When I read the thread responses I started to lament the death of decent commercial radio. Even though I was too young to appreciate free-form when it was in it’s heyday…I have heard tapes of some great shows from the likes of Jonathan Schwartz, The Nightbird, Rosco, et al.
WFUV, in NYC (college radio) has a progressive format weekdays and personalities like Vin Scelsa do some great shows (Idiot’s Delight).
Your post reminded of a Song by a folk artist, Mike Agranoff, who metaphorically compares the death of radio with the dropping off the ball in Times Square on New Years Eve 1969. Here are the liner notes & lyrics…
When the broadcast room’s a living tomb of cracked acoustic tiles,
And you’re left alone with your microphone and your playlist and your dials,
And the hands upon the studio clock pass midnight, creep towards one…
Then it’s time to take the air once more; the graveyard shift’s begun.
The day shift and the engineers have all left hours ago.
You close the heavy soundproof door and set your board aglow.
Cue the first two records up; settle in your chair,
Uncap and flip the “transmit” switch, and you are on the air.
There’s magic in the radio, enchantment in the ether.
A power born of mind and brain, and yet a part of neither.
A power to be reckoned not in kilowatts or joules,
A means to let a single voice touch half a million souls…[Edited out middle 40 paragraphs and complete liner notes due to copyright rules followed on this Board-Czarcasm]
…There was magic in the air that night, enchantment in the ether.
A power born of craft and pride, yet so much more than either.
And all across the country sat the overnight hard core,
And shared the Sandman’s magic, till at twenty after four,
He stopped to say goodbye, as they were breaking down the door.
New Year’s Day dawned cold and grey with just a touch of sleet,
And many a jock by nine o’clock found himself on the street.
Me, I came off cheap. A reprimand was all I got.
But New Year’s Night, a new voice broadcast from the Sandman’s slot.
Since that night the radio’s become my occupation.
I’m now a big-shot D.J. at a major FM station.
But when the hours start to drag, and the night is going slow,
I cue up an album side, crank up my headphone stereo,
And tune into the Sandman… now on National Public Radio.
When the broadcast room’s a living tomb of cracked accoustic tiles,
And you’re left alone with your microphone, and your playlist, and your dials,
Though the airwaves seem a graveyard of lifeless whitened bone,
There’s always someone listening, and you’re really not alone.