Any of you remember these radio stations? AND some questions about A.M and F.M.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hkruss, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

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    Don't know what prompted me to think about this. Funny, how I can hardly remember what I wore yesterday, but I can think of specific memories from decades ago! Weird ain't it?
    No great story here, just some memories of a couple of radio stations from when I was a kid. Guess I was wondering if any of you listened to the same one's back then.

    The first was KAAY, 1090 A.M. out of Little Rock Arkansas
    I remember in the late 60's or early 70's, when I was still a young 'un, my two brothers and I all shared a large bedroom. When we went to bed, they would always turn on the radio to this station.
    At the time, I lived in south Mississippi, so I thought it odd that we could pick up this A.M. station from so far away. Anyway, there was this late night program they did called 'Bleaker Street'. It was kind of eerie, lying there in the dark listening late at night. They played a lot of weird sound effects which always scared the crap out of me, since I was so young then. Any one else remember this station?

    I can't remember the call letters of the other station I was thinking of, but I know it was also an A.M. station out of Tennessee. Maybe out of Knoxville or Nashville. All I can remember about it was some DJ called Spiderman, and again, it was one of those stations we could only pick up at night. This was around 1976 or 77. Anybody know what station this was?

    Maybe some of you guys who grew up in the South will remember these.

    I would like to ask a question or two of any of you who know about radio stations.

    How is it we could pick up these A.M. stations that were hundreds of miles away, and only at night? Aren't A.M. signals generally pretty weak?
    Why can't F.M. signals travel as far?



    .
  2. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    No expert but I think at night the propagation increases and those stations also used to increase their power (a lot) to carry distances. There was one station just across the border at Laredo that ran something like 100,000 watts at night, and you could pick it up all over the southwest.

    I remember travelling all over the south and central US at night, listening to Dolly Holiday and Holiday Inn Nighttime, think it was from about 12 midnight to 6 AM. Nice music to listen to.
  3. Millwright

    Millwright Active Member

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    Lots of these 50KW a.m. stations exit(ed), when a.m. was the sine qua non of the radio world ! Skip put them out to audiences across the nation ! Kinda makes one wonder why the owners of these licenses aren't supporting the "digital a.m. format" big time ! [F.M. quality audio with more range/coverage.] >MW
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    suppose I got the lodge on my mind still. I read the thread title and swore I saw A.F. and A.M.
  5. bamajoey

    bamajoey Active Member

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    I can remember KAAY in Little Rock, WLS in Chicago that we listened to at night. We could also pick up The Big Bam (don't remember the letters) in Montgomery Alabama which was 150 miles away, and the station in Del Rio Texas. All of these from NW Florida

    As best I remember, they broadcasted at 100KW. All of these were AM.
  6. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    Takes me back to my old amateur radio days in the 1960s when I was a teenager, as a general rule the lower the frequency the farther it travels, that goes for both AM (lower) and FM (much higher).

    And TV, remember VHF channels 2-13 (very high frequency) which could go 150 miles and way above that the UHF (ultra high frequency) used primarily in cities channels 14-70s.

    I remember in NE Ohio from ~1964-1967 listening late at night to my little 8 transistor radio with a plug in power supply to save batteries listening to WGN in Chicago with Art Roberts and WBZ in Boston. Almost 50 years ago!

    In "ham" radio with my first Heathkit DX-60 kit (maybe 60-90 watts?) working all over the world mainly with homemade antennas. Still have my Swan 350 in my mom's basement with a bunch of other stuff.

    And I'm 61 now, wow.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  7. mranum

    mranum Member

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    I can remember when I was 7 or 8, lying in bed with the little transistor radio playing with the tuner until I could get the Grand Ole Opry. That was so cool, and used to be able to pick up a station from Cincinnati I think it was. I could barely pick up the local stations during the day but at night it really opened up. :)

    Life was so much simpler then.
  8. Brass Tacks

    Brass Tacks New Member

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    Casper Wyoming in the 60s shut down the AM (no FM in town) at sundown. If I placed my transistor in just the right place I could pick up KOMA out of Oklahoma City. Once we moved to NW Arkansas KOMA couldn't be picked up but WLS out of Chicago came in loud and clear.

    Sunday, SUNDAY SUNDAY.....US 30 Dragstrip !! Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen take on Don "the Snake" Prudhomme......BE THERE !!!
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    The one out of Tennessee might be WSM in Nashville, was it a country station? I was there in the 70's but I don't remember the DJ you mentioned.

    mranum, the one you listened to the grand ole opry on was definitely WSM!

