Monday, July 18, 2005

The history and evolution of Seldom Heard Radio part four

Just as Seldom Heard Radio was debuting on WSCS in 2000, I was re-connecting and rediscovering the magic of radio on so many levels --- learning about propagation, the physical properties of electricity, production of radio waves, etc … I started researching radio stations and broadcasting alternatives around the world … and rediscovered shortwave listening.

My first shortwave radio was a Radio Shack DX 394 which miraculously brought back all of the bleeps and squelches and static-filled sizzles of my childhood radios. Within weeks I decided that I had to bring Seldom Heard Radio and other projects to the shortwave spectrum. Within another few weeks I was creating programs for broadcast on WBCQ The Planet (7415 kHz) and WRMI (7385 kHz). These were very low-tech homemade shows full of obscure music and minimal announcing. On WRMI I experiment with other formats including co-producing a show called "The Drive-In Double Feature" with DIY shortwave host B-Movie Bob, where we played and discussed music from B movies of the 50s, 60s & 70's.

Listener response was sporadic yet positive, and soon I had extended Seldom Heard Radio to shortwave in Europe via Radio 510 International. From Europe, the floodgates of listener feedback opened, and I received dozens of letters from happy (if somewhat musically perplexed and bewildered) listeners. Correspondence arrived from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, England, Belgium, the Netherlands. People in Europe seem to take radio more seriously, and, also seem more motivated to make it more of a two-way exchange of communication. I was delighted.

Over the course of a few short years life and activity and energy levels intervened and I decreased the shortwave broadcasts to focus on production of my local FM program. Yet Seldom Heard Radio was going to evolve again … via the internet and Radio Lavalamp. Stay tuned for that chapter … and more.

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