My dad likes to listen to A.M. radio, one station in particular that plays all the old songs from the 60s and 70s that rarely come on anymore. On the weekends they’ll play a half hour of Leonard Cohen, followed by a half hour of Tony Bennett, and ending with a half hour of The Beatles, but that’s during the day and a bit into the evening.
It’s a station I’ve started to like too, I love the old sound of the songs, once for some reason Shallow from A Star is Born started playing and it sounded like something being played from the cassette tape, like this new song had somehow aged. I like learning about the new songs that play on their, and the strange shows that sometimes appear in the evening. One evening it was like something out of a movie, an older gentleman talking about the ghost stories of our world like the Black Eyed Children, orbs, and cold spots. I’ve never heard that creepy show again, though I’d like to. With that station it’s like you get stuck in, or if anything like you go back in time, especially after midnight. Midnight is my favourite time for this station; it’s when the radio dramas start.
Usually it’s an old Sherlock Holmes story or some other kind of hardboiled detective drama with a shady femme fatale who turns into a damsel and a tired detective ready to save the day. Though last week I heard an episode of Ozzie and Harriet, a show I’d heard of but never knew was on the radio. Even today I find the radio dramas entertaining, imagining how something that was fun and exciting for people so many years before can still bring joy today. It also makes me think about how things come back and how we bring them back.
In the past few years various types of Podcasts have become popular and in many ways they’re a modern type of radio drama or show. There’s a variety of shows and topics both fictional and factual. The first one I remember becoming popular was Welcome to Night Vale, a fictional podcast about a surreal town and the strange occurrences in it. Another, which I’m currently listening too, is Limetown which follows reporter Lia Haddock investigating the disappearance of 300 people from a government town. For factual true crime seems to be the place for podcasts host like My Favourite Murder which looks at different true crime cases and Serial which takes an investigative journalist look at a different story each season.
Podcasts have since evolved, though true crime and mystery seem to be the most popular series, fictional or factual, there are also podcasts by comedians or actors that are funny, interview shows, podcasts that discuss literature, music, movies, meditation, there are podcasts for any topic you could want to listen too.
And I find it so strange that not many people realize that we’ve gone back to the entertainment we used to enjoy, that we’ve modernized it and found a way to make it enjoyable again and it makes me so happy.
Technology develops quickly, especially today where it seems we have a new phone or a new product that will make our lives easier, entertain us in some new mundane way. We adapt and pretend that we’ve gone far beyond what we used to be but we always circle back. Whether it’s typewriters, chokers, or radio dramas we circle back. We adapt and even though we tell ourselves we’ll forget the things we used to do we don’t. And I’m happy about that, happy we continue, happy that we learn and that we never forget.
And that we can still find fun in those things we used to find so simple, like voices on the radio.
(Picture of Samson Go Mic is my own.)