Radio Geek Heaven’s Virtual Vintage CB Radio Museum

Were you a CB’er in the 1970s and/or 1980s? Do you remember waiting anxiously for the Radio Shack catalog to arrive each fall so you could see the new models? Do the names “Cobra 139XLR”, SBE Sidebander II, “Browning Golden Eagle”, and “Kraco CB Super De Luxe” mean anything to you? (I can’t believe I just mentioned Browning and Kraco in the same sentence!) If so, you’ll want to check out our new online Virtual Vintage CB Radio Museum!

Previously, Radio Geek Heaven featured a page with 1970s & 1980s Base and Mobile CB Radios. The response has been great, so I decided to expand it. Now, there’s an entire category devoted to those classic mobile and base station units that we all knew and loved. Each has a photo and description of the radio. I will be adding more manufacturers and models as time allows. If YOU had one of these radios (or maybe you still have it), please tell us about it via the “comments” section.

The Radio Geek Heaven Virtual Vintage CB Radio Museum starts here:

KCON-AM 1230 Conway AR Antique Clock Sign

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Wow! I guess I’m not the only one who loves vintage radio clock signs! Since posting the rare KYNT memorabilia yesterday, I have already received several e-mails. Want to see another? Of course you do!

This clock sign is for KCON-AM 1230, a now defunct station in Conway, Arkansas. Conway is unique in that it originally had 2 AM stations, both of which have since gone dark. There are also no commercial FM stations. KMJX-FM 105.1 is part of the iHeart Little Rock cluster. KCNY-FM 107.1 is located in Conway, but licensed to nearby Greenbrier. The only stations licensed to Conway that are actually in Conway are KUCA-FM 91.3 at the University of Arkansas and KHDX-FM 93.1, an 8 watt station on the campus of Hendrix College.

Back to KCON: as with many standalone AMs, this station fell on hard times as the new millennium began. KCON’s status was “on again, off again” for several years. UCA provided programming for a time. But often, it was just a simulcast of KUCA-FM. Finally, the “off again” became permanent. KCON went down for the last time, the license was returned to the FCC, and the 1230 frequency allocation to Conway was deleted. This clock sign reminds us of KCON’s glory days. A few years ago, I was in downtown Conway for Toad Suck Daze and there it was in a storefront window. My guess is that it was manufactured in the 1950s or 1960s. Anyone know for sure?

KYNT-AM 1450 Yankton SD Antique Clock Sign

KYNT_Clock_Sign

Check out this beauty! My good friend Wayne came across this while visiting Kilroys, a slot machine, jukebox, and antique store in downtown Minneapolis.

This clock sign was custom manufactured for KYNT-AM 1450 in Yankton, South Dakota. Yes, Yankton actually had TWO radio stations in the old days. Most people are familiar with the mighty 5-7-0 WNAX. KYNT is Yankton’s other AM station. These clock signs were popular in the 1950s and 60s. Stations often gave them away to their top clients in exchange for being loyal advertisers and supporters of the station.

Does anyone know when this KYNT clock sign was produced? If you must have this for your collection, I have good news: it’s for sale! According to the price tag in the upper right corner, it can be yours for only $295.00.

1973 Action Jackson CB Radio Walkie Talkie Helmet

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What in all of Radio Geekdom is THIS? If you are a child of the 1970s, you may remember the Action Jackson Walkie Talkie Helmet. These were manufactured by the Mego Corporation and sold at Radio Shack stores during 1973-74. This is a rare instance of Radio Shack selling an item produced by another manufacturer. Most Radio Shack merchandise was self-branded as Archer, Realistic, Micronta, Science Fair, etc., during this time.

Action Jackson was a 1970s line of toy action figures produced by Mego. Attached to the helmet was your typical “kiddie talkie” of the time. It had a simple regenerative receiver, operating on CB Channel 14. I’m guessing the output power was somewhere around 50mW. Typical range to another walkie talkie was around 1,000 feet. The thin one piece metal antenna was flexible in the middle with a loop on top. This allowed it to be clipped to the helmet or extended fully for greater range. Power source was a standard 9 volt transistor radio battery.

I was able to sweet-talk my parents into buying me one of these for Halloween 1973. I decided to dress up as a “spaceman”, so this was part of my costume. Slick, eh? If I remember correctly, the Action Jackson Walkie Talkie helmet sold for $14.95. This was somewhat expensive as you could buy two Archer Space Patrol walkie talkies with basically the same electronics for an identical price. Of course, you’re paying extra for the novelty, the helmet, and the Action Jackson name. These were great for talking while riding your bike. It gave children an incentive to wear a bike helmet long before this was required by law. Although I’m not sure how much “protection” this thin plastic helmet would provide. This toy would likely be banned today due to the long metal antenna. You’re gonna poke your eye out with that, kid! I sure had a lot of fun with this when I was 9-10 years old.

Today is National Radio Day!

