Posted By RichC on March 25, 2019
I’ve mentioned my interest and teenage hobby of shortwave radio and follow through of amateur radio (Ham) years later, but left out nighttime “clear channel” AM band radio listening. Considering we lived on the shores of Lake Erie across the lake from Windsor, Ontario … one of those “clear channel” stations was the Canadian CKLW, which went through a legislative change requiring them to play 30% “CanCon” songs. Of course this helped Canadian music artist get airplay, but was partially to blame for a decline in the stations rating since they were at a competitive disadvantage to stations not having such government restrictions (my first lesson in free market capitalism vs big government socialism). Who knows if R. Dean Taylor’s (Canadian) Indiana Wants Me was helped by this kind of airplay?
|Indiana Wants Me – R. Dean Taylor | 1970|
A little more on “radio”
Think of “clear channel” listening as the poor man’s (or boy’s) radio hobby, since all that was needed was an AM radio (no special all-band gear was needed). Like most kids, I had access to a portable AM transistor radio and remember listening to music and MLB baseball on an AM radio in the 1960s, before building a Graymark shortwave kit (511). These 50,000 Watts stations could broadcast without interference for hundreds/thousands of miles on a clear night. I’d tune in a bunch of them and enjoyed “truck driver’s radio” many evenings.
After having just mixed results in using the young boy, questionably wrapped tuning coils with this tubed radio kit, Christmas brought a Zenith Transoceanic shortwave radio from my mom and dad … something my dad remembered having in his tank when servicing in the Korean War. It was a great radio and worked with a variety of antenna projects over my junior high school years and is still on my bookshelf today (I’m not sure, but it might still work?)