Airwaves: September 9, 2016
I received a lot of mail regarding the New American Songbook on KMZT (1260 AM, 105.1 HD3). Such as:
“We were so pleased to find this station go back to The Great American Songbook. What a pleasure it is to hear great music again. Our favorite singers are ‘Dead Singers,’ such as Sinatra, Crosby, Clooney. etc. And don't forget the Big Bands. -- Lee and Rusty Willoughby, Canyon Country
“I read you column in the Daily News every week and enjoy it, but never as much as last week when I read the American Standards were returning to 1260 AM here in Santa Clarita. I have nothing against Mozart and I do listen to him, but when I'm driving I like to listen to American Standards ... guess I'm getting older.
“I used to listen to KRTH (101.1 FM) for the oldies I grew up with in the late 50's-60's but now they play stuff I can't stand. Anyway just wanted to let you know you made my day. M. Wright, Santa Clarita
With a slightly different view:
“I listened to KGIL (now KMZT) in the ‘old days’ when they played wonderful, varied, quality ‘adult’ music! From Sergio Mendez to Tony Bennett to John Denver to The Beatles. I have tried to get into the new format a few times over the past couple of weeks, but I just can't stick with it for more than two songs in a row.
“It reminds me of piano bar music from the 70s. There is an emotionally flat nature to the music, and it seems to have the same, slow, tired beat from song to song to song ... elevator music with a vocal component. I keep wondering who their target audience is ... people over 85 who are confined to beds in convalescent hospitals? What a pity. It would be thrilling if the station could go back to its roots. -- Marilyn Noyes, West Los Angeles
Today’s Column Question:
“Is there any radio stations that play music from the 1920's and 1930's? I've downloaded lots of songs and converted them to MP3's and I thought there might be something on air. I've learned to enjoy Rudy Vallée among others.” -- John Buckingham, Long Beach
I am sure John already knows the answer to that: no, at least not on the air. Even SiriusXM satellite radio doesn’t go back before the 1940s. However, I did find The 1920s Radio Network on the Tune In smartphone app. As I write this they are playing The Boswell Sisters. A search of 1920 or 1930 yields a few stations of interest, so while it’s nowhere to be found on the traditional airwaves, you CAN use your phone as a really expensive transistor radio. Or considering the era, a miniature vacuum tube radio as the case may be.
SiriusXM had gotten way too heavy with really bad television theme song knockoffs that are part of the Totally ‘70s channel. Lately they’ve thankfully pulled back a bit on those and added what are known in the industry as “jock logos” or jingles featuring the DJ’s name just as done on top-40 stations of the past.
It is a much-needed and welcome change to the programming. It’s a small addition, but it makes the channel sound so much better. I hope they keep it up.
Now to get my gig on the channel ...