    I remember listening to WLS out of Chicago, too, Wolfman Jack immediately comes to mind. A lot of old memories here when thinking about old radio stations.
  10. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    OH GOD Wolfman Jack was syndicated all over everywhere.

    And he did the "Midnight Special" on TV, those were classics!!

    .....just remembered, those stations like Art Roberts on WLS used to compete to try to get 17, 18, 19, 20....songs per hour at night, never figured out how back then, later I found they just sped up the turntables (for you young kids those were record players).
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  11. carver

    carver Moderator

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    You know it was the music that I remember most. WLS/Chicago, and the Wolf Man will never be forgot as long as some of us are alive. I have SiriusXM and I still listen the music from the 50's!
  12. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
  13. jstgsn

    jstgsn Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I can't remember most of the 60s. Course I was in high school and then college then. Some nights I have memories of doing dumb stuff in college. Most of it started with me saying "Here, hold my beer and watch this." Mostly I listened to my "8-tracks"
  14. fuzebox40

    fuzebox40 Active Member

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    I think 8 tracks were better than their succesor (cassete tapes) but they filled up half the car!
    Or maybe I'm just old fashioned. :confused:
  15. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

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    No, I remember them playing top 40 type stuff.
    This was definitely be mid 70's era.

    Guess my nostalgia means I'm truly am getting old!
  16. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Ya'll mentioned 8 track tapes. Do any of you remember 2 track tapes.

    When I graduated from High School my parents bought me a new 1969 VW beetle that had a 2 track tape player. The tapes looked kinda like 8 track but were smaller than cassettes.

    BTW, I wanted a 69 Chevelle for graduation but alas, I took the VW and was happy!!
  17. keokeboy

    keokeboy Member

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    KMVI 55am on the dial early 50's wailuku maui
  18. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I remember as a kid I took the old house ant and wiring it to my am ant wire to see if I could get more stations. I put it up on top of the garage and would sit in the garage late into the night in the summer listening to art bell from a station half way across the USA. One night I picked up a few stations from Japan or china. Then another night I was getting European stations I think.
  19. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    I was a big electrical buff BUT do not remember 2 track, so I looked it up:

    .......First developed by German audio engineers ca. 1943, 2-track recording was rapidly adopted for modern music in the 1950s because it enabled signals from two or more separate microphones to be recorded simultaneously, enabling stereophonic recordings to be made and edited conveniently. (The first stereo recordings, on disks, had been made in the 1930s, but were never issued commercially.) Stereo (either true, two-microphone stereo or multimixed) quickly became the norm for commercial classical recordings and radio broadcasts, although many pop music and jazz recordings continued to be issued in monophonic sound until the mid-1960s.

    Much of the credit for the development of multitrack recording goes to guitarist, composer and technician Les Paul, who also helped design the famous electric guitar that bears his name. His experiments with tapes and recorders in the early 1950s led him to order the first custom-built eight-track recorder from Ampex, and his pioneering recordings with his then wife, singer Mary Ford, were the first to make use of the technique of multitracking to record separate elements of a musical piece asynchronously — that is, separate elements could be recorded at different times. Paul's technique enabled him to listen to the tracks he had already taped and record new parts in time alongside them.

    Multitrack recording was immediately taken up in a limited way by Ampex, who soon produced a commercial 3-track recorder. These proved extremely useful for popular music, since they enabled backing music to be recorded on two tracks (either to allow the overdubbing of separate parts, or to create a full stereo backing track) while the third track was reserved for the lead vocalist. Three-track recorders remained in widespread commercial use until the mid-1960s and many famous pop recordings — including many of Phil Spector's so-called "Wall of Sound" productions and early Motown hits — were taped on Ampex 3-track recorders.

    The next important development was 4-track recording. The advent of this improved system gave recording engineers and musicians vastly greater flexibility for recording and overdubbing, and 4-track was the studio standard for most of the later 1960s.........
  20. geds

    geds New Member

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    Oh - I thought I was so cool with my 8-track - even tho I hated it changing tracks in the middle of a song! I just knew cassettes would be the end all to solve that problem and I quickly started recording all of my albums to play in the car. I got to be quite an art to balance the sides to eliminate as much dead time as possible!

    I trashed all of my 8 track tapes years ago. Kept all my cassettes until recently.
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