People Who Call In To Radio Stations

The other day I was listening to the radio.  The on-air DJ, who could not have been more annoying, was urging listeners to call in to request a song.  That got me thinking: who the hell calls a radio station these days to request a song?  If a person wants to hear a song, there are any number of ways he or she can do so.  YouTube, Pandora, ITunes, Limewire or any other file-sharing websites.  But why call the radio station?  For one thing, radio stations don’t play a lot of songs.  They have a certain rotation of songs, and they might break from that mold and play, say, a Beastie Boys song once an hour.  But for the most part, the average radio station is not interested in dipping too deep into the discography of Phoenix.  They’re just gonna play “1901” and maybe “Listomania” and leave it at that.

I don’t mean to belittle those who call into radio stations, but I simply want to point out that, for all intents and purposes, the only difference between calling in to request a song and simply listening like everyone else is that you might get a chance to hear Broken Bells’ “The High Road” immediately, as opposed to waiting, say, twenty minutes to hear it.  So why is it that people enjoy calling in?  Is it the miniscule amount of fame associated with being on the radio?  That can’t be it.  No one even listens to the radio, so the chances of someone you know listening at the exact moment that you called in are about the same as Michael Bay winning an Oscar for best director.

Is it loneliness, maybe?  Are these people so lonesome and disconnected from society that they are seeking out contact with radio DJ’s?  That can’t be it either, though.  There are a million ways to talk to strangers if you want to: internet message boards, Chat Roulette, phone sex lines, etc. 

So what could it be then?  Is it the casual pseudo-suaveness of the radio DJs that makes people want to talk to them?  Some kind of relic of coolness leftover from the 90’s?

Pictured: Coolness (from

 I simply cannot figure out what would possess anyone to pick up their phone, dial in the number for a radio station they enjoy, wait on the line until it finally goes through, and then say “Can you play that new Brandon Flowers song?  You know, the one you play twice every hour?  Yeah, that’s the one.  I need to hear that song, right now.”  The only thing I can think of is this: these people are insane.  But that can’t be right either; they mostly just seem like regular folks, though a bit too enthusiastic if you ask me.  I guess I just need to meet one, and then go from there.  So if anyone reading this has ever called into a radio station to request a song, preferably in the last, I don’t know, eight years, please send me an email or leave something in the comments section offering insight as to your motivation.  I’d love to hear from you.


~ by fc13 on November 21, 2010.

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