Archive for April, 2006

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 16

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Soviet_r311a This week back to shortwave radio– a backwater of broadcasting in the U.S., but still a dynamic medium around the world. Although it’s a relatively antique technology, shortwave still offers unique programming from distant locations on the globe with a little effort. In this post I’ve included the audio from the beginning of a scan of another popular shortwave band– 31 meters (9250-9995 kHz). This recording is from a week ago Sunday. Easter for some.

Again, I’m using the BCL-2000 at my kitchen table. It’s not the best receiver I have, but it suits my purpose. I have a number of other analog radios I’d like to use to record these shortwave band scans, but the work of deducing the origination of foreign language broadcasts without being able to discern the exact frequency would make it even more problematic to tell you with any confidence where these broadcasts are coming from. Which leads to a bit of a confession. I’ve succumbed to a bit of gadget lust and purchased a new radio which may offer a digital band-scanning alternative to the analog BCL.

1103_face I’ve mentioned my interest in the Degen (or Kaito) 1103 in a couple of comments I’ve added to posts in this series. Along with the BCL radios, the DE1103 is a 21st century shortwave receiver that has generated a respectable positive buzz in the shortwave community over the last few years. The 1103 in general gets higher marks than the BCL series across the board (although a number of people gripe about the odd control layout). Look at some of the reviews of the radio here, here and here. Just as the BCL melds digital readout with analog tuning, the DE1103 has digital AND analog readout with digital tuning. It also has a quiet noise floor and no “chuffing” or “chugging” when traversing shortwave in 1 kHz steps. In reviews, owners say turning the tuning knob (or jog wheel) is as close you can get to manual analog scanning you can get in a digital receiver without spending the big bucks.

So, I ordered one from the commie-capitalist kingdom across the sea. When it shows here up I’ll crank the gadget up and see if it really is the band scanning tool it’s made out to be. No doubt, it seems to be a solid digital shortwave receiver, and I’ve never really owned one I actually liked. I look forward to punching in presets for favorite frequencies and fooling around with contemporary radio technology. And if this little unit lives up to half the hype I’ve read on the net, it should be a lot of fun DXing with this it out in the sticks.

Hong_kong_radio_fair While the 1103 seems to be both a groundbreaking and relatively inexpensive (less than $100) SW portable, Degen has a higher end receiver in the pipeline that’s got a lot of radio geeks twitching in anticipation. It’s the Degen 1108, a larger and more substantial portable offering SW/AM/FM/LW (and air band) with two four inch speakers AND the ability to record radio as MP3 files! (Now THAT sounds like a good idea.) And, of course it plays MP3’s as well. There’s plenty more bells and whistles being integrated into this thing, and it seems like the designers are actively considering the desires of shortwave radio listeners. It sounds like it could be quite a rig. You can read more details here. The Degen 1108 (Chinese model) is supposed to be available by the end of this year, and an International/American (probably branded as “Kaito”) version should follow shortly. I have not been able to find any pictures of a DE1108 prototype online yet. If you’re really interested in this radio, there’s already a Yahoo group established with ongoing discussions about the possibilities and potentials of this new receiver.

In the meantime, here’s an early evening band scan from Easter Sunday 2006 traversing the dial with my BCL-2000. I had jumped around on different bands trying to figure out where to listen, balancing out trying to find a busy spread as well as figuring out where I had the best chance of getting over the inherent RF noise of my Brooklyn apartment. 31 meters seemed to offer a decent scan and not as much noise, so at around 6:43 EDT (or 2243 UTC) I hit record and jumped in around 9200 kHz and started up the dial. And here’s what happened.

Segment 1-31 Meter Band (9355 to 9555 kHz) 04-16-06  19:03


Ewtn_eggs 9355 – EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network

In Spanish. Sounds rather holy, but it’s Easter for Christ’s sake.

9400 – KOL Israel

In Hebrew, I believe. Two men, one interviewing another on the phone. Sounds like serious business. Probably a political discussion.

9420 – Voice of Greece

Lots of loose RF stepping on this signal, with a gentleman speaking at a rapid pace, all which makes this broadcast sound even more Greek to my ears.

All the noise at this frequency is just awful. What’s broadcasting this mess? My refrigerator? The fuse box? Some power tools down the street? Whatever it is it’s got me looking forward to sitting on the porch of my friend’s house upstate listening to low volume signals like this accompanied by silence.

9505 – RDP Internacional Portugal

Quite a bit of noise here too, however the man and woman speaking here sound much more relaxed than the announcers on the last two frequencies.

