Thursday, December 21, 2023

Vinyl Christmas has begun!

 It is here: the 11th annual Vinyl Christmas, streaming now until December 27. 

We have thousands of tracks, all taken from vinyl albums. If you are old enough, you may remember the albums that were sold by hardware stores like True Value and Ace Hardware. Plus, Firestone and Goodyear also famously sold albums, too.

These albums are great and we have several dozen in our collection. Our newest edition is this one from True Value:

This one is from 1978. The first True Value "Happy Holidays" album came out in 1965. So this is a Christmas tradition at its best. Here is an ad for the Goodyear album, Great Songs of Christmas, which sold for $1 in 1969:

And yes, we have that one in our collection, too! 

So tune in to Vinyl Voyage Radio to listen to these gems from the past.

Monday, December 18, 2023

11th Annual Vinyl Christmas

Most radio stations that play Christmas music often over-play certain songs -- and neglect the classics. Not here at Vinyl Voyage Radio. We have an extensive collection of Christmas Classics -- all on glorious vinyl!  And that is the what Vinyl Christmas is all about!

Since we started doing this in 2012, our collection has grown and keeps growing. We have classics from the 40s to today -- everything from Sinatra to The Four Seasons, from Arthur Fiedler to 101 Strings, from R2D2 & C3PO to Ferrante & Teicher. And all of played from original vinyl.

So grab a cup of hot chocolate (or a hot toddy) and tune in from December 21-December 27 for the best Christmas mix on the planet.

Happy Holidays, from Vinyl Voyage Radio.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The SOTW - "The Night Owls"

On the platter is a 45 rpm disc from 1981 -- The Little River band with "The Night Owls." I don;t know about you, but this one brings me back! Listen on wednesday, 11am and 11pm (Eastern). 

this song reminds me of the short-lived "Night Owls" digital TV program that aired in select markets in the early 80s. I wrote about this 10 years ago. Check it out below the picture.

(From February, 2013)

Today, as I was playing some songs on the radio, I came across the Little River Band's 1981 hit, "Night Owls."  The video for this song was a common sight on late night video programs and in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV.  But I was reminded of something else:

Nite-Owl on Channel 32 in Chicago.

Does anyone else remember this?  Nite-Owl was a program that dominated the early hours on WFLD-TV in Chicago and consisted of news, weather and sports all provided by funky computerized block graphics played with a soft-rock soundtrack of popular hits and muzak from the time.  I was in junior high  and found myself staying up late, mesmerized by the high-tech (for the time) computer graphics.  One night in 1981, I was at my friend's house across the street and we turned on Nite-Owl after Saturday Night Live and fell asleep to the blue glow and soft music emanating from the tv.

I distinctly remember hearing that Little River Band song and thought it would make a good theme to the program.

Nite-Owl premiered in September of 1981 and was attracting some 75,000 viewers a night within a year.  The company then expanded and started charging a fee, but it soon died out by 1984.

Here's a promo for the premiere of Nite-Owl from 1981:

And here's a 60 minute segment from August 25, 1982, featuring "Love is in the Air" by John Paul Young, "Who Am I?" by Petula Clark and "Biggest Part of Me" by Ambrosia.

The service was provided via teletex, which was hooked up into the computers at the Chicago Sun-Times.  The editorial office for Keyfax was located in Elk Grove Village where editors typed up the copy and sent it back to WFLD in Chicago over a telephone line.  The service was paid for through advertising placed between the 100 or so pages that scrolled throughout the night.

Nite-Owl, although archaic by today's standards, was really ahead of its time.  It foreshadowed 24 hour news channels and internet RSS feeds.  It looked much like the on-line bulletin boards and dial-up services of the early and mid-1990s.  Remember Prodigy and Compuserve?  Nite-Owl looked just like those 1990 internet gateways.

But with  soft-rock soundtrack.