Your thoughts upon hearing FM radio for the first time?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Strat-Mangler, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker Thread Starter

    For those old enough to remember a time when AM radio was the only game in town with its mono sound, when you first heard FM radio with its stereo sound, what was your reaction?

    Blown away? Underwhelmed? Wanted to upgrade your equipment immediately or felt more like a gimmick?
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  2. Chew

    Chew Casual Stalker

    Blown away in 77. Like Dorothy opening the door when she landed in Oz... The SONGS...
  3. Thunderman

    Thunderman Forum Resident

    New York
    No static at all.
  4. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    Blown away as a 12-year old in 1972 with my first little compo stereo with a separate radio tuner. When that little red dot flashed on to show stereo I got all excited.
  5. Thunderman

    Thunderman Forum Resident

    New York
    Stereo? Come on. I was a little kid. Had no idea what stereo was or meant. All in knew was on Beatles albums the voices came out of one speaker, the music came out of the other. It was fun to play around with that.

    FM attraction was no static at all. Donald Fagan didn't write about stereo. He wrote about no static at all and he did that because no static was the main thing we loved and noticed about FM radio.
    Detroit Music Fan and Brodnation like this.
  6. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    That came long after my time.
    What is interesting though, when I was younger, I was given a radio tuner.
    It was a radio where you had to dial in each of the L and R frequencies to get the stereo signal.
    It was a valve radio, which after moving several times, I no longer have.
    I can't remember the name or brand of it either.
    A big regret, considering I'm a bit of a collector of sorts and love history.
    Gosh we do some stupid things in life....
  7. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    Blown away. I was crashing at my sister's apartment in The Big City. She'd gone to bed and I was listening to her stereo, lying on the floor in the dark. Child In Time. An absolutely indelible memory.

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  8. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    On the flipside, I still go to bed listening to ABC radio on AM every night or sometimes another station.
    I love the whistle/white noise/static, helps me sleep.
  9. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident

    New York
    One fine morning I turned on a New York station
    I couldn’t believe what I heard at all...
    I started dancing to the fine fine music,
    you know my life was saved by ROCK AND ROLL
    yeah ROCK AND ROLL

    Despite all the amputations, you can dance to the rock and roll station
    And it was all right
    All right!

    (Thanks to Lou Reed for this one!)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  10. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    CJAY 92 in Calgary in the mid 70s. Boy that was nice sound on my Boston Acoustics car stereo!
  11. Radagast

    Radagast Forum Resident

    First heard FM in 1970, was "blown away". Back then, there wasn't a lot of nonsense done with compression and EQ, not that I could hear. FM broadcasts sounded like the records. It was great.
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I was blown away by commercial free FM and complete album plays...those were the days!
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  13. milankey

    milankey Forum Resident

    Kent, Ohio, USA
    Mom and Dad got me our family's first FM stereo in 1972 for high school graduation present. I still have it set up in my bedroom and still listen.
    WMMS, WNCR and sometimes CKLW were the stations I listened to back in the day.
    Finally left the Top 40 behind.
    Then when I started college I got an FM converter for the AM radio in my 1972 Pinto. Does anyone remember FM Converters?
  14. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    I was astounded by the sound quality, which was much closer to records than AM. I got my first AM/FM table radio, a beautiful walnut Magnavox, in the late 60s, before progressive rock had hit town, so I listened mostly to talk shows and easy listening at first. When a few specialized rock shows started appearing, mostly at night and early mornings, I was elated. Then, all-rock FM stations. Mama! Got a summer job at one and we were off.
  15. audiofool

    audiofool Forum Resident

    London Ont
    I couldn’t believe it!
    My first experience was in 1972.

    All of our local pop/rock stations were AM back then.

    Once I got the dipole FM antenna connected to my new Toshiba am/fm/BSR changer and strung up to the curtain rod, Erie K104 came in loud and clear!
    The first song that they played that time was Steely Dans ‘Do It Again’ and the stereo sound with any multiplexing they were using knocked the walls out of the soundstage and removed the roof!
    A very vivid memory that I hold to this day!
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  16. jrice

    jrice Forum Resident

    Halifax, NS Canada
    I was 13 in 1969 and lived in a small city that was AM only. That summer I took a trip to Toronto and heard stereo FM radio for the first time. It was a large console system, maybe 4-5 feet wide and I remember sitting on the floor between the speakers blown away by what I was hearing.
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  17. Myke

    Myke Listening

    I was 12 in 1970, Chicago. I was hearing entire album sides ! Very little talking, or BS, JUST MUSIC. I loved it.
  18. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    It completely changed my world. We got our first stereo console in 1967. I grew up in the NYC area and we had WNEW, WABC, the Pacifica station WBAI and the Columbia University station WKCR and I got turned on to all that free form radio. Psychedelia, experimental music, free jazz, radical politics etc. I was glued to it every day. Heard Hendrix, Floyd, Spirit, etc., all the greats, just as they were debuting. What a great time to be young and wide open to everything and to have a media that was willing to try anything.
  19. SonyTek

    SonyTek Forum Resident

    Inland Empire, CA
    Although I was aware of FM for many years (we had a stereo console TV with AM/FM going back to the mid-60s) I never thought of FM as anything but "elevator music", until one day in 1972 when WDAE-FM 101 in Tampa flipped from easy listening to ROCK! I was hooked. Goodbye, WLCY-AM! Heard all kinds of music I'd never heard on AM, and pretty much abandoned AM after this. One of the first songs I heard on WDAE that I remember was Albert Hammond's "Free Electric Band", which wasn't being played on any AM stations in the area. I still have the off-air cassette I recorded of that one.
    thxdave and oldsurferdude like this.
  20. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    When I heard FM radio in the early '60s, it was as boring as it could be to a 9-year-old kid. Mostly muzak, and college radio was strictly educational programs and an erratic broadcast schedule, the transmitter was only used during class times. When we moved into town, I could hear the airport on 108 mhz. That was interesting for an hour or two. I thought stereo was "neat", but only half of FM stations were stereo in the mid '60s, some listener-supported stations didn't go stereo until the 1980s. It wasn't until Christmas day of 1968 that "underground" radio came to our airwaves, the luckiest part of that was that I got a portable AM-FM-phono unit that day.
    Sidewinder43 and oldsurferdude like this.
  21. mooseman

    mooseman Forum Resident

    I grew up with the same stations like you here in the NYC metro area. WNEW was my first fm station in 1969 70. I listened to WABC AM in the 60s. I listen nowadays to wFUV and WFMU. BGO for jazz.
    Vinny123 likes this.
  22. thepigdog

    thepigdog Music and beer

    Early 1970's, low power and could only be heard at night. WBLM was the best at the time. Loved it.
  23. numer9

    numer9 Beatles Apologist

    Philly Burbs
    "Underground radio"......Fall of 1968. WDAS, Philadelphia.
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  24. Frank Discussion

    Frank Discussion Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    Couldn't wait to get a converter for my AM only car!
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  25. elaterium

    elaterium Forum Resident

    Exactly the same here Moose. We’re lucky.
    mooseman likes this.

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