I'm old, but not so old that I remember the radio's Golden Age. For me, The Lone Ranger and Tarzan were TV shows, not radio programs. But I did grow up with Dr. Demento and his Monty Python and P.D.Q. Bach soundbites. I also used to love listening to all that groovy 70's disco on a little transistor am radio I had that was built into a toy boat. The summers always meant baseball, especially when the games went on after my bedtime. I'd fall asleep listening to the majestic tones of Harry Kalas calling a Mike Schmidt homerun or a Steve Carlton 1-hitter.
Of course, the radio was also good for tuning into school closing information in the winter when a good-sized snowstorm came rolling into our small suburb. "645, 646, both closed, 647 opening two hours late, 648, 649, 650, all closed," some newscaster would rattled off. When and if your number was called, it was nothing short of euphoria!
Today, I listen mostly to classical music on public radio or NPR because I don't have satellite radio and can't stand the frequent commercials on the pop and rock stations. Yes, I own and love my iPod, and, yes, it does plug into the AUX input of my car, but for some reason I still love the radio.
Recently I was in a meeting with Charles Bronfman, one of the wealthiest men in Canada and a great philanthropist. He was relating a story at one point about a teenager he met who said she didn't understand the point of the radio. "Why would I want someone else to pick my playlist?" she asked Bronfman.
It's a very interesting question, and one that, perhaps, signals the impending doom of the radio. I don't know: what do you all think? Will the iPod and its ilk kill music on the radio? What's so good about the radio that you think it'll always be with us? What's your favorite thing to listen to on the radio... Click and Clack, anyone?