Last month I held my first annual Recommended Station of The Year Contest and I asked RecommendedStations.com readers to vote for their favorite Internet radio station based on the stations I have recommended to date. The more than 400 responses I received far exceeded my expectations considering my website was brand new.
Voters did not have it easy. There were dozens of superb Recommended Stations on the ballot, but there can only be one winner. Congratulations to Classic KABL Radio, The 2021 Recommended Station of The Year, as voted by its listeners worldwide. Having amassed 69.93% of the vote, the overwhelming support KABL received from its loyal listeners is, like its programming, truly impressive. If you want to find out more about this great station, read last month’s Recommended Stations blog article that includes KABL.
On winning the award, Tony Onorad, Program Director of KABL radio said, “KABL is honored and extremely grateful to receive this listener-based 2021 Recommended Station of the Year award! Dedicated to streaming America’s Best Music, KABL breathes San Francisco’s rich and colorful history in the air – everywhere! We congratulate our award-winning mentor and announcer, Professor Bill Moen; Sunday host Trish Bell; and streaming founder David Jackson. Thank you for this most high honor!”
Former KABL personality Bill Moen wrote me to express his thanks “for recognizing that Radio does, still, have an audience. Of course, to David Ferrell Jackson for putting KABL on the Internet, years ago, to Tony Onorad and his crew for reviving it this past summer and programming it so superbly but, most of all, to those who have listened for the past SIXTY years and to those newcomers, around the world. And, finally, to the inspiration and reason for it ALL. . .San Francisco, the only American city that can be compared to Paris, not in its history or its size but in that indefinable thing that can take your breath away. . .charm.”
Support Your Station
Thank you very much to everyone who voted. Regardless of whether you voted for KABL or not, please consider making a donation to your favorite listener-supported Internet radio station to help them continue streaming the great programming that made them a Recommended Station to start with.
As you may know, when I select a station to be a Recommended Station, I do not do so at random. I do a lot of searching and listening, trying to find a station that stands out and has an interesting backstory. Being named a Recommended Station is a great achievement in itself. All of the stations included on the ballot are superb stations worthy of an audition.
I also want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to those of you who signed up as a monthly Recommended Station Patreon supporter in advance of the first Recommended and Hitchhiker Stations. Thank you so much for your invaluable support and for sharing my enthusiasm for Internet radio. However, much more support is needed to cover expenses so please consider supporting RecommendedStations.com via Patreon for just $1/month (not $1/day or $1/week) if you have yet to sign up. The money will help keep RecommendedStations.com going. Remember, Patreon will be the only way to access my monthly Recommended Station and Hitchhiker Station (they will not be posted on the free blog). October’s Recommended and Hitchhiker Stations will be posting to my Patreon page in just a few hours from now.
Get On The Email List
If you would like to know when new articles post to the free blog or be advised of notifications like this one, please sign up on my email list on RecommendedStations.com’s home page. I promise not to bombard you with emails and I will not sell or share your email address.
Finally, if you enjoy the content, please pass the word along via social media, etc.
Many of my Recommended Stations readers told me they would rather read one Recommended Station a month than wait six months for five or six Recommended Stations. So, instead of accumulating multiple stations over several months and crafting two Recommended Stations articles per year, I started this website and shall be issuing one Recommended Station per month exclusively to all of my Recommended Stations Supporters on Patreon. This will be the only way to access my Recommended Stations. You can become a supporter via Patreon for just $1/month. For more, click the link embedded in the paragraph below the voting ballot.
The following is my final multi-Recommended Stations blog article before my monthly recommendation starts in October. These five Internet radio stations (and two Hitchhiker Stations!) will serve as a free introduction of what to expect each month as a Patreon Supporter, though as explained, I will be recommending one station every month.
I deployed my Internet radio divining rod and uncovered a constellation of Recommended Stations for you along with a few classic Hitchhiker stations thrown in for good measure. As I am known to do, I have included the history of each as well as illuminating station-related interviews where possible, plus my trademark trivia at the conclusion of each segment.
Please read all the way down to the end because there is an important contest announcement I think you will want to participate in if you enjoy listening to any of these or my past Recommended Stations.
Crooner Radio, California (192 kbps/MP3)
Not to be confused with the array of Crooner Radio Internet stations also sporting a black logo but streaming from Paris, France, and at lower quality, this Crooner Radio was the first and is based in California. It has been streaming golden throats for 14 years, and at 192 kbps, the hi-fi sound is very good. The thousands of songs in the music library are first filtered through a program that improves the sound quality before making it on the air. Windows Media voted it the #1 vocal jazz station on the Internet. Although most popular here in the states, Crooner Radio has listeners in more than 100 countries including the U.K., Canada, France, and Germany. As many as 1,000 listeners tune in each day. You should be one of them. I recommend Crooner Radio without reservation.
