Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Can't Hear Through All the Noise

There’s a somewhat modern cliché that reads this way: There are two kinds of people in today’s world—those who, upon entering a room turn the TV on, and those others who, upon entering a room, turn the TV off!

Until the last several years, I was one of those who, upon entering a room, turned the radio on. Back in the 60s, my station of choice was WIP 610 AM. That was before it evolved into a sports talk station.

They had a great lineup of characters: everything from Chicken Man to the old seashore codger from Sea-nile City.

And in-between was the music: Motown to Big Band. You could listen to it, sing along, reminisce, or dance (even if you were alone in the room—or at least I’ve heard tell that some people did that!)

I no longer turn the radio on as a matter of habit when I walk through the door. Why would I? There’s not much for me to listen to.

Oh, of course there’s a whole gaggle of songs on the air at any given time (Do songs come in a gaggle? Oh no—that’s geese. Well, some of what’s played today could pass for a flock of geese flying overhead. Actually, it would have to improve to achieve that sound.)

I guess I long for those days when I walked through the door, flipped on the radio, grabbed a cold ale from the frig, picked up the afternoon paper and relaxed with the sports page while the strains of, oh, I don’t know…Buddy Holly, Glenn Miller, the Platters, Dinah Washington… would just seep through my subconscious while I unwound.

Try unwinding to “Young, Wild, and Free,” by Snoop Dog. I think that listed at number eight last month. I know legendary WIP DJ Tom Moran would be whirling the ridges off that disk if he were still spinning vinyl over the airwaves. (Note: This is sarcasm!)

I don’t want to say that the music was better in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s than it is today. What I want to say is that the music of anytime was better than the cacophony they’re throwing at us today.

I remember some of the songs that my daughters danced to at their weddings. And they’re really too young to remember back to the 60s. One danced to “Have I Told You Lately That I love You” by Van Morrison. Another danced to “At Last,” by Etta James. Two pretty classy kids dancing to two pretty classy songs.

What are today’s kids going to recall as “Our Song,” when they celebrate their 20th anniversary? “Rack City” by Tyga?

If you’re going to be one of those people who turns a radio on as soon as you enter a room, best to wait for an entertaining, intelligent, interesting talk show.

You may even hear a palpable song once in a while.

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