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Inches Per Second: Bob’s massive collection of archived reel to reel recordings

Very recently, Bob Purse reached out to me through the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Bob is the owner and curator of the excellent Inches Per Second audio archive and blog.

Bob’s archive is all about sharing what essentially amounts to lost and found sound: reel to reel recordings he’s discovered at thrift stores, estate sales, in junk piles, etc.

One of Bob’s shelves chock-full of reel to reel recordings

Bob describes his passion for collecting these recordings in this post on WFMU’s blog.  I can say that he’s truly a kindred spirit as we both love taking recordings that would otherwise be lost forever and making them freely available online for everyone to enjoy.

Bob has kindly offered up the off-air shortwave radio recordings he’s collected and digitized over the years. We’ll be slowly adding these to the SRAA.

Many thanks, Bob, for sharing your recordings with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Post readers: I would highly recommend checking out Bob’s numerous recordings and notes on Inches Per Second!

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Radio Waves: A Second Golden Age, RFE Popular in Russia, Station Helps Ukrainian Refugees, Symbol of Normalcy, Saving Wax Cylinders, and Antarctic Post Office Opportunity

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


Is radio in a second golden age? Here’s what the first looked like. (MSN / Washington Post)

On. Oct. 30, 1938, America was rocked by shocking news: Aliens had been spotted crash-landing outside Grover’s Mill, N.J. Additional sightings were soon made across the Northeast, including reports of Martians unleashing poisonous gas on Manhattan and burning onlookers alive with ray guns. Periodically, the breathless news reports would be reduced to static.

Listeners reacted in real time; many of them flooded the streets wearing gas masks and wet towels over their faces. Stores were raided, bridges and expressways were inundated with traffic, and pregnant women reportedly went into early labor.

Of course, the alien invasion never actually happened. The news bulletins were part of a live Halloween program a young producer and a cast of talented actors were presenting over the radio. The producer was 23-year-old Orson Welles, and the name of the episode was “War of the Worlds.” The H.G. Wells-adapted story had been produced for radio as part of Welles’s regular Sunday night broadcast, “The Mercury Theater on the Air” — a program that had hitherto been largely ignored, as it was up against a wildly popular variety show starring comedians Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Only this Sunday was different, as millions of Americans who had tuned in to listen to Bergen and McCarthy changed their dials when the duo introduced a guest opera singer. “No one was in the mood for opera that night, and much of the country stumbled onto Welles’s broadcast by mistake, not knowing the news bulletins they heard were part of a radio drama,” explained Carl Amari, a syndicated radio host and the founder of Radio Spirits, a large distributor of classic radio programs. [Continue reading…]

The Kremlin tries to stifle Radio Free Europe — and its audience surges (Washington Post)

As the U.S.-funded broadcaster is forced to shut most of its Russian operations, its Web traffic indicates that Russian people are eagerly consuming its stories

Radio Free Europe, the U.S.-funded operation that got its start by piping American-flavored news through the Iron Curtain in 1950, could see big trouble brewing for its Russian operation in recent years.

The Kremlin kept putting the screws to its Russian-language broadcasts, throwing up ever more regulatory hurdles. But it was in late 2020 that the hammer really came down. The “media regulator” demanded that every broadcast, digital story and video carry an intrusive disclaimer at the top stating that what followed was the product of a foreign agent.

“Basically, it was like telling our audience to go away,” said Jamie Fly, the CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as the organization has been known since a 1976 merger.

That labeling would interfere with the private nonprofit’s mission at a core level. So, Fly told me, “we refused to comply.” [Continue reading…note that this content might be behind a paywall for some readers.]

New radio station helps Ukrainian refugees adapt in Prague (AP)

PRAGUE (AP) — This is Radio Ukraine calling.

A new Prague-based internet radio station has started to broadcast news, information and music tailored to the day-to-day concerns of some 300,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the Czech Republic since Russia launched its military assault against Ukraine.

In a studio at the heart of the Czech capital, radio veterans work together with absolute beginners to provide the refugees with what they need to know to settle as smoothly as possible in a new country. Continue reading

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Smithsonian Open Access: Take a deep radio nostalgia dive!

“Radio owned by Herman and Minnie Roundtree” (Source: Smithsonian Open Access)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Balázs Kovács, who shares the following announcement:

[Check out the] Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

As Balázs points out, there are hundreds of radio photos in the archive.

What a treasure trove! Since many of us are sheltering at home, it’s the perfect time to take a deep dive into the SOA archive!  Thank you for sharing!

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RadioTapes.com: a treasure trove of airchecks from the Minneapolis/St. Paul markets

Cassettes

Photo by Ar Meftah

One of our contributors on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive, Tom Gavaras, has been sharing some brilliant airchecks. I also discovered that Tom runs an amazing site simply chock-full of Minneapolis/St. Paul airchecks. Tom writes:

Hi Thomas,

[…]As an FYI … I own/run a website called RadioTapes (www.RadioTapes.com). It features more than 2,000 airchecks of Minneapolis/St. Paul radio stations dating back to 1924. You will also find some shortwave recordings that I previously posted (on the Special Postings page).