Part of what makes a Recommended Station is its backstory, and Crooner radio has a unique one. The station was founded by Morgan Manning with help from singer/pianist Buddy Greco (R.I.P.) along with support from Jack Jones, Jerry Vale, Keely Smith, and other crooners. Some of them provided Manning with exclusive music to air on his station that had never been released before. Yet another reason Crooner Radio is worthy of Recommended Station status.
Frank Was My Friend
Manning has a fascinating history as he explained to me in an email: “I grew up knowing Frank Sinatra, as he heard a tape of me singing in the 80’s and called me and told me that I should pursue a singing career. He also said that when I did my first show that he would come. Over the years I got to know him, and was invited to his many parties here in Palm Springs, and would be on his guest list whenever he performed in Vegas. I have seen him 34 times in concert. Being that I would be invited to the parties, I ended up befriending singers such as Buddy Greco, Jack Jones, Keely Smith (R.I.P) and others. I then ended up being invited to other parties and functions by other crooners and ended up being good friends with them over the years. I brought up the idea of Crooner Radio to them and they loved the idea, and they started providing me with music, including unreleased material.”
“As many as 1,000 listeners tune in each day. You should be one of them. I recommend Crooner Radio without reservation.”
The station more than lives up to its motto, “All Crooners, All The Time!” In addition to Greco, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Martino, Sammy Davis, Jr, Jane Monheit, Frank Sinatra, Margaret Whiting, Dean Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Eartha Kitt, Wayne Newton, Lena Horne, Johnny Hartman, and Paul Anka are a sampling of the legends Crooner Radio delivered to my eagerly awaiting ears. The station also features several nifty specialty programs like The Retro Cocktail Hour, Swingin’ Saturdays, The Sounds of Sinatra with Sid Mark, and Sundays with The Rat Pack.
Fool Me Once…
As for that imposter Crooner station in France, Manning told me, “The Crooner Radio in France copied us. We are the original Crooner Radio. We have unfortunately tried to pursue legal action against the France station, however it is hard with them being in France and us being based out of the U.S. We have many people who come to us saying…there is something wrong with the station, only to find that they are [listening to the station] from France and not ours…I have personally spoken with the owner and instead of taking the station down, he asked to join forces. We had declined to do this and are still pursuing avenues to stop their station…we have found out that they have actually recorded some of our music to play on their station. We monitor the Crooner in France and found that the exact music, including the music given to us by the artist directly, was playing on their station as well. The only way that could happen is by recording our songs and replaying them on their station. We also have applied for a copyright, which in time will remove their Facebook and Twitter pages, as these are U.S. based companies, so they have to honor the copyright laws in the U.S. We are commercial free and have no talking. France has commercials and lots of talking.”
There are not many original crooners left…Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett are two big names that immediately come to mind. I have tickets to see Mathis live next year. Years ago I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Bennett live in Boston. Diana Krall opened for him and the two performed a few numbers together. It was magic. Take away one name from the list because just two weeks ago Bennett, aged 95, announced his retirement from performing. Today’s crooning music scene is dominated by the likes of Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, Jamie Cullum, Michael Feinstein, and Diana Krall. As gifted as they are, there is just no beating the legends. We cannot bring them back, but we can relive their amazing artistry any time we like through Crooner Radio. Just be sure to tune theoriginalstation in California with the big microphone in its logo.
Trivia (from Wikipedia): “Crooner is a term used to describe primarily male singers who performed using a smooth style…It is derived from the old verb “to croon” (meaning “to speak or sing softly”). This suggestion of intimacy was supposedly wildly attractive to women, especially younger ones such as teenage girls, known at the time as “bobby soxers“. The crooning style developed out of singers who performed with big bands, and reached its height in the 1940s and 1950s.”
2. Classic KABL 960 Radio, California (64 kbps/AAC)
Robert P. from Glendale, CA emailed me raving about this station, saying it sprinkled “tidbits of Bay Area nostalgia” in with its wonderful music programming. Today, KABL (named after San Francisco’s iconic cable cars) is a commercial-free Internet-only station, yet it still retains its classic AM radio sound and even plays the original station jingles. KABL describes its format as Big Band-Swing, Jazz, and Vocals. Say no more. They had me after Big Band-Swing. Their website describes it best: “…lush, timeless instrumentals, unforgettable vocalists, swinging Big Bands, sophisticated jazz and countless cool musical surprises that you haven’t heard on the air in years.” Their slogan sums it up perfectly: “Playing America’s Best Music”.
I Left My Heart In….
Given KABL’s history, the station will understandably be forever tied to San Francisco, but that does not alienate us listeners who do not live there. On the contrary. Now that it has joined the ranks of tens of thousands of other free Internet radio stations, KABL can share its classic sound with the world. Thanks to Internet radio, the station truly is “in the air- everywhere.” Note you will find KABL listed as “Classic KABL 960 Radio” even though they no longer broadcast on 960AM.
