Memories of Pop Radio | The Popjustice Forum

Memories of Pop Radio

Discussion in 'Comeback corner' started by Fluorocarbon, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. My bluetooth signal died in a snowstorm during rush hour the other night and killed my Spotify, and me in a traffic jam with no music isn't good for anybody. In desperation, I remembered I still had a trial of satellite radio that came with my new car lease. I switched on Hits 1 and was immediately caught off guard by a very familiar voice --- Tone E. Fly, formerly of Minneapolis' own KDWB-FM. I grew up listening to him and his slightly off-color, shock jock-lite antics that probably wouldn't, uh, fly in this day and age. I always had to turn him down or risk having my parents wondering what the hell I was listening to. (One especially memorable spot was when he tried to get a listener to change their name to "Genitalia" for free concert tickets. I was 8 years old and thought they were saying "Jenny Taylia" or something like that. I didn't know why Mr. Fly was snickering but figured it was naughty. Guess what I named one of my Barbies!)

    I ended up googling his name in a fit of nostalgia when I got home, which led me to a treasure trove of old KDWB broadcasts on (yes, good for other things than seeing what websites used to look like, as it turns out!). Here's a link to the "Top 101 Songs of 1996" countdown, which yours truly fondly remembers hearing live the first time around. Yes, there's more Hootie and the Blowfish than you probably want, but there's also a lot of PJ-friendly stuff and more vintage Eurodance than I remembered. It's wild hearing those ads too, mostly (defunct) local stuff, and far fewer of them than KDWB plays now. The station unfortunately isn't what it used to be --- besides ad overload it seems they only play about 15 songs on rotation. But they taught me to love pop, so credit where credit is due! 1997 is there too, if you dig this and want another taste of Twin Cities "pop life."

    I also found something even cooler while digging around: the last broadcast of extinct station WLOL, which was the main competitor to KDWB in the '80s. It's absolutely incredible, like an exploding supernova of '80s pop and Minneapolis kitsch ("from the toptoptoptoptop of the IDS Center!"). Literally 11 hours in heaven, and no I haven't finished it all yet. Not even close! Watch for that unusual mix of Information Society's "What's On Your Mind," heard at the end of #8.

    What are your pop radio memories?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    Eric Generic likes this.
  2. I love listening to old radio shows. I've done a lot of trading over the years but also now is a great source.

    I've got over 1000 Radio 1 UK Top 40 shows, including virtually every show Bruno Brookes and Mark Goodier ever did. Like a Now compilation, sticking one on is a great way of going back to a certain moment in your past and rakes up old memories. Listening to the chart show as a kid in the 90s was exciting because it was the best place to hear all the new releases, especially at that time there were usually more than 10 new entries in the top 40 every week so it was always fresh.

    I didn't much like listening to Radio 1 at other times because in the early 90s they still played a lot of oldies alongside new songs which was annoying, and then when they pretty much banned songs from pre-1990 they were starting to be too focused on guitar music.

    Our local stations again played too many old songs so I always wished I could get Capital FM which we were just outside the reception area for. Whenever we'd go on a car journey closer to London to see relatives or go shopping or whatever I'd always ask to re-tune to Capital and it always sounded so exciting and fresh. "London's number one hit music station" they used to call it.

    Anyway yeah get looking on Mixcloud - is a good place to start for UK shows.

    I've been listening to some American Top 40 and Rick Dees Top 40 shows on there too.
    Fluorocarbon likes this.
  3. Radio London would be on in the house during the day, so it would be the background to me getting ready for school, having breakfast etc. Then in the holidays, it would be in the background when my Mum was around. We'd also have the UK Top 40 rundown on Sunday evenings playing as we had tea, and I'd be doing homework. That's how I really got into pop music the way I did. Usually, in 1982/83, it would be Tommy Vance presenting, I wasn't aware of the Tuesday lunchtime chart reveal until 1984.

    I didn't actively listen to my own choice of radio until about 1984 either, if I was home sick from school (an increasingly common situation by then) I'd lay on the sofa and just listen to Peter Powell or Gary Davies' lunchtime slot. Steve Wright gave me a headache whether I was feeling ill or not!

    Then the after-school hours would be filled with either Bruno Brookes on R1 or, increasingly as 1985 and 1986 came along, to Capital Radio. The adverts annoyed me, but they played a better selection of music for my tastes.

    John Peel and Janice Long held no interest for me, but Richard Skinner at the weekends got me into some stuff I probably wouldn't have been exposed to...likewise Johnny Walker who took over the slot. Bedtime essential listening was Richard Allinson on Capital. He seemed to have very similar tastes to me. Then the grand master Paul Gambaccini on Saturday with the US Billboard charts, and Sundays with the Capital Radio Album Chart show, really shaped the way my musical preferences developed.
    Fluorocarbon likes this.
  4. @Fluorocarbon I'm about 40 songs in that KDWB 1996 countdown and it's pretty amazing. A lot of songs I'd never expect to hear on a U.S. show. I like how poppy it is! Even the R&B and rock songs they're playing are from the more commercial end so it's a perfect mix for me.
    Fluorocarbon likes this.
  5. Yeah, we were definitely living up to our "Little Sweden" reputation with all that europop!
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