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!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Paul, Dave Zantow, Mark Fahey, Jerome van der Linden, and Phil Brennan for the following tips:
A former Chinese soldier turned artist explains how a song on Radio Australia changed his life (ABC)
It was 1979 and Jian Guo was stationed at a military camp in Yunnan, a province in south-western China bordering Vietnam, when he listened to Radio Australia for the first time.
The then-17-year-old was patrolling the base one night when he saw a group of fellow People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers tuning radio equipment on the back of a truck.
He initially thought they were intercepting enemy signals, but, as he got closer, he realised they were listening to a radio broadcast.
It was the ABC’s international broadcasting service, which was considered an “enemy channel” at the time.
“The so-called ‘enemy channels’ included almost every station outside mainland China,” Guo told the ABC.
“The biggest ones were the VOA [Voice of America] from the US, Voice of Free China from Taiwan, and Radio Australia.”
Guo had joined the PLA in 1979 during the peak of the Sino-Vietnamese War but, thanks to his talent in the arts, he was chosen to be a secretary of his company, so he could avoid fighting on the battlefield.
Apart from painting propaganda materials, he also looked after weapons and communication equipment like the radios, which was an extraordinary privilege.
He was not supposed to use the equipment he maintained, and was fearful of breaking the rules, but after seeing his comrades listening to the Australian broadcast the curiosity grew inside him.
One night, alone in his room, he turned on a radio.
It took a while for him to find the right frequency, because of the interference put out by China, but then suddenly he was listening to Radio Australia and the song that would change his life.
“It was broadcasting The Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng,” Guo said.
“That was the first time I knew such music existed in the world.” [Continue reading…]
Voices in the Air: Sarah Johnston on 100 years of radio (RNZ)
Kia ora koutou k?toa. Thank you to RNZ and National Library for organising this celebration of the start of radio in New Zealand, 100 years ago tonight.
Tonight is something of a game of two halves: first I will talk about the first broadcast of voice and music by radio and the start of radio broadcasting in this country – and then I’m also going speak about a research project I am working on, radio recordings made of New Zealand’s forces overseas during World War II.
I have always been a huge fan of radio, ever since childhood listening to the Weekend children’s request sessions, and then as a teenager, eating my breakfast with Morning Report coming out of the family transistor beside me. As a radio journalist I became one of those voices and worked for RNZ and Deutsche Welle in Germany, where I experienced the power of voices coming out of the air from the other side of the world. And as a sound archivist working with the Radio New Zealand archives, I learnt that that power of the voice doesn’t diminish with time – listening to a voice from 80 years ago can transport you not just through space but also time. Sound to me, has a power that in many ways seems different to that of visual images. Continue reading