In The Air Tonight
What is that classic sound? I have heard some of this music referred to as “adult standards”, but the closest format I could ascribe to KABL would be “beautiful music”. Frankly, I hesitate using that label because it implies the audience ranges from 80 years old to dead. I am happy to confirm I am neither. Perhaps specific examples will help…Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Mantovani, Patti Page, The Skyliners, Peter Nero, Keely Smith, Dean Martin, Eartha Kitt, Mel Torme, and even Doc Severinsen. Whomever crafts KABL’s playlist does an excellent job and clearly puts a good deal of thought into it. KABL also brought back the popular Sunday Sounds with Trish Bell that ran on the original AM station for over a dozen years.
In addition to the music, I enjoyed hearing original vintage KABL jingles, promos, history, and contests such as describing your worst nightmare with the winner getting to spend a night in the Chamber of Horrors section of the local wax museum. Being the huge horror movie fan I am, I would have loved that. Then there was KABL’s annual running of the snakes held every St. Patrick’s Day with the winner taking home $1,000 along with his pet snake. That is, until an animal rights group put an end to the huge public attraction in 1987.
Moen- Listen for Life.
Bill Moen, a Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame inductee, started at KABL 960 AM way back in 1960. He recorded little vignettes about all-things San Francisco. Think Paul Harvey but much briefer, only covering subjects about San Francisco, and without the Bose commercials. Eventually, Moen went on to host the very popular morning drive show, “Moen in The Morning”. You will hear Moen’s musings on the current-day KABL.
Donning my detective’s fedora, I tracked down Moen and asked him what made KABL-AM so special. “How to capture KABLs essence is tricky”, Moen wrote me. “San Francisco is a city in love with itself, its history, its cosmopolitan outlook, its culture, its diversity and, of course its beauty. KABL held up the mirror and successfully appealed to its vanity with paeans of flattery, self-congratulations, listenable music, subtle, even zany, humor and the impression that YOU, the listener, were ‘special’…a San Franciscan.”
“Frankly, I hesitate using that label because it implies the audience ranges from 80 years old to dead. I am happy to confirm I am neither.”
Ironically, Moen was an unknown voice on KABL for many years as he explained to me. “The announcers were not allowed to, even, use our names from [KABL’s] inception in 1960 until 1974. Any recognition that I achieved was after the first 14 years of anonymity…”
As for Internet radio and the current KABL, Moen told me: “Internet Radio is great, as I once said, ‘Never did I dream in Fargo, North Dakota, on my first job back in 1954, that someday I would receive a fan letter from Istanbul!’ Moen called Recommended Stations “an idea whose time has come.” “I don’t listen to any other stations”, Moen continued, “and, only, sporadically, to KABL. I am still the voice that they use but I no longer write nor interpret the copy, as my 92 years have taken, as one would expect, their toll…The guys who are carrying the KABL banner now have, certainly, improved on the original, in their Herculean efforts to revive a 62 year old memory.”
I have not been able to quit KABL since saving it as a preset. If its format is indeed beautiful music, then KABL is one of the most beautiful stations on the Internet. I do not think I have heard anything quite like it before, which is precisely the kind of station I love bringing to you in my Recommended Stations.
Trivia:The first cable car went into operation in 1873.Today, only forty cable cars are left in San Francisco, serving 9.7 million people. They are the last manually operated trolleys in the world.
3. TRUSA – Trucker’s Radio USA, Texas (192 kbps/MP3)
I confess I used to be a dedicated viewer of Hee Haw re-runs until Verizon Fios unforgivably removed the RFD-TV Network from its lineup several years ago. Thankfully, Circle TV airs Hee Haw reruns. Admittedly, Hee Haw was not exactly the source for the best in country music, not that I am a country music connoisseur. But it was a fun, wholesome program, and I loved the Hee Haw Honeys. As part of this month’s Tech Rap, I embarked on a search for a fun, wholesome country music Internet station. After all, with 2,200 country music radio stations in the USA, Country is this country’s leading radio format according to statista.com.
What’s Your Genre?
One thing I discovered on my country music station quest: Country music has a slew of sub-genres…Classic Country, Christian Country, Cowpunk, Outlaw Country, Progressive Country, Gothic Country, Country Rock, Canadian Country, Cowboy Country, and even Country Rap if you can believe it. I wanted to find an Internet station that invested heavily in Classic Country but without completely ignoring some of the newer stuff. I found my answer in TRUSA- Truckers Radio USA.
