German Short Wave Signals Bouncing Off the Ionosphere
Now for something totally different
. . .
This is primarily a Houston radio web site, but I will
include other materials if they were recorded by me. These
are my only short wave airchecks.
I am not a a big short wave hobbyist,
but I do occasionally take an interest in the international
broadcasts. Before the Internet, the short wave was the one
medium which allowed a voice to skip across the oceans directly
to the ear listening at home.
Recorded in Bay City, Texas, on a night
in the fall of 1979.
I don't understand much German, so I
asked for help in identifying this material.
Thijs Wassens wrote from the Netherlands
and identified the program as "Schlagerparade der Deutschen
Welle," a program featuring a parade of hits.
Wassens adds that the station is probably
RIAS Berlin, a station in the American sector aimed at Germans
then behind the Iron Curtain. According to Wassens,"That
would be why the presenter explains so much about the music.
I think this program is rather progressive for its time."
Wassens also tells us that the woman
at the beginning of the recording is Marion
Maerz, a singer who had been popular since the 60's. Her
voice was what got me to start this very spur of the moment
recording. I had always assumed that the singer was someone
who was very young in 1979, but she is actually older than
me, born in northern Germany while the war was still raging.
BBC Beatles documentary
Recorded in Houston one afternoon in
early 1973. (Time of day and time of year are big factors
in short wave reception.) If you're not used to short wave,
bear in mind that these are radio signals which have to bounce
across the ionosphere. The effect on the sound is dramatic,
but often frustrating.
Both items remained on cassette until
The cassette used on the BBC 1973 recording was already
four years old at the time of the recording, a Scotch C-60
in a clear yellow shell.
When cassettes first came out, some
experts doubted whether they would last more than ten years.
I have had my share of cassettes which jammed or distorted
much sooner than that. With these two tapes, I was lucky.
Semi-technical dissertation: One thing which these materials have in common is that they
were both recorded using cassette recorders, rather than reel
to reel units. In both cases, a portable short wave receiver
was patched into a portable cassette recorder.
Chicago Comes to Houston
Chicago, May 2, 1967-1
Chicago, May 2, 1967-2
Chicago, May 4, 1967-1
Chicago, May 4, 1967-2
Chicago, September 5, 1967-1
Chicago, September 5, 1967-2
Chicago, September, 1967
All of these airchecks were recorded
in Houston. The quality of the September recordings was limited
by poor weather in the Houston area.
Houston Retro Radio is hosted as part
You can also access these pages by
going to http://houstonretro.com.