Heard It On The Radio
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
To quote the last song recorded by John Prine, I Remember Everything. It's well known within my family that I'm the keeper of, well, everything. Boy, is my brain full. Family lore, useless facts, song lyrics, the name of that one kid from down the street... it's all there.
Thus it's a fairly common occurrence that I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia, deja vu or just plain old memory. Such was the case a few days ago. I was driving about 30 miles down the road and had forgotten my iPod so for the first time since I've had my Ford Flex - 5 years or so - I turned on the radio. The real radio, not Sirius. My car's FM Radio.
As it was the first time, it wasn't set for a particular station so I let it auto scroll the dial. When I came across some Bee Gees, I let it play. Then came Sir Duke, Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers, Mercy Mercy Me, Lido by Boz Scaggs, Soul Finger, Is She Really Going Out With Him. All pretty good to get me where I was going.
The shocker came when the station call letters were announced. WTIX. The radio station of my youth. The Mighty 690. WTIX New Or-lee-uns. The jingles live in my DNA. But what was it doing, here on my FM radio dial in 2022? I let it play but I was not really listening too closely. Instead, I was thinking back to the late '60s to mid '70s and my grandparents house.
They lived in Harvey on the West Bank of the Mississippi River across from New Orleans. We would go there almost every weekend to visit the maternal side of the family, the Milsteds, Leland and Nellie. Since I lived in a virtual radio wasteland, as we got closer and closer to New Orleans, I would try tuning the car radio until the blessed sounds of WTIX could be heard. Seasons In The Sun, Brandy You're A Fine Girl, Me & You & A Dog Named Boo, Lean On Me, Crocodile Rock, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Time In A Bottle. So. Many. Songs.
I was always a bit sad when we would arrive mid-whatever-song because Mother would not let me sit with the car running to finish it. I guess she knew I wouldn't want to leave whatever the next song would be either.
But it was okay. As soon as the car would stop, I'd make a mad dash into the house to grab up my true love and companion for the weekend: a radio shaped like a globe.
I would cradle it in my arms like a baby doll and carry it with me everywhere I went in the house. Outside too. I fell asleep listening to that radio. And I only listened to WTIX. If we had to get back in the car, usually my Gammy's Buick, to go anywhere, I commandeered that radio too. I just couldn't get enough of those AM Radio hits.
So even though hearing it in my car, on the FM frequency and not quite the songs from the AM heyday, was not exactly the same experience, it was close enough to get me here.
Another one of the jingles was this: WTIX and We Love You.
I loved you too.