When I was growing up, the radio was my best friend. No TVs, computors, cellphones, digicams, ipods and other fancy schmancy gizmos then. The radio was the one source I had of keeping up with the world outside my little world. Dad had just died and Mum was working hard to support her four daughters. The local school we now attended was hugely different from MH and since we'd all jumped two classes, schoolwork was a major headache. Specially the maths. Add to that, growing up pains and adolescent angst.
Shortwave radio was a magical escape from everyday hassles. Every evening after dinner, my sister and I would sit down to homework with the radio tuned to the Ivan and Eric Show on the SLBC. Their light banter sandwiched between music requests and top forty hits had us all agog. Later we discovered Radio Australia, VOA and the good old BBC. I grew particularly attached to the Beeb, never missing the pop music shows especially A Jolly Good Show with the irrepressible Noel Edmonds. Then I discovered Matthew on Music fronted by Brian Matthew who I thought had the most divinely deep voice. Matthew played mostly hard heavy rock (most of it what's known as classic rock today) and left a deep and lasting influence on me. Then there was Glenys Dickson who cheerily hosted Countdown on Radio Australia. There was also this obscure radio station called Super Rock KYOI my sister and I loved but couldn't understand because the dialogue was all in Japanese but they played the most terrific collection of rock classics we ever heard. Years later, after my sister married, she said she was once recollecting those old days with her husband and it turned out he and a friend of his were regular listeners to Super Rock KYOI too and had always thought they were the only ones around to know about it.
Just recently, we've been having FM radio via the local friendly neighbourhood AIR Aizawl, and I've been realising anew what fun radio is. It doesn't demand your complete attention like TV does and you can play it in the background while you do other things. Also I've been discovering that many bands who I cannot stand to watch are actually very listenable. Among them, the late Kurt Cobain and Nickleback. At least, without the distraction of their videos I can now appreciate why they've had had such success. What disappoints me though are the young radio jockeys. I don't know why they feel like they have to put on that very fake, exuberant sounding talk style, and some of the accents are so obviously put on, they make you cringe. Also their knowledge of the music they work with is so abysmally low it's very off putting. Quite clearly, these kids are products of a generation that grew up completely unaware of the joys of radio.