Any Other AM Listeners Out There?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by P. Aaron, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I listen to a Canadian broadcaster CKWW* that plays old CKLW playlists from the 60’s. Personally, it’s ALL nostalgia and brings back a time when I had no responsibilities nor stress but just a love of all sorts of songs. Country, Rock, the nation’s R & B and of course Motown were all well represented because those studios, producers & musicians gave us content. Imperfect music not subject to focus groups nor digitized auto-correcting.

    Of course to a large degree, quality content (or lack of) has hurt radio too.

    It just felt good, and to a degree, still does when my ears get walked down memory lane. Plus, it always prompts new songs to learn.

    Today’s commercial regional radio faces challenges from lobbyists representing not listeners but interests Hell-bent on controlling market share to set consistent, reliable ad rates and of course to squeeze out competition. Being #1 is something we’d like even as individuals BUT, when it metastasizes to consume an industry and to a large degree, a regional culture, it doesn’t seem so attractive. Bigger isn’t always better.

    This development is born of a political process though I hope that instead, this post to my fellow TalkBass friends here understand what that process has wrought without commenting right nor left but perhaps provide perspectives of wariness. I know you can keep it on target.

    Consolidation almost always ends up breaking apart. It just changes many things in the process, not always for the better.

    America's rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country's soul with them

    *I am aware that Canadian radio is under much different rules than the US market which is possibly why CKWW still has a signal.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  2. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    The OP is a blast from the past. I grew up in Erie,PA and we'd get CKLW shooting right down Lake Erie at us. The best AM station back in the day. There is no AM radio worth listening to in SW Ohio, aside from the local sports talk station.
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  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Radio stations have changed. I grew up in the 70s, where AM music radio was king (other than AOR stations on the rise).

    Today AM is about talk radio, local news, and local sports. I read somewhere parts of Europe have phased out the entire band.
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  4. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    At my day job, I am a producer for a program that airs on many AM station, as well as FM stations, and has aired in Canada and as far away as the former Soviet Union via shortwave. I assure you, appointment based, over-the-air broadcasting is on its last legs. I just finished reading the article linked in the OP before I logged in here and it certainly reads like a eulogy for radio. It’s sad to think that something that was once considered an essential part of the fabric of our collective lives may soon be just a memory.
    (As a kid growing up in El Lay we had KRLA, KHJ, KFWB, KMPC- all rock/pop radio.)
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  5. Bassngtr


    Jul 21, 2007
    Methuen, MA
    I listen to a lot of AM radio. I have a Realistic Patrolman 10 on my desk that I got for Christmas 1974. I listen to talk radio on breaks from work.

    On an bass related note, my band Gravity Men, while on the heavier side of eclectic classic rock, has added a few AM oldies to our set. They hone in on, and def deliver, to our target demographic: young ladies of our lengthy earthly experience. Often after we play one of these I'll sing the jingle for WRKO, what used to be THE rock/pop station in Boston in the 60s and early70s: "68 RKO...Boston!..."

    We play: Brother Louis (The Stories), SATURDAY Night (Bay City Rollers) and Sugar Sugar (Archies). I always add that my 45 copy of Sugar Sugar was cut from the back of a cereal box, and really worked! I think it was Super Sugar Crisp.
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Most FM morning shows are heavily chatted up these days too. Of course, that's really not new either. Much chatter, celebrity news, weather, traffic.

    When all the news is bad, or trite, the weather sucks and you're stuck in traffic, it would be so much better hearing songs one likes.
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Trends do change and even music evolves over time but its content that matters. Being an older guy, I still see kids playing as much classic rock-pop music as new things. It's probably a sign of the risk-averse times we're living through. Failure is still an orphan.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yeah, but the music stations are FM stations (although 95.5, WPLJ, one of the great area rock stations, closed down 5/31/19). In the 1970s, every big music DJ was on AM - WCBS, WABC, WNBC - Wolfman Jack, Casey Casem, Don Imus (yes, he used to play rock music), Harry Harrison, Alan Freed, Cousin Brucey Morrow.
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  9. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I recently did an interview on a local AM radio station talk show. I grew up with AM radio and I am friends with guys who were some of the favorite local DJs and station managers. I was asked to buy into some AM stations but I backed off the idea. Some AM stations now have FM signal converters on their towers to transmit in stereo.

