Just some thoughts:
I never will forget my dad coming home after trading cars and telling me to go to the garage and see what he bought. Off I go, while I was thrilled with the car, a 1957 Chevy, I could not believe my eyes when I got in and looked at the dash. No radio! This is impossible, a cool car like a ‘57 Chevy and no sounds. I went in the house and announced my disappointment to my dad, “Dad, there’s no radio in that car!” His reply, “If you wanna listen to the radio, come in the house.”
Today, I was listening to the country duo, The Kendall’s. I had to smile when I listened to a song they once had as a hit called, “Thank God for the Radio.” If you listen to the lyrics and are from that era, the most important thing was a radio in your car, no less; radio, music and DJs. Today’s generation would ask, DJs, what’s that? Most every town, city or community had a local station the kids listened to, and on that station would be a guy who played records, a DJ. Generally he came on the air every day at the same time, often with a recognizable record as his theme song to bring him on the air. In my home town there was a guy who went by the initials of J.A. Jim Austin. One time he locked himself in the station’s control room (supposedly) and for two straight hours played the same record; Sheb Wooley’s “The Purple People Eater.” We were so naïve that we did not realize it was just a promotional gimmick. Years later I was fortunate to meet Sheb Wooley.
Some Friday and Saturday nights in Terre Haute, Indiana we pulled into the carhop places on Wabash Avenue, rolled all our car windows down and tuned our radios to WLAC in Nashville, Tennessee. There we could listen to John R., Hoss Allen or Big Hugh Baby. In the afternoon we could turn the dial to WIBC which was out of Indianapolis and listen to Bouncin’ Bill Baker; and many of us did. Often these local disc jockeys would come out to various places and play records at what we called sock-hops. How mild they would be in comparison to today’s happenings, oh my! Or some nights we’d stop at Wassels on Wabash Avenue and listen to music and watch the kids dance. A radio was very important in the life of a teenager in the 1950s’.
There’s a song we first danced to
And there’s a song they played the night we met
And there’s a song we first made love to
There’s a song I’ll never forget
Playin’ all the songs
That meant so much to me and you
Thank God, for the radio
Is there a song and someone you can remember?
Sometimes the song remembers “you.” You ever wonder if "anyone" remembers you?
March 8, 2011