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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki AM Radio (not _talk_, therefore not politics...)
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AM Radio (not _talk_, therefore not politics...)
Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2961
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-03-26 10:22 am   Permalink

i stumbled upon an odd little "twilight-zone"-esque thing last week.

i've been remodeling our downstairs bathroom, and in moving out the cd-boombox, i found myself without any background noise while i was shaving. so i grabbed a vintage white plastic "tube radio" that i inherited from gramps awhile back and plugged it in. after it warmed up i found out that (of course) it only played AM stations. blergh. so i fiddled the yellowing translucent 4" diameter dial, and of course got all kinds of talk, yada yada yada. personally hearing someone talk out their opinion is not my idea of relaxing (please let's not discuss talk radio in this thread thx ) but!

i came to some music! and it was freakin all from 1950 to 1970, pushing into the late herb alpert "smooth jazz" but mostly square in there with frank sinatra and a bit of abba-esque. it was called "the music of your life" and i enjoyed it immensely. now is this only a local phenomenon or have people realized that AM can be for music??? i only relate because it was so cool to hear this music broadcasting from decades ago, right to my lil tube radio.

over and out, j$
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Tiki Royale
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Joined: Dec 06, 2002
Posts: 891
From: The Aloha Room in Beautiful Belmont, CA!
Posted: 2004-03-26 10:48 am   Permalink

Hey J$,
It seems that you have stumbled onto "Oldies"radio. There's several stations out here on NorCal that play that format. Usually they can be heard in the thrifts and antique stores as background music.
Man, speaking of AM radios... Back in my first year in college me and a couple of buddies scraped up $600 and bought a 1970 Dodge van. You know the c=kind that all the bad guys drove on CHiPs. Anyway, we got the van so we could drive down to Baja for a spring break surf adventure. Needless to say, the van only had an AM radio which turned out to be great because when driving down the California coast, once you find a decent Am station, you can hang on to it for quite a while. Man that was fun.
I digress...
Aloha,


 
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-03-26 10:51 am   Permalink

I have a few of those old white, blue or wood AM radios from 30s to 50s, and when I paint, that's all I listen to. Those good old stations play some cool stuff - Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Frank (of course), Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, Al Hirt - I've even heard Martin Denny a few times on the local AM station. Of course, I have to suffer through a Carpenters or Barry Manilow song occasionally, but hey, you can't have everything perfect! During certain times of the day or during certain activities (like painting), I can't imagine being without the old AM playing in the background.
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2004-03-26 10:51 am   Permalink

Great find for that AM dial!
Here in LA we have the "Fabulous 570" AM that plays american standards (mel torme, sinatra, dean martin, etc) mixed with some floyd Cramer and the like every now and then. It's a great station if you can wade through their commercials geared towards octegenarians (foot fungus, burial plots, etc).
As far as commercial radio is concerned, it's pretty good!
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-03-26 12:06 pm   Permalink

Congrats on your AM discovery! In the Bay Area we have KABL 960 AM. Similar to 570 AM in L.A., they play mostly pop standards, but sometimes they play something awful like Barry Manilow. Occasionally I have even heard Martin Denny!

A few years ago they dumped the primarily 40s-60s music format and started to play mostly crap from the 70s to now, such as Manilow, Streisand, Diane Kral, etc. There was such a hue and cry from their loyal fans that they went back to the original format by popular demand! How often does that happen?


 
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woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2604
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2004-03-26 12:29 pm   Permalink

I grew up listening to AM 'cause I wasn't into the "hard rock" the FM stations were playing in those years. (When I was a kid I thought Pink Floyd was hard rock.) I still like the sound of music over AM, the flat mono, fuzz, and crackle.
In Seattle we have 880 AM KIXI which plays the old standards. Unfortunately their mix runs to anything smooth and oooh-y and they play way too much Barry Manilow, Anne Murray, Carpenters, Bread, Olivia Newton John and similar drool. (For the record: I actually like the Carpenters and Bread...But only occasionally, and never with Frank or Dean.) KIXI also play modern artists doing classics, such as Royal Crown Revue and Better Midler (not so bad if I don't have to watch her perform).

We also have Classic Country 1090 which plays, yes, classic country. Sadly their "classic" picks head well into the early 90's so there's Garth and Judds to wade through (on the other hand the modern mainstream country makes Garth and the Judds sound classic). Country music sounds best on AM, especially when stuck at a railroad crossing counting box cars going by.

In central Washington there used to be an AM station that had an elevator music format. Riding across the state on a Greyhound bus listening to their broadcast was very surreal.