9545 – Deutsche Welle

A steady stream of German speech. It doesn’t sound like news.

9550 – Radio Habana Cuba or Radio Rebelde, Cuba (?)

A fairly clear signal, male and female tag team announcers. At first I thought that this might be China or Vietnam broadcasting in Spanish. But it’s just a little too late for the Spanish broadcast from Vietnam and the Chinese transmissions on this frequency emanate from China and would be unlikely to come in this strong on my setup in Brooklyn. It sounds to me like the announcers may be giving out program schedule information. And from the clarity, I’m betting it’s Cuba. Both of these networks are said to broadcast at this frequency. Any enlightenment on this one would be appreciated.

9555 – The Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi_stream_image_2 A half million watts from all way from the Arabian Peninsula. I’ve never heard any English broadcasts from Saudi Arabia on shortwave. As I was writing this I started listening to this webstream– their European service broadcasting in English. I heard an editorial about how Western style “democracy” doesn’t work in Islamic countries and how it sets free the “animal appetites.” Unfortunately, once I realized it was pretty interesting stuff I wasn’t able to get a recording setup together before his calm and deliberate diatribe gave way to some rather pedestrian techno rock. 

Listening to this anti-Western editorial make me think of two things. For one, there really are still a lot of interesting radio broadcasts to be found on the internet (IF you’re willing to suffer through some dodgy sounding digital compression). This site has been a good portal for “scanning” international radio on the internet for ten years now.

Saudi_announcer Secondly, the editorial I heard further illuminates the paradoxical relationship between the Bush Regime and their good friends in the Saudi government. The state-sponsored broadcast I heard was the antithesis of support for the supposed “democracy” that Bush seems to think we’re fostering in Iraq. Anyway, back to the band-scan.

Here in phase-ridden (and occasionally fading) lo-fi is an extended 12 and a half minutes of vintage Egyptian pop music. I took the tape to a couple of my Yemeni friends down at the local bodega and they recognized one of the songs immediately. And they were both quite effusive about the greatness and beauty of the number. And I had to agree. I understand I’ll now be getting a dub of the guy’s greatest hits next weekend. Nice.

Degen1103box As you can hear, the broadcast from Saudi Arabia ends abruptly without notice right at the top of the hour. It’s seven p.m. local (EDT) time here, 2300 UTC

In the next chapter– either more of this recording, or I’ll jump to a band scan of the 25 meter band from the same evening which might have been more interesting. Or maybe that little Degen will arrive from China, and I’ll hop on that little horsey and go for a ride. We’ll see..

Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 15

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Rf2200_dial I really prefer to post some audio with every blog post. Specifically, radio reception I’ve recorded somewhere or somehow. After featuring shortwave radio in the last four posts I was ready to go back to some of the sounds of medium wave (AM) again. However, recordings I had thought I would feature were either of poor quality, not all that interesting, or missing in action. What’s worse, it took a few hours of listening and searching to figure this out.

Actually, it would have been easier to comb through some shortwave recordings I have ready to go, but now and then I do want to talk about AM radio in this series as well. While it isn’t as exotic as shortwave, the AM band is very 20th century– an era I’m still rather fond of. Instead of spending additional hours digging through boxes full of cassettes and trying to find something compelling I decided to do the obvious– turn on the radio.

In previous posts where I’ve gone over some AM stations, I’ve barely touched the higher half of the band. There’s a reason for this. A big chunk of the AM up that way is allocated to local and regional broadcasting. In other words, there aren’t any far off high power stations to clearly hear and savor. And unless you’re near one of these minor signals at each 10 kHz stop on the AM Radiostationsband all you usually hear is a cacophony of low power stations meekly throbbing from afar.

Just for fun I decided to explore this AM wilderness late Sunday night (the wee hours of April 10) and record the results. There are no 50,000 watt powerhouses from 1230 to 1490 kHz (and none past 1680 kHz (including the medium wave band extension up to 1700 kHz in the U.S.). And frankly, there’s not much compelling English language programming to be found from New York City on this segment of the AM band. During the day, once you get past WLIB (Air America’s home base/NYC outlet) at 1190 kHz almost everything is in another language. Mostly Spanish. At night it’s not a lot different except that multitudes of non-local low power stations fill the holes on the dial. You’ll hear a lot of that in this recording.

