Yesterday

Saturday, December 29, 2012

When I was young, I would listen to the radio, waiting for my favorite songs, "Yesterday". This first line of an old Carpenters song has been repeating in my melon lately. It was a nostalgic song from the 1970s, accurately and fondly recalling growing up in the 50s. There was an ad campaign phrase at one time that referred to radio as the soundtrack of our lives, and nothing could be more accurate. Many local stations were affiliated to some extent to a national network that provided national news and features at the top of the hour, and some of them actually had local news reporters as well. But the centerpiece was the music. Everywhere you went, and while you were doing whatever you were doing, somewhere there was a radio, playing "your" music.

The only real specialized AM music station locally was WDOD, which played strictly Country, most of the rest were Top 40 stations. On a Top 40 station, you could listen to Pat Boone, followed by James Brown, Montovani, Al Martino, Brenda Lee, The Beachboys, or anything else that was selling records at Woolworths, or the Record Store. The few FM stations on at that time played strictly Classical music. Most of the DJ s were strictly that, played music, read the weather and an occasional ad, said their name once in a while, and more music. 

The early years air personalities were those of  your parents; Luther on WDEF of course, Harry Thornton "The Milkman" on WAPO. "Peanut" Faircloth on WDOD. Is there anyone of todays' generation who can fathom the "Milkman" moniker? When Harry went off every morning, he was followed by the "Les and Ritch Show", one of the earliest forms of local talk radio, in that they discussed other material between the music. They also co-owned a local record store.

As we began to relate more to what were becoming "air personalities" instead of DJ s, stations began to do more remote broadcasts, so we could actually see ,as well as hear the voices on the radio. The stunts became more outrageous, "Sonny Limbo" and Charley Champion did a thing in the show window in front of the old "Three Sisters" dress shop, where they broadcasted constantly for several days. WFLI was probably the first strictly Rock station in town, and they hit with a splash, and Chattanooga began to experience "churn", the constant rotating format changes of the majority of AM stations, especially as FM began to enter the mainstream.

Don Hill

Signal Mountain - North of the border


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

A Positive Note About Bryan College

In light of the negative news directed at Bryan College, I thought I would share something positive. My name is Donald. After retiring from the USAF as a MSgt, and then, serving with an orphanage in South Sudan for two years as a missionary, I find myself serving at Bryan College. What a privilege it is.  The great thing about Bryan is that while I do have a job to ... (click for more)

Girl, 11, Missing In Cleveland After Returning To Ocoee Middle School Soccer Field To Get Keys

An 11-year-old girl is missing in Cleveland after returning to a soccer field to retrieve some keys that had been left there. Cleveland Police said on Thursday at  10:01 p.m. , Arleth Yazmin Linares Medina was reported missing by her mother, Rosa Medina.  Mrs Medina stated that she took her daughters, Arleth, and Andrea, age 3, to the Ocoee Middle Soccer Field ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools To Close Aug. 21 For Solar Eclipse

Due to safety concerns, Hamilton County Schools will close all schools and school age childcare on Aug. 21. This date coincides with the first total solar eclipse to occur across the entire continental United States in 99 years. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, and casts its shadow on the Earth below. The eclipse will reach totality ... (click for more)

Barons Batter Lookouts Again Thursday As Chattanooga Loses, 9-6

Danny Mendick hit a two-run double in the third inning, and Keon Barnum homered and had two hits as the Birmingham Barons defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 9-6 on Thursday. The double by Mendick, part of a three-run inning, gave the Barons a 2-1 lead before Hunter Jones hit an RBI double later in the inning. Trailing 7-2, the Lookouts cut into the deficit in the sixth inning ... (click for more)

SEC Annouces Television Schedule For First Three Weeks Of 2017 Season

The SEC Office on Tuesday announced the start times for games on the SEC Network during the first three weeks of the 2017 season.   The SEC Network Saturday schedule opens with three games on September 2 .  The Network will air six games on the second week of the season and five games in Week 3.  The first Conference matchup of the year on the ... (click for more)