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Is this a thing now…?

So I got a new phone for my b’day (woot!). Thankee, Uncle B. The old one just hasn’t been the same since I dropped it in the terlet.

It’s very nifty (it’s a Motorola, like the old one, but newer and bigger and everythinger). One of the apps it comes with is a radio player, so I’ve been busy trying to find my favorites from back home.

Wikipedia has a handy radio stations of Rhode Island page (though the picture is from radio stations of Connecticut, and I finally found the old favorite I was looking for under radio stations of Massachusetts).

I wasn’t particularly surprised to see the number of Spanish-language stations has exploded since I left, but I was very surprised to see the number of religious programming stations. Is that a thing? Since when? What exactly plays on religious programming, Catholic mass? Christian rock?

Yeah, I know I could just listen, but I thought you guys might be able to give me context.

For the record, the station I was looking for is WCTK in New Bedford, Mass. Yes, it’s a country station. If you haven’t listed to country in a while, it’s a long way from honky-tonk or Porter Wagoner these days. It’s weirdly accessible now, like Top 40 pop radio used to be — perfect for a sunny Saturday doing chores.

Also, I really like hearing traffic and weather reports that don’t affect me any more. For some reason.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 8, 2018, 11:55 pm

Is it stab proof?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 9, 2018, 12:33 am

I like Tune-In Radio for my internet radio fix, and I recommend it. You can search by language, country, genre, etc.

I don’t use over-the-air FM or AM much any more. Here in Dallas, AM has definitely gone Spanish Language or religious.,,, cause it’s cheap. FM stations are where you will find country music now.

For what it’s worth I have Sirius In my car because it came with the car. I really don’t find it very good, as there as many commercials on satellite as on over-the-air. Since I live in a major city, I can/could get as much variety over-the-air as with Sirius.

Comment from OldFert
Time: May 9, 2018, 5:03 am

If you have the time, check out Chris Plante on WMAL out of DC. He’s on 9-noon Eastern Mon-Fri. A very funny guy. Former newsman.
If you go to the WMAL web site, you can access his podcast (just a recording of his show, news, commercials, traffic and weather — the whole shebang).
He is a hoot, though.
They have a phone app, but I tried it and it’s crappy.

Glad you’re back. Happy birthweek.

Comment from lizardbrain – now with extra class
Time: May 9, 2018, 10:55 am

Hey, Stoaty,

If you can find it, WYAR from Cousins Island in Yarmouth, Maine, is interesting. They regularly run a program called “Banjo Perspectives,” featuring some impressive banjo music and musicians from the past 100 years or so. Here’s their web site:


but it doesn’t look like they stream. Good luck.

Also, why I can’t stand today’s country:


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 9, 2018, 12:10 pm

Yes, Stoaty—there are many varieties of Christian radio programming now. Christian music (and talk radio) have sustained the AM side of the dial for many decades now. King David composed music to be played in the temple, and Gregorian chanting rocked the world for centuries. Today, there’s probably a radio station playing Gregorian chants only, and another station playing nothing but Fanny J. Crosby, who wrote thousands of hymns. The message never changes, but the delivery system does.

I LOVE the AM side, especially when I travel. It’s a little slice of Americana that nourishes me. I make that 500 mile trip north 4 or 5 times a year, and listening to the little radio stations as I drive makes the time fly. I like hearing the school lunch menus (Tater Tots!) and the obituaries. Swap-n-shop callers (It’s time for Tradio!), and the traditional noon agricultural news. Farming and ranching: pork bellies, and the price of beef on the hoof. Rain. Pray for rain. Wheat, sorghum, and cotton. And FOOTBALL. Friday night radio! I have occasionally pounded the steering wheel, shouting Run Son at the radio, for some kid making the play of his life.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: May 9, 2018, 1:49 pm

Back when I was a part-time Christian DJ (yes, there are such things) at an AM station here from ’88 to ’97, I found that the people writing and performing Christian music were influenced by the same guys who influenced other pop stars. The music, at least in 1997, was pretty good: catchy tunes, good (and often dramatic) lyrics, the performers looking good on stage instead of sleazy or grungy. There was Twila Paris, Margaret Becker, Michael W. Smith, and the pioneer of them all, Don Francisco, whose “He’s Alive” in the ’70s really lifted the genre up from just choir music.

Disclaimer: I am no Christian of any stripe, and yet I still liked the best of Christian music. Go figure.

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 9, 2018, 3:22 pm

I sometimes envy people who can listen to the radio and drive, or work, or mow the lawn, or cook, or anything that requires the least amount of conscious attention. I can multitask with many things, but not music.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 9, 2018, 3:25 pm

I actually like the Spanish stations – I plead guilty to liking the music the same way I like opera music (or Indian subcontinental music). Can’t understand but 2 words out of every 200, but the sound appeals to me.

