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Cellular Saved the Radio Star

One perk of staying up until 3 AM each night is that I get these bursts of creativity and then I drag my husband and my friends with me on bizarre ideas like thisSXSW proposal that ended up with us recording a cover of a famous Buggles tune. We called it “Cellular Saved the Radio Star” and I think you might recognize it:

Cellular Saved the Radio Star by karaandrade

“Cellular Saved The Radio Star”
Original by: The Buggles

(Verse 1)
I heard you on your phone in the Honduras coup
Lying awake intent on tuning in to you
Me in the States did not stop you from comin’ through
Oh-a oh
You took the credit for your cellphone reporting
Broadcasting stories with the new technology
and now I understand issues you’re texting in

(Bridge)
Oh-a oh
I met the people
Oh-a oh
What did they tell me?

(Chorus)
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star

(Verse 2)
Radio came into your phone
Oh-a-a a oh
And now we listen about the state of things
Broadcasting from our hands like awesome techno kings
And you remember how the landline used to ring

(Bridge)
Oh-a-oh
You were the first one
Oh-a-oh
You aren’t the last one

(Chorus)
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star

(Bridge)
In my ear and on my screen
We can’t rewind/it’s all been seen
Oh-a-a-a oh
Oh-a-a-a oh

(Keyboard solo)
(Chorus)
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star

(Verse 3)
In my ear and on my screen
We can’t rewind it’s all been seen
Radio came into your phone
Put the blame on our cellphones

(Vocal break)

(chorus outro)
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star
Cellular saved the radio star

Mobile technology leapfrogs in countries with a poor to non-existing ground-based communication infrastructure. The reality for Latin America’s Telecom advantage is starting to influence the way information is received, created or shared. As an example, news organizations and others heard through people’s cellphones provide text or breaking news SMS alerts free of charge, and ask listeners to contribute news, comments traffic reports, often read out on-air. As an example, during a major electrical blackout affecting almost all departments in Guatemala in Oct 2009, people messaged radio stations that were reading SMSs out loud while listeners tuned in via their $10 cellphones bought at the local market.

Cellphones are vital for airing local broadcasts in their own indigenous languages. Daily about community radio volunteers broadcast live from cellphones to their communities – translating to their indigenous language. On the other end station volunteers transmit and broadcast the message live via the cellphone to the radio transmitter. The cellphone becomes a microphone, radio station, audience and distribution.

Some local studies in Latin America have reported above 60% illiteracy rates, why cellphones enabling local and national information to be shared in a cheap way – voice-based and ubiquitous. This broadcast radio revolution Americans long ago left behind with the birth of the podcast is underway in the forgotten backyards of the United States.

One thought on “Cellular Saved the Radio Star

  1. Joan K says:

    I’d like to order some choreography with that…..

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