Tag Archives: Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

Cities and Memory: “Remix and reimagine the world of shortwave radio”

I’m absolutely chuffed to announce that the excellent Cities and Memory sound project has partnered with the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive for an all-new take on the soundscape of cities, and YOU are invited to be part of it.

From Cities and Memory:

Open call – remix and reimagine the world of shortwave radio

Shortwave radio is one of the most fascinating sonic worlds – capturing vital moments in world history as well as pirate radio, clandestine stations, secretive number stations and military and spy radio, all of humanity is there to be listened to at the turn of a dial.

We’re delighted to have teamed up with The Shortwave Radio Archive to present 100 incredible recordings from the history of shortwave radio all over the world for artists to remix and reimagine.

Shortwave Transmissions is our latest global project, and we’re calling for sound artists and musicians to get involved by reimagining shortwave radio recordings from across the world.

Here’s how to get involved:

    1. Email us to let us know you’re interested – and we’ll send you the database of recordings to choose from.
    2. Let us know your top two choices, and we’ll allocate one of those sounds to you to work with.
    3. Create your composition – it must contain some elements of the original recording in some form, but otherwise is a completely free composition (music, sound art, radio art, composition, narrative storytelling – everything is valid!).
    4. Submit your composition – the final deadline will be Sunday 14 November.

There are some incredibly rich recordings to work with as source material – here is just a sample selection:

    • Recordings from the mysterious “numbers stations” around the world
    • Coverage of world-changing events such as 9/11, the invasion of Kuwait, Kennedy’s assassination, Tiananmen Square protests, the death of Fidel Castro and many more
    • Rare international recordings from St. Helena, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica
    • Recordings covering a huge period of time from 1934 through to the present day
    • Space travel documented, including the Sputnik, Apollo and Challenger missions
    • Recordings of famous voices such as Winston Churchill and King George V
    • Station IDsinterval signals and final broadcasts from radio stations

Compositions will be presented in the Shortwave Transmissions project in late November and to thousands of listeners across the Cities and Memory podcast, and a selection of compositions will be chosen for an accompanying album release

Sound artists and mixers, jump in to the Archive and see what you can unearth from the depths of our audio. We hope you’ll want to part in what we believe will be one of the most intriguing projects we’ve launched; in partnership with Cities and Memory, there’s no doubt it can be.  We look forward to your contributions!

Click here for full details at Cities and Memory.

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SRAA: Remembering September 11, 2001 through off-air recordings

Today marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11; a day where we honor all of those who were lost, their families/friends, and all of those who who served during and after the attacks.

This morning, I’ve been listening to a number of off-air shortwave radio recordings made on September 11 and 12, 2001. Many thanks to the amazing contributors at the SRAA who shared these with us over the years. For this radio enthusiast, these recordings brings back memories even more vividly than video coverage.

Recordings:

If you have off-air recordings of 9/11coverage that you would like to share, please contact us at the archive.

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Radio Tirana memories: Who was the voice of “goodnight dear listeners”–?

I just received the following comment from Richard Levenson posted with this off-air recording of Radio Tirana on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive:

Lots of fond memories listening to Radio Tirana, Albania going back to the late 1950’s. Their broadcasts back then were loaded with anti-West propaganda and more. Their interval signal is a classic to SWL people. Always remember the female announcer on the station. Her sign-off phrase was “and goodnight dear listeners.” This came after much in the way of negative propaganda. When she would say her sign off you got the idea she was tucking you into bed for the night. It had that quality and sincerity to it. Love to know who this person was or if she is still alive. Give you an idea how much SWL I did since around 1953 to present day.

Thank you for your comment, Richard! If you can identify this announcer with Radio Tirana, please comment with details!

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1979 ANARC Convention live recording featuring keynote by Rudy Espinal of Radio Clarin

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Tom Gavaras, shares some of the most amazing off-air, studio, and personal recordings our archive.

Recently, he submitted a very unique recording. Tom notes:

Rudy Espinal of Radio Clarin (Dominican Republic) keynote speech at 1979 Association of North American Radio Clubs (ANARC) convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Convention took place in June 1979.

