What has happened to the radio these days? by Jon Tucker

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I used to love listening to the radio. It was the perfect platform to hear new songs, listen to your favorites, and if you had the right station, funny DJs. The radio used to trump all other forms of music in my car (mostly due to me just having a radio until more recent years). As time went on, the radio started losing its allure. Same songs are played at least twelve times in an hour, the greats are no longer played, and crap has taken its place.

Is it the times we’re in, or has the record labels taken away the magic of radio? I personally am not a country fan, but I do love listening to Johnny Cash (because he isn’t just country). So I decided I was going to call a local country radio station and request them to play Johnny Cash. My thoughts behind it were “who would say no to playing one of the greatest musicians of all time?” So after a couple of tries I got in touch with the DJ. I made my request and I was told flat out that they do not play Johnny Cash cause it wouldn’t fit in their slot. So I pushed a little harder and then I got an answer that baffled me, “I’m sorry sir but I’m not allowed to play his music.” I was silent for a moment, and then I hung up.
Although that wasn’t the first blow to the head when it came to the radio, but it was the biggest. If it wasn’t for greats like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and bands like Black Sabbath, Jimmy Hendrix, AC/DC, etc., where would these whinny bands be today? Has radio forgotten the ones that paved the way? Are we turning into a society of the now, or maybe it’s been this way the whole time? One thing I know for sure, radio has changed for the worse. The radio used to let bands like Metallica, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and so on that dominate the airwaves, now we have entertainers now. Singers who have no band but a DJ playing fabricated music.

Hear me now, the Lady GaGa’s, the Rihana’s, Jonahs brothers of the world will not last. These are the “now” singers that in a little while will fall off the face of the earth like the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, etc. It’s bands like Korn, Pearl Jam, and yes-even Metallica who still year after year sell out stadiums and huge venues. These are the bands that should be played on the radio religiously, not these gone by night bands.

Seriously are we going to sit back and let these crap bands and entertainers dominate the airwaves while the greats are left behind? Has the corporate radio destroyed anything-good left on the airwaves? Or are we forced to get things like XM radio to enable us to listen to the good stuff. It’s a sad day we live in when you have to pay to listen to decent radio.

So what is there for us to do? Sadly not a lot can be done. It always helps to get a group of friends to constantly ask to have a certain song played, or you could write a bunch of letters, but don’t expect much to happen. As long as their making money playing that type of crap, they won’t stop. So I say to all of you, if you want good music back on the airwaves, well then you must fight for it, and lets see if we can make the radio world a better place to live in.

reporting from Tampa,

Jon Tucker