Put Your Hands on the Radio

In our lives, each one of us experiences moments of uncertainty and doubt. Graduation from high school often means moving out of our family home and being on our own for the first time. Some of us go off to college, join the military, or begin a trade or profession, often struggling to survive with a myriad of life challenges, many we may have never even considered before.

One Person’s Story

JC knows these feelings all too well. In his early 20s, he set out to find his fame and fortune. He departed his “windy city” hometown for Hollywood.

If day-to-day survival for JC wasn’t difficult enough, his beloved dog was hit by a car. The vet bill would be $900, money JC didn’t have as he was barely earning enough to pay his rent.

A Loving Father

JC knew what he must do, but he hated the thought of it. He picked up the phone and called his father back in Chicago, telling him how his dog had been hit by a car and that he now needed a $900 loan to pay the veterinarian bill.

“Dad, should I just give up on this thing and come home?” he asked.

“No, don’t come home” his father told him,  “I’ll give you the loan, you gotta stay put.”

Inspiration in a Time of Desperation

Then his father added, “Don’t stop believin’.”

“That’s beautiful, Dad” JC told his father jotting those three words into his little note book he kept for inspiration when writing songs.

Life is a Journey

By 1978, JC had moved to San Francisco and was enjoying success as a keyboardist for a rock group called the Babys.

It was when another rock band, Journey, invited him to join their group, and the words of his father would then resurface.

Journey was in the middle of recording tracks for a new album and while they already had recorded 17 songs, their producer wanted one more tune. Journey’s Steve Perry turned to their newest member and told him to “go home and see what you got. I know you’ve got something.”

JC poured over his notebooks for inspiration when he came across the words his father told him when he harbored thoughts of giving up his dream and moving back home.

Don’t Stop Believin’

With those three words along with “hold on to that feeling,” the creative process began.

JC and his bandmates would go on to create a song about a boy and girl who “took the midnight train goin’ anywhere.”

Radio Needs to Start Believin’

Jonathan Cain’s father words would be the spark that would ignite Journey’s iconic song “Don’t Stop Believin’” from the album ESCAPE.

Those words from a father to a desperate son have gone on to inspire fans around the world for more than 40 years.

Let’s not forget that it was radio that made this song a listener favorite.

Don’t Stop Believin’, hold on to that feelin’.


Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio

5 responses to “Put Your Hands on the Radio

  1. To quote a phrase all us old radio folks know, “and now you know, the Rest of the Story!” Mr Harvey would be proud!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dick there is a part of me that enjoys your radio nostalgia. However, I’m afraid that’s all it is. This week I listened to an NPR to a fascinating podcast on the history of nostalgia. Once nostalgia was considered a disease and now marketers are using it to re-sell products and services using nostalgia. Radio has used it for years bringing us classic music. As you have written eloquently, radio wounded itself and in my opinion dying a slow death.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. VBaskin2010

    Wow. No words.

    Liked by 1 person

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