I was recently driving up the road from Burnsville to St. Paul and was thinking about how long and fruitful our relationship has been. While flipping through the dial I stumbled on a station that was playing nothing but old hip-hop songs from the 1990’s and early 2000’s. My head involuntarily started bobbing as Dr. Dre and Ludacris told me to stand up and smoke weed every day (don’t worry, I didn’t listen to the second part). The station was 105 the Vibe, a classic hip-hop station in the Twin Cities, which, after living in South Dakota for the last seven years, was a format I didn’t even know existed. It reminded me of the power audio has to surprise, entertain, and generally make my day better. Whether it’s hearing my favorite song, listening to the play-by-play of my favorite teams, or being entertained and/or educated by the spoken word, you’ve always been an important part of my life, and this is my salute to you!
We started out spending time together using ancient technology like transistor radios, cassette tapes, and CD’s. As a child I would huddle under my covers listening to football and baseball games on low volume at night, while blasting music using the CD player in my dad’s van as I shot hoops in my driveway during the day. While the radio is still around, you’ve managed to grow and become stronger! CD’s might as well be frisbees now, but you’ve found new homes in computers, smart phones, and even smart speakers. Your ability to adapt and evolve is something everyone can aspire to reach, and while I love the current version, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Perhaps what I love most about audio is that not only is it something that anyone can consume, it’s also an incredible outlet for creators! Music is the most obvious example, but the spoken word is the segment of the medium that means the most to me. I’m completely enamored by the building crescendo of a great play-by-play broadcaster. The vivid picture painting description and the instrumental power of the announcers voice has always drawn me towards whatever speaker it’s coming out of at the time. As you already know I’ve dedicated my career to mastering this craft, but it’s not the only creative outlet you offer! I love the blank canvas that is the podcast that anyone can paint however they want with whatever colors they choose.
Some people say that radio is dead, and while I disagree, it’s undeniably facing many unique challenges. Audio on the other hand is as strong as ever. People will always want to hear their favorite song, follow their favorite team, and experience the thrill that only a master storyteller can deliver. Trying to follow this career path is oftentimes difficult and frustrating, but the undeniable thrill of hearing exactly what you want to hear at exactly the right time reminds me why I endure through these challenges.
Anyway, thank you audio for being there to console me after a bad break up. Thank you for getting everybody dancing at my wedding. And most importantly, thanks for providing the creative outlet that nourishes my soul while helping me earn a living. You are the best!