The recent announcement that iconic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was coming to Alton put me right back on a soapbox regarding an issue that has given me heartburn for years.
No, this is not going to be about the concert (which I am looking forward to).
This is a plea. A heartfelt plea. A plea to local FM “oldies” stations.
Well, oldies station (singular). You see, in my area, we are really down to one. No less than five separate “today’s pop” stations … but only one for the older stuff.
When it stopped playing the Everly Brothers and the Beach Boys, moving from “oldies” to “classic” music like Heart and Journey, I was bummed but survived (I do love the 70s, too).
My problem now is the playlist.
It consists of music from the 70s and 80s, which includes HUNDREDS of Billboard Top 10 hits as well as DOZENS of popular album cuts that received airplay in their day. And yet, it seems I hear the same 20 to 25 songs over and over when I am in my car.
Hey, classic radio station. Boston actually did record other songs besides “More Than a Feeling” (eight Top 40 hits between 1976 and 1987). And guess what? Pat Benatar had more hits than just “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (15 Top 40 hits between 1979 and 1988).
Yes, I am old school. I don’t have satellite radio. My CD player in my car has been busted for years. I still think hearing an old tune on the radio sounds better than downloading or digging out the CD at home.
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was not a one-hit wonder (11 Top 40 hits between 1974 and 1991 in the U.S. alone).
I don’t have the exact count, but how many one-hit wonders occurred between 1970 and 1989? A bazillion? And yet, here is “I Will Survive,” playing just like it did yesterday. And the day before.
Oh, by the way, Fleetwood Mac had more hit singles than just “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way” (26 Top 40 hits between 1968 and 1990). ABBA didn’t just record “Dancing Queen” and then retire (14 U.S. Top 40 hits).
So please, “classics” station … you are quickly becoming my only friend left on the radio. Have a heart. I’d love to hear The Cars’ “Hello Again” (No. 20, 1984). Maybe Cyndi Lauper doing “I Drove All Night” (No. 9, 1989). Nope, looks like it’s going to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” for the billionth time.
Something tells me that on Sept. 4 at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, we will hear more than just “Sweet Home Alabama” from Lynyrd Skynyrd (five Top 40 hits between 1974 and 1977).