"I try to find a way to explain to you what's on my mind and not sound so plain to you, but you'll realize if you close your eyes the feelings my words can't show - they're playing on the radio."
"Listen to the radio, oh listen to the radio, let's spend the night together baby don't go, they sing it on the radio. The words I'd say don't seem to sound as real. The songs they play, that's how I really feel."
How true those words Don Williams sang were when I was a teenager. There was a song for every mood, every feeling. Break-up songs, make-up songs. Songs to dance to and songs to cry to. All that was needed was a radio to listen to. For Christmas, 1960, the year I was a senior in high school, my boyfriend gave me the portable radio I'm holding in the 'pretending to be asleep' photo above.
The bunny I'm cuddling I had received for Christmas at Grandma Ridnour's three years before. It was a 'pajama' bunny - unzip the opening in its tummy, put your jammies in and put the bunny on your bed for the day - after you made the bed!
Portable radios were something new at the time. Kenny had gotten it from someone he was with in National Guard training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
This photo I found online shows what mine looked like, just a different color. The handle was also the antenna and turned for better reception. I loved the radio and enjoyed it until the batteries ran down and I had to replace them. I was shocked to find that they were going to cost more than $16. I don't think I replaced them more than once.
Besides, by then the much smaller transistor radios were on the market. I definitely remember someone in my family having one like this with the case. Dad, maybe? I believe these took a 9-Volt battery.
Connie Smith had a song about her Tiny Blue Transistor Radio. "He bought it for my birthday just one short year ago. We stayed out late and listened to the music soft and low, on the tiny blue transistor radio."
I don't remember her song as well as I do Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl. "Whatever happened to Tuesday and so slow, going down to the old mine with a transistor radio. Standing in the sunlight laughing, hide behind a rainbow's wall, slipping and a-sliding all along the waterfall, with you, my brown-eyed girl."
Today's teens (and older) have so many different ways to hear their favorite music, but for me, there's still nothing like listening to the radio. (Especially the oldies station.)