Friday, June 14, 2013

"Oklaho-maaah Ciiii-teeey"

Gotta turn it up louder like my DJ told me
-Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me), Reunion

When I was a teenager Sunday's ended with me lying in bed with my radio tuned to 1520 and listening to KOMA out of Oklahoma City. On Sunday nights back then most Denver stations signed off early and the only station on the air still broadcasting Rock and Roll would be 50,000 watt KOMA. That signal was so powerful kids in Canada were listening to it. My listening experience wasn't all that great what with the signal fading in and out on some nights. I attributed that partially to the fact that my radio was an old Atwater Kent Cathedral Table Top Radio which someone left behind in one of the old houses we had lived in and partially to weather conditions between my radio and the KOMA tower.

I loved my old Atwater Kent even though it took awhile for the tubes to warm up and even though once they did they would make a strong buzzing/humming noise. I loved the orange/yellow light that the tubes produced once they were heated up and ready to go. I can still see myself lying in the dark staring at the warm yellow glow emanating from the back of the radio and listening to KOMA at a sound level that would allow me to hear the music over the buzzing tubes but not so loud that my mother would yell at me to turn the damn radio off. Sunday nights for three years, every Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, I fell asleep to KOMA. Then in one of our moves my Atwater Kent was left behind. It could have been because it was one of those hurried moves or it could have been because the radio finally died and I deliberately left it behind, I'm not sure.

I do miss it.

For the history of KOMA go here.

For a small sample of the KOMA sound, check out the YouTube below:

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