My Blue Transistor Radio

giftIn my lifetime I've probably received hundreds of Christmas gifts, but there are a few I remember best. I never lobbied for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle so what I got on Christmas morning was always a surprise. On one particular Christmas in the early to mid-eighties I received a little blue transistor radio.

It was freedom. The radio would go everywhere I went. I used to sleep with it. In the summers, I listened to 1430 CJCL which was carrying Blue Jays games called by Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth. Other nights I would crawl the dial just to see what I would pick up. I'd start at one end and slowly make my way to the other side, stopping for a bit whenever I pulled in a station. I guess it was sort of a low tech scan. I'd do this for FM and then switch to AM. I loved that damn radio.

It's a love affair that has continued to this day. The primary reason I have an iRiver instead of an iPod is because the iRiver has a radio built in. I want my MP3, but I'm not ready to give up my radio entirely. In this day of MP3 players and satellite radio there's little room in a kid's life for a transistor radio. I'm just glad there was room in my life for one that Christmas morning.

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I just listened to Dean and the boys on the edge morning show doing their own tribute for the radio this morning on my way into work. I can totally relate to your memory of listening to the radio when you went to sleep and spinning the dial to see what you could hear. I spent much of my youth living overseas and would spend endless hours on my fathers shortwave cruising the radio highway. Dean made a really good point when he commented that all this enjoyment could be had for free.

December 5, 2006 @ 10:01 PM


That's funny becuase that is how I grew up too. My dad had the passion of radio and scanning the AM bands after sunset sometimes meant 680 CFTR was hard to hear in cottage country but a breeze to hear WBZ radio in Boston. I was taught how to use this radio frequency book that had all the North American stations listed... fun to re-live and ya... it was free! It was always a treat when we'd be at the cottage and my dad would notice e-skip coming in and I recall one day we watched a television station in Los Angeles straight off the 40' antenna...

Partly for the love of the distant radio station I became and am an Amature Radio Operator. I even had a full-page feature in Star Week (the TV Guide) in February 1996. Children and a busier life have kept me away from that aspect of the hobby for years, but sometimes in the evening and I'm listening to the AM I instictively listen hard for the 'other' station.

December 6, 2006 @ 6:47 AM

Mike Boon

Some nights I would pull in a station from Cleveland. I remember thinking it was damn cool I could be hearing a radio station in Cleveland.

Today, pretty much every station in the world is streaming online, but it's just not the same.

Dean's just selling terrestrial radio because that's his current pay cheque, but he makes a good point. You can get a radio for ten bucks and the rest is free.

Stephanie, email me a scan or digital pic of that Star Week feature and I'll post it!

December 6, 2006 @ 9:06 AM



I used to listen to CJCL 1430 at night with Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth in my ear. Man, that's bringing memories back. Thank you so much for bringing that warm feeling back, even for a few minutes. I ran into Jerry at a LCBO a couple of months back out here in Etobicoke. Apparently he lives out here. I wish I had my digital with me.

December 6, 2006 @ 3:07 PM

Mike Boon

CJCL: The Music of Your Life

When it wasn't baseball, it was golden oldies - the crap WKRP was playing before Andy Travis showed up.

Then CJCL turned into The Fan 1430 before moving down the dial to 590 where it is today.

December 6, 2006 @ 3:12 PM


I know I have the picture somewhere but through two house moves this year I can't say for sure exactly where it is right now. Mom's always keep that stuff... I should get it from her.

December 7, 2006 @ 3:06 PM

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