By Cory Doctorow at 6:39 pm Tue, Mar 20, 2012
This 1977 CB radio ad has it all, from the heavy metal concept album lettering to the lens-flares on every surface -- even a halo for the holy gizmo itself.
1977 CW McCall Midland CB Radio
Do you remember the Cobra CB ads, where the microphone was posed like the head of a snake getting ready to strike?
I remember that and the Midland CB. My mother got into ham radio and operated a Midland radio. It seemed in the late 70’s that everyone was into CBs and crowded the legal channels. Even channel 19 which was unofficially reserved for truckers got crowded. That’s why anyone who wanted to actually operate a radio got into ham.
Ummmmmm . . . . . . . . . . errrrrrr. . . .rrrr. . . what’s yer 20?
Ummmmmmmmmmmm . . . . pblpbpbpbpbpbpb. . . . . . .. . . . . .
ummmmmm. . . . . . . what’s yer 20?”
Repeat till bored. Then go inside and watch Starsky.
So, uh, what’s your 20? How many candles are you burning?
Breaker breaker good buddy. Ya know you’ve got a dog strapped to the roof of your 4 wheeler?
Right around that year, my dad went to town and came back with a CB just like that for every vehicle on the farm. Plus a base with rabbit ears. And a new pickup. Later, he was an early adopter of cell phones. When I went to visit, I’d be issued a pickup and a cell phone and sent out to work. Good times.
This was my most used piece of tech back in ’77…
Unlikely in ’77. More likely in ’78.
Nope. Dad bought four of them in 77 as soon as they came out.
Ours was the TRS-80 CoCo (1980). When the Missile Command game we were writing crossed the 4k barrier we had to save up for the $299 16k upgrade. Then the sky was the limit as long as the cassette player was working properly. ) .
Man, 1977 was the absolute pinnacle of civilization. Smokey and the Bandit, Love Gun, Let There Be Rock, Star Wars, A Farewell To Kings, Rocks (yeah, ’76, but still on the air!), hell even Saturday Night Fever. Proposition 13 was still a year away, and Reaganomics in the unimaginably dark future. And until September 20, even Fonzie hadn’t jumped the shark yet.
Gimme a hot tub, a CB, a large dose of penicillin and an extra-large box of Trojans, and all the economic malaise the Carter Administration could throw at me. I’d take all that back in a heartbeat, pet rocks and all.
But then again, since I’ve always been a straight white American male of WASPy stock, my rights and liberties and advantages couldn’t have risen much higher than they were in 1977. Most people who didn’t fit into that rather narrow category probably have limited interest in revisiting that particular era, though no doubt everyone’s mileage varies. (Though the Corporate Average Fuel Economy back then was a pathetic 18 mpg, so at least in one way our mileage has improved. Har har.)
Not to mention: Sally Field in her early thirties!
I tried to use a CB radio back then… I really did. I must have installed one a half dozen times but they never made it through the night. Stolen each time. Oh well.
Roger that. The dee-lux 40 channel model. I still use a CB when I drive cross country, but am mostly a lurker. Me trying to talk on a trucker channel would be a bit like an inappropriately basic question on a professional forum. But listening you can still get better updates on traffic jams than Google navigator, and definitely better alternate routes. Plus they tell really good jokes. Guess what buffet stands for.
i’ll bite. what does it stand for?
I had no idea “heavy metal concept lettering” existed.
It’s “Seventies Airbrush Lettering” in my book, as everything from C&W albums to Saturday Night Live used it. The lens flares are also typical airbrush starbursts, and I can remember drawing them on everything as a kid as well.
They never looked so good when I did them in blue biro.
And I tried and tried to do chrome letters with an airbrush. They always appeared as if being viewed underwater. I never really got good at airbrushing, but can do passable automotive body work (one color).
breaker 1-9, breaker 1-9, we got a bear in the air, do you got ‘cher ears on? c’mon back.
10-10 til we do it again
You missed the best part – it’s the WC McCall model!!!! McCall was the “singer” behind the one-hit wonder “Convoy” (which actually started as a series of ads for a bread company). 10-4 Rubber Duck!
C W McCall. http://www.cw-mccall.com/index.php
One-hit wonder? You are forgetting “Wolf Creek Pass”!
I remember sitting out in my Dad’s 4X4 Ford pickup, with its Radio Shack CB and big whip antenna, in the sweltering evenings of the Summer of 1976, talking with truckers out on the highway and folks with their base stations.
Also: “A cab-over Pete with a reefer on, and a Jimmie haulin’ hogs!”
“Arizona, noon, on the seventh of June, as they high-balled over the pass. Bulldog Mack with a can on back, and a Jaguar haulin’ ass.” My favorite song when I was nine.
“It’s what you get when you run with number 1″
Well I suppose that’s better than running with number 2.
I’d like to see people placing WiFi points in their cars. To share music, and media.
As a completely untraceable media sharing system.
We have cars and traffic jams, each car could be a point of sharing media and information to other cars. Outside of control of a internet service provider.
What you are describing is a MANET (Mobile Ad-Hoc Network) and a lot of research is being done on that topic. Technically, you’ll need something other than WiFi: 802.11 doesn’t work well when moving, especially at speed.
lens-flares on every surface
Isn’t that something else? Starburst?
I had a Midland as well. The CW McCall endorsement was pure gold, although I might have switched to Cobra if they could have landed Red Sovine. You there, Teddy Bear?
I moment I saw Twitter, I thought, CB radio without the gear, but with all the inanity.
That’s what I thought when I saw IRC. Now get off my lawn.
Many nights were spent in front of that thing listening to truckers and the legendary Flyer Dutchman who had a famously tall antenna on a poll behind his house. And look at that design – black and chrome (and bonus smell of electricity).
Metal? Hardly: ïnsüfficïënt üsë öf ümläüts.
All those star bursts remind me of Super Friends.
I got one of these for xmas when I was a kid. My friends and I amused and/or pissed off a lot of truckers that year.
Perfect for tweaking so you could be shootin’ skip and pissing off the fusking Fancy Candy Company.
All I could think of was ….. If you run with Number 1 you get it all over your legs …..
Why is it so many of these kitschy “historical” ads seem to have come out of men’s magazines (Speaking of another thing for which 1977 was the “golden age”)? Is that the only periodical print medium anyone has left on the internet?
My mother’s husband tried to get me to use a CB a few times in the 80s, but I pissed him off. I couldn’t get a hang of the lingo and kept falling back into military mode. “Roger that, over.” “No! It’s 10-4, come back!!” “Roger, out.”
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