1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Radio Days

Barry Worrell - October 12, 2012

As far back as I can remember, most every house had a  radio. Be it a table, stand up floor model, or a radio phonograph combination. TV was added later to combinations, but this was before TV.

Mother always had a little GE AM radio in her bed room. Looked just like the one on the left. I can recall about three times she put me in her bed when I was really sick (mumps, measles, and strep throat) and couldn't go to school. That radio brought such comfort.

There were times when I wasn't playing with friends, or on a Sunday afternoon I listened to the radio simply for enjoyment.

I didn't have an assigned bedroom when we first moved in the apartment over the drug store, I slept on the sofa in the living room where we had a combination like the Philco on the right. Just the other day John McCurdy was talking about having the same model.

The rectangular door in front would open up and you would slide a 78 rpm recording and it would start automatically. We even took it up on the Fields farm and they had square dances. A couple of times I would "man" the phonograph until I fell asleep on a pile of roofing shingles.

By the time I was 14 I hade acquired, not only a bed room to myself, but a Sears AM table radio that sat by my bed and I listen to it mostly at night. It was my first introduction to Black R & B.  I couldn't find a picture of it, but I got this one, on the left, which resembles the one that Adel Cook (Feamster then) gave me that belonged to her mother. I'd always admired it and it had that big 12' speaker that put out a lot of bass, which I only heard at the movies and the juke box at the Snack Shack.

I also use the speaker in the cabinet as the left channel to my RCA phonograph after I converted it to stereo. Due to the small room arrangement I had to place it in the diagonally opposite corner from the phonograph. Not the best placement for good stereo, but if you would stand in the middle, a good bass note could put some pressure on your ears.

The reason I'm reminded of all this, for the first time in many years, I'm home with a bad cold, in my bed listening to my radio. I just returned from Maryland where we attended my grandson's wedding and both Linda and I caught cold. I think it's the first one I've had in about 8 years.

Going back to bed, when you have a bad cold or you're just plain miserable, flooded my mind with the "good" memories of being sick. I was reminded of the 100s of radio programs that we listened to before Television. You had to use your imagination then, and I think it made it great entertainment.

Now it's just music, news, sports, weather or talk, and that's not bad. However, you don't hear Red Skelton, Our Miss Brooks, Inner Sanctum, Gunsmoke, or any westerns, or any drama on the radio and more, and that's too bad. It was great entertainment, and it was good medicine for the bed ridden. I glad it still works for me.

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