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Old 10-25-2010, 11:03 PM   #1
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WATCHING the RADIO

When I was a kid,
and other boring stuff.
Back in 47 I think it was, my dad bought mom a radio for Christmas. Now understand that this was no ordernary radio, it was a
CONSOLE RADIO WITH ATTACHED 78 RPM RECORD PLAYER AND AN OVERSEAS BAND WITH PUSH BUTTONS.....
Dad got mom out of the house and two of my uncles carried it up the steps on the front porch and sat it in the living room and covered it with a quilt. Mom and dad came back in and mom seen the quilt with the red bow on top and started to cry. She slid the quilt off the radio and cried some more and gave dad a big hug and thanked him. This is what she had been wanting for a long time.
This was a ''combination radio'' with ''overseas band'' with six push buttons that you could pre set stations you liked to listen to. This thing also had a ''AUTOMATIC 78 R.P.M. Record player'' and you could stack ten records on the spindle and it would automatically drop and play the records and when the last one played, it turned its self off. God the wonders of the engineering back then.


The console was about four feet long and two feet thick and it had a ''tip up top'' It had a 12 inch speaker in the front covered with cloth and it had a imitation gold grill over the cloth. Mom said it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. All the wood was a walnut veneer and shined like new money.


Back then 78 records were four for a dollar at Sears and dad had bough her a nice stack of records. Mom started crying again.....
special note here........ We already had a ''kitchen radio'' a little radio about the size of a lunch box made from Bakelite plastic and it was cracked in several places and held together with scotch tape. You had to turn it on with a pair of pliers and change the stations the same way. The ''dial'' had long since been lost.


I'll tell you about the gifts that year because I think that was the year that ''Santa'' brought me the Lionel train but that is another story for later.


This was a wonderful Christmas and mom and dad would play records and dance in the living room and sometimes mom would sit and polish the radio and sometimes she would ''cry for happy''........
Back then you ''watched'' the radio. Yep, you ''watched the radio'' while your favorite program was on the air. Radio programs were listed in the news paper just like TV listings are now. For those of you that remember there was ….....
OUR MISS BROOKS.......
AMOS AND ANDY.... (two white guys)
THE CREAKING DOOR (Boras Carloff)
THE FAT MAN..... a detective show
GANG BUSTERS..... a cops show
THE HIT PARADE … popular music …
BIG JOHN AND SPARKIE … .kiddie show on Saturday morning...
THE LONE RANGER........ you know....
SGT. PRESTON AND YUKON KING. A mountie and his dog
SKY KING........ another adventure kiddie show
LUMB AND ABNER..... comedy
WCKY, CINCINATTI ONE ,,,,,, OHIO.......
THE GRAND OLE OPARY FROM NASHVILLE TENESEA.....

and on Sunday, The Greatest Story Ever Told. Wonderful show.....
There were tons more but you get the idea. The programs were on a regular schedule and mom sat the buttons for the programs she liked.
In the winter time especially we would listen to the radio. In the fall of the year we would walk the woods and pick up hickory nuts. Often time we would have several gunny sacks full and dad would crack the on the flat iron with his carpenters hammer. We would put a double hand full off cracked nuts in a large paper sack and shake them. This would go a long way at dislodging the goodies and the rest we would pick out with a flattened 8d nail. Life was good back then. We were a family with me and mom and dad and Grannie Cecil and my uncle Harry all living in a 3 bedroom house with no running water, central heating, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, storm windows, storm doors and a lot more other ''THINGS'' but we had a family and we had good food that mom ''canned''' in the fall and good cured meet that we kept in the small room by the wood shed. One thing our house did have was LOVE. My Dad loved my Mom and there was great harmony in our house. In material things we had actually very little but we considered ourselves rich beyond counting to have our family. Sorry, I got off the radio story.


We gathered around the radio usually after supper. The beauty of a radio is that you have to use your mind. You make the pictures as you listen to the stories. Personally I think the following generations that had television missed out a lot on ''mental development'' because the TV provided the pictures as well as the sound.


We sat in front of the radio, beside the fireplace and roasted marsh mellows and made pop corn over the open fire. We felt the warmth of the fire and the warm love of our family. I remember very well that lots of times Uncle Harry would not be home or he was already in bed, Granny would sit and knit and listen and mom would corsage also. Dad would sometimes read the paper and smoke his Camel ciggie and listen at the same time. Sometimes we would sit up till ten o'clock and listen to the ''Creaking Door '' with Boreas Karlough and I would be scared to go to bed in the dark room. Dad would come in and assure me that all the ''haunts and boogers'' were scared out of the room and it was safe for me to go to bed......