IrmedwavechartAs far as content, what you’ll get in this bandscan is (in most ways) less than compelling. It’s more about radio reception itself, and what the lonely end of the AM band sounds like from New York City at night. If you’re tickled by the sound of a dozen or more distant radio stations buzzing together at once then you’re going to enjoy this audio sampling.

There is nothing amazing or profound here and it’s not easy listening. Some DXers love to dig into these less popular AM frequencies and seek out the teeny transmissions out in the noise. This can take plenty of skill and patience, and good equipment and antennas can make all the difference.

The reception in this recording is accomplished with my trusty Panasonic RF-2200. Since it’s an analog rig I verified a number of these frequencies with a nearby digital receiver– a Sangean ATS-505. And unless there was loud local bleed over from another frequency, the old Panasonic had a much better grasp on the reception. The RF-2200 (even in Brooklyn) is a hearty performer on medium wave.

More than any other band scan I’ve offered in this series, this is a real noisefest. While I do hope that many readers download and check out the audio provided in these posts, I should admit that this particular scan may only be of interest to those who ears are Crystal_dx_radioattuned to dodgy AM reception. And while I think I’ve offered some pretty compelling and unusual broadcasting in this series, the content here isn’t really the point. It’s the lonesome sound of the forgotten end of a nearly forgotten broadcast band in the middle of the night.

However, for a strange guy like me there’s still a musicality in barely making out a voice in a sea of unintelligible signals, as well as just being awash in a multitude of extremely faint radio stations all at once. And this experience is unique to AM radio. No where on the FM or shortwave dial can you hear so many stations simultaneously. And for me personally, there’s something promising in the electronic hubbub. It means I’m listening to a sensitive AM radio, and that I may hear a station or program I’ve never heard before.

I assure you, if digital broadcasting one day usurps analog amplitude modulation on medium wave the sound of multitudes of stations offering incomplete digital data on frequencies like these is going to offer something much more raw and much less human. That said, I’m not convinced this will ever happen, but if it does DXing will never be the same.

Brooklyn Late Night Medium Wave Scan 04-10-06 (1220 to 1450kHz)  23:04


1220  – WHKW Cleveland, OH

Acljlogo Just to the right of WHPT in Philadelphia I found this. Something about Jesus and school. Maybe some information about the ongoing sadistic war on Christianity. In this mess I also hear reference to Pat Robertson’s evil “American Center for Law & Justice,” sort of like the anti-ACLU which basically works to protect the rights of theocrats and their kind, not human beings in general. I believe this is a rebroadcast of the ACLJ’s “Jay Sekulow Live!”

Although this is a 50,000 watt station it’s a very directional signal aiming north and south and not easy to hear out on the east coast. When I was a kid this was WGAR, a normal radio station. Actually, this frequency in Cleveland has gone through quite a few changes in the last couple decades, which you can read about here.

1230 & 1240 – Nothing But Noise

Quickly skipped over. Really couldn’t hear anything over the background roar.  In fact these two frequencies (along with 1340, 1400, 1450 and 1490 kHz) are known as “graveyard frequencies.” Originally known as “local channels,” these frequencies were allotted to very low power stations to serve local communities. Before 1960 a station broadcasting at these spots on the dial could only put out 250 watts. These days they’re allowed to play with up to 1000 watts.

Chubbysweater 1250 – WMTR Morristown, NJ

With a crowd of distant stations pulsing in the background, you hear a lo-fi rendering of the beginning of an insurgent 60’s hit by the Spencer Davis Group. Back in the 70’s and 80’s the AM dial was teeming with oldies stations like this. No longer. The ones that are left are mostly on FM these days, and often try to skew their programming too a slightly younger crowd by dumping MTV-era pop into the mix. While I don’t tune in WMTR very often, I don’t believe they’ve done that yet.

It’s only thirty some miles away, but their nighttime 7000 watts isn’t all that impressive here in Brooklyn. It’s a little better during the day, and once you get across the Hudson and into New Jersey reception improves pretty quickly. Considering that New York City no longer has an “oldies” radio station or ANY English language music formats on the AM dial, I’ll bet there’s probably a few diehard folks in the city who remember the heyday of AM Top 40 stations like WABC and WMCA and keep a little radio near the window tuned to hear Fats Domino and the Dave Clark Five on WMTR.

1260 – Nothing Intelligible

1270 – Nothing Intelligible (plus WADO bleeding into the frequency)

Wadoold 1280 – WADO New York, NY

This has been a Spanish language news and talk station in New York City for over forty years. It’s coming in strong, and you get the ID with a little music.