In It for The Long Haul
TRUSA was founded in 2017 by former truck driver and long-time disc jockey (two great tastes that tastes great together) Ron Tyler, with hit country music recording star Rex Allen Jr joining later as a partner (and radio host). Tyler passed away in March of last year but the station keeps on truckin’. Tyler amassed an extensive country music collection and wanted to create a station formatted around the kind of traditional country music he knew truckers wanted to listen to. As TRUSA states on their Facebook page: “The music may be thirty or forty years old; it may have been released recently…but it’s produced in the spirit and style that made country music an indelible part of America’s soul.” TRUSA’s website expounds a little more on this: “Traditional Country – you know, the good stuff from the 1950’s and 60’s on. Traditional country is more than a time period; it’s a style and approach to music that we cherish. We have an incredible collection of the songs that defined country music, and also sprinkle in Western Music (cowboy music), Bluegrass, Americana and Country Gospel…At TRUSA we have a heart for the road and the heritage of country music. Wherever you roam, we hope you’ll take us with you. Enjoy the ride on Truckers Radio USA!”
Country Music for All
Like jazz, country music is a purely American invention, yet TRUSA has heard from truckers tuning in from as far away as the UK, Australia, Germany, and Canada. The fact that this Recommended Station was originally developed just for truck drivers almost landed it a spot in my Hitchhiker Station list. The reality is, Truckers Radio USA is enjoyed by anyone who appreciates traditional country music. Their highlight reel includes such artists as Mel Tillis, Mac Davis, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Rich, Johnny cash, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Brooks & Dunn, and Roy Clark (speaking of Hee Haw). More contemporary artists on their playlist included Don Henley, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and The Judds.
Country Is Their Specialty
As with any good radio station, TRUSA offers up a goodly number of quality specialty programs including classic episodes of The Grand Ole Opry, Bluegrass from the Rockin’ Banjo Ranch, Western Swing & Other Things, Full Gallop (cowboy music), The Americana Road Show, and two hours of country gospel every Sunday morning. All of TRUSA’s hosts are musical performers and thus lend real authenticity to the programming.
TRUSA is also the only music station to air Land Line Now, an award-winning, hour-long news magazine specifically geared (excuse the pun) for American truckers. As TRUSA says about the program, “think ‘All Things Considered’ for truckers.”
General Manager and station partner Martha Farrell emailed me some great information about TRUSA and answered my questions about the station:
PS: What is it about Truckers Radio USA that your listeners find so appealing?
MF: “Truly great hosts who are interesting people. Music that is hard to find on contemporary radio stations. Our hosted shows premiere new episodes every weekend, and it is a wonderful listen. Some people tune in for the whole day on Saturday. In addition, each host has a fan base. Rex Allen Jr has the largest one; thousands of fans have been following his career for 50 years, and he has been very accessible to them. During the week our playlist is surprising – covering 5 decades of traditional country music, with limited commercials.”
PS: How do truck drivers access the station in their trucks if TRUSA is an Internet-only radio station?
MF: “Today’s trucks are hotspots. Some are equipped with internet radios already, but everyone can plug in their phones and listen…straight from the website.”
PS: TRUSA is more than just a country music Internet station.
MF: “We remember the good old days of local radio and are developing a regional model for it. We’re the media sponsor for the 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail. This is a 5-year series of events covering 5 states. Michael Martin Murphey is the Honorary Chair. This is a natural partnership for us because today’s truckers still travel the Santa Fe Trail today. We’re running PSA’s and feature a new podcast every week about the history of the Trail and the events that are commemorating it. We’re also getting into sponsoring of live musical events in the Western and Bluegrass genres. We believe in live music and want to get people out to experience it. We hope our spotlight will encourage the growth and professionalism of Western music in particular. Cowboy music, traditional or contemporary, is “comfort music”, and the world needs a lot more of that today.”
PS: Anything else to add, Martha?
MF: “It’s a joy to be in the internet radio business today. I grew up in AM radio of the 1960’s and 1970’s when everything was very hardware based and our reach was small. Now the world is literally our community. Last month I corresponded with a civil engineer in Greece who listens every day. We’re touching lives in ways we’ll never know.”
Flatbedders Do It with Straps and Chains
You do not need to take up big rig driving to listen to Truckers Radio USA, nor must you be a fan of Hee Haw. Thanks to Internet radio, you do not even have to be in the USA. So, put the hammer down and turn the volume up on your music system for Recommended Station, Truckers Radio USA. Keep on truckin’. 10-4, good buddy.
Trivia:According to noregon.com, the average mileage of a semi-truck is 5.89 miles per gallon. Class 8 trucks travel an average of 65,000 miles per year. In 2018, 3.5 million people were employed as truck drivers in the USA.
4. LuxuriaMusic, California (65 kbps/AAC)
Lady luck must have been smiling on me for this one (Lady Luck is about the only lady who will smile at me, and she does not do it very often). I discovered this Recommended Station by chance from a printed advert. Captivated by the ad’s Josh “Shag” Agle retro graphics, I put on my detective’s fedora, transformed into a gumshoe, and began my station investigation in earnest. My neurotransmitters, which went into partial hibernation during COVID, were ill-prepared for the dopamine explosion they were about to experience.
