I Wanna Hear It On the Radio
Kiddies, kiddies, kiddies! Let’s talk radio, and I am not talking about the dude who carried a radio around in his shopping cart or the guy from M*A*S*H (that was Radar, fruitcakes). I am talking full-on boy-you-missed-it-and-I-feel-sorry-for-you broadcast kind of stuff. What took music out of the hands of the mob (that’s right— who do you think owned most of them jukeboxes you see in B-movie hot rod and beach flicks?), put it in the hands of teens (transistor radios were kind of like iPhones without the ability to steal your soul) and made artists stars and the superstars. Radios were basically, in fact, television without the video and I know you’re bored enough by now that you have picked up that damn hand-held blackhole to hell because, jeez, not knowing what your BFF or business partner had for lunch will not do and, hey, kittens!
No Small Children released this song today (which will be yesterday by the time this is posted) and kicked my column about 45s to the curb and I am a teen once again, turning up the volume on the old transistor and dancing my way to school. Even NSC won’t really understands what I will say because by the time they came around, the early days were over and with them, the feel of fresh. By the time they came around, the Foreigners and Journeys were sucking the life blood out of music and setting themselves up for classic radio, whatever that is. But they get it. They (and mega-producer Bob Marlette) understand hook and melody and groove and everything else that made AM radio a teen wonderland. Way back when an outstanding new song made a day way better than good. When half the people you ran into in the halls between classes talked rock ‘n’ roll. Back when boys and radio went hand-in-hand as did girls and radio.
You might have caught the band through Ghostbusters II (they played the theme) or you may have caught them elsewhere, but NSC is what AM was all about back in the day (and the days after). Hell, they are what music is all about today, too. Imagine a picture of your food with this in the background.
Ah, but they had no pictures back then. It was all music. And personality. Disc jockeys became as important as the music and sometimes moreso, depending upon what they played. Conversations among music freaks many times revolved around the DJ. In Sweet Home, we heard of Alan Freed (especially when the Payola scandal hit the newspapers), Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsberg, Russ “Weird Beard” Knight, B. Mitchell Reed, Johnny Holliday, and Seattle’s own Pat O’Day as well as (for a short time) KISN‘s The Real Don Steele, who left Portland for more lucrative pastures while keeping Pac NW favorites Paul Revere & The Raiders and Don & The Goodtimes close to his heart.
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