1290 – Nothing Intelligible (WADO bleeds into this frequency as well)

1300 – A Jumble of Stations

This is typical of frequency stops where there’s no local station. Just how many layers of distant radio signals are piled on top of one another here in this throng of sound? What’s interesting to me is that it seems that it seems to be a dozen or more male voices talking at once. Which shouldn’t be surprising, since that’s what most of AM radio is these days– the sound of so many men talking. Years ago, this type of accidental collage would have been mostly music with a few voices all pulsating together.

1310 – A Jumble of Stations

Another mass of voices, not as loud as the mob at 1300 kHz.

1320 – Nothing Intelligible (WADO bleeds into this frequency as well)

1330 – WWRV New York, NY (Radio Vision Cristiana)

Christian propaganda in Español coming in strong with a reverb sheen and soothing music. Strangely enough, this station is rebroadcast with a monster transmitter from the Carribean and can be received locally in New York at 540 kHz as well (which I had mentioned in this post). Christian broadcasting, it’s relentless.

Graveyard 1340 – Another Jumble of Distant Stations

This is another one of those “graveyard frequencies.”

1350 – Another Jumble

Another mess of stations, but with a sappy adult contemporary ballad faintly leading the pack.

1360 – Another Jumble of Stations

1370 – Jumble

However, there seems to be two stations in front on this frequency. One or both seem to be playing commercials. And it’s just a few minutes after 3 am at this point, a typical time for spots after or during the news. I think I hear a violin in there somewhere.

Medium_wave_multiplexing_equipment_1 1380 – WKDM New York, NY

A mambo! This frequency in New York has been broadcasting in a number of languages (mostly Spanish) since the 1960’s and has a few call letter changes as well. It’s currently a “ brokered” ethnic station, meaning people who speak languages than English buy blocks of programming to do their thing. Obviously, it’s Spanish here and a bit nostalgic as well.

1390 – Another Jumble of Stations

Many stations here again. Could that be CCR ever so slightly sticking out atop this pulsating audio slop?

1400 – Unknown Talk Station

Coming in very poorly on this graveyard frequency, it’s a right-wing female talk host spouting off about the immigration bill in the Senate. Not much to go on here, but a little detective work leads me to think this might be WSTC in Stamford, CT or WWGE in Loretto, PA, or maybe something else.

Limbaugh_on_kqv_in_70s_1 1410 – KQV Pittsburgh, PA

Some patient dial manipulation and antenna tweaking pulled this one up out of another frequency pile up. In fact, in a moment of DX happenstance the station seems to come in at it’s strongest right when they give the ID. This was a successful top 40 station for many years, and now it’s all news all the time. Oh, and El Rushbo was a hotshot rock jock here years ago too.

1420 – Jumble

More messy reception with a nice heterodyne whine for your pleasure.

1430 – WNSW Newark, NJ

Not coming in as well as usual, this is another brokered (mainly ethnic) station at this end of the dial in NYC. And they’re playing some sweet Spanish ballads. Sounds Mexican to me, but what do I know.

Earlier in the evening you can hear big band/standards stalwart Danny Stiles on this frequency playing old and moldy classics and rarities. And via the miracle of minidisc recording he also broadcasts late in the night on a stronger frequency in the city on sister station WPAT at 930 AM.

1440 – Unknown Christian Station

Not coming in very well. A creepy preacher carrying on. Something about a human conspiracy (is there any other kind?) in ancient Rome. Don’t really know what this is. I suppose it could be WNYG out on Long Island, but offering only 38 watts after sunset that seems unlikely.

1450 – One More Messy Jumble of Stations

One more stop in the graveyard. Absolutely nothing to hear at this frequency except that fact that somewhere out there a whole bunch of stations are using up electricity.

That’s it for my impromptu scan of the upper end of the AM band. Considering the fact that my apartment is less than five miles from 50,000 watt WQEW at 1560 kHz the next few Wqew_1 frequencies are polluted by the Radio Disney garbage they spew into the atmosphere. The signal is so strong that it bleeds into my stereo system if there’s bad connection and you can hear the station by just picking up the pay phone down the street.

