I’m likely not the only person who got some of my first introductions to the exotic unknowns and oddities that awaited to be discovered outside my tiny microcosm through the radio disc jockeys I listened to as a child.
I fondly remember my first manual-dial transistor radio with a pull-out antenna. It was electrifying even without testing the 9-volt battery with my tongue. Hearing songs coming from different parts of the planet filled me with excitement. Listening to the local on-air personalities share news and interesting tidbits made me feel a little more worldly. Learning about the different artists allowed me to travel in my mind while I was alone in my room in small-town Oscoda.
There was something that seemed magical and innocent and maybe even a little bit dangerous about all the foreign terrain that was out there to be explored beyond my limited horizon at that point.
Listening to Detroit native Casey Kasem as he hosted his “American Top 40” song countdown had me mesmerized with new music and stories from far-off places. That little radio was a time- and space-traveling machine.
I had always been curious about who and what was on the other side of those radio waves. As an adult, I’m still just excited about how so many different details can come together and get blasted into the air, reach an antenna and bring an aural euphoria out of the speakers on the receiving end.
Many people make a radio station. An engineer to make sure the equipment is fully functioning all day, every day. A station manager leading a sales team to generate money to keep the station on air. The scheduler placing commercials. A program director who decides what is played on the station. And, of course, the ambassadors of your favorite radio stations: the on-air personalities. The amount of people-power that goes into keeping that music pumping is astounding.
All of that is why I am absolutely giddy about being invited to be the latest addition to Stacks 92.1 (WQTX-FM), which is where the photos on these pages were taken. After I learn to push the correct buttons and speak at the correct times, you’ll be able to hear me weekday afternoons.
In the meantime, visit the station’s website and introduce yourself to the people and the tools it takes to make the radio magic happen.
Did you know?
AM stands for amplitude modulation and FM stands for frequency modulation
With apps like Spotify, you may think radio is a dying medium. But there are plenty of reasons radio is still present.