Since I was about eight years old a radio has been like an appendage to me. It quickly became a part of me. Inseparable. Whether I was holding it while rocking the swing set, tucked under the covers of my bed at night, or up to no good in the woods in my teens. The radio was always with me and serving as a soundtrack to my life. Of course, radio was good back then, but that's another story.
My first radio was a Motorola. I can't recall the model number or it's exact look but it was similar to this.
Encased in an off-white Bakelite it's gold grill shined as I moved the AM dial with my thumb to tune in local Cleveland stations like WHK, WKYC and later WIXY along with Detroit/Windsor's CKLW. There was no FM band because there was little happening there in those days.
My next radio, and a very popular one at that, was Panasonic's ball radio. Mine was blue but they came in other colors as well. They seemed to exemplify the time perfectly.
Then came FM radio, and though I first turned to the top 40 of WGCL I was soon lured away by more mature and mysterious sounds heard on WNCR and, when they changed formats, WMMS. The station that would guide me through my teens.
I needed a radio that would match the better sound of FM and found perfection in Panasonic's RF-888.
It's big speaker could blast out the music, years before the boombox would become the cranker of choice. Besides, the accompanying shoulder strap made it easy to walk with, freeing up both hands. What a sight I must have been walking down the neighborhood streets announcing my presence with loud rock and roll. A friend of mine bought the same radio. We'd turn the treble up on one and bass on the other for what we called stereo.
This Panasonic RF-888 just sold on ebay last night for $82.05. And it's missing the shoulder strap. Lately I've been watching the auctions of transistor radios, half tempted to start a collection. They bring such joy to me. Even if the content leaves something to be desired these days.
If you have a question or if I may be of service email me at firstname.lastname@example.org