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May 11, 2014 / thackersam

May 10 – Saturday – Alison Steele – The Nightbird

Alison SteeleWhen I discovered FM radio in my pre-teen days, the WNEW disc jockeys were strangers to me. But my transition from AM was made easier by the familiar rasp of Scott Muni’s voice, who I knew from his days with WABC-AM. Though I can’t remember most the names of the DJs from back then, I remember their styles and voices. None was more memorable than Alison Steele, and not just because she was the rare female DJ. She was a rock ‘n roll enigma to me – an older woman – a mentor that given those times I was up at 2am was a mysterious yet wise voice, sultry, though I didn’t know the meaning of the word at the time, and exceedingly cool. The self-described “Nightbird” made you feel she was talking to you – you and the couple of others like you in the entire New York metropolitan area who were up listening to the radio in the wee hours of the morning, still considered night. The mystique and the intimacy, the feeling that it didn’t matter if only a few were listening, she was going to do what she did, play what she wanted to play, say what she felt like saying, and if you tuned in, great. I pictured, as I’m sure many did, a woman’s mouth up close to the microphone, faceless and alone in the night. But, what did I know, I was merely a 12 or 13 year-old suburbanite.

When I was beginning my blog, I took an evening class on blog writing. A young woman explained with dismay that she had abandoned her blog because she felt like no one was paying attention. Me – I have dozens of notebooks filled with words, thoughts and stories that no one has ever seen. I can’t stop, and never will. So – a’blogging I will go. The Walrus Was Paul will continue with music, exercise and memories, even if I am just doing it for myself. Please bear with me though as I figure out how.

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