Delivering scares, according to Wyllis Cooper, was a matter of "raiding the larder." His radio program "Lights Out," which premiered in 1934 on NBC station WENR in Chicago, aired at midnight, specializing in tales of the horror and supernatural. Food, pots and cutlery provided sound effects for a wide range of disturbing acts from Cooper's scripts, including breaking bones (cracking spare ribs), burning flesh (frying bacon), severed appendages (chopping carrots and cabbages), being murdered (stabbing raw pork), cannibalism (eating spaghetti), and so on. Cooper, a former advertising copywriter and continuity editor for CBS and NBC, ran the show for two years, exiting for a career in Hollywood (to write such [...]
"The BBC's star science presenter Brian Cox thought he might have a scoop on his hands when he trained his telescope at a newly discovered planet in search of alien life. But the professor said his hopes for an exclusive were brought back down to earth after he was told by the BBC that impromptu extraterrestrial contact would break health and safety guidelines." —Best check with the Department of Live Radio Broadcasts With Space Aliens before doing anything hasty.
Photo by Karen Roe via Flickr.
If you'd like to hear the radio-friendly version of Cee-Lo's "Forget You," which is the version of "Fuck You" that the world is allowed to hear on the airwaves, go to Trevor Green's BBC show and fast-forward to minute 52. It really kind of doesn't work. Radio! You have to wonder why it exists sometimes.
Budapest had never been my favorite European capital, but a job in a foreign city is always better than a job wherever I happen to be living at the moment. This is why, on a balmy Southern California morning in February of 1996, I voluntarily carried my only possessions to Los Angeles International Airport's Tom Bradley terminal the customary three hours prior to departure. The first two hours passed pleasantly at the airport lounge, where my friend Steve and I drank double Greyhounds served in pint glasses.
The Double Greyhound is just a lot of vodka with grapefruit juice to soften the blow. We had been drinking these regularly in [...]
Three things you probably didn’t know about your toothbrush: There are five common toothbrush grips, including one with the suggestive name of 'the death grip'; fat-handled toothbrushes make for a more comfortable grip; and, despite perceptions otherwise, straight-handled toothbrushes make for better brushing than bent-handled ones.
I learned these random tidbits while listening to "99% Invisible," a tiny little radio show about the world of design, focused on the design of things we often overlook. As Roman Mars, the show's host, notes at the end of the toothpaste episode: “In design, the thing you don’t think about or notice probably had the most thought put into it.” Mars' [...]
This is "Memories," Weezer's recently released first single from their upcoming album Hurley. (YES: THAT HURLEY, who graces the cover.) The album has been the subject of some buzz lately, because many fans quietly hoped that Weezer's switch to Epitaph would improve the band's sound, maybe make it a bit more grounded than their last release, Raditude. Well… the song is better than the first single off Raditude, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To."
Is the New York Times putting WQXR up for sale? That's the suggestion Page Six makes this morning, airing rumors that the classical station-estimated by one expert as being worth about $50 million dollars-is on the block. Rather than selling it outright, the company could also lease its frequency to, say, ESPN radio, which would be a comical transition for anyone tuning in to hear three hours of opera and symphony smattered with the occasional theater dispatch from Ben Brantley.
In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. "There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here," he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. "Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion." Shepherd's approach was summed up by [...]
On Sunday, October 30, 2011, for reasons yet unclear, Tom Keith collapsed in his home. Keith's passing robs us of one of the most enjoyable personalities ever to occupy a Minnesota Public Radio studio. Most Americans who knew him probably did as Garrison Keillor's sound effects guy, the one who lent Prairie Home Companion sketches that all-important extra dimension. Others—Minnesotans—knew him as Jim Ed Poole and Doctor Larry Kyle, characters he created for his hosting gig on The Morning Show, which he inherited from Keillor, and which he left in 2008.
I had an opportunity to speak with Keith when he agreed to a "high concept" interview of mine. [...]
Good evening to you. And how you be? Steve Somers here and you there…. Those words probably saved my life. More than once even. Almost every Friday for two years, I left my little office in Arlington Virginia, and drove to suburban New York, to my fiancée. Each time, I had to chose: I-95 or Pennsylvania. On this dilemma, I quote no lesser authority than Keith Gessen's All the Sad Young Literary Men.