Chad Comello

Librarian, cinephile, et al

Tag: radio

I heard them on the radio

How often do you listen to honest-to-goodness radio anymore? Usually I go to it only if I’m not in the mood for podcasts, audiobooks, or my own music collection. I’ll spin through my station presets to see if I get lucky, though most often I get bad songs and ads.

But not the other day. I was feeling especially jovial after work and wanted to stay in that high, and this lineup (between three different stations) was what started when I turned on the car and ended when I arrived at home:

“Jet Airliner” by Steve Miller Band

“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

“Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

“China Grove” by The Doobie Brothers

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

My speakers were cranked. I don’t think I’ve ever hit such a solid streak on the radio before. Not one of these songs are in my own collection, yet they perfectly matched the moment. I could generate a list of six completely different songs that would be just as great and fitting, but that’s the nice thing about radio: call in requests all you want, but you can’t engineer musical serendipity, especially across stations. You just have to get lucky.

Long live synchronicity!

Fakelin Newsevelt

Learned a lot from Susan Douglas’s Listening In: Radio And The American Imagination about the development of radio technology and culture, and their impact on 20th century America. Also learned, in a tidbit about Franklin Roosevelt’s crusade against newspapers, that he sounded a lot like another ostensibly anti-media president:

Privately, the president in 1940 ask the new FCC Chairman, Lawrence Fly, “Will you let me know when you propose to have a hearing on newspaper ownership of radio stations?” Publicly, through his press secretary, Steve Early, Roosevelt told broadcasters that “the government is watching” to see if they air any “false news.” Radio, Early warned, “might have to be taught manners if it were a bad child.” Network executives understood “false news” to be news critical of the administrations policies.

The past isn’t dead, etc.

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