Friday, April 9, 2010

Dying Breed

The other day I was working my way through YouTube's music area and it kind of made me sad...I remember as a teenager, especially when I first moved to the DFW area (about 1976), there was something called AOR (album oriented radio for the youngsters).  It was a beautiful thing because it appealed to a wide range of music and not just the popular singles, but deeper unheard cuts off a particular band's album.  So in other words music was not programmed in neat little "compartments" based on what demographic it fits.  It was through this format I expanded my appreciation of all music...for example on any given day, Jackson Browne may be followed by Eric Clapton, followed by Gino Vanelli, followed the Allman Brothers followed by Little Feat followed by Stanley Clarke, followed by Led Zepplin....I think you get the idea.  I know you are thinking  "why that's one of our classic rock stations!"  This is where there is a difference:  the classic rock stations of today typically rotate the same list of songs over and over with little or no attention to variety, while AOR would see to it that one would not hear the same song twice in one day!  Trust me  I would often times listen the whole day especially during summers and weekends.  Has the radio industry become so pressured by the music industry that the bottom line is about quantity rather than quality? Is it about burning something out to make room for another "next big thing"?  I think so...I rarely listen to much radio outside of our two NPR-based stations, or the independent Texas Music station KHYI.  The rest of the time, especially in the car, I will listen to CD's where I have the option of digitally "building" my own radio station.  Maybe this is something we can all do with our mp3 players, but in my day (yikes I've become my father) it was more of a community playlist, than one we don't share with others..