It seems as though radio has been around since the dawn of time, but that of course is not true. However, it has been with us through some of the momentous times in history, keeping us abreast of important information and relaying history live on air. Here are some amazing facts all connected with radio that perhaps you were not aware of, starting with the most powerful radio station ever.
During the 1930’s a radio station called WLW broadcasting on 700Khz AM, became the most powerful radio station that ever broadcasted. A massive 500kW of power took the station almost half way over planet earth. Locals that lived near WLW spoke about being able to hear the radio from their mattresses, pans, and pots.
Free Video Games
In the 1980’s a bizarre promotion was aired by several stations in multiple countries. Video Games were broadcasted live, and the coded messages were able to be recorded on cassette tape. These home-made tapes could then be put in a computer games console and the free video games could then be played on a computer.
During WWII, radio was the only way of getting important information to the masses. It was used for all manner of purposes including propaganda, sending coded messages to resistance fighters, and spreading news how the war was progressing. There were many instances of radio being censored by authorities so useful information would not be passed on to the enemy. Weather broadcasts were often banned as they did not want German U-Boats getting hold of local weather conditions. In once instance in Chicago, a radio presenter was applauded for not mentioning the word fog on air whilst he was commenting on a football game.
The Making of Led Zeppelin
Over three and a half thousand rock music fans were encouraged to phone in a radio station with names of any musicians they thought were worthy of being included in the ultimate super-group. The 2005 poll results shocked the radio station as the listeners named the individual members of Led Zeppelin.
Good Morning Vietnam
For those that remember the brilliant movie Good Morning Vietnam in 1987, Robin Williams character Adrian Cronauer played an army DJ. The brilliant radio shows aired to the troops by Cronauer were manic, funny, and were definitely not sanctioned by the army bosses. What is not generally known is that Williams’s incredible broadcasts were all completely off the cuff and improvised, and that is why his fellow actors did not have to fake laughter during the live scenes.
The Great Universe
Unbelievably in Iceland, the officials of the City Council in Reykjavik allowed all the city’s lights to be turned off for thirty minutes. The reason was a radio broadcast that featured a respected astronomer was aired in 2006 and he talked about the constellations and stars that could be seen in the heavens. The lights were turned off so that the listeners could see the stars far more easily in the darkness. These bizarre but highly interesting facts continue in part two of our blog, where we find out more about the Emperor of Japan, and the most played song on American radio in the 2000’s.