CB Radio in the 70s Was a Teaser for the Internet

Debra G. Harman, MEd.
3 min readApr 6, 2022

10–4, good buddy, what’s your 20?

Photo by ALE SAT on Unsplash

In the early ’70s, Citizen Band radios (CB radios) became intensely popular. My little brother, twelve years old, had a CB radio in his bedroom, across the hall from mine. I was thirteen, just a year older. As such, we were great buddies.

There was no such thing as internet or cell phones back in the early ’70s. We were two young kids living out in the country, rural Oregon, with an older sister, a mom and a dad. Five of us lived in a small farmhouse with one bathroom. At night we heard owls. In the morning, we heard birds.

We ran down a gravel lane to catch the yellow school bus. And at night, we played with my brother’s CB radio. He’d twist the dial around, finding a distant, echoey voice of an older guy talking. Then, he’d press the button on the side of the radio, and hail the guy. I’m sure that all the old truckers back then were eager to chat with kids on the novelty device.

After the song “Convoy” came out, with its unlikely story of truckers forming a convoy to bust through some state line, or was it a toll on a bridge? Yes, my memory’s coming back. And there were “bears in the air”! In other words, police in helicopters, I guess to arrest the truckers who weren’t willing to pay a toll. That song was so popular.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Well, we rolled up Interstate 44
Like a rocket sled on rails
We tore up all of our swindle sheets
And left ’em settin’ on the scales
By the time we hit that Chi-town
Them bears was a-gettin’ smart
They’d brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinois National Guard
There’s armored cars, and tanks, and Jeeps
And rigs of ev’ry size
Yeah, them chicken coops was full’a bears
And choppers filled the skies
Well, we shot the line and we went for broke
With a thousand screamin’ trucks
An’ eleven long-haired Friends a’ Jesus
In a chartreuse micra-bus

We always, always! laughed at the idea of eleven long-haired friends a’Jesus. Back in the day, the born-again movement was become popular.

Nowadays, teenage kids play video games, wire headsets and communicate with friends all over the world, and have apps galore.

Debra G. Harman, MEd.

Memoirist | Publisher @ Parasol Publications | Kingdom of pubs on Medium--Narrative Arc, Wind Phone, In For a Penny, and more! | Traveler & Retired HS Teacher