The old radio served us well for many years until dad finally bought us a 17 inch Motorola Television for $475.oo which was about a months wages back then. He and mom saved up the money and bought it at Rose Radio and TV store.


The days of watching the radio are gone now. Never again will we hear the programs that inspired our minds to ''start working''.... The programs that inspired our imagination and made us develop ''muscles in our minds'' so that we could make our generation the smartest, most developed, chance takers the world has ever seen.


Enough for now from a old man remembering when he was a boy of about seven years sitting around watching a radio with his family....
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:44 PM   #2
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Was that old Radio a Philco by chance? I missed my chance to snag one that needed some cabinet restoration for $50 a long time ago. Had all the old Police bands on the dial.

Let's see you listed:
OUR MISS BROOKS.......
AMOS AND ANDY.... (two white guys)
THE CREAKING DOOR (Boras Carloff)
THE FAT MAN..... a detective show
GANG BUSTERS..... a cops show
THE HIT PARADE … popular music …
BIG JOHN AND SPARKIE … .kiddie show on Saturday morning...
THE LONE RANGER........ you know....
SGT. PRESTON AND YUKON KING. A mountie and his dog
SKY KING........ another adventure kiddie show
LUMB AND ABNER..... comedy
WCKY, CINCINATTI ONE ,,,,,, OHIO.......
THE GRAND OLE OPARY FROM NASHVILLE TENESEA.....

So, I'll add my other favorites as best as I can remember them. Mind you, all I can do is listen to the old recordings now, some from old AM rebroadcasters that have the old station tapes and play the days back in full as it happened so long ago that I've captured on an old 60s TEAC reel-to-reel recorder that's not working any longer (needs a new drive belt). Their time of broadcast date back to my father's childhood.


The Great Gildersleeve (A character originally from Fibber McGee & Molly, who went on to become his own show)
Fiber McGee & Molly
Sherlock Holmes (With Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce)
Nightbeat
Dimension X (Also known as X Minus 1)
Superman
Gunsmoke
The Shadow
The Roy Rogers Show with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Lights.... OUT!
Burns & Allen
Let's Dance!
G.I Jive (That one was hard to find, not alot of the Armed Forces Radio Network stuff made it back in a recorded form to the states)
You Bet your Life! With Groucho Marx
The Artie Shaw Show (I'm not certain if I'm remembering that right, its been a few years)
The Life of Riley (I can't remember if this line came from that, "Henrrryyy!! Henry Aldrich! Coming Mother!", or if it was its own show).
The Jack Benny Show (I will forever love Rochester )

There's more, but I don't have my notebook with me that I wrote down all the inventory of my library in that now sits quietly in storage waiting for me to settle into a home again and revisit all those shows I too loved when I was younger, even if my youth was decades after the time these shows came from.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:48 AM   #3
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Yep Redneck I remember most of yours also. I think it is a real shame that there is not a way that these can be heard again. I have noticed at Cracker Barrel that they have some on CD disks and I guess they are the original shows..... Some time ago Willa bought me copies of the original ''Amos and Andy'' shows that came on early black and white TV. These were really good and I know the ''script'' to most of them when we watch them. We take them on the road with us when we take a long trip. I think we have all the shows that they ever made. With respect to all and not being ''demeaning'' to anyone I feel those old shows were much better than a lot of the ''stuff'' that is being put out now as entertainment. This is just my opinion and I respect all others that may not agree with me. I personally think that if TV would bring back a lot of the early shows that they experimented with back then that they would be a big hit ...

Tks for your input and I just wonder how many will remember
''WATCHING THE RADIO'' .......

be safe my friend
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:49 AM   #4
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"The days of watching the radio are gone now. Never again will we hear the programs that inspired our minds to ''start working''.... The programs that inspired our imagination and made us develop ''muscles in our minds'' so that we could make our generation the smartest, most developed, chance takers the world has ever seen. "

I fear the word imagination is fast falling out of use. I recall most of those shows and have managed to find MP3's of a few episodes. Wonderful listening!

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Old 10-26-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
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Life of Riley, "What a revolting developement this turned out to be."
Henry Aldrich, a show of it's own.

If you would like to listen to those old radio shows there is,R U Sitting Comfortably .com it does cost something but I don't know how much. There is also Old Time Radio.Net.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:44 PM   #7
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Here's where I've been listening to them lately. These are streaming radio sites, some of which are actual broadcast stations that have an internet stream in addition to their normal broadcast.

