Sundays in Chicago will never be the same

Its strange how small things can integrate themselves into somebody’s life. When I got my first walkman in grade school, I would turn it on at night before I went to bed and go searching through the frequency modulated waves until I found something that caught my interest. On one Sunday evening, just after 10pm, I stumbled on something totally different than anything I had heard before… Musical Starstreams

95.5 at 9:55 so as not to miss a single sound. Soon after I would be greeted by the telltale station identification followed by the intro music… The deep baritone voice of the host, Forest, would fill my headphones – the journey would soon begin. I would then just close my eyes and travel to wherever the music took me.

This became a Sunday tradition for me. It would calm me down before the rest of the week began. I would almost always drift to sleep after an hour or so of listening… but the music that lulled me to sleep was the same that would fill my dreams. After some time, I began to try to remember the artist’s names or even jot them down. Thus began my interest in electronic music. Starstreams introduced me to the likes of The Orb, Enya and Enigma – MCMXC A.D. was my second CD purchase, ever. (for the curious – my first CD) I was amazed at the calming effect that Starstreams had on me. In fact, I started writing on Sunday nights for that reason alone. I even had multiple Starstreams tapes that I had recorded for times other than Sunday that I needed my fix. I soon found myself purchasing more electronic music than whatever else was popular at the time. I began introducing my friends to the show – we would sometimes sit in the room or the car, in complete silence, each taking journeys of our own. It had integrated itself into our lives… to the point that we would remind each other to listen. “Its Sunday, don’t forget about Starstreams!”

After time, it lost its importance – but I always knew it was there. Any Sunday after 10pm, I knew all I had to do was dial it in… and it would always transport me to those times, listening with my walkman under the covers in my room, or sharing with my friends.

So today, as happens ever so often, Katty and I were in the car returning home. As I reached to turn on the radio the Starstreams reminder clicked – I’m sure I let out an “ooh!”… and Katty immediately knew what I was thinking – “Your show”. In a small way, it had become a part of her Sunday too. I was a bit confused as the music was not the familiar electronic soundscape from the years past, but Jazz. My fears were confirmed when we arrived home and I checked the website:

WNUA CHICAGO – Dropped after 18 years and 4 months – 12 Feb 2006. R.I.P. 95.5fm 10pm Sun

18 years… though I am not the dedicated listener that I once was, this news has put a hole in Sunday that will never be replaced. Starstreams can be streamed on-line and as such, this will not prevent me from listening. But it will be those nights where I’m in the car, or when I’m just about to crawl in bed.. I’ll see that its after 10pm and – for a moment – I’ll be happy that I remembered, until it sinks in that Starstreams in Chicago is no longer…

2 thoughts on “Sundays in Chicago will never be the same”

  1. This was not at all what I had planned on writing about… but I found it fascinating how something as seemingly insignificant as a radio show can ground a person…

  2. I don’t know what it is, but there’s a definite difference to listening to something on the radio. Streaming it online just seems… different. Jeez. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Weird to think that.

    I looked at the schedule a long time ago to see if we got Starstreams here (and have since forgotten), but I remember one Saturday or Sunday when D and I were coming home from a movie. We turned on NPR and her favorite NPR show was on: the Thistle and Shamrock (and irish tunes show). It was just ending, and what came on next? Hearts of Space – the show which used to follow Starstreams on WNUA back when we were in High School! 🙂 I had a moment in the car, but I was really just psyched that some of “my music” was on the air here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *