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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 8, 2005 12:25 AM. The previous post in this blog was Too many books. The next post in this blog is All night long. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Jack squat

A while back, my readers and I bemoaned the loss of Portland oldies radio station KISN-FM and its replacement by a format caled "Charlie," which resembles the shuffle output of an iPod programmed by your tasteless white trash cousin.

Now comes the shocking news that "Charlie's" identical twin "Jack" -- the same Adam Ant/Elton John slop that passes for thoughtful entertainment these days -- has even run New York's legendary oldies god "Cousin Brucie" Morrow off the air. It's particularly sad since oldies were still drawing a good audience on WCBS-FM in New York. But since the world of radio marketing is populated by kids born in the '80s who just don't get it, people who understand the roots of rock and roll are once again shown the door.

I'm sure Cousin Brucie will land on his feet somewhere in New York. He's too big to ever be put out to pasture. He goes all the way back to my childhood, when I listened to him and Scott Muni via 77 WABC on a two-transistor radio under my pillow every night. Friday night was date night on Cousin Brucie's show; Saturday night was party night. "Take my hand, it's gonna be grand." Live interviews with the Beatles. Heck, he even MC'd the Beatles show at Shea. In many ways, he was for a time the East Coast equivalent of Wolfman Jack.

Little-known fact: Bruce Springsteen strongly dislikes being called "Brucie," but he often was (including once by my buddies and me, who were screaming for an encore at a show) due to the popularity of the radio "cousin," whom the Boss also wasn't fond of.

Even-littler-known: On my old radio shows, I called myself "Cousin Jack," in honor of Morrow.

Even-littler-than-that known: I know a lesbian with a radio show who changed her name from Linda to Jack.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. If you compare Cousin Brucie with the robot-driven junk on "Jack," where the best they can do is set up a computer playlist of some Grade B stuff off early MTV, the profound sadness of our times becomes apparent.

Comments (13)

And yet the radio station owners and programmers are amazed at the number of people who are leaving over-the-air radio and paying money for satillite radio. It just goes to show you how out of touch these people are with what the listeners want.

KISN isn't gone, it just switched to AM. Its now 910 am. Just figured you might like to know that :)

Yesterday evening on OPB they played a sample what passes for a play list generated by "Jack." Led Zepplin "Whole Lotta' Love" followed up by Britney Spears (sorry don't know the title and woldn't admit to it if I did). All I could think was "WTF?!" What's even worse is that "Jack" is said to be the product of a Vancouver company (I keep hoping they mean B.C. not WA). If this trend continues I may have to rip the radio out of the dash.

CORRECTION: It was actually The Cure and Alanis, not B.S. Not as bad, but still... And it is a B.C. company that is responsible. (NPR, All Things Considered, June 7, 2005).

Charlie-FM: One train wreck after another.

I've heard disco sandwiched between late-80's pop-hip-hop. I've heard jumps from the 60's to the 90's and back again over the course of just three songs. To call it disjointed is putting it mildly.

But then, I'm not surprising anybody here. *sigh*

Although I feel that KISN has a playlist with the depth of a kiddie pool, it's always been the one commerical spot on the dial I can handle for more than 20 minutes.

Moving it to AM doesn't bother me too much - most "oldies" were mixed for AM and jukebox lo-fidelity anyway - but the brass at Entercom could control the ill will by giving KISN's frequency change some promotional advertising and engaging in some loyal listener appeasement.

Heck, maybe they could even deepen their playlist with oldies other than the Standard 200-300 you hear on every similar station in the US.

Oldies is definitely being phased off terrestrial stations, but satellite is doing a lot with the format. I wouldn't be surprised if Cousin Brucie got an offer from Sirius or XM.

You want good radio? I'll give you good radio: KEXP 90.3 Seattle. http://www.kexp.org

Jack,
Cousin Brucie landed himself at Sirius satellite radio. You can listen to him all over again, from your home if Portland, should you so desire. I believe he starts broadcasting July 4th.

"Cousin Brucie belongs to a new family. Veteran New York disc jockey Bruce Morrow, dumped last week when WCBS-FM switched away from its oldies format, signed on Thursday with Sirius Satellite Radio. Morrow, whose radio days predate the Beatles, will host three shows: two with hits from the '50s, '60s and '70s, and his own talk show."

"Morrow's debut was set for the July Fourth weekend, with a special broadcast from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland."

Enjoy.

I recently heard the new "Jack" Mack the Knifle by Bobby Darin followed by Sweet child of mine by GNR. Greanted i like both sogs, but they think they are hitting a nich? It sounds jus tliek 106.7, 95.5, 101.1. Even the classis rock station (the very good Q104.3) is putting very new songs on. I am a 26 youe old guy but i cannot stand the music that is put out now a days. Thanks od i have older siblings who steared me in the right direction.

I recently heard the new "Jack" Mack the Knifle by Bobby Darin followed by Sweet child of mine by GNR. Greanted i like both sogs, but they think they are hitting a nich? It sounds jus tliek 106.7, 95.5, 101.1. Even the classis rock station (the very good Q104.3) is putting very new songs on. I am a 26 youe old guy but i cannot stand the music that is put out now a days. Thanks od i have older siblings who steared me in the right direction.

"Even-littler-than-that known: I know a lesbian with a radio show who changed her name from Linda to Jack."

Oh, Thank you for making me laugh so hard it hurt. Great Blog!!!!!

I knew a guy named Ralph with a radio show who changed his name to Linda. He said, "I just like da name better. You got a problem wit dat?"


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