Radio Free Vaiden



Submitted by Mark Shands (a.k.a. MarkNDark), in his own words (or something to that effect)


Radio Free Vaiden was on the air in the Summer of 1966, I believe.  I was getting interested in broadcasting, and tried to get Mr. Wilson Caddess to make me a transmitter. I also asked him how to make one.  I ordered an AM Oscillator, a mini AM Radio Transmitter, from Lafayette Electronics.  Mr. Caddess might be the person who steered me to Lafayette.  I can remember standing in his electronics shop, asking him about it.


I hooked it up to my parents’ Zenith stereo and played Rolling Stones’ records – songs like “Ruby Tuesday” and “Paint it Black.”  I got my sister, Rachel, to read jokes over the air while I listened in my Dad’s car.  Next, I added an old Dictaphone voice recorder from my father’s law office on Front Street.  I recorded a sappy I.D. that went something like this: “This is WRFV in Vaiden, Mississippi. . .Illegal as Hell on your radio dial!”  C.D. Simpson, the postman, was a listener.  C.D. would tune us in as he rode by towards home or work.  He once called me on that “Illegal as Hell” I.D. !


The next big breakthrough was hooking the antenna of the “transmitter” to the phone lines !  Suddenly, I could pick up WRFV all the way over to Highway 35 !  We had a vast audience…Betty Winters, Donald Tate, C.D. Simpson and his son Mike.  Yep, that was about it….all Rolling Stones at the time.  It was the “Flowers” album.  We couldn’t buy albums in Vaiden back then, and had to order it by mail !