Saturday, June 11, 2011

Songs Featuring Radio

At various amateur radio & shortwave listening internet forums, one topic of discussion invariably turns to movies, tv shows, and other productions featuring radio. Shortwave America wanted to present at least a short list of songs that feature radio in some way.

This first song was written & released in the 1980s by an artist named, Sting. "Russians" was basically the story of the cold war, a missile crisis during which a nuclear holocaust was indeed a high possibility. From Wikipedia, and under creative commons license: Sting is quoted as saying In his 2010 interview with World Entertainment News Network, Sting admitted that "the song was inspired by watching the Soviet TV via satellite: I had a friend at university who invented a way to steal the satellite signal from Russian TV. We'd have a few beers and climb this tiny staircase to watch Russian television... At that time of night we'd only get children's Russian television, like their 'Sesame Street'. I was impressed with the care and attention they gave to their children's programs. I regret our current enemies haven't got the same ethics"[4] Creative Commons Share Alike License

In the beginning of this work, you'll hear overlapped radio transmissions in Russian.

This second song is actually a comedy work, and is actually is parody of the SETI program called "Alien Makes Contact - The S.E.T.I. Song" featuring Billy Reid.

Our third song is from StopSocialismUSA and is said to be posted at KB7TBT's website. The song is the MOrse Code alphabet set to music and very simple lyrics. No name of an original artist or band is available, but enjoy anyway!

Fourth up is the ever beloved "Ham Band" Information from YouTube says the following: The Ham Band is a group consisting of Andrew (G3WZZ/OZ1XJ/OZ5E), his wife Lissa and a group of Nashville session musicians. All the songs are about amateur radio and the booklet which comes with the "Seek You" CD tells the whole story of contests, dx-peditions, antennas etc.

The Ham Band has just finished their new song/video which describes the whole process of building a modern amateur radio station and at the same time enables the listener/viewer to learn Morse code - yes all the letters and numbers are in there! The video lasts about 20 minutes and there are 19 musicians playing in three different musical styles (French Musette, Viennese Waltz and German Oompah). The music changes key 24 times which means that this musical work may get into the Guinness Book of World Records!

You can view the first quarter (about 5 minutes) of the video for free at

Weird Al gave us "UHF" back in the 80s!

Can you think of other songs that feature radio? One other artist back in the 80s who created a hit that spoke about radio was "Tiffany" with her song, "Radio Romance" In the 70s, Donna Summer gave us her hit, called "On The Radio".

Perhaps the most famous song of all time will always be Steve Carlisle's "WKRP"

Thanks for reading today! Shortwave America hopes you enjoyed these videos, and we hope you'll let us know of any other interesting musical works that feature radio.


Guise Faux said...

There are dozens of radio-theme pop songs. It's a particularly popular theme in UK rock music of the 1960s-'90s, as pirate radio stations were the primary (sometimes only) source for contemporary rock music of that era.

So in addition to the nature of early rock music as a show of rebellion against then-contemporary social mores, there was an added dimension of European pirate radio rebelling against the government-run radio stations.

Offhand just recently I've been listening again to 1980s synth-pop artist Thomas Dolby's "The Golden Age of Wireless" album from 1982.

Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) did the "Radio K.A.0.S" concept album in 1987.

In 1977 Elvis Costello played "Radio, Radio" on Saturday Night Live, in defiance of his record label's preference for "Less Than Zero", which Costello didn't want to play for that show. He wasn't invited back to SNL until 1989.

Shortwave_America said...

Guise Faux, thanks for the additional information!

Anonymous said...

I like the Doors' "Texas Radio", and Rush's "Spirit of the Radio". Tom,AB9NZ