The last time you phoned a radio station

When was it? In an iPod world, do people still dial radio station request lines and Delilah?

The last time I phoned a radio station was circa 1992. I was supposed to be studying in my college dorm room, only I couldn’t concentrate because someone had stolen my Culture Club CD. (For real.) I needed to hear "I’ll Tumble 4 Ya" (below), badly enough that I called in. I could tell the DJ didn’t want to play the song — I guess it’s not the Culture Club hit most people want to hear? — until he found out my name was Mandi. "Like the Barry Manilow song?" he asked. "Actually, I was named after that song," I answered. And then I told him the story. Mom was watching The Tonight Show, pregnant with me, when Barry was a guest and sang "Mandy." She loved the song, but thought it’d be easier for me to learn how to write an ‘i’ instead of a ‘y.’ (Don’t you have a ‘y" in your last name, Mandi, you ask? Yes, but my mother, then a school teacher, knew I’d learn to write my first name first and wanted to spare me the frustration of a ‘y’ for as long as possible.) Bottom line: I heard "I’ll Tumble 4 Ya" that night.

When was the last time you called a radio station? And what’s your best story? How far did you go to hear a song?

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  • Annie

    It was 1992 and my basement apartment had just flooded. I was sitting on my bed, the only dry spot in place and called the local country radio station. I asked him to play a song that conveyed the feeling that I was under 4 inches of sewer water and what do I do next?!! He suggested ” Don’t Go Near the Water”!!!! He apparently liked the way I voiced my request as he played the song, but also kept me on the line chatting for about 2 hours. We ended up dating for 2 years!!!

  • Alissa

    I loved you story about your name only because it hits so close to home. The reason Alissa doesn’t have a “y” is my mom, also a school teacher, decided writing the “i” would be easier than the “y” because my name would be straight across the line.

  • joopiter

    I harassed a Syracuse deejay for a weekend when I was at college (probably my senior year…so 1998) to play Bryan Adams’ “One Night Love Affair.” Negotiations ensued – he told me that that song was not part of his approved playlist, I told him that if he had the song he should play it playlist be damned. He offered to send the song to me on disk in the mail, I told him to be a rebel and play the song already. He finally threw in the towel on a Monday evening, telling the listening audience that if he was playing the song because some crazy girl won’t stop calling him unless he did. Victory!

  • Fred

    I phoned a radio station several months ago – not for a song request but for a contest (sing the old McDonald’s Big Mac jingo). And I won. Little did I know the prize would be tix to some children’s theater production. Grrrrrr…..

  • Aaron

    I won a Lipton Ice Tea cooler pack in 8th grade when I was the 10th caller to call in after they played “How Bizarre.” It was on my way to my dad’s summer work party and told everyone there I had won a radio contest and I think they thought I got a car or something.
    Nope, just the sweetest tea you ever tasted.

  • Heather

    I think the only and last time I called a radio station was when I was 12. I won tickets to see U2 in concert – my first rock concert.

  • Annie

    The first and only time I’ve called a radio station was way back in 1997 when in fourth or fifth grade. The girls in my class were at a birthday sleepover, and we decided to call in to dedicate “Your Woman” by White Town to a boy in our class. We called him up to tell him to turn on the radio, but, being about 9:00 at night, his mom informed us that he was asleep.

  • Mandi Bierly

    Yes! My mother’s exact words were, “I didn’t want you to have to go below the line.”

  • DJ working on a holiday

    As someone who is working on a small town Canadian radio station right now (Good Friday) and taking requests I can tell you the phone has not stopped ringing since I went on the air 5 hours ago, someone is calling the me and apparently it is not Mandi or any of you fine folks reading, of course you may be slightly outside my listening area.

  • Annabelle

    I called my college radio station back in 2001 when I was working a 5am shift at the front desk of my dorm and needed to stay awake. I requested the latest Offspring song (what can I say, I’m a fan!) “Want You Bad”, but apparently they had just played it. Being as it was 5am, I told them that it shouldn’t matter, right? Well they told me to pick another Offspring song, so I picked “Gone Away”, another classic. The DJ liked it so much, he kept giving me shout-outs for the next few hours of my early AM shift.

  • francesa

    i was in junior high and I wanted to win Depeche Mode 101 (i wore a lot of black back then — made my mother nuts). When I finally did get through they were all done with Depeche Mode and and I wound up winning Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. The DJ seemed really annoyed that I wasn’t screaming my guts out. He wasn’t half as annoyed as I was.

  • Old Guy

    I call my favorite radio station all the time. Sometimes to chat with the DJ (last time was to razz him for an on-air blunder), but usually to win concert tickets. Over the past few years I seen Tom Petty, Dave Mathews, Damian Rice, Brandi Carlile, and others. Recently I was the 7th caller (instead of 10th) and just missed seeing Bruce Springteen.

  • Terri

    Years ago (’96, I think) my friend and I got into a heated, drunken discussion about who was in Van Halen longer, DLR or Sammy Hagar. Of course, the only way to settle it was to call the rock station. I’m pretty sure I insisted the SOBER dj was wrong. He didn’t really seem that amused…

  • goldend

    I think the last and also the only time I call a radio station was in 1993 asking for Tears for fears’s “the seeds of love”, I loved that song and wanted to tape it and I did it!

  • Seamus

    At least a couple times a week, but we are not talking the Clear Channel types, but rather a local community public station. You could not pay me to listen to the commercial stations out there…

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