During the 1990’s, WQEW was the home of damn good standards/nostalgia station, but in 1998 the owners of the license (The New York Times) saw fit to rent out this wide-coverage clear channel frequency to the freaks at Disney/ABC for their automated kiddie format. Those guys at the Times are such visionaries.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)

Adventures In Amplitude Modulation – Part 14

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Brooklyn_window_1 This entry ends a four-post arc in this series offering a station by station breakdown of 49 and 41 meter (shortwave) band reception in Brooklyn March 1, 2006. The recording offered here features the second half of the 41 meter band, a very active segment of the alloted shortwave frequencies for international broadcasting, from just after 8:30 until around 9 p.m. EST (about 0133 to 0220 UTC). The radio I’m using is the cute and inexpensive BCL-2000, an occasionally drifty receiver with “image” issues, which happens to offer analog tuning with digital readout of frequency. Nothing fancy.

As far as the real world a month later, I’ve had rather a hectic week and the only significant time I’ve had to concentrate on shortwave or DXing has been spent reviewing the aircheck for this post. However, I can say that in my brief dips into radio reception around here that the difficulties I’ve had receiving many of the monster AM clear channel stations has returned to normal over the last week or so. And shortwave reception seems to be pretty good too.

Oh, and one other thing I wanted to pass on before getting right to the audio for this post. I ran into a Usenet thread in the group that might be of interest to some readers of this series. First contact with a shortwave radio can be a frustrating and/or disappointing experience. The reason people with an interest in shortwave radio spend so much time Yb400 researching propagation and frequencies (as well as actually logging reception), is because getting to know your way around the shortwave bands and scoring difficult to receive broadcasts is sort of a craft, a sport, even an art. But as I’ve repeatedly said, if you have a decent radio and follow some basic rules you won’t always be disappointed, and eventually you could be amazed. Rather than go into all the problems with location, interference, propagation and radios in general, you might want to take a look at this Usenet discussion. It’s launched by an earnest and diligent newbie who has just purchased a Grundig Yacht Boy YB-400 (a fairly inexpensive Chinese-made digital portable) and was NOT having a rewarding shortwave radio experience up in his New England condo. And in this thread (over 70 messages long) all sorts of savvy shortwave listeners offer tips, suggestions and personal experiences that cover almost all of the main points of what it takes to get a little performance out of a shortwave radio. Recommended.

Geographic_map_of_usenet_sites That said, I didn’t read every post in this thread, but from what I looked at most of the posts seemed informative and constructive., and the radio discussion groups in general on Usenet, are sadly prone to inane flame wars and childish off-topic garbage these days. Yet I still find this shortwave newsgroup to be a decent source for news and information. However, it’s not uncommon to see a reasonable discussion in that group turn worthless after one dopey post.

Speaking of that, I won’t ramble any longer. Here’s the other half of the 41 meter band-scan offered last week. Nothing as sonically pleasant as the Turkish music I featured, and there’s a number of nearly non-existent broadcasts in the mix on this recording. But it is unedited reception. It’s really what you might have heard that night on your own radio in the northeast U.S., except I’m the one who chose when to turn the dial.

Segment 2-41 Meter Band (7305 to 7545 kHz) 03-01-06


7305 – Vatican Radio

Holy stuff I’m sure. Sounded like Italian to me at first. But that’s kind of what Spanish with a heavy Italian accents sounds like when it’s a rather faint buzzy radio signal.

Lybie 7320 – Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting & BBC from Cyprus (unknown language)

Here’s an interesting accidental collage– emotional and frothy Arabic on top of a steadfast BBC newsreader. From all the handwringing I’d guess the Libyan broadcast is of a religious nature. The BBC fellow is very hard to read, but I do hear the word "Iraq" in there somewhere. The BBC signal is from a relay on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, while the Libyan broadcast is being relayed from central France.

7335 – Vatican Radio

Very faint, some language, again sounds like an Italian accent, VERY faint with Brooklyn RF taking its toll. Lots of buzz. Imagine you have a all sorts of tech tools to eliminate much of the inherent noise and gradually pull in a crappy signal like this and turn it into something cogent and you have an idea of what raw reception a serious DXer might contend with to log some distance or exotic catch.

Radio_prague_studio 7345 – Radio Prague

Rather faint, but present. Female newsreader. I believe might be Spanish with a Czech accent. Something about Californica. Fanfare right before I move up the dial.

7390 – Voice of Russia

Very difficult read, unknown language, slight buzz, thick whine. If you’re not annoyed by listening to this low-volume indistinct human voice within a wavering noise envelope like this (and could potentially have some interest in the nature of the content) then maybe you should pick up a shortwave radio, if you don’t already own one.                  

7400 – Radio Bulgaria

Nice and clear compared to what you just heard, although there is another distant broadcast chewing on the edges of this reception. Male and then a female speaking in an unknown language, and then a mediocre pop song kicks in.