In this recording, you’ll hear a number of familiar names (including an early shout-out to our friend Kim Elliott).

I was in elementary school at the time of this convention, so it’s amazing bit of audio time travel for me.

Do you recognize any names in this recording? Do you remember Radio Clarin? Did you attend the 1979 ANARC Convention?  Inquiring minds want to know! Please comment!

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Any off-air recordings of the Happy Station Show with Eddy Startz?

Eddy Startz (Source: Radio Netherlands Archives)

I was recently contacted by Shortwave Radio Audio Archive subscriber, Geoff Gilham, who asked: “Do you know if any recordings of Edward Startz exist?

That’s a very good question, because unfortunately, we have no off-air recordings of Eddy  Startz in the archive at present. Startz had a very long tenure at RNW retiring from the Happy Station at the end of 1969, so there must be recordings out there.

Post readers: If you have off-air recordings of Eddy Startz on The Happy Station Show, please comment or contact me. We’d love to add them to the archive! Many thanks!

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Tom’s amazing 1986 Voyager Experimental Aircraft flight communications recording and QSL card

The Voyager aircraft circles before landing at Edwards Air Force Base (Source: NASA via Wikimedia)

One of the most amazing things about hosting and curating a massive collection of shortwave radio recordings is listening to each recording as they’re published on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA).

SRAA contributor, Tom Gavaras, has shared some brilliant off-air and studio recordings over the years including the following shortwave recording of Voyager Experimental Aircraft flight communications with Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in 1986.

I haven’t even published the recording on the archive yet, as he just submitted it. Tom notes:

Rutan Model 76 Voyager Experimental Aircraft was the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling.

It was piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager.

The flight took off from Edwards Air Force Base’s runway in the Mojave Desert on December 14, 1986, and ended 9 days later on December 23, setting a flight endurance record.

This shortwave recording is a sample of some of the communications between Dick Rutan and his ground crew including a debate if Dick should walk out of the aircraft after it lands.

Tom made this recording with an ICOM R71A receiver in Minnetonka, MN, and believes the date of this recording is December 22, 1986:

QSL card

This is simply amazing, Tom! Thank you so much for sharing your recording and QSL card with us. A proper radio treasure!

Post readers: click here to check out the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive and click here to browse some of Tom’s contributions. Also, click here to read our previous post about Tom’s amazing RadioTapes.com website.

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Radio memories on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

The Shortwave Radio Audio Archive (SRAA) is a pure labor of love. I founded the SRAA back in 2012 as a place to archive and freely share off-air recordings shortwave radio enthusiasts have made over the years.

I fund the archive out of my own back pocket and the site is open to everyone free of charge. All of the recordings in the archive are safely stored in multiple off-site locations as well as in the archive’s online database.

We currently have over 2,400 RSS and podcast subscribers who automatically download each recording as it’s published. Many of these subscribers have a copy of the full archive at home.

All of the recordings come from our amazing contributors who take the time to digitize or share recordings with us.

Radio memories

One of the things I truly enjoy about the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive are all of the memories listeners leave in the comments section.

I was just reading through a few comments and thought I’d share a selection here. Note I’ve linked to each recording if you’d like to take a listen:

Comment from Heikki on Super Rock KYOI: September 13, 1983:

January 1985 to December 1986 I was a soldier in Soviet army at far east of Soviet Union.

Actually listening [to] this radio station was strongly prohibited for Soviet soldiers because Soviet communist propaganda [claimed] that rock’n roll music is not suitable for Soviet people. We [listened] anyway.

Once I switched this broadcasting into our military base public loudspeakers so Super Rock KYOI sounds widely and loud all around for all people. It lasted about 20 minutes.

After this incident the KGB agents [were] interested about me. Why I did it? Am I anti-Soviet propagandist or something? Actually, it was a good reason to put me into the prison for some years. Estonian guys in Soviet occupation army loved very much this radio station. It was only way to listen world’s newest music.

