This piece by Bonnie Gillespie on her blog BonBlogs really spoke to my own nostalgia about the role that music has played in my life since early childhood. She posts an adorable picture of herself as a toddler creating the perfect music mix with her record player and vinyl records. She'd later go on to DJ at college radio station WUOG-FM in Athens, Georgia in the late 1980s and mid 1990s. She writes:
"I worked in college radio. Yup. WUOG, 90.5fm. Athens, Georgia's college radio in the late '80s (REM, Pylon, Love Tractor, B-52s) and then again in the mid-90s. I started out as a jock (working the midnight to 3am shift on Monday mornings), eventually scored a 'lunchbox' shift, then became the host of 'Blank Generation' on Friday nights. As an undergrad, I became the station's Promotions Director, and when I came back to UGA for grad school, I was named the Graduate Advisor to the station. That was awesome. Getting paid to do something I would do for free? Badass."
In talking about her childhood beginnings she writes:
"I would 'play DJ' when I was a toddler, then I would create mix tapes for friends in high school that would become 'requested' by other friends and friends of friends until I had a little side gig of creating mixes for dozens at a time."
It's funny, because it's only as an adult looking back that I realize the significance of a few things from my childhood in terms of my music trajectory. When I was 5 years old I got a tape recorder for Christmas and used it for many radio-related experiments. My sister and I would record mock radio shows on the bright red cassette recorder, imitating things we'd heard on Dr. Demento. And then, in 6th grade, my dad and I made a Jukebox costume for me to wear on Halloween (I got the idea from Dynamite magazine). I crafted my own mix tape of 1950s rock and roll that I taped off my mom's old records, which I later played when people deposited candy into the jukebox. Should it have been a big surprise that I'd go into college radio (where we kind of hope we're not just thought of as human jukeboxes) and never leave?
Did you play DJ when you were a little kid? What are your favorite childhood music memories?
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