Monday, November 7, 2011


Back Door
"I knew of Citizen Bill because he had what we call in the radio industry at the time, 'pipes'. My best friend of those fateful years was a radio jock (disk jockey) like me. We both were deeply interested in technology. Black box and blue box were fascinating as was the international network they were relevant to. It is a long story involving Chicago, the telephone monopoly and rock and roll.

"By comparison, there were just a handful of us who wanted and were fortunate enough to spin records on the air and be payed for it. It was not lost on us that we had an inordinate influence on the society of the time.

"My friend went to the valley to work in radio there. He told me that what was happening within the radio station's reach would change the world. He could not have been more correct. The sound track of the revolution then was on the AM radio in the form of Top 40 music. JFK's initiative creating NASA was fueling a surge in technology not seen since the last world war.

"To the 'suits' and all too often, communications was just another promotional slogan. Certain air talent in radio that enjoyed technology knew different. More people contributing in the right environment was tantamount to alchemy.

The emerging electronics could not only attract the girls, it could do many other very useful things. Like a visit to the moon. Technology assisted sharing made it more than broadcasting. In the decades to follow, interactivity beyond a one-on-one telephone conversation began to overwhelm the choke points of publishing and broadcast controlled by the few. Whole industries were either transformed or became obsolete."

Often the best is the latest and so it might well be here. A bridge from here to 'we know not where' suggests there is no arrival, just the journey.

© 2011 Buzz Hill

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