Car radios were different when I was a kid. First off, you could only get AM radio—which meant your favorite song would fade out as soon as you went under a bridge. Secondly, AM sound…well, before stereo AM anyway, sucked. Radios were push button analog jobs that had a red pointer that lined up approximately with the station’s frequency. You couldn’t really tell the exact frequency you dialed to because all you had were the number markers and the stations resided somewhere in the middle. I used to listen to 77 ‘Musicradio’ WABC which was somewhere between the 7 and the 9. To find and set the station, you’d push the button closest to the number you wanted, fiddle around with the tuner (the knob on the right) and then pull the button out and push it back in quickly to save it. If you pushed too slowly, the pointer simply returned to its original position and you had to try again.
Ok, having said that, when I was a kid, I imagined the inner-workings of the radio consisted of a row of disc jockeys sitting at a long table. There was one microphone, its position indicated by the location of the red pointer. When the listener pressed the button, the disc jockey who was talking slid the microphone down the table to the guy (I don’t remember many lady djs from the late 60s—though I am sure they were out there) who was next to speak. Also, for some reason, I imagined that the table was covered with tacky looking imitation crushed velvet.
Pictured from left to right is a talk show host (yes, they were around way back then—WMCA I believe); the aforementioned WABC Top 40 station that featured Dan Ingram and Cousin Bruce (there actually wasn’t a disc jockey quite that hippyfied, he wouldn’t come along until much later on WNEW-FM); a religious disc jockey and the R&B guy.
I created the radio in Illustrator CS2 and drew the disc jockeys in Flash MX. I composited everything in Flash MX and converted to a jpg for your viewing pleasure.