Deborah HH – if I could have done 5 more likes for your comment I would have. There was a radio station in Salem Mass that my folks tuned in every morning at Oh-Dark. I still remember “Nelson Bragg and Norm Durkee – WESX, school lunch menus (Sloppy Joes and apple brown-betty!), and his various weather comments “A chill on the hill, a fog in the bog, a breeze in the trees, and tell me Norm, how many seaside degrees?”
You’re right, it IS a slice of America I wish we could get back everywhere.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 9, 2018, 5:18 pm

Modern country: pop, rock, hip-hop, rap, all with a twang (usually phony).

I’m with DurnedYankee. When I’m in the car I tune to the local Latino station (¡Rumba! ¡Ciento-seis PUNTA cinco! Para éxitos y música variada.) Much more engaging and entertaining then anything else, especially NPR.

I get Christian radio in the background once a month when I get my hair cut. That’s plenty for me. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t appeal.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 9, 2018, 6:20 pm

I know I’m ethnically generalizing or committing some other white European male authoritarian privilege infraction, but dammit, it sounds like they’re having way more fun than I usually am!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 9, 2018, 7:37 pm

@DurnedYankee: It’s those accordions. The immigrant German settlers brought accordions into the Mexican territory of Texas, and Mexican music changed forever. This link is not to a Mexican or Tejano band, but it features a rocking accordion.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2018, 8:59 pm

Probably my Appalachian upbringing, but all my memories of local religious programming are TERRIFYING. We’d go to a family hunting cabin four or five times a year, a horrible, grueling drive across Tennessee into North Carolina. ‘Fire and brimstone’ doesn’t begin to cover the howling breathlessness of the crazy.

My dad would tune them in to laugh. Probably in Hell now, my dad.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 9, 2018, 9:24 pm

Bringing you gringo rock and roll tunes done mariachi style…


I’ve gotten to the point on a couple tunes where I like the Metalachi cover better than the original.
My biggest complaint is I can never find real mariachi albums on Amazon that don’t have the same old tunes and I don’t speak enough ( beyond ‘beer’ and ‘bathroom’ and please and thank you) spanish to know what the hell to look for.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 9, 2018, 9:44 pm

Get close to God – Turn your radio on – Roy Acuff


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2018, 9:55 pm

Some Veg: John Hartford did a cover of that I’ll never forget.

Comment from JC
Time: May 10, 2018, 4:34 am

Broadcast outlets are going cheap, BUT! The only outlets covering Major League Baseball are AM, and don’t stream the ballgames due to some legal interference from Satan or somesuch. I followed my dear Astros through the world series through box scores. I COULD have bought a teevee and a premium Cable SPORTSBALL !!! package, but that would have set me back about a kilobuck. I could have paid MLB less than half that to watch it ‘streaming’, which means with jerky images and commercials. No thanks.
For music, though? Broadcast radio is dead.
I miss the ag reports, though, and the local huntin’ an’ fishin’ reports. “Get more high quality lint per acre!” was one of my favorite radio ads. And I used to voice radio ads.

Comment from JC
Time: May 10, 2018, 4:42 am

Also. Can’t stand most Mexicaan music, The Norteno stuff with the accordions? Hate. And don’t get me started on Mariachis.
Can we agree on A=440 CPS? Trust me, I do understand the historical basis for accepting A=442, A=448, or even A=450 Hz, but EVERYBODY USE THE SAME ONE FFS! I’m looking at you, trumpet players who think ‘within a half tone is close enough’.
Happy happy birthday your Weaselness.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 10, 2018, 8:13 pm

@JC. Husband and I watch our inexpensive digital TV via an inexpensive flat digital antenna, which hangs on the wall. He bought/subscribes for Roku box, and subscribes to Amazon through the ISP. We get all local, and lots of other channels. We watch baseball through the Roku, and then YouTube. I live in San Antonio and get to see a lot of the Rangers and Astros games. I watch a lot of other teams, too, (Yankees and Red Sox last night) because—well—it’s baseball 🙂

I don’t know what he pays for all this, and it’s a little fussy to set up in the beginning, but it works and it’s CHEAP.

Comment from Mel
Time: May 10, 2018, 11:27 pm

Some Vegetable mentioned Tunein. If you like talk radio, the conservative page
lists AM stations streaming live and you pick what’s on at the time–Laura Ingrham, Rush, Levin, Prager. Background noise.

Comment from Timothy J. mcCrokle
Time: May 13, 2018, 3:12 pm

Miss real radio. while a youth in Indiana I listened to WOWO out of Ft Wayne, WLS in Chicago( With Larry Lujac) and alot of others.wowo was at 1190kc. and was a clear channel station… i could Go Topside on the sub at Holy Loch, and and listen to them at night. They stepped on some ethnic station in NYC so Now that I’m only 30 Miles from the broadcast towers I can’t hear wowo at Night. I do Use iTunes to here stations from all over and some interesting pirate stations

Comment from Armybrat
Time: May 14, 2018, 1:28 am

I give you this masterpiece of country gospel.
I sent this to my daddy several years before he died. He was a big fan of southern gospel. He immediately bought this CD and the others in this project.


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