Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


From Fast Food to Alan Freed

Dan remembers Burger Queen and finds a small radio station

In keeping with the eclectic theme I’ve been in recently, here’s another collection of odd, different or just fun links.

I appreciate readers sending in cool links. From Jerry McCarty comes this excellent web site called “Damn Interesting.”

Mob Shipwreck
I have to say, that this vintage news web site has quickly become a favorite. Unlike some web sites, it’s not polluted with pop-ups, misleading headlines, and the information seems to be genuine and true (as opposed to the wild claim web sites that lure you in for the ridiculous). This was a 1930s ship used by the mob for “illegal stuff,” but it was beached by a storm in 1937 and still sits in the water off a beach in Coronado, Calif.

Cinema Sounds
Looking for some production inspiration? I make a weekly one-hour radio show for LPFMs called “Reel Tunez,” a radio show all about movies with movie music, trivia and sound bites from movies. I found this cinematic music clip series on YouTube to have some great inspiration on it.

Old Food
From MeTV comes this article which is for those of over 40 years old (or more). It’s eight fast food chains you wish you could eat at again. You probably remember Burger Chef (remember “Burger Chef & Jeff” commercials?). Burger King still exists today, so it’s not here, but one that also isn’t in this list (probably because it was such a small chain) is “Burger Queen.” I can remember as a kid in Sarasota, Fla., there was a small group of “Burger Queen” restaurants! Hope you enjoy this site and article. MeTV’s site has a lot of other fun pages and stories related to pop culture and pop history. Don’t blame me if you visit but can’t leave.

The World’s Smallest Radio Station
If you love low-power radio stations or 1950s radio (or both), you’ll love this YouTube video. It’s a video of two kids who built a low-power AM station in the 1950s. By the description, it sounds like a carrier current 5 W (using passive-inductance to get the signal into local homes via the electric lines) operation. It’s a lot of fun to watch! By the way, I built my first “home radio station” at about the same age as these kids. I was about 11 years old and commandeered our old single-stall garage (it was unique in that it had a basement and had been connected to the house for cooking up “moonshine” during prohibition in the 1930s!).

Anyhow, I got a bunch of Suzuki motorcycle shipping boxes and refrigerator boxes to “frame” my studio’s and offices in the garage, then using turntables (connecting the speaker outputs to a “sort of” home-brew mixer, then fed it into a 1950s Knight Kit audio amplifier. That Knight Kit audio amp “transmitted” ALL OVER the AM dial and for as far as a block. So watching these kids brings back some fond memories!

And finally …

Back to YouTube for the first part of a documentary well worth watching. It’s the story of Alan Freed, the fellow credited with coining the term “rock’n roll” and who went through a lot over payola. No matter what you think about what happened, there’s no disputing that Freed was an incredibly talented person.

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is [email protected].