Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Grandpop's Zenith TransOceanic

Here is an ad for the same 1953 Zenith TransOceanic I inherited from my grandfather, "Pop"...and I still have the radio today.  I used to listen all over when shortwave was pretty active; nowadays, shortwave seems to be dying and radio programming is sent out via satellite.  Every time I picked up a trade journal or hobby magazine over the years, I'd read about one more shortwave outlet shutting down in lieu of shipping the signal up to and down from space.

That TransOceanic gave me a world of fun...recalling the previous "Theater of The Mind" post...and I still take radio over TV.  I remember as a young lad (still am, according to David B. Treadway!), I'd be washing dishes, listening to American Forces Radio and Television Services (AFRTS), most times when sports were being relayed to our troops overseas via shortwave.  I'd imagine what it was like, being so far away and getting a taste of home via radio.  I'd get yelled at sometimes, too, because I'd be scrubbing the same pot for five minutes!

In reflection of Veterans Day and in deference to my friend and fellow blogger Thom Whetson, visit his blog often- he has some excellent airchecks there:


And what does this have to do with KAAY?  "theater of the mind" and 50,000 watts!  Remember "Ear On Arkansas"?  Even into the late 1960's, KAAY was producing and airing a comedy show- much as radio did when it was growing up.  Plus, the fact that KAAY was a clear-channel (not the company!) station, covering so many states and countries, it just as well could have been a shortwave station on mediumwave!

My wife recently gave me a book written by Leonard Malten called, "The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration Of Radio's Golden Age".  An eleven-year effort, Malten chronicles radio from its infancy until the 1950's, covering many subjects...comedy being one of them! Arkansas' own Lum and Abner is mentioned several times in the book.  Needless to say, radio started dying when television came upon the scene in the 1950s...and I'm not impressed with much TV programming today.  I tend to watch older shows, back from an era when cussing and overt sex wasn't in vogue....

Needless to say, there are still some stations that fill the airwaves of shows from years past; one such series I've come to be reaquainted with is, "When Radio Was".  Seemingly, the only station I can get broadcasting this programming is KMOX, early Sunday mornings.

I was reviewing some audio we'd gleaned from A.J.'s old blog (the players there seem to be more down than up) and we may re-release some Ear on Arkansas episodes...I think we have four depisodes....don't count on corporate radio having this level of programming!

Bud S. (staceys4@hotmail.com)


  1. I have one of these in my radio collection! It is currently non functional - but "someday", someday....

    Dave M//

  2. When Barry Mac was PD at KAAY. He carried When Radio Was on Sunday Afternoons following Radio Yesterday.