Mic_of_america 7405 – Voice of America (from Greenville, NC)

This is the news in “Special English," a tradition on VOA. What’s special about it? It’s headlines read at slow pace and with a limited vocabulary. I assume this is somewhat similar to what the morning briefing for Mr. Bush might sound like.

Actually, the headlines in this segment are all concerning labor and economic issues in Latin America, the assumed target for the this broadcast.

7415  – WBCQ (Nothing…)

Here that silence! While there’s no discernable noise at 7415, there’s not any WBCQ Either. And that’s what I’ve been able to hear from WBCQ in Maine at this time on almost any given night for months now, which is a big disappointment. When 7415 powers up in the afternoon I can usually pick them up here in the city as before, but after dark “The Planet” has been MIA.

I’ve heard second-hand that the folks at WBCQ have said that their 7415 signal “hops” around the country and reception from further away has been much better than it has been here in the Northeast and Midwest. If somebody from the WBCQ posse, or just a more knowledable radio mind, can clear up what’s going on with 7415 lately, I’d like to know. Some of the more interesting shows on all of U.S. shortwave run on this frequency.

7475 Voice of Greece

Some ouzo drenched song stylings, in a mournful manner. And then an announcer…

7500 Radio Bulgaria

That thick whine, and some VERY quiet music and then a female announcer becomes more distinct. Unknown language, which I assume is Bulgarian but I don’t know. Another broadcast splatters in, not much else.

The_king 7505 – KTBN  Salt Lake City, UT

Now, for some real drama. Actually, it’s a documentary on one of one of the most famous military operations of post WWII era, "Operation Thunderbolt,” the 1976 Israeli hostage rescue mission at the Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Actually, KTBN is just mainly an audio feed from the “Trinity Broadcasting Network,” the biggest Christian TV network in the U.S. And do you think this is a regular feature on hostage rescues on TBN? Not likely.

While the Entebbe raid was a brave and incredible effort to save lives, to many it was armed conflict at its finest. And when you consider that it was also a major historical victory against a band of terrorists that had little if any international repercussions, you can see why the retelling of this harrowing and successful mission might also be a propaganda tool to bolster support for the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7520 – WYFR (Worldwide Family Radio)

Very faint, which is fine as far as I’m concerned.

7545 – KOL Israel

Kol In Hebrew. Years ago I recall hearing quite a bit of English language programming from Israel, but in my casual listening over the last few years I don’t think I’ve heard much more than news headlines in English from Israel.

And the reception of this station kicks in with music. Which brings me to this observation. Sometimes, you can still get the gist of a the lyrics of a pop song without understanding a word of the language used. Here’s a possible case in point.

There seems to be an urgent narrative element to the song that begins this sampling of KOL. It’s my guess this is a story song, a hurrah to some brave Israeli person, town, or the country itself–. Something rousing with flutes!

Although this song is a much catchier tune, it reminds me of “The Ballad of Roger Young,” a right-wing folk song about a soldier who sacrifices his life to save his buddies, which I was forced to sing in elementary school. I seem to recall some screed about the glories of the Vietnam War attached to it by the music teacher as well.

I have a couple of Israeli albums I’ve found in thrift stores with songs celebrating the Six Day War that they sound quite a bit like this song. Then again, forgetting context I can imagine that it’s Yma Sumac belting out some seafaring theme song on a ship in a 50’s South Pacific action-adventure flick. If anybody who speaks Hebrew could enlighten me on the lyrics of this song, or the general content of this clip from Israel, I’m certainly curious.

Yma After the epic “yo-ho-ho” anthem, there’s some chatting, another rousing number, then more talk and the cheerful windup of the program with outro music. Then I believe there’s a several promos for some upcoming features, which sound very similar to advertising. Some fast paced productions, obviously promoting or selling something.

This ends this little review of the 41 meter band, including a few stations on either side of its official boundaries. Questions and comments can be left on this post, if appropriate, or you can send me an email. Other posts in this radio blog series can be found here. I’m very interested in corrections and translations, as well as general feedback.

Next week? Back to the AM dial I think. And in future posts I may just cherry pick a bunch of shortwave band-scans I’ve made here in Brooklyn with my old Zenith Transoceanic over the last few years, or maybe I’ll think of something else to talk about in the meantime. If you have any ideas, email me.

Thanks for listening.

(This post originally appeared in Beware of the Blog.)