It’s true—we’ve just missed it. I know lots of folks are focused on Valentines today, but El Guapo is about 5,000 miles away right now, so I’m turning my attention from romance to the contemplation of World Radio Day, celebrated February 13th.
If you’re interested in learning about the invention of radio, this Wikipedia page is a place to start. I got distracted by several of the interesting first names of people involved, including Mahlon, Jagadish and Guglielmo. I hadn’t heard any of these names before—clearly, I need to get out more.
For many years, radio played a dominant role in the lives of people around the globe. There are now so many other ways to hear what’s going on in the world that radio may no longer feature in people’s daily experience. Is that true for you?
If so, let me show you a radio that will open up new sound horizons for you. Meet Radio Garden, a website that lets you sample what’s on the radio in all different regions of the world. For instance, here’s what’s playing right now in El Guapo’s neck of the woods, Valencia, Spain.
Taking a virtual stroll around southern Europe this morning, I found some vintage swing music playing in Limoges, France, a lot of chanting and thunderous applause for an unknown event in Aubonne, Switzerland, followed by some auto-tuned Reggeaton in Verona, Italy. After that I went east to Vrhnika, Slovenia, hoping for something unusual, but it was all Bruce Springsteen and “Born in the USA.”
In fact, English language music is so dominant that when you check to see what’s playing in Florence, Italy, you’re likely to find Pop Muzik, as I did. Maybe you’ll be lucky to hear Italian if you try that station now, but no guarantees.
But don’t give up hope. The next station you happen on may give you a chance to try your language-recognition skills as well as your music genre detector. In Novska, Croatia, I found something I could probably dance to if El Guapo were around; I don’t think it was Croatian, but at least it wasn’t English.
In my experience, the larger dots in the larger cities may yield pop music from the west, but smaller dots might be more local, and thus more interesting. In Resita, Romania, I found folk music that let me picture people in cool traditional costumes.
I’ll leave you to explore Africa, Asia, Oceania, and more. If you find a fantastic station, let me know in the comments.
[Images: jfradiorepair.com, etsy, wallpaperstock.net, romaniadacia.wordpress.com]