Stern. Influential as Rush Limbaugh, and as popular as Ryan Seacrest.

Godfrey’s radio shows drew such huge audiences, that several were simulcast on the fledgling medium known as television to help create an audience there.

He was so powerful— he could get away with  dissing his sponsors big-time while still selling the hell out of the product.

Radio was such a part of my life that at the age of 5, EYE apparently woke up in the middle of the night, marched into my parents room, announced EYE was going to be a radio actor, and then walked out again—to return to sleep.

Whether EYE  was huddled under the covers in my bed late at night listening to the far away radio stations whose AM signals went great distances after dark— or just keeping up with the latest “rock & roll” hit, radio was personal.

The mid-70’s brought a change to radio…

There was a new era of personalities who were becoming the Arthur Godfrey’s of their time.

Among them, legendary disc jockey Bob Vernon who moved up from Cleveland to eventually preside over the afternoon craziness on WNBC radio in New York  as “Vernon With A “V”…

As he explains:

We were creating a new kind of radio in those days. Up until then, every Program Director and consultant in the country were hammering it into jocks to “Keep a smile in your voice and SELL the music.” Our little band of radio people in Cleveland thought that was incredibly boring. John Lund, our Program Director, and Jack Thayer, our General Manager, encouraged us to see how many of the traditional radio rules we could break – as long as the ratings kept growing. And they did.

But something was happening to radio.

It was becoming less personal…

Sony Invented the Walkman, a portable tape recorder with headphones that allowed you to create your own playlists of music—with no interference by announcers.

Boomboxes also became popular—blasting pre-recorded music loudly about the area.

Again—no one wanted to hear “traditional” radio programs.

Then came the Ipod—combining the best of playlists and radio.

Yes, you can just use it as an music player. Or you can download podcasts of radio programs—and listen to them the way we used to listen to transistor radios.

Both my kids have Ipods. And—just like me a generation ago— their headphones are glued to their ears as they listen to podcasts and to music.

EYE watch them enjoy their time with “radio” in a slightly different form.

Yes, radio has become personal again—only the delivery system has changed.

In the words of Arthur Godfrey, HOTDOG!

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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