When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to do was to listen to AM radio. Very early on I had a Radio Shack crystal radio — a magical device that required no batteries and that pulled in radio signals from all over the place. Later I got a bigger full-blown Radio Shack radio that pulled in the TV audio as well as FM and AM.
My most favourite thing was to lie in bed, after everyone thought I was asleep, with an earphone plugged into the radio. I would scan up and down the AM dial for far-flung stations, usually being able to listen for only 2 or 3 minutes until the cosmos shifted and the signal drifted out of range.
One of my more confusing finds was a radio station that identified itself, at least to my ears, as “threedoobee.” I had to listen for many months until I finally realized that their call letters were WWWE, and that they announced this as “three-w e”. WWWE was out of Cleveland, which was across Lake Erie from where we were, north of Hamilton. The mystery was solved.
Thanks to the insane obsessiveness of the web, you can now hear something like what I heard back then — an announcer for “The Monster on the Lake” doing a station check.
Sadly WWWE is now called a much more generic WTAM, so the pre-teen post-bedtime listeners of today will have no such mysteries to solve.
If you’re interested in this sort of thing, then the K/W Call Letters in the United States page might strike your fancy.