Happy National Radio Day, fellow Radio Geeks! How do we celebrate National Radio Day? Turn off the HDTV, get away from the Xbox, put the iPod down, and listen to good ‘ol AM and FM terrestrial radio! For some of us, it’s been awhile since we’ve scanned the dial. You might be surprised what’s out there!

Because it always falls on August 20th, National Radio Day has special significance for me. It was on August 20, 1983 that I left home and began my multi-decade radio adventure. Packed up the U-Haul and headed west, young man, to KNAB AM/FM in Burlington, Colorado. For the princely sum of $750 per month, I worked 6 days a week doing a DJ show, news, sports, and production. I also shoveled snow, burned the trash, and occasionally washed the boss lady’s Lincoln Town Car. Oh yeah, that $750/month was BEFORE taxes. I received a paycheck twice a month for $306. Would I do it again? Absolutely! The thrill of accomplishing my lifelong dream and getting on-the-air was worth 10 times my meager salary. Truth be told, I would have done it for free. Besides, when you’re 19 years old, all you need is enough for a flophouse apartment, fast food, gas, and cheap beer. Mission accomplished!

National Radio Day only comes once a year, each August 20th. If you’d like some more ideas on how to get involved, check out the official website at NationalRadioDay.com.

Kmart In-Store Music Tape Christmas 1974

Here is one of the most bizarre things I have ever come across on YouTube. Someone has unearthed a reel-to-reel tape containing Kmart’s in-store Christmas music from 1974:

The music selection changed very little over the years. I worked at Kmart during high school (1980-82) and remember hearing many of these same songs. The “Kmart is all the things a great store should be” jingle was still in use then. Announcer voice sounded the same. “Smoking is not permitted on the sales floor. For your safety and convenience, smoking is permitted only at the snack bar.” By this time, the reels had been replaced with large gray cartridges. They looked like a severely oversized 8-track tape. Playing time was 2 hours. Then, the song sequence would repeat. If you were a Kmart employee, you knew every song on the tape and how often it would play during your shift!

Something New: Drew’s Ramblings!

Even true Radio Geeks like us have lives beyond radio…right? Because life in the radio world is kind of slow right now and there’s not much going on, I have created a new category topic: “Drew’s Ramblings.” Alternatively, the long title could be “Drew’s Irrelevant Non-Radio Ramblings.”

Consider this the “pot luck” of Radio Geek Heaven. You never know what’s going to turn up on here! The only stipulation is that it will NOT be about radio. If I come across something that I think may be interesting to the group, I’ll post it here. I’m 52 now, so I figure I better start posting this stuff while I can still remember it all!

Rewound Radio Dan Ingram 4th of July Weekend Special

Allen Sniffen and his crew comes through again with a GREAT Rewound Radio holiday weekend special! “The Life & Times of Dan Ingram: In His Own Words” airs on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 12 Noon Eastern Time. It’s a big SIX hour tribute to one of the greatest Top 40 radio personalities the world has ever known. At the conclusion of the program, “Dan Ingram Electric Radio Theater” will begin. Continuous Dan Ingram airchecks all the way through the 4th of July. Don’t miss it!

Rewound Radio WABC Memorial Day Weekend Special

Looking for something to listen to this holiday weekend? Check out Rewound Radio’s “WABC Rewound 2016”, now through Memorial Day. Enjoy original Musicradio 77 WABC Shows with everything that was included when they aired the first timn: the DJ’s, the commercials, the jingles, AND the music!

Allan Sniffen and his friends did a GREAT job with this! In cases where the original airchecks were scoped, the music has been restored. Not only was the music added back in, but it was compressed and processed correctly to give that authentic AM radio sound that we all knew and loved back in the day. I have been listening on my smartphone via the small built-in speaker. This sounds almost exactly like the pocket transistor radios on which these Musicradio 77 shows were heard in the 1960s and 70s!

Dan Ingram, Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow), Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Roby Younge, George Michael, Johnny Donovan, Herb Oscar Anderson, Scott Muni, Bob Dayton, Bob-a-Loo (Bob Lewis) Charlie Greer, Frank Kingston Smith, and many more. They’re all on Rewound Radio this weekend. Give it a listen!

KSUG The Lake 101.9 Heber Springs Arkansas

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to Ali and Joe Sugg who made their dream come true earlier this week. After months (years?) of hard work, Arkansas’ newest radio station became a reality on Monday, May 9, 2016. KSUG-FM, better known as “The Lake 101.9” serves the Heber Springs and Greers Ferry Lake area 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

The format is Classic Hits. Effective radiated power is just 9,400 watts, but the antenna sits 1,268 feet above sea level. As you might guess, coverage is fantastic for a Class C3 FM. With a car radio or other sensitive receiver, KSUG’s signal is easily listenable 50+ miles from the transmitter.

The Lake 101.9 does not yet stream online, but that’s coming soon. In the meantime, if you happen to be in Central Arkansas, be sure to give this new station a listen. Here at RadioGeekHeaven.com, we LOVE it when local, independent owners put new radio stations on-the-air 🙂 Congratulations, Ali and Joe!