Monday, October 12, 2015

                      The Times They Have Changed!

Yep, it's over. Radio is officially dull! Bob Dylan was indeed prophetic when he sang about
the "Times They Are A Changing".  The "Change" has happened to Radio. America came
plunging head long into the 1950's after a bitter World War. America was ready to explode
with optimism and futuristic thought. Radio was ready to join in this new modern World
of Studebaker, Corvette and T-Bird cars, cars with Rocket 88 engines, outer space Sputnik satellites and talk of putting a man on the Moon! It seems not too long ago, one could hear 
emanating from radio stations across America: energy, dynamism, superlatives, positive remember, all of the things that made radio sound great and actually BE great. Radio was "Fabulous", "Futuresonic", "Color", "Big", "Funderful", "Rocket Radio", "Boss", "Heavy", "Super", "Magnificent", Top Dog, "Tigers", Big Apes"...would there be enough adjectives we could use to describe ourselves? Such were the days of "Top 40 Radio"
We had " Fab Forty ", "Sonic Sixty", "Pacesetter" and "Silver Dollar Surveys". Disc Jockies
were not just DeeJays, but were: "Swingin' Gentlemen", "Good Guys", "Magnificent 7",
"Hit Makers", "Star Makers", and "Boss Jocks". Weekends weren't two days at the end of 
a week, they were: "Wonderful", "Fun Lovin'", or "Million Dollar". Promotions were:
"Colossal", "Gigantic", "Winner's Wonderland","Car Loads Of Cash", "The Best", The
"Biggest"..and on-and-on it went. Oldies were "Golden","Souvenirs", "Flashbacks",
"Evergreen", "Forever Fabulous". Top 40 Radio Newscasts were: "Pulsebeat", "EarWitness",
"Pacesetter", some were "Intelligence Reports" all filled with that urgent staccato delivery
punctuated with a myriad of buzzers, bells, stagings, echo chambers and filters to insure the
listener could be given the World of information in 3 to 5 minutes. Now, toss in further
exciting contests & promotions consisting of big cash, cars or house giveaways, plus listener
involved "Treasure Hunts", and you have what I call The Second Golden Age of Radio!
It lasted for maybe 15-20 years...from 1955 to about 1975, but what a whirlwind of creativity
it was. From the mid 1990's to the present, radio has stagnated into a Sargasso Sea of over
regulated and researched programming that is so predictable and uninteresting to warrant
long term listener tune in. It's true, music tends to reflect the mood of a society over time.
Over the past 50 plus years, you can hear the change. From "At The Hop", "Teen Angel"
and "Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes" to "Eve Of Destruction", "War( What Is It Good
For)", "Abraham, Martin & John" and "Woodstock"to  today's song lyrics about "ho's and killing cops", it's easy to see and hear where this country has come from and where it's headed. Radio seems to be following this same downward spiral. Optimism has been replaced with pessimism and confusion of purpose. Today, no news would be welcome good news!
I miss the days in radio when I heard the phrases: "We have plenty of audio radiance for 
our radio audience" and "The radio station you'd listen to if you owned all the stations in
the World".  Where did our radio pride and bragadoccio go?  Listen today, and you will
seldom hear "greatness". Not all "change" is a good thing. Maybe, just like our country, we don't feel that way anymore.   That's my RadiOpinion...what's yours?