How the Pandemic and a New iPhone helped me rediscover the Radio

I used to be the guy who would scoff at listening to the radio. ‘Why would I do that? I listen to way better music than what’s on the radio,’ I thought. That was my attitude for years: aux cord only if it was my car, and if I was riding in yours I was plenty ready to take the aux cord if need be. But a new iPhone and lack of sports on TV changed that.

No headphone jack, no problem

I got a new iPhone for my birthday. I’d had an iPhone SE for a while – so long that people with 7’s, 8’s, 9’s and so on would ask me if I had and iPhone 4 or 5.

With my new phone I lost the headphone jack. The biggest problem with that for me was now my aux cord in my car wouldn’t work without an adapter. I can be a procrastinator, so I put it off. I thought, “I have CDs and can listen to the radio when I drive, no big deal’.


What helped ease my move from aux to radio was that my Dad drove my car at one point and added some FM presets. I already had 97.1 The Ticket as a preset because I listened to sports radio and 97.9 WJLB and Hot 107.5 because I liked hip hop.

My Dad added Mix 92.3 and Kiss 105.9, I guess because that’s what he likes to listen to. I started to listen to them as I cycled through the stations and over time, I grew to enjoy them.

Hip hop is partly to blame for a couple reasons. First, I’ve been trying to listen to less hip hop because I just don’t let the lyrics slide like I used to; it doesn’t agree with me (what an “old” person thing to say). Second: these stations play some songs that you hear sampled in hip hop – and if you’ve never heard them before, it’s really interesting to hear the origins of the songs you know from rap. Also, these stations play some classic artists like Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker and others that I’m getting hip to!

Sports Radio

I’ve been listening to 97.1 for quite awhile. It’s one of the sports stations I can remember listening to when I was younger along with WDFN The Fan.

I listen to The Mike Valenti Show. Since I was home more than usual during the pandemic, listening to Mike, Sully, Hatchet (and Roberto when he was there) became part of my routine. I knew at 2 p.m. I could expect to hear a roundup of whatever the sports stories were and a measured discussion from Mike on what was going on with the virus.

I appreciate the show being there for me each day, even with all sports suspended. It gave me something to look forward to when not much else was going on. And being able to listen to the show via the app is so convenient.

News Radio

And last but not least is some love for news radio. As far back as I can remember, my parents listened to WWJ Newsradio 950. It really is a must-listen when you get in the car and head for the freeway to make sure you’re not going to run into traffic. It’s also, obviously, a great way to quickly know what the top stories of the day are.

I’ve also added 101.9 WDET as a preset after seeing the sign for it while walking around Midtown Detroit. I don’t listen to it all that much, but it is good to have NPR there as something different.

So: do you listen to the radio while you’re driving or on your phone/computer?

Let me know what stations I should check out!

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