In addition to my collection, the website includes airchecks provided by more 100 contributors. RadioTapes also has a Facebook page with 1,400 followers.

Post readers: I strongly suggest you check out Tom’s amazing archive of airchecks.  If you ever lived in or DXed the Minneapolis/St. Paul market, you’ll certainly hear some familiar voices and IDs.

Thank you Tom!

Click here to check out RadioTapes.com.

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Jim’s Vintage DX Audio Clips

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jim (W4OXB), who writes:

I have been involved in SWLing and ham radio since the middle 1960s. Mostly listening before I got my ham ticket in 1969. My current call is W4OXB.

I used to record dx catches on mediumwave and shortwave that I put in my logbook. About 20 years ago, I transferred my recordings from reel-to-reel to digital format.

My goal is to share the old recordings with other radio enthusiasts and the easiest way I’ve found to do that is YouTube. So, I have been working on this for a few weeks.

Click here to check out W4OXB’s Vintage DX Audio Clips

Excellent, Jim! You’ve got some great recordings in your list already. Thanks for sharing and, Post readers, note that Jim also plans to share some of his recordings with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. We really appreciate the support, Jim!

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On Thanksgiving, WPAQ will replay a 1948 Mount Airy H.S. Football Game

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kim Elliott, who shares this fascinating story from WBUR:

For the past 70 years, WPAQ out of Mount Airy, North Carolina — population 10,000 — has broadcast bluegrass and old-time string music.

But music isn’t all you’ll hear on WPAQ.

“If folks call in and say they’ve lost an animal or they’ve found an animal, we will be happy to announce that,” says Brack Llewellyn, a part-time announcer who’s worked on and off at the station since the ’80s.

[…]Kelly Epperson took over WPAQ from his father, Ralph Epperson, who died in 2006. A few weeks ago Kelly was digging around his father’s old office.

“My dad, he held onto everything — it drove my mom crazy,” Kelly says. “And actually in the corner, I saw a box that was sort of halfway open. And I kinda kicked at it a little bit — just to make sure there were no snakes around, ‘cause we have a lot of black snakes up here. But anyway — it was heavy. And I opened up the lid. There were some records in there. And I looked at the label and I couldn’t believe it. It said: ‘Mount Airy vs. Laurinburg. Football. Nov. 25, 1948.’ ”

It was the state championship game, held on Thanksgiving Day.

Kelly didn’t have the equipment at WPAQ to play the records — they’re old lacquer discs — but he took them to a woman who did.

[…]The 2018 Mount Airy Bears had a bye week coming up. There was a Friday night open on WPAQ’s calendar.

So on Sept. 28 at 7:30, when residents of Mount Airy, North Carolina, turned to 740 on their AM dials, they heard this.

“N.W. Quick — co-captain and right tackle of the Laurinburg Scots from Scotland County — the Fighting Scots they’re called — will be kicking off for Laurinburg on the 40-yard line.”

Kelly and Brack say they started hearing from listeners right away.

“We went about as viral as you can in this area with our broadcast,” Brack laughs.

“And I’m trying to concentrate — I was running the board — and I was getting all these messages,” Kelly says. “They were blowing up my phone. I couldn’t handle it. Saying, ‘This is unbelievable! I’m hearing my dad play. I never thought I could ever do this. My dad is playing a football game.’ “

Brack says he heard from one friend who grew up in Laurinburg and recognized the name of a player on the Scots roster.

“And the player whose name he heard grew up to be the doctor who delivered him,” Brack says.

[…]I’d tell you how the game ends, but I don’t want to spoil it — because you’re going to get another chance to listen. WPAQ is rebroadcasting the game one more time, this Thanksgiving Day at 2 p.m. ET.

“So who wants to watch the Detroit Lions when they can hear the 1948 North Carolina 1A State championship game?” Kelly laughs.

You can tune into WPAQ out of Mount Airy, North Carolina, via an online live stream. Click here to listen

Click here to stream WPAQ live on Thanksgiving Day (today at 2:00 EST).

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DSWCI archives now online

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl, who shares the following message sent by Anker Petersen of the The Danish Shortwave Club International (DSWCI):

Dear DSWCI members.

In a few hours the DSWCI exists no longer.

But our webmaster Rolf Wernli has done a tremendous job between Christmas and New Year by changing our wellknown website to an electronic archive with good reading for all members !

If our former website appears, it is because it has been saved in your computer.

Please type www.dswci.org, press Enter and the new website should appear.

Enjoy and have a Happy New Year!

Best 73,

Anker

What a brilliant resource! Thank you, Harald, for passing this information along and many thanks to the fine folks at the DSWCI for sharing their archives with the radio community!

Click here to browse the archives at the DSWCI website.

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