THIS IS THE VOICE OF AMERICA.


My love affair with the Radio continues.

As I lay in bed, alternately groaning and cursing during a  bout of gastric ‘flu, my feeble hand managed to grasp my Samsung Galaxy tablet, and started fiddling with the icon marked BBC Radio. I have to say, I think that small action improved  my health  more than all the ginger tea, Probiotics, and other remedies combined.

I spent a happy time discovering a weird variety of  stations ; one  poured out Bangladeshi Classical music; another pumped out jolly  accordion/organ sing-a-long tunes from the Nederlands. Radio Venice offering baroque music. A station in Sweden broadcasting in Farsi. I’m still trying to work that one out. And,  no, I don’t speak Farsi. Radio Mediterranean offered a heady mix of Armenian, Arabic, Italian, French, Greek music. There were umpteen Polish stations promoting music from hip-hop, to acid jazz, to urban funk, lounge, and salsa. Fabulous! Almost worth being sick. Almost, but not quite.

Long ago, when I was a misunderstood teenager, I was given a portable radio – battery powered, of course, I’m speaking of the pre-electronic age, a.k.a. The Olden Days. It  had short, long and medium wave reception. I think it was a Phillips radio, in a smart cream and chocolate plastic casing. I absolutely loved it, and would spend hours twiddling the dial, fighting the dreadful static and the waning battery power, straining my ears for the tiniest snatch of LM Radio’s weekly Hit Parade, or trolling through foreign language stations, listening to streams of exotic sounding languages, and desperately wishing I could understand some of it.

But the one station that was always amazingly clear, was the Voice of America. You knew immediately when you hit it, because out poured a stream of jazz, or  Benny Goodman’s band, playing a swing tune. Just knowing that I was listening to someone or something from half-way across the globe gave me such a thrill. It still does. Over and out!

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “THIS IS THE VOICE OF AMERICA.

  1. Oh Alison I totally identify with Voice of America! And the BBC! My Dad used to listen often and so did I, until our old short wave radio broke and was replaced with that FM kind which doesn’t pick up anything interesting. Ive often thought it would be worth buying another radio just for those programmes and now you’ve made me realise I really must! On the other hand – BBC Radio sends me a wonderful email newsletter every week with audio bits, readings from stories, entire plays, serials etc.Well worth listening to those too..

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    • If only we still had all those lovely plays, quiz shows, book readings on our radio – but alas! its all phone-in, wall to wall, 24/7. Sigh. And on the whole, the general public is not that interesting to listen to.

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  2. Thanks Alison, I remember listening to the hit parade. I think it was on Saturday afternoons. I have fond memories of listening to our very own SABC with their dramas etc. My first purchase when I began working was a Phillips record player!

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  3. This post brings back many happy memories for me too, Alison. I used to love listening to my old shortwave radio, straining my ears to listen to the programmes against the background of all the crackling static. One of my favourite stations was Radio Netherlands, whose English language broadcast included ‘Happy Station’ on a Sunday. Ahhh… the gold old days. 😉

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  4. I think you would love WDCB.org radio’s streaming broadcast on Saturday afternoons in the U.S. It is a weekly show of old time radio shows. I have a lingering flu too! Sorry you’ve been ill. I feel your pain! Acidophilus is my friend.!

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  5. I used to lie in bed with my portable radio glued to my ear, listening to British and American music. I was even infatuated with country – that didn’t last.

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  6. Oh I don’t know – I still enjoy a bit of country every now & then – especially whatsername lang – can’t think of he initials right now. Sure you know who I mean.

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