(Edited to add Mars Needs Guitars link at the end.)
On this date in 2004, this blog was born. Looking back over two years and a little over 300 posts, I find that we’ve listened to plenty of tunes and a few old radio stations, dug up some trivia, had a debate or two–and a hell of a lot of fun. In case you’ve come late to the party, here is a guide to a few of my favorite posts so far.
The results of our recent web poll indicate that people who read this blog like to hear radio stories. Back toward the beginning, I wrote about the 20th anniversary of the first format change I ever presided over as a program director. Other favorite radio-related posts are about the best summer job I ever had, the life of a minor local radio celebrity, my mildly dramatic adventures covering severe weather, and the high weirdness that can be found in an old file of radio job applications.
The history of radio as a medium intrigues us here now and then as well. We’ve checked into the history of NBC’s old Monitor service, written about the living history that is Oklahoma City’s legendary KOMA, and discussed the rise of the “jack” format.
The most important radio history tale of them all, at least to me, involves how I became a radio geek in the first place. That’s the best example of another genre of post at this blog–the way music serves as a time machine, or mirror, or looking glass, back into our respective pasts. There have been many, many posts of this type here, most recently this one on the last day of school.
I used to do a Top 5 countdown on my radio shows, usually on Friday, and I resurrected that tradition here early on, although on the blog it’s not always a countdown per se. I’ve also flipped through my collection of K-Tel compilations and catalogued the best air-keyboard moments.
We’ve praised bubblegum, discussed disco, and taken a second listen to our favorite albums from high school. We’ve touched on the history of dirty blues and a rock-and-roll tragedy that happened right here in Madison. We’ve listened to music that sucks: the worst records of the 1970s and Dan Fogelberg’s most annoying hit. And we’ve chronicled our first steps into the world of downloaded music.
And, I notice, we have rather pompously begun using the editorial “we.”
I think it’s common among low-rent bloggers such as myself–people who started using this medium as a creative outlet without thinking much about the possibility that people would read it–to be surprised when it turns out there’s actually an audience for their ramblings. Way back at the beginning, I warned you that sometimes, the content of this blog might be so personal that I’d be the only one who understood it. I’m sure that’s been true now and then, but apparently it hasn’t been true all the time. So thank you for your continual attention, and for your feedback. Please continue to use the comments or send me e-mail at the address in the right-hand column to respond to what you read here.
(For example, you might wish to weigh in on whether Southern rockers like the Marshall Tucker Band and Charlie Daniels still belong on classic rock radio, or whether they twang too much. If you’d like to hear some more Southern rock to help you decide, Mars Needs Guitars has a mess of it, so go and listen a spell.)
OK, now, who brought the cake?