World Radio Day

Today is World Radio Day. How are you celebrating?

I’m thinking about all the great radio that I’ve had the privilege to listen to over the years. Growing up and going out with friends, there were only two radio stations that were ever on the car radio. AM mono radio at its best.

CKLW – the Big 8 – it played all the great, hot and popular music of the time.

WCAR – the problem with CKLW was that it had a smaller playlist at the time. When the same old song came on again, we’d switch to WCAR.

There was a great deal of loyalty to those stations. I don’t recall scanning for anything else while in the car.

There were a couple of other radio stations that would be turned on at either my place or my girlfriend’s place. The biggy was CKNX from Wingham where you could get the crop futures and other farming advice. Add at 1:00, there was “In Memorium”.

CFTR – the university years! The good old power stations from Detroit didn’t quite reach where I went to school in Waterloo and Toronto. But, there was still great music.

and, of course, when my best friend came from Toronto, we had to listen to CHUM.

Of course, there were those late night trips back and forth to university. I had a tendency to drift in and out if I was listening to music and so would scan for talk radio. I seem to remember a station from Chicago that did the trick for me.

Around that time, a new phenomenon happened. You could listen to radio stations through your cable television service! The university’s low power station CKMS was available there. It brought to me the idea of progressive rock and listening to complete albums instead of just what was popular.

And then the reality of getting a job and driving to work. It seemed like old home moving back to the broadcasting area of Windsor/Detroit. CKLW had changed though. Actually, radio had changed and AM and FM were both broadcasting in stereo if they wanted. But, I carpooled with a colleague and the station was stuck on WRIF.

These days, we seem to have returned to our country roots and the radio is set to CJWF which actually broadcasts on two channels. One from Windsor and the other from Leamington so we’re covered wherever our dog walking takes us.

Except when we’re in the car where the dog is not allowed to enter! There, we have SiriusXM radio. We pay for all the stations but leave it on E Street Radio.

Of course, these days, radio stations are more available than ever. In addition to the local over the air stations, there are all kinds available through television service and, now that I have decent internet connections, via the internet.

Yet, local still lives. Even in the heavily saturated Windsor Detroit media market, we have a local who has applied for a radio station right here in town. Media people will know Marty Adler from CBC, Windsor Raceway, and Leamington Raceway. If anyone has the expertise to make it happen, it’s him.

A few years ago, I got into this. I had a request from Stephen Hurley to do a live radio show on voicEd Radio based on my This Week in Ontario Edublogs Friday blog post. Uncreatively, we gave it the same name on his fledgling radio station and we’re live for an hour on Wednesday mornings. You don’t really need high end gear to do the show although he does the actual heavy lifting and has much more sophisticated stuff. My “studio” looks much like my regular workspace.

It’s nothing like the studio at WKRP but, with a lot of coaching from Stephen, it works. I like concept. While podcasting is increasingly popular, often it can be over produced. There’s nothing like going live, mistakes and all!

It’s funny when you think of the original premise of radio. You turn to a station and listen. Things have certainly become better and more popular over time. Yet, that same premise still exists.

So, find some way to celebrate World Radio Day. Radio has always been there for us and there’s no hint that it’s going to go away soon!

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

3 thoughts on “World Radio Day”

  1. Good morning Doug!

    When I was really young, the local radio station was CFOS, and it was my dad who would have it running on the radio. That’s where we kids would listen carefully for bus cancellation announcements (Sydenham, Bus #1) in the hope of a snow day. As I’ve shared before, because my dad taught at the local high school, we were normally guaranteed of a ride into our own elementary school regardless of whether the bus was running. I have fond memories of building and painting a rocket out of a refrigerator box during a snow day with my grade 3 teacher.

    As a teen, I used MacTac to reskin a very old push-button tube radio, and the strains of MoTown music from CKLW would rock me to sleep and wake me in the morning.

    When I arrived in Toronto for university in the 80s, I remember winning tickets on Q107 to attend the “Backbacon Breakfast” with the Mackenzie Brothers at the SCTV diner on Eglinton, just east of Yonge. Some friends and I lined up in the dark hours on a cold winter morning to get good seats. I remember being surprised that Dave Thomas had a cast on his arm, but he explained away (in character) that he had broken it picking his nose.

    Within a couple of years, my listening preference had switched to CFNY, The Spirit of Radio — the impetus behind the song by Rush of the same name.

    When I started teaching, the bus cancellations and weather news were available on the local cable TV station, and that would have been when I started listening to CBC Radio One during the drive to work and back home. That routine continued through until I stopped driving to school each day when I retired. I still turn into “The World at Six” each day, either live at 6 PM, or later on demand via the podcast.

    For probably over a decade now, my preference for music is to streamed it on Internet radio. My first choice comes from SomaFM out of San Francisco — Secret Agent, Suburbs of Goa, Groove Salad, Space Station Soma, ThistleRadio — lots of music genres to choose from, depending on the mood.

    There’s no doubt that radio still has an important role these days and the variety available because of the Internet only adds to that.


Comments are closed.