Friday, March 2, 2018

Radio Tirana Retrospective

Radio Tirana was one of many East European stations that occasionally reached the western United States (Denver) back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If memory serves me correctly, they operated at the far end (mid-band now) of the 41 metre band. Like most Communist block countries the programming extolled the ideals of Marxism-Leninism, occasionally with a mixture of Albanian music. The programming to say the least was quite boring and meaningless to me at the time;  I was merely interested in their QSL card, which I managed to received.

Interestingly, in those days -- not really knowing the address -- I posted a letter with a reception report and addressed it to "Radio Tirana, Tirana, Albania". Many a report was sent that way, not just to Radio Tirana, but many other stations, and a QSL turned up in the mail months later. 

HERE is a link to an 1970s era broadcast from Radio Tirana.

When I resumed short-wave listening in 2010, Radio Tirana International was heard in Malaysia, oft times quite poorly. Part of the reason for this, aside from propagation, was the transmission target -- Western Europe. This meant only the signal radiated from the back of their antenna. The transmitters also reportedly were old and performed poorly, Nevertheless, I managed to QSL the station many times before their final broadcast. This usually meant listening to either their German or Italian language broadcasts. But what really drew me back to their station was the music, and the fact that it was one of those "exotic' East European stations I remembered from my youth. 

Radio Tirana's interval was entitled "Këputa një gjethe dafine"; an older version featured a trumpet version of "With Pickaxe and Rifle."

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