Thursday, May 29, 2008

80s College Radio Memories

The web is full of college radio nostalgia and today I found a post from someone who worked in college radio (KSRQ-FM at Northland Community and Technical College) while a high school student in Minnesota in the 1980s. On Perceptions Delusions Matt writes:

"Like a slew of others, I had a stint working college radio. One thing that was a little different about my tenure, though, is that it happened during high school.

The small town I grew up in had a community college, which offered broadcasting classes. the classes must've been poorly attended in 1985-1988, because it seems that the only people working the station was me and a bunch of high-school friends. It was great fun, although it was a top 40 geared station. We had playlists and so were expected to rotate in the popular hits of the day. Not really what one thinks of as college radio, huh? What the hell did I know, though. I was 16. I was in a nowhere-ville town with a population of 8,000. Whatever.

I between the Toto, Madonna, whatever else was on the charts at the time, I'd throw on the singles that nobody else seemed to pick up, as well as bringing in my own lps. I have a small sense of pride knowing that the airwaves of Northern Minnesota were getting 'polluted' with X, The Replacements, and other such stuff...

Post-scripting: I just noticed that my old radio station is now streaming online, and has bumped up the power to 24 kilowatts!!! And, another sense of pride in that they are still using the call letters I helped to choose!"

Like Matt's glee in realizing his old station still has the same call letters that he helped choose, I guess we all hope to have some sort of lasting influence on our college radio stations. I remember going back to my undergraduate station WHRC and searching to find some of the albums that I added back in the day (pretty much the same time period written about above) when I was Music Director. I literally was looking to find my "mark" by analyzing the handwriting in the fading Sharpie-etched "WHRCs" and music reviews scrawled on old albums.

Which of your contributions to college radio do you hope will be remembered decades from now?

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