LuxuriaMusic showcases music for cool cats…bosa nova, space age pop, exotica, surf, Latin, go-go, and bachelor pad music. This all generally falls under the “lounge music” umbrella, but I prefer to categorize it as music other stations refuse to play. Listening to The Lettermen cover The Doors’ Hello, I love You and Touch Me, and The Chipmunks’ Herb Alpert parody, Sorry about That, Herb, was a delight.
My Kind of Scene
But I do not want to give you the wrong impression. Luxuriamusic is not married to musical oddities. This far out station plays plenty of outstanding mainstream songs by such musical squares as Nelson Riddle, Al Cohn, Maynard Ferguson, Les Baxter, Dusty Springfield, Henry Mancini, Eydie Gorme, Esquivel, Lalo Schifrin, The Jackie Gleason Orchestra, and Percy Faith. LuxuriaMusic is your one-way ticket to loungeville, with pleasant layovers along the way. My ears never knew what was around the next musical corner, like when they were caressed with Gil Scott-Heron’s Lady Day and John Coltrane. Solid, baby.
Though they have Les Baxter and Martin Denny on speed dial, Luxuriamusic is not a one trick pony. You will hear a smattering of newer retro groups too, like Combustible Edison, Stolen Idols, Senor Coconut, and Nutty. If this is lounge music, then lounge me up.
Pick A Show, Any Show
LuxuriaMusic’s staff includes over thirty talented hosts, more than any radio station I ever worked for. Most of them host one of a plethora of live specialty programs like Thrifting for Tunes (exotica), The Beyond-O-Phonic Action Hour, Fiberglass Jungle (surf music), Paisley Underground Consortium (psychedelic), Easitaly (easy listening Italiano style), and Saturday Night Special which features a different host and different genre every Saturday night. The station is quite proud of their (unpaid) hosts and their intimate association with their music. One of them even started their own record label.
“My neurotransmitters, which went into partial hibernation during COVID, were ill-prepared for the dopamine explosion they were about to experience.”
Mixed in with this mosaic of magnificent musical madness are vintage commercials and sound bites from vintage TV shows, movies, and cartoons, but not to the extent where they become annoying. The only thing missing is the occasional sound effect of a cocktail shaker and two martini glasses clinking. Actually, there is one other important element missing…commercials (thankfully).
I fired off an email to the station with questions, unsure who would get it. A couple of weeks passed with no response and I thought I had been ignored. Then I received a call from LuxuriaMusic’s Program Director, Kat “Den Mother” Griffin. As it turns out, Griffin grew up in Stoughton, MA. Although she moved to California when she was in high school, she still has family ties in MA.
Snobs Need Not Apply
Luxuriamusic has an interesting history as Griffin relayed to me. The station originally started streaming in 2000, was sold and went dark, and was resuscitated by current owner Cliff Chase in 2005. Griffin signed on as Program Director and also carried over her show “Madly Cocktail” from another radio station. She told me she cannot take credit for the station’s format, which was designed to celebrate the artistry and musicianship of this type of music. However, she said she did work hard at purging the station of its “snobbish” reputation, as they want as many listeners as possible to appreciate the playlist.
Make The Connection
Besides the music, the other big factor that makes LuxuriaMusic a Recommended Station is its connection with its listeners. They want listeners to feel as if they are a part of the station. Griffin told me the listeners are just as important as any other aspect of the station. For example, she personally airs thank you messages by name to listeners who support the station. They even have a chat room where listeners can chat live with the DJs. You would do well to get to know this station that gets to know you.
25,000 Songs Can’t Be Wrong
As far as the music is concerned, Luxuriamusic has somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 songs in their data base, many of which have been transferred from the original vinyl records. Though the emphasis is on music from the 1950s-60s, on rare occasions you will hear some tunes from the 1930s. Swing it! Plus, they stream in the AAC codec so you know the music will sound good. In short, LuxuriaMusic provides a smooth, satisfying listen without any bitter aftertaste. This is my kind of bag, baby.
Like a big, lumbering, tail finned Cadillac from the 1950s, LuxuriaMusic was built for comfort not speed. It is a gas, man. I mean, it really razzed my berries. The sounds are so out of this world they will send you straight into orbit. You dig, Daddy-O?
Trivia: According to allmusic.com, lounge music is “a strain of easy listening music from the ’50s and ’60s that was based on the lush styles of latter-day swing and big band music. Lounge scaled these back, borrowing ideas from the worldbeat exploration of exotica, as well as the futuristic aspirations of space age pop. Lounge wasn’t as adventurous as either form, yet it wasn’t as watered down as Muzak — instead, it occupied the middle ground, appealing to fans of traditional pop as well as space-age pop.”
