When I first began visiting these shores in the late ‘60’s, regional radio, both AM and FM, was a feast for the ears…..compared to the monopoly of the B.B.C. of the British airwaves, with only Radio Luxemburg, American Forces Network and the emerging pirate ships of Radio Caroline offering any choices for one’s listening pleasure.
Driving up from Florida, with the car radio set to pick up local stations only, you could hear everything from gut-bucket blues and soul through hard country and mountain music to Sunday church services, both black and white. It was exactly what I’d imagined American radio would be like, and it thrilled me to bits.
Corporate radio was still only a big-city phenomenon on the East coast, and Tom Donahue was breaking things wide open in California for FM. Regional jocks were programming themselves, and the concept of corporate programming had not yet come along.
Well, that was then, and now corporate/commercial radio has taken the hatchet to the beautiful concept that was free range American radio.
But…Lo! Surprise…there are still a ton of folks who want to bend an ear to gut-bucket blues and soul through hard country and mountain music to Sunday church services, both black and white.
National Public Radio stepped into the breach with myriad excellent shows, and the grab-bag that has been dubbed Americana grows exponentially.
Top 40 Radio? Country Radio? Urban Radio? Seems like a wasteland to me.
Mind you, I’m an old fart, and the last time I saw real twerking was in the West Indies in 1968. They called it windin’ de waist…..A much more exciting event than young Ms. Cyrus’s white bread (and literally white ass) version of recent times.
I can’t resist….it’s the same old grind! Can’t you hear the auto-tune in the air?