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To demonstrate just how "ancient" our youth was, most of us still remember that there was a time before televison, ipods, and internet. The first radio that I was aware of was a large Philco radio very similar to the one on the left. My first memories are of listening with the entire famly to evening radio programs that ranged from The Shadow (What evil lurks in the hearts of man?), The Fat Man (Steps on the scale. His weight? 380 lbs.), Baby Snooks, Green Hornet (Kato his side-kick), Dick Tracy, LUX Theatre (Became Lux Video Theatre on TV.), Captain Midnight, Amos & Andy Show
Gangbusters (Machine gun sounds opening up the broadcast),
Roy and Dale Rogers, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto,
Innersanctomb (Squeeky door opening up the broadcast).
The wonderful part about these programs were that they were strickly dependant upon sound and your imagination. Sounds were powerful... I assure you the sound of the sqeekig door on Innersanctomb was as much, if not more so, as frightening to us then as the Boom, Boom, Boom sound track of the movie Jaws.Radio was the first "electronic book" that forced one to use their imagination continuously. I can even remeber being disappointed when I first saw some of my favoite radio programs when they went to television because they didn't live up to imagery I'd built in my mind.
The radio also provided my exposure to music, raning from my Dad's favorite Western music, my two older sister's favorite Pop music, and Mom's appreciation for Classical. I learned to love it all.
The third station was WRR in Dalls, Texas where im Lowe hosted his infamous Kats Karavan. KAT'S KARAVAN. Kat's Karavan was a rhythm-and-blues radio program broadcast from Dallas from 1953 to 1967 on WRR-AM. The program aired R&B music to a primarily white teenage audience with burgeoning interests in music previously off-limits to them because of contemporary race relations. In the 1950s, white-owned radio stations across the country were just beginning to dabble in play music made by African Americans. Unsure of the commercial prospects of such a venture, many radio stations were reluctant to cross racial lines in their programming. Kat's Karavan defiantly played early R&B music performed by blacks, even though the show was hosted by and aimed at whites. The show was particularly influential because of its formatting, its personalities, the large region it broadcast to, and the number of famous musicians who came of age while listening to it.
My first "personal radio" was a crystal radio I bought from the back of a cereal box. It was shaped as a space module. It had a clip that you clipped to any large metal object to act as an antennae and a medal rod running inside the space module that you pulled out or pushed in to find the station you wanted. An ear piece was the only speaker. But you didn't need batteries and could use it about anywhere. I would go to sleep at night with the clip attached to my open window screen (no air conditioning at that time) and listening to one of three stations: Del Rio is known as the American address of legendary Mexican radio stations XERA and XERF just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuņa; their 500,000-watt signals could be heard at night as far away as Canada. Legendary deejay Wolfman Jack operated XERF in the
1960s, using a Del Rio address to sell various products advertised on the station. I remember they sold authentic signed photos of Jesus Christ for 50 cents! I swear!