Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The real story of XVRB radio station's name

In Mexico call signs of radio stations begin with the letter X. When Mexico, the United States of America and Canada were discussing the use of AM radio frequencies, about a century ago, Mexico wasn't very happy to get only 5 frequencies on the medium wave band. In comparison: The US got about 50 (and that's a lot more!) and also Canada came away with quite a lot more clear channel frequencies, definitive more than the Mexicans.
Being angry about this, the Mexicans demanded two things:
  • no power limits on their transmitters/frequencies
  • all five channels should be clear channels, so these frequencies were not about to be used by Canada or America
The reason for this? Mexico feared interference of other radio stations from the US (and from Canada, of course).
When in the US some people were not allowed in the airwaves anymore (religious broadcasters, 'miracle healers', fortune tellers etc.), they went over the Mexican border. First of them was Dr. Brinkley, who claimed he could give man their sexual powers back, by implanting goates glands into their scrotum. (So: He operated upon men to change their own dear testicals for goat's ones...) Of course that didn't work, but Mr. Brinkley was quite succesful in the US before his radio broadcasts became forbidden. (He advertised his 'skills' on the radio.) After a ban was put on his broadcasts, he went over the Mexican border and filed for a permit to broadcast to the US from just over the Mexican border.
Because of the fact, that Mexico wasn't to be held to transmitter power restrictions, all five clear channels included, Mr. Brinkley put up quite a powerful transmission site: About 150,000 watts (ahum.....on a clear channel dear friends...... Now that's a lot of power in the thirty's of last century).
The Mexican X-call sign of his radio station was XER (some more on Dr. Brinkley can be found here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Brinkley)
After World War II, the border blasters ('blasting' from the border with a lot of HF energy of hundred thousands of watts) became very famous in their own way. At the end of the fifties, some guy named Robert Smith (better known as Mr. Wolfman Jack) heard about the Mexican stations. To cut a long story short: He tried and succeeded to get a grip on a few of X stations. He was a succes, playing Rock 'n' Roll records at first, but later soul music was added. The most important thing about Wolfman Jack was, he was succesful in learning black and white young people to have respect for each other, just by playing so called 'race records': Rhythm 'n' Blues, Rock 'n' Roll (being an offspring of R&B) and of course soul, wich came later on.
(more information about that story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfman_Jack)
One of the stations Wolfman Jack operated was XERB, just over the border near Los Angeles ('The Mighty 1090'). Of course, we couldn't get that station call because of the fact XERB is still in operation today, so we changed it to XVRB; sounding the same, but just a little different from the other Mexican station ID's. Free to use in Europe, where X-callsigns don't exist.
The reason for that was that we want to pay tribute to the beautiful work Mr. Wolfman Jack did: He tried to unite people from different races with music and he succeeded doing that. So: XVRB is not an abbreviation, but a non-existing Mexican call sign, used in Europe to look a little different from other European shortwave radiostations. Easy to be found and remembered by it's listeners and yes indeed....who the hell are these people.... (well...justus... :o)
We think music still can change the world, the way we are living today. Small emphasis is put on the elderly people (in this case: DX-ers from about 40 years and older), by playing 'their' music on SW: Rhythm 'n' Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, fifties, sixties, soul..... The XVRB team noticed a long time ago people in Europe like to live with each other on this planet, but politics seems to divide the people in Europe where it should unite in European countries. (We only have one planet. We should be friendly to each other. Lots of people you can be friends with....right?)
Especially the older people seem to become the victim of this process. They just don't understand why money matters replace human matters a little bit too much, nowadays. The result of that is, that their needs are not taking care of in today's radio, for example. Leaving all other and politics aside: This should be regarded to as a problem. Radio is for people, why radiostations all over Europe just don't think off their elderly listeners anymore is because of the money. We don't like it that way (see our website www.xvrb.org).
XVRB Is about music, the good old radio days and (very important): People who want to share their fun in DX-ing, where a lot of shortwave radio stations already disappeared. This is the reason why XVRB will stay privately funded. Maybe, one day, we will have to rely on our listeners, donating some euro's...who knows. But at the moment we can do what we want to do for our listeners all over Europe. And we like it that way :o)
We are not a religious organisation by the way. The XVRB team is just spreading some music and fun, but there's an idea behind it......as I just wrote to you :o)

Mike Wilson

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