My new radio lets me preset my 5 favorite AM stations and 10 favorite FM stations so all I have to do is press a button to listen to one of them. I set about selecting my stations.
I set the 5 AM's easily. One all news, one sports-talk, NPR, and 2 talk radio (one conservative and one liberal).
Then came the hard part. Finding 10 FM stations I like.
It had been a while since I listen to FM radio but I looked forward to what I remembered as a wide variety of formats to enjoy. I planned one button for an oldies station, a couple for country western, maybe three or four for classical music, NPR (yeah, I know. How much NPR can one man take?), some jazz, show tunes, the sky's the limit.
I was in for a surprise.
First of all, apparently radio stations no longer go by their call letters. It used to be WABC or (where I grew up) KRLA but now it's all Hot this and Zoo that, plus a "Jack" - whatever that is - and a Lite (I guess being able to spell is not required to own a radio station). The point is you don't really know what station you are tuned to, except that it is Hot or a Zoo.
After trying to listen to several stations I had to check to see if my new radio was broken because it seemed that all the songs were the same song. I don't want to sound like my parents who claimed, when both I and rock-n-roll were young, that all the songs sounded alike (you couldn’t really tell the difference between The Coasters and The Drifters? C’mon, Mom and Dad!) But it seemed like everything I heard on my new radio sounded like a bunch of people yelling at each other or yelling at me. And they were all so angry! What do they have to be angry about? They have recording contracts! People listen to their music on the radio!
There was anger in the songs of the Sixties - remember “Eve of Destruction” or “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”? – but not every single song was angry. There were optimistic songs, too. “Here Comes The Sun”, “Joy to the World”, “We Gotta Get You A Woman” – songs of happy expectation.
But on my new radio I heard no optimistic music. Only songs about being P.O.’d.
Well, that has to change. I can’t let the youth of America go on thinking that life is a meaningless struggle for nothingness.
There is so much more to life, kids.
I am now making it my mission to introduce a new musical form that I call Rose Colored Rap to the next generations of Americans.
Yo, wassup, hey hey, Yo, Yo, Yo!
The sun'll come out tomorrow, y’all.
Bet your f@#%-ing dollar that tomorrow
They'll be sun. Be-hatch!
Just thinking about tomorrow, motherf#%&*
Clears away the bulls#$%& and the sorrow
‘Til there’s none, Yo Ho, Yo Ho!
Well, you get the idea. I know it needs work (that last part sounds a bit like a sea chantey, I know), but it's important work if I am to save the kids from this depressing music.
Meanwhile, I have set the buttons on my new radio to Lite(sp?) FM, Hot Jazz 101.9, the Classical 96.3 Zoo, and the rest to NPR. Believe it or not I could find no Oldies or Country Western stations in the New York market.
That really makes me angry!