Tuesday, December 27, 2011

RIP, Lynn Samuels

One of the secret pleasures of my childhood was a "backyard." I grew up in a short building of what were called "railroad flats," six stories high, twelve apartments. Because of building codes, the back end of the building needed a small space to fight fires from, so my yard was an eight by thirty concrete gap between buildings.
The building that backed up to this space was an old church, which was purchased by Pacifica Radio in the early 1970s and converted to the broadcast studios of their New York affiliate, WBAI.
You may recall 'BAI as the station that lost the Seven Dirty Words Supreme Court decision.
I used to play basketball in my yard. I doubt I interrupted any programming, but I know I annoyed the hell out of the staff, as there was a break room whose window was perpetually open to the yard. I think my cat even snuck into the station one evening.
Anyway, Lynn Samuels was one of my favorite broadcasters on that station, a station that covered politics and arts the way a radio station should. Nothing was out of it's mien, and indeed they were one of the first to have regular reggae and punk broadcasts.
So I was sad to read this.