Friday, July 14, 2006

On the Radio

Today in Music History:

In 1973, a long-simmering feud between the two Everly brothers erupts onstage during a concert in California. Their breakup is announced to the crowd by Don Everly, who completes the concert with a solo set.
DJ homercatHowdy and welcome to Friday. Today DJ homercat is gonna spin some moldy oldies for your rockin' selves for a nostalgic trip down the old am radio dial. Actually I am a wee bit embarassed to admit that I own one or two of todays selections. Like it or not these tracks were all at the number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 during this week in July.

Back in the day before mp3's, ipods, CD's, satellite radio, FM radio and other fancy electronic equipment, we just had good ole am radio. Chock full of static and mono goodness. Sometimes you couldn't wait until it got dark because (here comes technical jargon)AM signals travel by groundwave, diffracting around the curve of the earth over a distance up to a few hundred miles (or kilometers) from the signal transmitter. However, after sunset, changes in the ionosphere cause AM signals to travel by skywave, enabling AM radio stations to be heard much farther from their point of origin than is normal during the day. We could listen to much cooler stations at night with the really good music. Stations weren't as listener specific as they are now. Now we have AOR, MOR, alternative, metal, rap, r and b, oldies, christian, rock and on and on. With the old am radio you could be exposed to funk, rock, country, pop, jazz, soft rock and on and on. Thus you were exposed to a broader range of music. In the early 70's FM radio stations were few and many were mannned by rogue dj's who played what they wanted to play. Some stations played whole albums.

The death clock started ticking for music based am radio in 1973 when car radios were required by law to receive FM stereo. From that year on, more and more FM stations were being born and the AM stations were being phased out or being replaced by talk radio. As FM gained popularity the dj's found they no longer were able to play what they wanted as they had in the past. Program directors and station formats took it out of the hands of the dj's and into the corporate mucky muck. In the early seventies I never went anywhere without my old transistor radio hanging from my bicycle handlebars. I woke up and went to sleep listening to the am radio. It's all we had and you just couldn't afford to go down to the record store and pick up every 45 of every song you heard. So us old geezers do have a fondness for those days. The sound was shit, sometimes the music was shit, but it was ours and that's the only way we heard our music, unless you had an older, cool brother or sister. So you young uns must forgive us our reminiscin'.

Take a walk with homercat if you will down memory lane as we check into the Hot 100 number 1 songs for this week(or thereabouts) playing On the Radio. Sooner or later all the good stuff shows up on KCAT radio.

Windy by The Association
Buy It

Mama Told Me(Not to Come) by Three Dog Night
Buy It

Will It Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston
Buy It

Love Will Keep Us Together by Capatain and Tennille
Buy It

Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band
Buy It

Da Doo Ron Ron by Shaun Cassidy (homercat cringes)
Buy It

Bad Girls by Donna Summer
Buy It

Bonus-AM Radio by Everclear (pretty much explains it all)

That covers a few years anyway. If you have any AM radio stories to share, a favorite station, an old memory or a request, shout it out to dj homercat. As always play safe this weekend. See Y'all next week.

Funny Toon