Many moons ago I had an idea. This idea was based on the fact, the assumption, that there were more people like me – as far as music tastes go – than the growth of mediocre pop music would suggest. My idea was to create a space that celebrated the music of my past, our past.
For me, the music of my past was the music of the late 60’s through the mid-80’s. Admittedly much of what was good in music began to die in the early 80’s, some might argue the late 70’s, but we can debate that later. The music of my past also includes pop music, because pop music of the 60’s and 70’s was good. Music was good. Work went into it, blood, sweat, talent and knowledge went into making original music. You had to work much harder to be a star. Sure you can look backwards and find a decent amount of cheese. But let’s be frank, back then it was innovative.
What I have realized in all of these moons, but not been able to formulate into a coherent sentence, is that Raised on the Radio isn’t only about music. It’s about a time. A monumental time. An iconic time. Those decades of innocence and decadence. Yes – delicately intertwined memories of Brady Bunch and Hugh Heffner, Romper Room and Suzanne Somers, The Sound of Music and A Clockwork Orange.
It wasn’t either…or, each was a part of our collective unconscious. Pigtails did not discriminate, you could be a 6-year-old school-girl or a 19-year-old sex kitten. It was all good, and there was no shame.
I admit it. I yearn for those years. For the nights we spent running through the street playing kick the can; while some kids battery-powered transistor radio sat skewed in the grass on the curb blaring Dream Weaver or You Should Be Dancing on the one FM station that played good music.
I miss hanging out in friend’s basements, talking, laughing, plotting, listening to the radio and just waiting to hear your favorite song. Even being so bold as to phone in a dedication every once in a while and actually hearing your own!
Walking up town to the Record Store. Yes kiddies, if you’ve never been to an honest to goodness Record Store, that was the place to be. To see and be seen. Flipping through the rows and rows of albums, checking for the one Bay City Rollers album you didn’t have; checking any new customers out of the corner of your eye every time the opening door caused the bell to ring. Swooning over Peter Frampton posters and not giving a flip that he was an amazing guitar player too. (you guys know you did it)
That time will never be again. That peace, contentment that the world was only as big as we could see. There was a feeling of safety then, the world was digestible, reliable, you had the 5 o’clock news and the Newspaper to feed you information, and that felt right.
The overwhelming reach of media now only makes me long for those days more. To wish that our unfortunate chillins (that’s 70s slang for children) could experience it too.
Raised on the Radio started as a place to share our love of music from a time when your only choices were listening to the radio or heading to a Record Store to buy the album.But I realize now, it is so much more.
Raised on the Radio is about an era gone by, nostalgia, comfort, something that if you lived it – you long for – a place to remember it all. We knew what patience was. We waited through 5 mediocre songs on an album to get to our favorite, rather than picking up the needle and trying to drop it on just the right place. To us, fast forward was holding a button down on a cassette deck and taking an educated guess that when you lifted your finger you would be at the song you wanted, you were often wrong.
Station Wagons, The Mandrell Sisters, Hee-Haw, The Dean Martin Show, Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, The 10,000 Pyramid (because 10,00 dollars was A LOT of money!), Password
We were the first generation to be completely raised on television, and it didn’t kill us.
Raised on the Radio is a site about me.* I am inextricably intertwined with the pop culture of the 70s. Like it or not, I would sooner watch Three’s Company or Hogan’s Heroes than Game of Thrones or Modern Family any day of the week. In fact I do.
Everything I think or do is subconsciously compared to The Dukes of Hazzard or Charlies Angels. What comes out is my own version of reverse homogenization.
Come take this ride to me. Welcome to the New, Improved, Raised on the Radio.
*I’m not selfish, Raised on the Radio is also for you. Maybe you want to share your story or stories, I welcome that. I get that your own turf might not be the right place for you to share your inner Paul Stanley or Donny Osmond.
13 thoughts on “It’s been a while since I’ve been here, so I thought I might remind myself what Raised on the Radio is to me.”
As Mr Clapton once sang, “Hello old friend, it’s really good to see you once again.” And she smiled.
Thank you Kath, it’s good to be home.
I love everything about the “mission statement’ of ROR. I sit here listening to CBS FM (101.1 in NY) at my desk as opposed to PLJ anymore because this is the music of my childhood and my consciousness. Every time America, The Eagles, Joe Hamilton or the Bay City Rollers come on amid The Bee Gees, Journey or Whitesnake I’m reminded that I loved the 70’s and 80’s. That music, while it wasn’t my major in college or the thing that people come to me to talk about, is a driving force of my life. Like you, I yearn for those days when life seemed simpler somehow.
I’ve said it before but I’d love to just sit and talk with you. I know it would be an enlightening conversation for me to listen to you tell your stories.
We certainly would have a lot of fun! I have been thinking about starting a “What do your presets say about you” guest post. Maybe you should be the first!
I’d be honored (or completely mortified which would make the post interesting and funny!) 🙂
I love this! I do long for the bygone days where I’d sing and dance along to almost anything on the radio after school. I miss telling the DJ to hurry & finish talking so I could record my favorite song off the radio. You got me all nostalgic. Nice to see you writing again!
Thanks! I know… I miss so much of that too. Obviously 🙂 And I am definitely back!
I adore you and this concept? Is perfect perfect. I long for those days, of staying outside all day long, and only coming home at dusk, when my dad stood on our front porch and rang the cowbell to tell us that it was time for dinner. It makes me sad for our kids that they’ll never have that same sense of safety and freedom. It makes me sad for me that I’m not able to feel comfortable giving it to him. I thank you for this blog and for your voice, and for you. I would love to guest post.
Oh my Gosh Kristi, your story makes me homesick…you know, that feeling that “We will never pass this way again….”
I loved reading this and was nodding and smiling the whole way through. The world is a different place now for sure, it’s cool that you’ve created this space for us to be and remember and find some joy. Thanks Jen!
Thank you Steph! I know, and I’m ready to go down that road as long as I have the memories~
Oh, how exciting! I’m thrilled. I think I might have an essay for you, actually. It occurred to me the other day and I was like – damn, I wish Jen still did Raised on the Radio!
Your wish is my command! Can’t wait to see what you have for me!