I was inspired by Emily and Ashley‘s prompt about radio, because people, when I was little, I made the radio.
It was actually in elementary school with my friend also named Emily. She introduced me to this fun activity we called H-O-M-E. You know those boom boxes where you could record your voice onto a sweet cassette tape? Well, we took one of those and created our own radio station, complete with original songs, audio murder mystery stories, and commercials.
Our radio station changed depending on the location we were recording from. If we were at Emily’s house, we’d say, “Hello, this is Melissa and Emily coming to you live from 1234 Smart Court, H-O-M-E!” Change of address meant change of the station. We knew our listeners could keep up.
I loved this game so much that I brought up the idea with two other friends on separate occasions and I now have many cassette tapes gathering dust in my childhood closet with awesome H-O-M-E radio recordings.
At one point we used Emily’s keyboard to create background music for our various audio entertainment. Emily and I recorded original songs we wrote about pollution and how bad it is and how we wanted to save the monkeys in the rainforest. My friend Leah and I did commercials for a fictional store called Fit It Right, where they guaranteed that your clothes would…fit correctly, no matter your size.
Most of the commercials were just recorded on the fly and if we messed up or got a case of the giggles, we’d just rewind and tape back over it. But with my friend Megan, we put together and scripted an entire murder mystery tale that would probably get us sued by the people who wrote Clue if it ever goes viral. We had backstories and physical descriptions for an entire wealthy family, complete with maids and cooks. We foreshadowed and we dropped hints and we used really bad French accents. No spoilers as to who the killer really was…but I wouldn’t eat the stew if I were you!
I also went solo for my blue period in radio. I recorded myself singing My Girl (remember that movie with Anna and Macaulay?!) and quotes from movies or shows I’d heard and didn’t quite understand, but knew enough to know that they were cool.
What’s your sign, baby?
The Hollywood sign!
My most treasured radio show was when I interviewed each member of my family. And by interviewed, I mean I told my family members exactly what I wanted them to say. I must have been about 8 or 9 years old, and my grandparents were visiting from Wisconsin, which was a big deal. Both of them have since passed away, and so I really love that I still have a piece of them on tape.
I listened to this interview so much over the years that it’s been cemented in my mind. First, I recorded all my scripted parts alone in my room, and then I would run downstairs and tell each person what to say, and the pattern would continue. Here’s the transcript of what I remember:
Hello, and my name is Melissa ___ _____. (I always introduced myself with my full name, middle and last.)
Today we’re going to meet the members of my family!
First, we’re going to talk to my Dad, and he loves watching football on TV. Hi, Dad, what are you doing?
Dad: I’m watching football and they just scored a touchdowwwnnn! (My Dad said this with the appropriate amount of fake enthusiasm.)
Next, we’re going to talk to my Mom, and she loves to cook. Hi, Mom, what are you doing?
Mom: I’m making a casserole.
Next, we’re going to talk to my little brother who loves playing video games just like I do. Hi, Brian, what are you doing?
Brian: I just got to the 3rd level in Nintendo!! (It took some expert levels of coercion to get him to say this on tape, but it was worth it.)
Next, we’re going to talk to my grandpa, and he loves to play golf. Hi, Grandpa, what are you doing?
Grandpa: And you know what? I was playing golf and I just got a hole in one, whooooo-ppeeeeee! (He went off-script for this one, but I’ll forgive him.)
Last, we’re going to talk to my grandma, and she loves to knit. Hi, grandma, what are you doing?
Grandma: I’m knitting some mittens. (Those four words never sounded so sweet.)
So that’s all I got. Thanks for reading me remember my journalistic roots.
Awww. I love that you told them what to say and I love that you still have the tape and that you gave us the transcript. So adorable!
I love that you think I was adorable as opposed to bossy :)
Great throwback. It must be great to have that time capsule of your family. My sisters and I also loved recording ourselves singing or doing commercial parodies like the ones on Saturday Night Live. I’ll have to remember how fun that was when I have kids and need to give them something to do haha!
Oh, SNL provides some great ideas.
Future kids will probably act out the zombie invasion of their parents’ generation.
I love this! My BFF and I used to play radio station as well, although it usually devolved into us being obnoxious and squawking weird noises into the tape recorder and devolving into giggle fits…
Giggle fits are a great side effect!
First, totally impressed that you took the time to join the hop, with a fairly big event nearly here! Mazel. :-) Second, LOVE this idea and the creative energy behind it. I was always putting on musicals for my family and neighbors… way past when it was cute! I’ll have my post up tomorrow, but something tells me you may be a wee bit busy this weekend… ouí?
Oui, oui, bien sur!!!!
Happy dance, happy dance!! So excited for you!
Eeeeee! I’ve taken to squealing lately.
Me too! I won 2 airline tickets to Fiji, yesterday, and I have been dancing around since! Your wedding trumps that, but, for now this is my happy week!! Two giddy girls. ;-)
:-) yep, pretty big happy dancer here… again two girls squealing and dancing.
This made me smile. What an awesome kid you were! I want my kids to do this. I think it is sad that kids don’t have cassette tapes and boom boxes anymore. There was something kind of magical about them and what you could do with them.
They were totally magical! Now there’s iPhones and YouTube.
I am seriously thinking about trying to track down a boombox and some cassette tapes now. I think my kids would have a blast doing this. I wonder if you can even still get cassette tapes at the store? Guess I’ll find out. There’s alway eBay!
I saved my boom box……I just couldn’t let it go. Plus, I need something on which to play my old cassettes!
This is a very sweet post. Thanks for sharing the memory.
Happy to do it!
Why you’re a regular little PR hound,scripting their responses and all. Nice memory.
I was, wasn’t I? Maybe I should put that on my resume.
I think you get a special prize for writing this while you’re in the midst of wedding preparations! I’m so glad you wrote it! My friends and I did something very similar where we took our parents’ giant video cameras and taped news programs.
I can’t believe how creative you were with the tapes! I, too, used a video camera and let my cousin direct us kids in a movie called John Danger, a blatant rip off of Dick Tracy. But to do so many renditions of songs, interviews, and commercials? Awesome.
John Danger made me lol!! Sounds great!
Oooh great minds play alike.
Yeah, I gave myself about 30 minutes during work to write this because I really wanted to get it out.
That is so wonderful you still have that piece of your grandparents. And I imagine the background music (on a Casio?) is killer.
I agree. Having that momento of your grandparents is priceless.
Very fun post!
It is priceless. My 8 year old self was pretty awesome.
Oh dude, it was awesome. Sounded like the vacuum was running when I “interviewed” my mom.
That is so creative! I never did anything that cool. lol
I needed an outlet or else I would have gone around starting fires…
All I have to say is: Best. Radio. Show. Ever. Radio stations today just can’t touch that level of awesome.
My mom making a casserole is pretty awesome.
I used to do the same thin with my sister and friends! Except we would dedicate songs to certain people we knew. In order to do this we would scan through the radio until we found the right song (even if that was forever), then record it onto the tape. We were weird. You were creative.
Weird? Creative? Po-ta-to, po-TAH-to.