Radio Recliner: Become a DJ at a Pirate Radio Station

Radio Recliner Record Album

By DEBBIE BURKE

The classic film American Graffiti features legendary DJ, Wolfman Jack, who broadcast rock and roll from a secret location, supposedly in Mexico, flouting FCC restrictions by exceeding the watts allowed by law. Wolfman was a pirate folk hero revered by Boomers and emulated by aspiring DJs.

If you missed your opportunity in the 1960s and ’70s to be a DJ, it’s not too late. Radio Recliner bills itself tongue-in-cheek as a “pirate” radio station. It invites people who live in senior communities to record their memories of favorite songs and entertain listeners. The station is online only, and “pirate” means free.

The broadcasts are filled with rockin’ classics by Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, Bobby Vinton, plus pop standards by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, as well as gospel music.

Remember when you called a radio station and asked the DJ to play a certain song dedicated to your sweetheart? Just like the old days, listeners can make requests to Radio Recliner. To dedicate a musical message to a loved one you’re missing, call 855-863-0050.

The idea for Radio Recliner was born this past spring in Alabama and Georgia, to brighten spirits and keep residents connected in senior facilities isolated by COVID-19.

Bridge Senior Living and their marketing company, Luckie, created the online platform. Bridge residents became DJs, recording their sessions by phone. Luckie’s team then completed the production and added segments to the programming, which is broadcast 24/7 through the Radio Recliner website.

The idea caught on, spreading to other states, and captured the attention of NPR, which covered the story. And it attracted a number of people with aspirations to be latter-day Wolfmans.

DJs adopt handles like Miz Sassy Grits, Hammerin’ Hank, Brooklyn Rose, Jersey Jack, and Hattie with a Hattitude.

Here are samples of lighthearted chatter by Radio Recliner DJs:

  • Pepper Toe
    “There’s nowhere I’d rather be in a pandemic, unless it would be at Baskin-Robbins with Blake Shelton.”
  • DJ Legal
    “Maybe I could have a crisscross group of the Eagles and the Beatles and call them the Beagles.”
  • Jolly Frank
    “Next, I’m going to play the Beach Boys for you. So put on your wetsuits, so you don’t get cold. Let’s go surfing now.”

If you think being a DJ requires soundproof studios, microphones, headphones, and sound mixing equipment, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Radio Recliner streamlines the recording process to a simple phone call.

The guest DJ calls a toll-free number, and a producer records the interview. The requested songs are dubbed in, and the segment is added to the broadcast rotation. There is no cost and no experience required.

The guest DJ program has caught fire among residents of senior communities. There is now a wait list. If you’d like to fulfill your dream of becoming a DJ with Radio Recliner, leave a message at 855-863-0050.

In the meantime, tune into radiorecliner.com, to enjoy great oldies, keep in touch, and share fun.

DJ Boomski sums up the concept best “As far as music goes, our whole lives have songs that bring back memories of a chapter in our lives.”

As Wolfman Jack used to say: “AHHHHH-OOOOWWW!”  MSN