Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:46

Radio, Duke of Earl, and Smashing Coyotes

Written by  Elaine Ambrose

Long ago, sometime after the extinction of the dinosaurs, I was a ten-year-old child, and my favorite possession was a transistor radio. Though isolated on a potato farm in southern Idaho, I could connect to civilization through my magical radio. I would sing along to “Duke of Earl” or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” until my exasperated mother told me to go outside and play. My favorite assignment! So, I would climb into my tree house with my radio and an extra 9 volt battery and wail “Crying” along with Roy Orbison. And, I wouldn’t come back inside until I had roamed the back pasture and warbled “Blue Moon” with The Marcels.

Fast forward many, many decades and I notice, with sadness, that children today are complacently mesmerized by animated videos that require no imagination. And, children’s television offers only sanitized, politically-correct programs with plastic, too-cheerful hosts who have turned budding brains and bodies into lumps of lard. At least I got to watch Wile E. Coyote smashed flat by an anvil as he tried in vain to catch and eat The Road Runner. (Literary tidbit: The character was based on a coyote mentioned in Mark Twain’s Roughing It.) At the risk of sounding like an old fart curmudgeon, I wish children could have the freedom and opportunity to go play outside with only a radio and a song to sing.

The power of radio has transformed audiences for more than 100 years. On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles recited his adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The radio drama was delivered through a series of news bulletins so cleverly broadcast that people panicked and actually believed that Martians were landing in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. During World War II, Winston Churchill encouraged war-weary British citizens with his broadcasts on the BBC. In 1941, he made his famous speech that included the words, “We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire.”

Today, radio provides an efficient forum for the exchange of ideas, news, and music over the airwaves. From the pleasant stories of Garrison Keillor and the late Paul Harvey to extreme political rhetoric, you can find a wide variety of interesting and provocative programming. For local writers, your promotion plans should include radio interviews. Start small, with the intention of obtaining regional and national opportunities. If you have a compelling story to tell, there is an audience wanting to hear.

GRATUITOUS PLUG: I will be the guest on Amanda Turner’s radio show on Thursday, July 21 at noon. Tune into 89.9 FM. www.RadioWritersBlock.com

Last modified on Saturday, 19 December 2015 15:03

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