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

    Mandi,
    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

    Alissa,
    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 ew.com, 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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