Old Time Radio Radio Stations - Free Internet Radio
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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I too remember "watching the radio". We spent almost every evening listening to the same shows. That period of time was the greatest because we were a family. We enjoyed family meals and parties and going to church on Sundays. We never had to lock our doors or be afraid somebody would do us harm. I had a chance to purchase my grandparents Philco radio which was both AC and Battery operated. It too has the short wave band. The ac part still works but haven't plugged it in for many years. Too bad all of those good times have changed so much.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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God does that make me feel old we never had the big console but we did have a wind up phono that played one record at a time much simpler time then. in some ways I miss it but then I don't miss the running water in the kitchen only if you pumped hard enough or going out to the coal shed and getting coal in the winter and sure don't miss the old 2 holer in the back (yes we were rich we had a 2 holer )
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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Someone asked the ''name brand'' of the console and I think it was a Philco but I would not bet my lunch money on that answer. I still remember the first new years eve broadcast from New York. We all stayed up till mid nite and watched the radio as the new year came in. I was really disappointed because it was just like the ''old year''......... I couldnt see any difference. To celebrate the ''new year'' dad fired the shotgun out the front door and shot a big rotten limb off the maple tree that fell on his 37 Chevy, Special Delux and cracked the drivers side windshield. Mother called him stupid and I giggled low.......
It was fun being a little boy back then ......
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seajay View Post
Someone asked the ''name brand'' of the console and I think it was a Philco but I would not bet my lunch money on that answer. I still remember the first new years eve broadcast from New York. We all stayed up till mid nite and watched the radio as the new year came in. I was really disappointed because it was just like the ''old year''......... I couldnt see any difference. To celebrate the ''new year'' dad fired the shotgun out the front door and shot a big rotten limb off the maple tree that fell on his 37 Chevy, Special Delux and cracked the drivers side windshield. Mother called him stupid and I giggled low.......
It was fun being a little boy back then ......
It was me, the description matched three radio's in my head. A Philco, a Zenith, and a Thomas.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #12
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I grew up in central Texas and we "watched the radio" a lot. In addition to the old shows mentioned, there was The Grand Old Opry and The Louisiana Hay Ride. We did not get a TV until we moved to Corpus Christi. The only station we could get was KGUL in Galveston and it was on the air for a few hours each day. We would sit and watch the Test Pattern and wait for the shows to come on the air. It seems that the antenna was high enough to touch the moon.

This was before KPRC, channel 2 was on the air in Houston.

Ken
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:49 AM   #13
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We were the second house in a big neighborhood to get a television. Mom and dad saved up and bought us a 17 inch Motorola, the largest made back then. It would take a good three to five minutes for it to ''warm up'' and the tubes in the back would almost heat a small room. In the summer time dad would drag it out on the front porch and the whole neighborhood would gather round to watch the Gilette Cavalcade of Sports. That was the boxing matches with Ezzard Charles, Rockie Marcina, and lots of top names back then.. Folks would bring kitchen chairs and our front yard would be full of people like a ''walk in movie''. The antenna was wired to the chimney and when we got two TV broadcast stations dad would climb the ladder to the roof and go up and ''point'' the antenna toward Greensboro or Winston for best reception. He would yell down the chimnie and we would communicate to him ''Left.........Left......STOP...No right a little ......No back left'' until we got the antenna pointed for the best reception. He finally put marks on the staff and the chimnie for easier pointing. Dad would make all the ''adjustments'' using the test pattern in the morning. At first he got the people to have big heads and very small bodies like Martians...... After a few years something went wrong with the volume button. You had to ''hold it down with your finger to get it to play loud''. We tied a string to it and tied a shoe to the string. This worked well for a while but we needed more weight so we put a Pepsi bottle in the shoe and when we needed more weight we put sand in the Pepsi bottle. Later on we put water in the sand in the shoe in the Pepsi bottle that was in the shoe that was tied to the volume control. The complete mess looked like some sort of sacrificial offering to the television God. When we tied half a brick to the shoe the guts finally fell out of the volume control and dad had to call in a TV man to fix it. (times were hard back then)

All from the memory of a little boy of about twelve with the first TV with a shoe and a Pepsi bottle full of sand and water with a half of a brick tied to the bottom of the shoe.

God bless our vets ..... nuff said for now ....
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #14
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I sill watch the radio and most of the mentiond shows on XM internet radio channel. They play them 24/7. I love Dragnet, Have Gun, Will Travel, and Gunsmoke. They are mainly from the 40's and 50's and sometimes, I can even remember how the story turns out. How knows what evil lurks in the heart of men, The Shadow Knows.
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