Comment from Ian Donaldson on 1991 cassette of shortwave IDs, interval signals and numbers stations:

Brought back many memories listening to your recordings, which seems a 100 years ago. I was a DXer in the 1970’s as a boy in southern Victoria. I had a radiogram with one shortwave band; no bandspread. My one compensation was living on a farm, and consequently, having ample room for long wires, etc. I remember listening to Radio Nacional de Espana during the days of Franco, and hearing very militaristic music at the beginning of their broadcast. When I wrote to Radio Peking, I received a picture book, calendar depicting impossibly happy peasants, etc. I sent a report to the BBC and thought that they didn’t take the bother of replying to me. A postcard of Big Ben came 12 months later. They had sent it via surface mail! During the Cold War, stations were jammed out, and I would hear day and night, high-pitched singing, which I learned later to be Peking Opera. I remember an announcement on VOA, which said: “This is the Voice of America, the following programme is in Special English”. And then It began: “President Nixon, today…..”, very slowly. So, thank you for allowing me to reminisce.

Comment from Mark Fahey on WRNO (Glenn Hauser’s World of Radio): April 11 & 25, 1982:

OMG!! This recording includes a news item about the pirate I ran in the 1980’s Radio CBN! Ha so cool! It was a slick operation, I built a fully featured professional studio for the station in my home and all of our on-air personalities actually used the station to launch professional careers at stations including TV New Zealand, CNN, Sky News, Radio Singapore and various Australian AM and FM stations. I’m so pleased hearing this – never head Glenn’s report back in the day. The transmitter was an FT-101 which I modified for broadcast quality AM bandwidth transmission and I used various antennas over time including verticals and half wave dipoles. We did eventually get received in the USA. We even received reports from Jerry Berg and eventually Glenn Hauser himself.

I still have all the reports, broadcast tapes and even blank QSL cards. I married one of the DJs (Shannon LaGuardia) and shut down the station when I needed the studio for another project.

Cheers,
Mark Fahey
Australia

Comment from Gino Galea Malta Wedding Photographer on Final sign off of BFBS Malta: March 31, 1979:

During the seventies, I had the luxury to tune in regularly to BFBS-MALTA, transmitting from St.Frances Ravelin, in Floriana, nowadays housing the MEPA offices.

This was associated with top quality entertainment varying from the latest UK pop music released in the charts to sports, particularly football, the golden oldies, Country music, the very latest news, interviews, etc. My favourite programs during those days were of course, the weekly UK TOP TWENTY. Another favourite has to be BFBS UK, aired daily in the afternoon, both presented by by the legendary Tommy Vance. I’ll never forget the other top presenters such as Richard Astbury, (Being the last station Controller) with his very own “Pop Around Europe”. Other top-class presenters were Richard Caperon, Alan Clough, Chris Russell, John Crabtree, P.McD, and Paul Gambaccini. Another favourite was “Solid Gold Singles” with Don Durbridge.

Christmas time with BFBS was also unique. We had the luxury to tune in to those amazing Christmas and ‘New Year’s Eve’ rich entertainment. That included the live charity program “Ring us up” which left its mark here in Malta to the extent that it inspired other local stations to come up with similar productions, even to this very day in support of the local charities! Being a student, BFBS MALTA was indeed a boost in my studies, particularly the language and current affairs.

Yes, I must admit that on the 31st March 1979, I really missed BFBS MALTA together with its great presenters. Although nowadays we have many other quality radio stations here BFBS MALTA always remained so very special.
Gino Galea

PS: I can also personally confirm that this clip is indeed the original voice, aired just minutes before the final closure by the station controller, Richard Astbury.

Many thanks, again, to all of our SRAA contributors! When your recordings are posted on the archive, they’re instantly shared with enthusiasts, historians, archivists, and (even) musicians around the world.

As you can see above, off-air recordings also bring back amazing memories for listeners.

Join us

You can subscribe to the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss You can also listen via TuneIn.

Of course, one of the best ways to listen to recordings and read all of the recording notes is by visiting the SRAA website.

If you’d like to contribute your recordings to the archive, check out this page.


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