5. Brazilian Birds, Switzerland (320 kbps/MP3)
Given the rapid deforestation of the Amazon rain forest, who knows how much longer we will be able to hear the mesmerizing music of the more than 1,300 birds that make their home in the treetops. Some of these species include the Toucan, Hummingbird, Macaw, Parrot, and Harpy Eagle. Nature provides these beautiful birds with a free buffet of insects, nuts, fruit, and leaves, but illegal logging to create space for cattle ranching is robbing these feathered creatures of their natural habitat. Forty flying species are endangered and 150 more are at risk for extinction.
It’s For the Birds
Internet station Brazilian Birds maintains its server in Switzerland, but its bird calls are 100% from the Amazon rain forest. Although the rain forest spans across nine different South American countries, its largest footprint is in Brazil, so it follows these bird calls originated in Brazil. Streaming in very high quality at 320 kbps, you will think your music system has turned into a massive birdhouse.
Can You Solve the Mystery?
There is one mystery I was unable to solve despite wearing my detective’s fedora. The station’s meta data shows a Roman numeral at the end of the description. At first, I thought the number corresponded to one of the four layers of the Amazon rain forest (Emergent, Canopy, Understory, and Forest Floor), where the recording took place, which would be very cool, but this cannot the case since the numbers go past IV. I am not sure what the numbers represent. Perhaps I am over-thinking this and they simply indicate the recording number.
“Streaming in very high quality at 320 kbps, you will think your music system has turned into a massive birdhouse. “
Who knows how long the Amazon rain forest will be with us. Thanks to this Recommended Station, many of the sounds will be with us whenever we like. Brazilian Birds will serve to re-calibrate your usual music routine. If you use your music system as an alarm clock, set a preset to this station and gently wake each morning to authentic birdsong direct from the Amazon rain forest. Sweet. Or perhaps I should say “tweet”.
Trivia (from rainforestcruises.com): “You will most likely hear a macaw before you see it. These birds are highly intelligent and gregarious creatures that congregate in flocks of anywhere between 30 and 100 individuals. Their loud calls, squawks and other distinctive vocalizations can be heard reverberating throughout the jungle, especially in the early morning.”
Searching Internet radio is like picking up hitchhikers on the highway. You never know what you are going to hear when you play a station for the first time. When I discover a quirky Internet station I call it a Hitchhiker Station. Here are two more gems for your amusement (or amazement). Welcome to the world of Internet radio.
Wave Farm -Weather Warlock Quintronics, NY (96 kbps/MP3)
I have run across some bizarre Internet stations in my unending quest for Hitchhiker Stations, but Wave Farm- Weather Warlock ranks right up there with the strangest of them, as does its backstory. Wave Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to experimentation with airwaves and broadcast media and has been around for more than twenty years. Wave Farm does a lot of things, but in this particular case, it hosts outdoor weather sensors on its 29-acer property that are calibrated to the climate of New York’s Upper Hudson Valley. The outdoor sensors measure what outdoor sensors are made to measure- sunlight, wind, precipitation, and temperature. Makes sense. Now here comes the strange part. These sensors are connected to a large, custom-built analog synthesizer called the Weather Warlock. The Weather Warlock converts the weather data into audio and streams it live over this Internet station. The more complicated the weather, the more complex the sound output. According to Galen Joseph-Hunter, Executive Director of Wave Farm, the Weather Warlock is most active at sunrise and sunset. Tune this Hitchhiker Station and you will essentially be hearing the weather in real time, and I do not mean a forecast read by a meteorologist.
The Spit Machine
If you think that is strange, hold on to your umbrella. The Weather Warlock was invented by Quintron in 2014 and was made possible in part by support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
What or whom is Quintron? I was afraid you would ask me that. Quintron is a New Orleans-based, one-man band, organ player, music club proprietor, and inventor with several patents to his name. One of his inventions is the Spit Machine which uses human saliva as a tuning conductor. Pause for laughter. I could not make this stuff up if I wanted to. But wait, it gets better. Quintron and his wife, “Miss Pussycat”, who sings backup vocals, plays the maracas, and puts on puppet shows, describe their music as “barely controlled electronic chaos, ‘Swamp-Tech’ dance beats, small explosions, incredible clothes, and entertaining puppet stories.” Jane, stop this crazy thing. Quintron has performed with other musicians (Sean Ono Lennon, Aaron Hill, and some members of the Sun Ra Arkestra) accompanied by a Weather Warlock as an instrument. Quintron will be an artist in residence at the Wave Farm next month working on a new project. Thank you, sir, may I have another?
