Sound technicians setting up the turn-table and amplifiers for the first "talkies" in Australia, 1927-1928

I’m just getting in from a long drive back from Woodstock, NY where I was stuck with only radio. Well not only radio I did have an MP3 player with me, after all even the most basic dumb phone these days has an MP3 player, but I like sampling whats on the airwaves in different communities when on a road trip so radio it was. Normally other then listening to news on NPR and the occasional collage station I avoid radio when home in Boston.

I have realized how homogenized radio has become over the past few decades. But that has been obvious with things like Clear Chanel’s rise to dominance. What was interesting about this trip was listening to Little Steven’s Underground Garage. I’ve heard former musicians’ syndicated radio shows before like Dee Snider’s House of Hair, but hearing Little Steven was new to me.

My trip started out with listening to him on my home town station WDST 100.1 Radio Woodstock. It is usually the station I’m locked to when in Woodstock and has produced some amazing DJ’s in the past such as Nic Harcourt now the radio director for KCRW a truly influential and unique public radio music station. What WDST had on was Little Steven’s Underground Garage. Little Steven’s voice is perfect for radio and he has a pedigree of rock royalty as a founding member of the E Street Band. The tunes were a perfect blend of cool driving music and excellent for a road trip.

Where I started getting triped up was when I started to lose WDST and switched over to WPYX 106.5 out of Albany, NY and got hit with the same show. Same ad’s, same Abbot and Costello bits, and same cleb sound bites. And then it happened again when I hit Springfield and switched over to WAQY 102. Same show AGAIN! Even down to the ads.

So I dig Little Steven’s program but I’m a little lost on where his show comes from. WDST has him listed as a DJ and the show is apparently syndicated even world wide through Radio Free America but I can’t figure out where it originates from. WDST would make sense. Woodstock as a community has long been established as a haven for amazing musical talent but I’m unsure.

What was really strange about the experience was that each time I picked it up it was at a different time slot and seemed to roll right along with me on repeat as I went down the Mass Pike.

I’m all for amazing musical selection being brought to communities that don’t have a Little Steven in them, but I’m left wondering if there is any original local radio anymore?