It was a precursor to the search website Ask!/Jeeves where I first inquired about the feasibility of doing Internet radio….as I wondered with what to do with my life and creativity. I received a few answers, and I set out to work. Namely, saving money for a decent craptastic PC mic, a Windows 95 PC (methinks), and an assortment of wires. Oh, and joining the Live365 network.
I barely remember the first show as I sat down on the floor of my decently affordable Roselle, NJ apartment. 7:30pm was soon to come. I had in mind the idea of playing some music from my collection, plus some found sounds on the Web at large, and reading news articles and offering my opinions. The shows I first did were about 3 hours in length, the first half being news/opinion, then music afterward.
Here’s what I eventually came up with, to open shows:
”From the Rose Garden…..in Roselle, New Jersey…winding our way around the world along this infosuperhighway we call the Internet…reaching every PC & port in between…this is Radio Crystal Blue. I’m Dan Herman….Greetings!!
I was directly inspired by the likes of DJs like Vin Scelsa, Pete Fornatale, and those who championed the cause of free-form. In the 90’s I used to listen to Hearts of Space (and still do!), as a quiet inspiration for simplicity in programming and flow.
I recall airing “Song X”, from Neil Young & Pearl Jam initially in that first show, with music from Primal Scream and the Royal Crown Revue also in that mix.
I did a show with a Halloween theme on the last Sunday of the month of October, and a Christmas/end-of-year themed show mid-December. I’d take 2 weeks off to celebrate holidays.
I already had my format set up even then: Shows published and recorded on a weekly basis, Sunday night into Monday, subject to the connection issues I would face between my home and the Internet, plus the Java applet to run the Live365 network server. I recall more than once how the applet would crash, giving myself a tough lesson about the importance of upgrading my computer.
I would switch, the server on, and play whatever came to mind, even the local radio, just to have some content, before the magic moment came, and I would take over. Even in those early days of the show, I was all about the setup, the building blocks of setting up a show, putting it together quietly, readying the signal, testing it out, and seeing it to completion just as quietly. I know, it’s weird, but I like sign-ons, and even sign-offs. That sense of ownership, watching the watering digital transmission bloom and flower and turn into something you could actually here. When I was a kid, I thought crystals in crystal radios were what made it possible to hear stuff. That was before I took broadcasting courses in 2016.
To source music, I would use IUMA.com or mp3.com Remember those websites?
From the very beginning, I sought out active performing artists, and featured the ones with the most general exposure online.
I ran a weekly newsletter, along with live chat during the show via the Live365 server and the ICQ interface. Remember THAT?
I recall doing a weekend edition of the show, 11am-1pm EST, along with the standard Tuesday night show, at that time 730-10pm or whenever I felt like ending.