Radio memories

Remember the time when you listen to your favourite music on your stereo radio? And how you used to create a mixtape of your favourite artist and sing along with your most favourite? If you are in the same timeline as I am, it was one of the great times of your life right?

This is just a little story of me and my radio, back in 1999 to 2003. While composing this entry, I searched back the model of my now defunct radio, and finally I found it. AIWA CS W320, a stereo 2 deck cassette player with FM radio.

The good old AIWA CS W320

The good old AIWA CS W320

My late dad got this from a lucky draw at his workplace and sent it over to us, since I wanted it so much, dad gave it to me. Thus began my discovery of variety of music and also how to record them in a cassette.

Radio Times

I mostly listened to Radio Muzik (now Muzik FM) for their daily Pilihan Bersama, Radio 4 (now Traxx FM) for their great english music, all of this, before I found the most awesome radio station in Malaysia, WOW FM.

WOW FM, 97.6 in Kota Kinabalu before

WOW FM, 97.6 in Kota Kinabalu before

WOW FM gave me the variety of great songs every day, pretty fit for their motto “One great song after another”, their DJs are excellent in entertaining the listeners, from The Breakfast Show, Tim Time, the rock DJ, Kevin B with On The Edge show (playing only rock music!!)and the funny salivating George with his wacky interviews and cool music selection.

There are classic, alternative and rock music playing every day, there were no pop or dance music (until somewhere in 2001, where they change format, kinda sad). Apart from the classic artists, Wheatus, Blink 182, Eminem, Nine Days, Haven, Linkin Park, Gorillaz and many more bands were well known to me because of this radio. My day is not complete if I’m not listening to WOW FM, heck, my day will not complete if I’m not listening to George’s show!

Not long after that, the radio suddenly went out from the airwaves, and until this day, I never know why. After the end of WOW FM, I started listening to other radio stations like HITZ FM, Lite & Easy (now Lite FM). But it doesn’t really feel the same as WOW FM did.

The busy adult life and no replacement for the radio I had gradually distant me from this enjoyable pastime of mine. I hope one day I can find a suitable replacementa and enjoy listening to radio stations like I did before.

The Cassettes

So what do I do while listening to the radio? I recorded them into the cassettes! It took me a while to learn how to do “dubbing” on the cassette, without the internet and Google; I managed to master it perfectly. The result, was this..

My cassettes

My cassettes

A whole lot of cassettes with much music, and some radio DJ shows recorded inside. Hopefully I can get to play this thing without making the tape clumped up in the end (happens with old cassettes) or listening to low and deteriorating quality of sound from the cassette (also happens with old cassettes). Nonetheless, I still keep these things, why? Because the sentimental value it had for me. I would like to have a special rack or box for this, for now, I just keep it in my storage box, kept safe from roaches and dust.

The Future

Nowadays there is no more cassettes and radio stations has evolved aligned with today’s advancement in technology and how new and information transfer. Those cassettes and the bulky Walkman/Discman you always bring along, they are all replaced with MP3 players, iPod, radio stations with more advertisements and Nicki Minaj. Life goes on as we are in the fast paced lifestyle, as people demands for better technology became more and more aggressive.




One great song after another ~ WOW FM


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12 Responses

  1. Amanda says:

    lol’ed at nicki minaj. I remembered the time when i have an empty cassette on standby in the stereo, and when an awesome song comes up, i smashed the record button as quick as possible. And it annoys me when the DJ still keeps talking during the intro of the song. Listened to Radio 4 last time, and still listening to it. Now it’s called TraxxFM. And Patrick Teoh was still a wicked ass DJ. Ah, the good times.

    • Rungitom says:

      Good times indeed, you know what? A trick so you can record smoothly is to press the record and pause button simultaneously.
      When you get the song cue, just release the pause button and the recording will start. Press back the pause button when you are finished recording, one trick I developed myself at that time.
      Rungitom latest entry..I found FreyaMy Profile

  2. Gunaqz says:

    Hi Tom,
    This post kind of brought tears to my eyes. I grew up listening to all the radio stations you mentioned. But dubbing into cassettes is what touched my heart the most. Like you, my late brother and I learned how to ‘master’ it in our childhood, without the help of google or anybody in this matter. My dad was still living with us about that time. When he discovered we knew how to work the radio and cassettes, he bought like tons of ‘kaset kosong’ for us to play with. I still have some of them, ones with us recording our family members joking around, singing, etc. Cassette era marks a significant part of my life. Some of people in ‘our cassettes’ have now moved on to the other side, including my late brother, maternal grandparents, one uncle and one aunt. Most are still with us but even so, we are all in a different life from what we used to be. Yang tinggal hanya kaset dan kenangan.

    So yes, to me it’s about the cassettes and something else.

    Anyways, thanks for posting this, Tom. Have a great week!

    • Rungitom says:

      You’re welcome Gunaqz, always feels great to reminisce the good old days. I bought myself all the “kaset kosong” and also took all the unused music cassette for dubbing!
      I guess we started off with the same thing, recording our own voices, rewind, listen back to what we recorded, and laughed to it.
      I may be the only one who appreciate these kind of things that many of us in the same era may already forgotten, and sunk themselves with new technologies.
      To those who still appreciate it, cheers! that includes you too.
      Rungitom latest entry..I found FreyaMy Profile

  3. foongpc says:

    Oh yeah those cassette tapes!! I have the same exact ones as yours! And I am still keeping them though I’m not sure they are still working or not! Haha!
    foongpc latest entry..My Visit To Legoland (Part 4)My Profile

    • Rungitom says:

      There’s still a few modern media players that includes cassette players in their system. I got mine at home which can digitally record from cassette to USB.
      I haven’t tried it because I fear that the cassette tape will “clumped up” in the cassette deck. That is one of my pet peeves when playing cassette.
      Rungitom latest entry..I found FreyaMy Profile

  4. Nova Renata says:

    I miss WOW FM! I enjoyed Triple W too (a morning show for women). Usually, I’ll tune in to the station when I didn’t have lectures to attend :). I loved their selections of rock songs too – Better Than Ezra, Feeder, Live, HED, etc. When they started playing Britney Spears, I also immediately lost interest. And George! Do you remember when he called up Paula Malai Ali to propose to her?! Gawd, thoss days were awesome. Now everything also sensitif and mengancam Melayu.
    Nova Renata latest entry..I would laugh too if he’d asked.My Profile

    • Rungitom says:

      I forgot about George calling Paula, but I do remember he called KFC manager to ask for fried chicken delivery! 03 7955 KFC was the suggested phone number! Hahahaha
      Rungitom latest entry..Let it Go, the 25 languages versionMy Profile

  5. kevin says:

    hey any chance i could get copies of wow fm recordings

    • Tom Rungitom says:

      I’ve recorded some on cassette before, but most of it are badly damaged already.
      Tom Rungitom latest entry..Carlsberg Diamond Idol 2014: The search for new singing talentsMy Profile

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