Weird things I have heard on the radio: Vol. 1

1)  Columbia, MO, 1980s:  Tail end of a commercial that ended with a jingle that went “They’ve got big green numbers…and little rubber feet!”  Never found out what it was advertising.

2)  Stuck listening to Adult Contemporary station, St. Louis, mid-’90s:  During a Michael Bolton song, I suddenly heard the voice of the female announcer answering the telephone:

Announcer: “[call letters]!”

Caller: “Um, yes!  Do you think you could play something by Jewel?”

Announcer:  “I’ll see what we can do!”

Caller:  “Okay, thanks!”

A minute or two later, another call went out over the air.

Announcer:  “[call letters]!”

Caller:  “Did you know that you just had a phone call go out over the air?”

Announcer:  “Excuse me?”

Caller:  “I just heard it over the music.  Someone called and requested Jewel, and the call was audible over the radio.  In fact, I think my voice is on the radio right now.”

Announcer:  “Oh my goodness.  Thank you!  We’ll have to fix that.”

The amazing thing was that both of the on-air calls occurred during instrumental breaks in the song, timed perfectly as if it was intentional.


  • John Wendland

    Weird Thing I Have Heard On KDHX:

    Host: And that was a song recorded by George Harrison when he was still alive.

  • Joshua Weinstein

    A few years ago Gabriel was talking about an Aretha special he had seen on tv. He thought it was well done EXCEPT for the sound quality. He went on and on about how you could hardly hear anything. Tha the sound guy must be hard-of-hearing and should have been fired. He made a big deal out of it.

    When he was finished ranting he said, “give me a call if you know the name of the next PERFORMER. Now, I don’t want the name of the song but who is singing the song.” Then the music comes on and it is on an old, warbly tape that is going sharp and flat almost with the beat of the song.


  • Marjie Kennedy

    The weirdest thing I ever heard on the radio was years ago when KWMU used to have a jazz show all night long. Evidently the regular host was not there and a sub was supposed to play music interspersed with some recorded commentary, back announcing, etc., by the regular host so that it would sound like the usual host was there in the studio. Instead, the person played all the commentary with no music at all. So you’d hear the announcer’s voice saying what he was going to play, and then immediately following, he would back announce that track and say what the next track would be, all with none of the music ever being played. This went on for several minutes that I know of. I finally had to just turn it off. I don’t know what happened when the sub ran out of commentary to play, I fell asleep, but did check later and there was still talking and no music.

  • Darren Snow

    That reminds me of a fairly surreal hour of commercial radio, when “looping”–that is, the announcer pre-recording his or her parts in advance and letting a computer drop them into the broadcast later–was still a very new process. The announcer somehow got one set ahead of the music, saying “That was so-and-so, along with such-and such, and before that, blah blah blah,” when the artists named were actually coming up after the next commercial break.

  • bob reuter

    that first comment, the one about george harrison when he was still alive – i think that was me – really? you think that’s weird huh? – your easy.

  • Jody Zscheck

    As to the jingle “They’ve got big green numbers…and little rubber feet!” cited in Weird things I have heard on the radio: Vol. 1, that would be the jingle for Rockwell calculators. It was an ad to challenge the calculator industry giant, Texas Instruments, whose calculators had very small red numbers at the time. Not sure of the year, but I had a Rockwell, which were also much cheaper than TI.

  • Gerry

    Back in 92 or so – my 1st yr in STL, there was someone in the studio with the DJ, who played “She’s a girl and I’m a man” from Lloyd Cole’s “Don’t get weird on me” album. The banter afterward was about how the DJ couldn’t get the infamous Spinal Tap exchange out of his mind. Its the scene at the album launch party when the female publicist is telling the band that their first (scrapped) album cover for “Smell the Glove” was sexist. Nigel Tufnell then responds: “What’s wrong with being sexy?”. And who else in STL plays Lloyd Cole?

  • Lee

    Big green nos and little rubber feet was the reason you should buy that brand of calculator. Early 70′s. Maybe 72 or 73. All calculators were basically the same size, big, and only would perform four functions. + – / and x