Last night was a particularly poor night for television……..well, maybe I’d better explain……I do live somewhat away from civilization….at least most civilized people think so. In fact, I get the feeling, that we live in the part of the county, that would be considered the “wrong side of the tracks” if you lived in town, on the wrong side of the tracks……. You see, we really only live about 10-12 miles from the center of the county seat, college town…but in a part of the county no one wants to claim except when property tax time comes around…..
The local (National/Coast-to-Coast) cable company, a cable company that’s been in the area for over 30 years, whose name is known from New York to California, can’t seem to find our road….hence no 144 cable channels…..NOR, even with special state legislation requested by a 3-letter national telephone company for incentives to provide Internet-phone line DSL and digital TV or better communications, to rural areas, our area is so rural it must be considered a DMZ type waste land…..
So, we must rely upon “over-the-air” antenna type television reception….so it was, last evening, I was “surfing” the few channels received in the hinter land, when I surfed to the local PBS-Pledge Night programming….. A re-telecast of a Pittsburgh performance of BEE BOP era singers…. That bought me back…………..back to the days of AM Radio…..
Historical Notes-1. Many of the uninitiated may my not remember that AM (Amplitude Modulation) radio broadcast on 535 to 1700 kz (I won’t define Kilohertz here-please Google it), no one in real life knew anything else. 2. In the early days of AM radio, certain frequencies were designated “Clear Channel”, which meant no other station could use that frequency and I don’t believe Clear Channel stations were required to drop their power at dusk. 3. Clear Channel stations broadcasting at night could be heard coast to coast, two come to mind, WLS-Chicago and WSM-Nashville.
So, it was in 1960 and 61, I could lay in bed, and listen to WLS, playing Bee Bop all night, (as long as the volume was low enough that my parents didn’t know!!!) Ahhhh, the King DJ of early rock and roll at WLS, Dick Biondi. Yes, if he was feeling good, and it was good night———he’d sing his “On top of a pizza,…..all covered with cheese…………I saw my first meat ball…………….till somebody sneezed……….”
I remember a night he was pulled off the air….there was a song (the title now escapes me) that was forbidden from the air waves—-he played it, and got fired… I hear he was fire 45 times at various stations….but also rehired….
For a special treat on AM radio…. I give you Dick Biondi, you can hear him today. Cut and paste the url below…