What New Yorkers Heard on the Radio the Night John Lennon was Shot

We're taking you back to 1980, to the evening when John Lennon was shot in New York City. This sound file lets you listen in on what New Yorkers heard that evening December 8 as they switched from one radio station to another. The event was covered across the radio dial, and you hear the news media starting to piece together exactly what happened at the Dakota. This recording was put online by Beware of the Blog, which we indexed in our list of MP3 Music Blogs.

As an aside, Beware of the Blog has also posted some mp3 files that feature jazz singer Keely Smith singing covers of various Beatles' songs. Here is her version of "Do You Want to Know a Secret." Lastly, if you haven't already, you should check out the 3-hour Rolling Stone interview with John Lennon that we mentioned in our recent piece, The Beatles: Podcasts From Yesterday. It gives you a lot of insight into the man, his good traits and bad.


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  • John says:

    Hey – I was listening to WNEW that night. Vin Scelsa, aka Bayonne Butch, was broadcasting when I went to bed and I listened to him stammering that there was word that John Lennon had been shot and taken to a hospital but that he couldn’t confirm. The next morning my radio alarm was still tuned to WNEW and I woke up to Imagine playing and I knew the news was not good.
    As always, your aging Web 2.0 compatriot.

  • mike says:

    The Beatles Podcasts From Yesterday link is invalid.

  • tara says:

    My sister, 29, and I, 16, sat at the kitchen table listening to WNEW with the TV on mute waiting for news. We were both shocked, but I remember her talking about how much he and the Beatles had been in her life.
    I will never, never forget that night and how I wanted to take that sadness away from my sister.
    I can never listen to the song Starting Over without crying. It seems so prescient, as if he were preparing Ono for the next stage of their relationship.

  • […] What New Yorkers Heard on the Radio the Night John Lennon was Shot […]

  • […] What New Yorkers Heard on the Radio the Night John Lennon was Shot […]

  • HECTOR LUIS VEGA says:

    HECTOR LUIS VEGA WAS AT YORE HOUSE AT MONTANARI CLINICAL TREATMENT CENTER AT HIALEAH, FLORIDA ON DECEMBER 8, 1980, the two months before quitting the MONTANARI CLINICAL TREATMENT CENTER AT HIALEAH, FLORIDA.
    my friend are ricky torres and I was very impressive about church guy shooting the John Lennon outside the dakota apartment building in manhattan. 1980 there was no video camera, only a security guards at apartment building’s door.

  • HECTOR LUIS VEGA says:

    Hector Luis Vega at group home in hialeah florida listen to his seville radio cassette recorder on my bed without television in bedroom, on group home’s living room equipped with black and white monuaral television set and lloyd stereo system.

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