Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A place where's it's usually 1973 - Radio Daze II

Two years ago I wrote a post called Radio Daze, which chronicled my radio stations of choice since childhood. Reading that post again today I giggled at the second para. I quote:

"As a child, Mum had the kitchen radio tuned to an easy listening AM station (2CH). This was the 60s and very early 70s so I was barely aware of the Beatles' existence until they had split up! Although I believe the easy listening station played Obladee Obladah occasionally, and Mum quite liked that one."

Why I giggled is that now I too listen to 2CH. I also giggled at my awful use of English. I should have started the para with, "When I was a child, Mum had…" But I digress.

This post is about radio, and how I'm listening to the music from my childhood and teens for the most part. Here's a station which plays The Beatles, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Leo Sayer, Abba, The Beach Boys, Van Morrison and a whole lot of other oldies-but-goodies. There is the odd old classic from Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, too. Sadly, because it's an easy listening station, I don't get a cheerful earful of Suzi Quatro, which is a real shame. There are some songs from the 1980s and a few from the last twenty years which make it into the playlist, but the amusing thing is that for much of the day I can hear the same songs I was listening to forty years ago. If I'm having a black day with the computer a blast of Abba's "Waterloo" can cheer me up no end.

The choice of playlist is interesting in that 2CH will play a maximum of two upbeat numbers you can bop around the kitchen to, then slip in something slow and often, dare I say, boring. I think there is a real underlying reason for this. The station caters for seniors, and wouldn't want to be responsible for a listener bopping a bit too hard and having a heart attack/falling and breaking a hip.  Viz: Leo Sayer's "One Man Band" was playing 30 seconds ago. Now it's the Hollies with "He's Not Heavy, He's My Brother."

Songs on the playlist have a long life, too. I wonder if this is because those listeners heading towards the autumn years don't have the memory they used to! F'rinstance "Little Green Bag" by the George Baker Selection has been on the playlist for a good six weeks. Nancy Sinatra's "Sugartown" had a good run lately too, and there's another… but I can't remember it! D'Oh! What was I saying about memory?!

Given the target audience, the ads are shockers: retirement villages, wills and guardianship from the NSW Trustee, home help for the elderly, care alert alarms… I mentally tune them out for the most part, because I'm light years away from their core audience.

Because 2CH is affiliated with the Council of Churches there are regular religious announcements urging us all to turn to Jesus, but that's a small price to pay for a playlist which is, on the whole, pretty good.

Excuse me, the radio is playing "Everlasting Love". Remember that by Doug Parkinson? It's time to dance around the kitchen.

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