Trivia (from Wikipedia):“Quintron utilizes a custom-made Hammond organ/Fender Rhodes synthesizer combo which he has had outfitted to resemble the body of a car, complete with working headlights and a Louisiana license plate which reads ‘Quintron’. Quintron is often accompanied by The Drum Buddy, a rotating, light-activated analog synthesizer, one of many which he has created and manufactured himself.”
2. KGRA Digital Broadcasting, Oregon (128 kbps/MP3)
As I am sure you were aware, July 2nd was World UFO Day, but sixty years ago this month, Betty and Barney Hill were the first Americans widely publicized to have been abducted by aliens in a rural part of New Hampshire. The interracial couple were returning from a belated honeymoon at Niagara Falls. At some point as they tried to escape the large, cigar-shaped craft in their 1957 Chevy Bel Air, the flying object hovered directly over their vehicle. They then heard odd beeping sounds emanating from the trunk. That is the last thing they remembered. The following day, they realized both their watches had stopped, Mr. Hill’s shoes were all scuffed up, and Mrs. Hill’s dress was torn and coated in some kind of pink dust. Mrs. Hill reported the incident to Pease Air Force Base which later issued a report characterizing their encounter as an “optical condition”.
The couple were unable to recall their actual two-hour abduction, so a few years later they separately underwent hypnosis. The hypnotist concluded Mrs. Hill’s story was likely the result of dreams and her husband’s story was possibly a fantasy inspired by his wife’s dreams. The couple steadfastly maintained their account and never sought attention to their story. In 1966, author John G. Fuller wrote a best-selling book, The Interrupted Journey, about the Hill’s ordeal. Mr. Hill died at the age of 49 in 1969 while his wife died in 2004 at age 84.
In the immortal words of Mr. Spock- fascinating. If this kind of thing intrigues you, I am here to tell you there is a Hitchhiker Station for that. The station succinctly describes itself as “The best in UFO, paranormal, and alternative talk radio.” KGRA devotes numerous shows to these and other related topics.
You Bet Your Asteroid
At the time I tuned in to KGRA, the hosts were gushing over the upcoming Annual Pine Bush UFO Fair in Pine Bush, N.Y. Besides the obligatory speaker conference, food, and vendor novelties on offer, the Fair also features a Best in Galaxy- Alien Beauty Pageant (first prize: $500), the Area 52 Paranormal Space Prom (“Break out your space ruffles because we need this tacky prom in our lives!”), and the interactive “You Bet Your Asteroid” game show.
I am not a UFO enthusiast, but the UFO Fair sounds out of this world, and so does KGRA, just like a Hitchhiker Station should.
Trivia:The term “Flying saucer” was coined by the press after private pilot Kenneth Arnold described observing nine shiny flying objects “like a saucer if you skip it across the water” while flying over Washington State in 1947.
New Contest Announcement
2021 Recommended Station of The Year!
I am very excited to announce my first annual 2021 Recommended Station of The Year Award. Complete and submit the official ballot below to cast your vote for your favorite Internet radio station from all of the stations covered in my Recommended Stations articles. You may also cast your vote via Twitterbut your single vote must come from one of the stations listed in the Official Ballot below. Votes via the Recommended Stations Contact Form, Facebook, email, or other methods will not be accepted. Voting is free, open to anyone, and will run from now through September 26, 2021. The station receiving the most number of votes by the September 26th deadline wins. Sorry, there is second place, runner up, or swimsuit category. There is no physical prize but the winning station will get serious bragging rights and enjoy a virtual victory lap. The winner will be announced on the RecommendedStations.com blog on October 1. Sign up on the right side of the home page with your email address to be notified of announcements and new blog posts. Your email will not be shared or sold.
In addition to the five stations profiled in the above post, all previous Recommended Stations are eligible and are listed on the ballot so as not to unfairly exclude them. Those stations include (in order of most recently posted): WLVN, Radio Nostalgia, Kaleidophonics Radio, Your Classical- Radio, Exotica, Radio Preston Air, Dr. Pundit Slow Jams, Radio Aruba, Radio Unique FM, WWOZ, Atomic City, Time Machine, Sun FM Beach Radio, Bop 80s, Circle of White Light Radio, The Great American Songbook, Slow Jams Radio, JIB On The Web, Seeburg 1000 Background, Mi Generation Radio, 87.7 MeTV, Audiophile Jazz, WHRB, Radio Swiss Jazz, BIRN, KEXP, 1010 WINS, BBC World Service, C-SPAN, Voice of America, and FIP.
Rally your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to support your favorite Recommended Internet station. Heck, stop perfect strangers on the street and ask them to vote as well. Thank you in advance for voting for and for supporting your favorite radio station. Best of luck to all of the Recommended Stations and may the best station win.
Voting Has Ended. The Winner Will Be Announced On This Blog On 10.01.2021.
