Local Man Provides Vintage Radios for Historic Hotels

Mike Shanley talked about his radio collection on Public Pulse. (Photo by Leslie Stratmoen)
Mike Shanley talked about his radio collection on Public Pulse. (Photo by Leslie Stratmoen)

A local man who's been collecting and restoring vintage radios for years is the one responsible for the sounds of the times at The Occidental hotel in Buffalo and soon-to-be at the Sheridan Inn.

News Director Leslie Stratmoen has the story.

Stepping into The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo is not only a step back in time, visually, because of the restoration of the century-old hotel, but because of the music visitors hear as they walk through the door.

Musical styles ranging from Victorian Christmas carols to 1950s singing cowboy tunes resound through the halls. The music comes from the hotel’s own in-house radio station pumped through restored vintage radios, courtesy of Mike Shanley of Sheridan.

He said he finds the music online, through Amazon.com.

He’d been collecting and restoring radios for years when he was asked by The Occidental hotel owner Dawn Wexo to house some of his vintage music boxes in the hotel.

That was several years ago. Now, he said, if all goes as planned, the Sheridan Inn will follow suit. Owners Bob and Dana Townsend have asked him to bring his radios and in-house system to create the same ambiance as The Occidental.

In the end, like at The Occidental, the radios at the Sheridan Inn will feature a variety of styles, dating from the 1920s. He said he’ll probably start with a console-type from the 1940s in the front lobby.

The hope is, he went on to say, that by the time the hotel opens, once again, for overnight visitors after the first of the year, vintage music will fill the halls. So, just like at The Occidental, travelers will be transported back in time on the airwaves.

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