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-03-26 12:46 pm   Permalink

I generally hate typical oldies radio because they play the same 100 songs over and over ("Good Vibrations", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Stand By Me", etc.).

But, in San Diego in the late 80s and early 90s there was an amazing oldies station on AM. I can't remember the call letters or frequency, but they played anything from the fifties and early 60s if it was in the top 40. I heard so much 50s group vocal and R&B that I had never heard. It was the next best thing to the Huggie Boy show I remember hearing on AM at night in the early 80s (is Huggie Boy still on the air?). I sure wish we had a station like that here now.


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2961
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-03-26 12:54 pm   Permalink

yeah, that was the geat thing about the AM oldies, it wasn't the mass produced FM oldies that plays 'american pie' avery hour on the hour. no disrespect to mr. mclean. the AM station is literally like broadcasting from the era(s), no top ten sort of hooey.

i'm psyched to find other AM listeners on TC! why am i not surprized - ?

$
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-03-26 1:03 pm   Permalink

While in Palm Springs, check out the "Beautiful Music" format of KWXY 1340 AM / 98.5 FM.

 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-03-26 1:13 pm   Permalink

To answer my own question, I did a bit of online research and found out that Dick "Huggie Boy" Hugg was a DJ starting in the 1950s in L.A. and was one of the first DJs to play R&B and rock'n'roll in the area. Later, he played on a Mexican station, which is when I heard him on late night radio in the 80s. Then, he returned to L.A. radio, playing on oldies station KRLA until 1998, when the station shut down. Here's the full story:

http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/5515/krla.html

When "Huggy Boy left the building" AM radio died.


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woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2604
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2004-03-26 1:16 pm   Permalink

thejab writed:

"I generally hate typical oldies radio because they play the same 100 songs over and over ("Good Vibrations", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Stand By Me", etc.)."

I almost include the exact gripe in my above post. There's hundreds of pop tunes from the 40's through the 60's that never get played. It's the same Rolling Beatles Boys and The Pips cuts over and over. I don't listen to typical oldies stations, but the music is inescapable as oldies have become the standard background music in department stores, malls, restaurants and bars (Oldies music is the one great flaw of the Alibi in Portland, OR). What's extra fun fun fun about oldies as background is eveyrone knows the words! So while shopping in Ross or Safeway or Bargain Burt's Bolt Bin I'm surrounded by glassy eyed shoppers humming or singing along with the sound system, and unfortuantely they're not playing Mitch Miller and the Gang.


 
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Tiki Chris
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2004-03-26 1:34 pm   Permalink

AM's great (as is the topic!) here in jersey too!

there's one station that has a really fun "lunch w/ sinatra" show during the week.

there's a russian pop music station that's pretty funky too.


 
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velveteenlounge
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 324
From: Velveteen Lounge, NY
Posted: 2004-03-26 2:32 pm   Permalink

Tiki Chris, where is the great AM station in Jersey (on the dial, I mean)? I'm always looking for non-horrific radio stations I can actually receive here in the Hudson Valley of New York.

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-03-26 6:01 pm   Permalink

Right on! I have been an AM only guy for about a decade. There used to be a couple of "oldies" stations with live Djs you could call up and make requests to. GREAT! It's now one station that's a syndication thing. But it's still great.

I generally think I am likely the youngest listener out there.

I also think to myself, in 10 years, this will be gone. The age group that is still listening will be too small to notice. We lost the FM station about 5 years ago, and then it's AM part died. It's a dying time. Listen while you can!

I still have WLIL which plays old country with real Djs since the 50s and they may contimue forever.

Live and love th AM music while you can. It will not last long...
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Atomic Cocktail
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Joined: Jun 25, 2002
Posts: 925
From: Land O' The Next Big One-L.A.
Posted: 2004-03-26 6:14 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-03-26 12:46, thejab wrote:
I generally hate typical oldies radio because they play the same 100 songs over and over ("Good Vibrations", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Stand By Me", etc.).



UGGHH! I want to shoot myself in the head when I come across those stations! Sometimes I think their play-lists are LESS than 100 songs (just as bad as top 40 FM!)

Here in Southern California we also have 1260 AM; a similar format to 570 AM (but with less commercials). One problem with both stations is the high amount of what I like to call "Screeching Female Singers" they seem to frequently play.

One cool feature about 1260 is the old and new radio dramas they play in the evening(Gunsmoke, Twilight Zone, the Saint with Vincent Price, etc.)

AM radio always brings up memories of my Mom's aqua and gold Zenith playing easy listen favorites while she did housework.


 
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