    When I was a kid, WCRO in Johnstown, PA was THE STATION! I used to deliver newspapers as a teenager and have an AM transistor radio in my pocket to listen to music while I walked. Good memories.

    Listening to the song count down shows on the weekends was a must.

    There was a WCRO DJ who held teen dances with live bands and I played for those back in the day.

    Every week in the late 60s and early 70s, I would go to the record stores and buy 45 records and pick up the local radio station countdown song sheets.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  10. ak56


    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    And moving on up to number 20 this week, it's Ernie, with 'Rubber Ducky'.

    Weren't the 70's fun.:)
  11. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I was in my first band starting in 1970 and we played Rubber Ducky. Hey, it was a big hit then! :thumbsup:
    ak56 likes this.
  12. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Guest

    Apr 14, 2015
    I listen to AM radio everyday.

    Usually on the I heart app.
  13. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    Wow, this takes me back
    I was a kid growing up in the 70's but I remember a lot of this
    Thanks everyone
  14. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    Growing in SE Michigan in the '60s and '70s CKLW was my number one! I still stream CKWW every once in a while but stop when they start repeating tunes.
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  15. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    I love radio, and here in Nashville ( . . . . geez it's CMA week, though to me it's highly debatable whether ANY 'country music' will be played . . . . . ) we have two fabulous, non-formatted-consultant-driven stations:

    WSM, the home of the Grand Ole Opry. During the day, they naturally pay lip service to the current music (see the snarky comment above), but at night (7-12 Central) is the Eddie Stubbs Show. Eddie is an almost archivist authority on country music from the 30's onwards, and listening to him is an education, driven by the great sides he picks out to play. I laugh as he occasionally plays 78's (!), and the obvious scratchiness included, and he'll remark, 'just listen to that bacon frying . . . '. If you're at all a fan of old and older country music, not to be missed. And if you're not listening online, they are a clear channel station, FCC-licensed to 50,000 watts, and can be heard in 37 states from Canada to the Caribbean at 650 AM, including the Opry on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday nights.

    On the other hand . . . . . my favorite station 'from the community', WOKV, a fantastic station spinning soul, blues, and black gospel music on Sundays. Again, local owner, no consultants, and not a lot of places you can hear Son House or Little Milton or the O'Jay or Stylistics or Shirley Ceasar and the Blind Boys of Alabama. A real treasure, a playlist you can't find any more, and I love me some 1470 AM, though it's local power only, not clear channel.

    AM is just magical at night, you never know how the skip is running or the black magic occurring up in the ether. I'm in the middle of the US and am amazed at the things you can reel in overnight.
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  16. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    In the 90s I'd be driving home after a gig at 2 or 3 in the morning - my ears still ringing - and I really didn't want to hear any music after playing 5 sets. So I started listening to late night talk radio on the ol' AM dial. Art Bell's Coast to Coast was always awesome. R.I.P. Art
  17. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  18. NPR all the way all the time.
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  19. Keger Jupit

    Keger Jupit Inactive

    May 10, 2018
    The Great PNW!!
    All day, every day. Armstrong & Getty, Chris Plante, Ben Shapiro, the great Mark Levin, occasionally Rush or Dana Loesch. Keeps me sane, as I live on the left coast...

    As for music though, I have CD's for that!
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  20. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    45 years ago: I was a daily listener to CKNW out of New Westminster - 40s & 50s music on the "owl prowl" late nite broadcast, plus "network replay" for old time radio shows. Up til 2 AM every night :)

    20 years ago: I used to listen to WABC New York religiously to catch all the Yankees games (Sterling&Kay, the best sports broadcasting team in America, single-handedly got me interested in baseball...)

    Now, where I live there is only ONE (1!) AM station within a 200 mile radius, and that one is drowned out by static pretty much all over town (I can only get it clearly if I am out on the highway)