Of course, the film Radio wouldnt have been such a success without some Hollywood spin. The filmmakers, with the mindset of making a successful film, not a biography, added dramatization of the important events that occurred during Radios involvement with T.L. Hanna. For example, in the film, it was Coach Jones that specifically gives Radio his nickname, while in real life there is no specific person who gave him his nickname. However, the reason for his nickname is completely accurate. James (Radio), since he was a little boy, had a fascination with radios. He would carry around a transistor radio with him everywhere he went and had a tremendous fascination with music. Because of this, Jones buys him a new radio every Christmas. Like in the film, he delivers Radios many Christmas and birthday presents to him using the bed of his pickup truck.
Another inaccuracy in the film occurs when some of the boys on the football team tied Radio up and locked him in a small storage room next to the field while tossing footballs at the room to create loud noises and scare Radio. According to the original Sports Illustrated article on James Kennedy, this most likely did not happen. There are, however, other pranks that some of the students pull on Radio that the movie does not capture, which were left out for obvious reasons.
Overall, the film Radio does an excellent job at capturing the four decade long story of James Robert Kennedy and his involvement with T.L. Hanna High School and how he progressed from being a lost eighteen-year-old boy to being the hero and icon of Anderson, South Carolina.