Friday, December 7, 2007
Do you listen to blues on the radio? Traditionally blues music was accessible in the early days by live performances, and then in the 20s and 30s on 78s and 45s records, and then during the "classic era" of the 50s and 60s on the radio. Now days it's harder to hear blues on the radio--the stations seem to be locked into ever-narrower niches, and none of those niches include blues! Of course, before I start to complain I need to acknowledge that it's not just hurting blues. Remember the last time you heard George Jones on radio? Or Merle Haggard? or John Coltrane? Or Cassandra Wilson? It seems to me that radio is killing itself by chasing the newer and newer at the expense of the great figures of music history. All I know is that I'd like to jump into my car some morning and turn on the radio and hear Ella Fitzgerald or Thelonius Monk or Louis Armstrong or Jimmy Rushing. It would blow my mind!
I expect somebody will tell me that I'm a dinosaur. Some body else will tell me to listen to XM or Sirius Satellite radio. That might work but I am afraid that those services will never reach any more than a small fraction of the music lovers out there. There is just something wonderful about the crackly AM radio at night that can't be duplicated, and FM just stinks.....
There is a station here in this town that says they play 52 minutes of music without interruption every hour. So why is it whenever I get in my car that's when the 8 minutes of commercials starts?
Anyway, I invite you to write in and tell me---where on the radio where you live can the blues be found? Send me the station call letters, the show times, anything that we can share so my readers can find blues wherever we happen to go. I'll share the answers here in a couple of weeks.
Oh, and as my friend the Blues Pilot always says--
Keep the boogie alive!