On the Radio


Not too long ago, I mentioned I found my old G.E. 6 transistor AM radio.  I could hold it in my hand, and listen to Dave Maynard on WBZ.  And I knew that Dave Maynard was broadcasting from the WBZ radio studio on Soldiers Field Road in Boston.

Which brings me to the latest object of my digital affection.  Pandora Radio

All I know is that, on the advice of the digitally-hip young dudes at World Headquarters, I downloaded the Pandora app on my smartphone.  You pick the genre or the artist, and it creates a radio station for you.  (For instance, ‘Beatles Radio’, or ‘Classic Pop Radio.’) 


When I plugged it into my car radio, I was stunned at the quality of the audio.  Clearer than FM, crisper than my iPod.  And I had the same result when I plugged it into my home stereo.   How?  Why?  Not a clue.  And it’s free, which ended a passing thought to subscribe to satellite radio. 

There are restrictions, which you can read about here, but this strikes me as a good deal if you have a smartphone with an unlimited data plan.   This is old news to those with their digital doctorates, but for us digital diaper dandies, it’s another “eureka moment.”

Still, as much as I enjoy this, I remain a child of radio and refuse to abandon what’s left of live, local programming.  Like Dave Maynard coming out of my little transistor radio, I know where Ray Dunaway and Joe D. are when I listen to them on WTIC, where Colin McEnroe is when he does his midday show on WNPR, and where Chaz and AJ are when they do their thing on ‘PLR.

As good as Pandora is, I don’t know where it is.  I don’t know who it is.  All I know is that it is.

It sounds great.   But it’s not local.

It has a Motown channel.  But it has no soul.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Digital World, It's all about me, Media, People and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to On the Radio

  1. I’ve been listening to Pandora for several years. This is one curve I’ve been ahead of. Even my Steve Jobian nephew Mark hadn’t heard of it when I told him about it last year. And he knows nearly everything, digitally speaking. Pandora IS great. I’ve learned of bands I never would know about. The National. Arcade Fire. To name 2. But be careful. It is free, but after you’ve listened for 40 hours in a month’s time, you have to start paying. You can’t leave it on all evening, every evening. I tend to listen maybe five hours a week. Then listen to CDs or the Serius radio we get on our TV.

    • Gerry says:

      Dear Dr. Digital,
      So far, I listen to it in the car when I get sick of hearing callers to WEEI (Boston sports talk) threaten to jump off the ledge. I’ve also plugged it into the home stereo on occassion, and it sounds fabulous. The 40 hour limit seems reasonable, but what they ask for a fee is within reason as well.

  2. Kathryn D. says:

    What a tremendous discovery!!!! I, too, am a child of live local radio, but Pandora sounds like a great idea!

  3. Kathryn D. says:

    Thank you, Gerry. I shall give it a try! 🙂

  4. Dr. Digital? What a coincidence; that my proctologist’s name.

  5. James says:

    Gerry – That is quite profound. You should be proud of yourself for that remark. 😉

    It is unfortunate that local radio has become an oxymoron, and that so much broadcasting is either syndicated or programmed beyond recognition. There was a time when good stations and good DJs had a distinctive sound that was instantly recognizable. Alas, no more.

    I remember being in Navy bootcamp at the Great Lakes center outside of Chicago, when the only link to the ‘real life’ was listening to Dick Biondi on WLS on my illicit Hitachi portable radio. I sometimes think it kept me sane during that strange period of time.

    Several years later, you can imagine my surprise when on patrol in the Mekong delta I was tuning a radio and got a weak signal from WLS. It only lasted a few minutes, but Biondi’s voice assured me that the world still did exist. Real people, in a real place.

    I appreciate Sirius when I’m driving long distances. But I don’t hang on every word of the dj the way I used to when Biondi, or Bruce Morrow or even Lee Baby Sims (at your old alma mater) were behind the microphone.

  6. bob says:

    Well…weei has mikey adams and we all know about him…any one remember sandy beach?

  7. You hit it on the head Gerry…there are broadcasters and listeners out there that understand the real importance of LOCAL radio….it how we at http://robinhoodradio.com and WHDD exist!

    Keep listening folks…LOCAL>

    • Gerry says:

      And in an emergency…

    • Bob Porrazzo says:

      Marshall there are other locally owned stations in CT other than WHDD.

      WZBG 97.3 Litchfield…Susan St. James and husband Dick Ebersol run it

      WATR 1320 Waterbury…still run by the same family since 1934

      WQUN 1220 Hamden…Quinnipiac’s local commercial station.

      1420 WLIS Old Saybrook/1150 WMRD Middletown, both owned by Don DeCesare’s Crossroads Communications

      1350 WINY Putnam…Gary Osbrey runs that station.


      1490 WGCH Greenwich, though I consider them semi-local as they are the flagship of Business Talk Radio and Lifestyle Talk Radio, both of which are based in Greenwich.

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