Thursday, November 15, 2018

Radio Rants

I was out taking my girl Lola for a walk. I had my head phones on and I was listening to tunes.
Little Feat

Fat Man in the Bathtub by Little Feat came on and I enjoyed every bite.

I'm from Maryland and Little Feat hit us first thanks to this great radio station WHFS. They played anything and everything. Not only did you like the station but you liked the deejays because of their musical tastes.

The coolest of the cool was a guy named Cerphe and you best believe everyone knew when he was on.

There used to be a time that if you drove from Bangor to San Diego and listened to FM radio you would hear bands you weren't familiar with. Cleveland had their favorites, Denver did as well, as did Phoenix.

And on and on.

Now? You'll hear the same songs from sea to shining sea.

It was such a brand new world when I moved to Detroit to play rock and roll on the radio and heard bands like Head East, The Rockets, the MC5 and the J.Geils Band. Plus who could forget Jimmy Osterberg aka Iggy Pop?

It's all homogenized now.

Don't get me wrong I love Zeppelin and the Stones and like that but here's another thing. Why do stations play the same five songs from a band over and over and...?

I always thought if I programmed a radio station I'd play a well known song then play three or four lesser known bands' songs before I'd play another hit.  I bet listeners like me would love it.

If you're looking for radio like that try college stations or small town radio.

And don't get me going on satellite radio. I got sucked in by channels with names like Deep Tracks and Classic Vinyl thinking I would hear songs that were less well known.

Well, that's kind of true but again it's the same songs over and over.
Tony Colter(left) with Blues legend Bobby Rush

I think there's one saving grace on satellite radio which brings me to my BFF and B.B. King's Bluesville. His name is Tony Colter and he's the voice you hear a lot on that channel.

I've known Tony since I was in 8th grade. That's a long time. We've gone from discovering girls to being married to these great women.

He got me my first radio gig.

His daughter, Karley, is my goddaughter and when she was twelve I took her on her first jet ride to L.A. to meet N'SYNC.  I could go on but this and more is not why I listen to him.

It's because he's good.

Also it's fun hearing my ace in Florida when he's a thousand miles away.

Now the Blues.

Folks from England knew about it early and it hit them hard. B.B. King had concerts there. Muddy Waters toured there. Howlin' Wolf played there. All kinds of Blues artists were there all the time.

While America was foggy about the Blues the UK wasn't.

Ask Mick Jagger about that. Ask Eric Clapton about that. Ask Jimmy Page about that.

I like two things about the Blues. One, if you like rock and roll you'll love the Blues 'cause that's where it came from. My ears are always happy when I check in. Second, when I listen to my guy playing music on Bluesville I don't know every song.

I really like that.

Check him out, Tony Colter, my brother from another mother, on Bluesville. You won't be disappointed.

What began with walking the dog and Little Feat ends with B.B. King and the Blues.


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