Tag Archives: radio

America’s Greatest Innovation

What is America’s greatest innovation?

AMERICAN_INNOVATION_AA_1280d

John Hockenberry, host of The Takeaway on WNYC Radio here in Manhattan, has that question up for a vote.

There are nine candidates vying for the title, and it’s far harder than I expected.

How do you choose between the mobile phone and the hearing aid?  The sewing machine and air conditioning?

GPS and the electric guitar?

Review all the candidates, and then cast your ballot here.

Ya gotta listen

My boyfriend  and I just had a very spirited debate about ‘NPR voice’ — that deliberate monitone their radio announcers wear as a badge of honor, a nasal symbol of the inherent quality of their content.

He denies its very existence.

image

It’s all that I can hear.

So I was cheered to read about a woman annoyed by a similar condition —

Poet’s voice

She makes a strong case. Check out her video proof.

Videos — yeah, that’s what I need…

My mom said

My only memories of John F. Kennedy’s assassination are my mother’s.

Here’s her story.

high chairMom was mopping the kitchen floor with the radio on. Only nine months old, I was watching the proceedings from my perch in my high chair.

A radio announcer broke into the music with the news of the President’s death in Dallas. Mom immediately dropped her mop and walked out into the front yard. All the other moms on her street were standing in their yards, sobbing.

Much later she remembered I was sitting alone in the kitchen, surrounded by drying suds.

I think I can cut her some slack.

Park these cars

I was sad to hear that Tom and Ray were retiring after 25 years on Car Talk.

Then I felt incredibly lucky to know them.

I worked on the Car Talk website for two years.  On paper, the job was everything I loved rolled together.

The Internet.  Writing.  Humor.  Radio.

But Tom and Ray took the job to a whole other level.

Click and Clack are, in person, exactly who their listeners have heard on the air for over 25 years.  They are funny and cantankerous and smart and sweet and stubborn and incredibly generous.

They know who are, how they want to live their lives, what they do and more importantly do not want to do, and have managed to turn that into an amazing life for themselves and their families.

We should all be so lucky.

Enjoy being even lazier, guys.  No one deserves it more.

Will-a-Mania

August 15th is a big day in music history.

  • 1969: The Woodstock Music Festival opens.
  • 1965: The Beatles play Shea Stadium.
  • 1935: Will Rogers and Wiley Post die when their plane crashes after take-off in Barrow, Alaska.

Now, you might not put Will Rogers in the same music sphere as the Beatles, but for a Broadway fan, The Will Rogers Follies — winner of the 1991 Tony Award for Best Musical — is a pretty big deal.

Prior to that show, Will Rogers was just a name in the history books to me.  Once a year or so in movie theatres, I did see cans passed to raise money for the Will Rogers Institute, which funds medical research in asthma, tuberculosis and pulmonary diseases….but that was the extent of my knowledge.

Keith Carradine’s portrayal brought Rogers to life — his years in vaudeville and radio, his common sense approach to life, his wife, his politics and witticisms, and his love and support for the then fledgling aviation industry.

I used to listen to the musical’s soundtrack in my car driving back and forth to work…back when I had a car and actually worked in an office.  It has amazing energy and lyrics — perfect ‘pick-me-up’ music.

Who needs a car?  I’m gonna listen to Will today.

It is August 15th.