My favorite kinds of music are Big Band and pop standards from the 1930's to 50's, and I'm convinced it's my mom's fault. From age 2 to almost 5, I had my mom all to myself mornings and afternoons, Monday to Friday. My older brother and sister were in school full time, and my younger brother wasn't born until I was nearly five, so for nearly three years, from 8:00 to 3:00, it was just Mom and me. Although I missed my sister (didn't miss that pesky big brother), I have very fond memories of being the center of attention, of going everywhere Mom went, of helping Mom hang clothes on the clothesline, of listening to the radio with Mom. She listened to a station out of LA, KMPC, which, at that time (early 60's), played Big Band and pop standards from the 40's and 50's. So, while everyone else my age was growing up on rock n' roll, my first and most vivid musical memories are of listening to Perry Como and Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Patti Page, Glenn Miller, Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney . . . Who else my age knows the lyrics to "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" (listen to it here) and "A - You're Adorable" (listen to it here). Of course, after I went to school and realized that that kind of music wasn't hip, I pretended to hate it, but deep down inside, I still had a fondness for it. It took a lot of growing up before I was able to simply be myself, and love what I loved, regardless of whether or not it was considered stylish or cool.
Since I love that old music, I consider it a natural extension to have a fondness for old radios. I even have the 1950's radio that Mom and I listened to, and it still works!
But I've always wanted one of those big old radios from the 30's or 40's, the kind that you see in an old movie. I love how the radio was a piece of furniture in those days. And I finally found one, in an unlikely place.
When I initially moved to the Central Valley, I was VERY disappointed with the thrift stores here. I was accustomed to finding at least one treasure (and often many more) every time I visited a thrift store in Orange County, but here, I rarely have any luck when out thrifting. Everything is junk. And not even old junk. Or junk that could be transformed into something better. Just junk. So I was shocked when I found this 1930's radio for $20.
It doesn't work, and one of the tuner knobs is missing, but it was a great find anyway!
I enjoy listening to vintage radio stations and old radio shows on my computer, so sometimes I'll pretend my radio works, it's 1940, and I'm in my living room, listening to another adventure of Boston Blackie, or to the swinging sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. My favorite site to find big band music is vTuner Internet radio, which you can find here. You may also listen to old radio dramas here. I always think of my mom when I listen to that old music, and I fondly remember those days when it was just Mom and me.
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