Recommended Stations need not be the best kept secret on the Internet. If you enjoy any of these stations, or my past recommendations, spread the word about RecommendedStations.com. Please also consider becoming a Patreonsupporter to access my future Recommended and Hitchhiker Stations starting October 1st. Your monthly support will help me keep RecommendedStations.com going.
2021 Recommended Station of The Year Terms & Conditions
“2021 Recommended Station of The Year” OFFICIAL RULES & GUIDELINES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
1. Sponsors: RecommendedStations.com (the “Sponsors”).
2. How to Enter: The 2021 Recommended Station of The Year (the “Contest”) starts at 11:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on September 1, 2021 and ends at 11:45 P.M. EST on July 26, 2021 (the “Contest Voting Period”). To enter, submit the ballot form in the Recommended Stations blog post to receive one (1) vote (a “Vote”). Limit one (1) Vote per person during the Contest Entry Period. By submitting your Vote, you agree that your Vote conforms to these Official Rules and that the Sponsors, in their sole discretion, may disqualify your Vote for any reason at any time, including if they determine, at their sole discretion, that your Vote fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by the Sponsors.
By participating, where allowable by law, entrant agrees to receive emails from www.RecommendedStations.com. Entrants will have the option to unsubscribe from such emails at any time.
3. Eligibility: No Automated Entries. You must fill out your own ballot form without the use of any automated promotion entry filling services or form filling services. The use of any automated, programmed, robotic or similar system to enter is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Votes submitted via Twitter will also be accepted provided they are from one of the stations listed in the Official Ballot. Other methods of voting will not be accepted. Employees, directors, and/or officers (including immediate family members or members of the household) of Sponsor(s), their subsidiaries, affiliated companies, distributors, advertising, fulfillment and promotion agencies and all other companies or entities associated with the Contest are not eligible to participate. This Sweepstakes is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Participation constitutes voter’s full and unconditional agreement and acceptance of these Official Rules which shall be final in all respects.
4. Award: The winning station will be declared the 2021 Recommended Station of the Year. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Votes received during the Entry Period. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash but Sponsors reserve the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute a prize with one of comparable or greater value. Winners are responsible for any applicable federal, state, and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with the prize receipt and/or use not specified herein as being provided. All prize details are at the Sponsors’ sole discretion.
5. Determination and Awarding of Prize; Verification of Winner: Votes will be accepted from 9/1/2021 to 9/26/2021. Votes received after the 26th will not be accepted. Sponsors will select one (1) potential winner (“Potential Winner”) on or about September 27, 2021 based on the most number of eligible Votes received. The potential winner will be notified on or about September 28th, 2021 via email. If the Potential Winner cannot be contacted or refuses their award for any reason, that Potential Winner forfeits their award and the station with the second most number of votes will be named the Potential Winner by the Sponsors.
6. Disclaimer: RecommendedStations.com’s contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Furthermore, neither Facebook nor Twitter nor Instagram is responsible for any issues related to this contest. Accepting these terms indicates a complete release of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by each entrant or participant. The contest is also in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with any of the eligible Internet stations.
7. Limitation of Liability: By entering this Contest, all voters agree to comply with these Official Rules. By entering this Contest, voters agree that the Sponsors shall have no liability and shall be held harmless for any damage, loss or liability to person or property, due in whole or part, directly or indirectly, by reason of the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize or participation in this Contest. Sponsors and their advertising and promotion agencies are not responsible for lost, late, garbled, delayed, destroyed, inaccurate, misdirected or stolen entries or transmissions, or problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic. Sponsors are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, whether caused by Sponsors, entrants or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of entries which may damage a user’s computer or system or limit a entrant’s ability to participate in the Contest. Sponsors may prohibit a voter from participating in the Contest or a station winning the prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that such voter is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices or intending to annoy, abuse, or threaten any other entrants or Sponsors representatives. In the event of a dispute regarding Votes received from multiple users having the same e-mail account, the authorized subscriber of the e-mail account at the time of entry will be deemed to be the voter and must comply with these Official Rules.
These terms and conditions shall be governed by, construed, and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States of America, without regard to any choice of law principles. Voter hereby agrees and irrevocably consents to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of MA and of the United States of America located in the State of MA USA, for any and all claims arising from or related to this Agreement. Entrant agrees that all claims relating to this Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action.
Should a voter engage in fraud or misconduct of any nature, including but not limited to a violation of the Official Rules, such entrant shall be subject to immediate disqualification. Sponsors reserve the right to terminate, modify or amend the Sweepstakes at any time if the fairness, integrity, and or proper administration of the Contest is jeopardized. IN NO EVENT SHALL SPONSOR(S) BE LIABLE TO ENTRANT FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, OR FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER INDIRECT DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CONTEST. Voter’s sole damages shall be limited to voter’s actual out of pocket expenses, excluding attorneys’ fees. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSES AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.