Above is an embarrasing moment that was caught on my Instagram. We’ve all done it..
What happens when we lose a radio station that carries “our music”? Disco is gone. Yet it and funk are still immensely popular musical forms among DC listeners, having a big resurgence with the Annual Funk Parade.Yet, there is no bandwidth on terrestrial radio where the many fans of this particular genre can tune in. No one to give interviews to the celebrities, or promote their shows or their recordings. What a loss.
Now DC Bluegrass Country And other Roots musical forms are facing this same possibility, although the intrepid group, Bluegrass Country Foundation is working hard to prevent that from happening.
–The attendance at the huge Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival shows the musical desires of our DC listeners quite clearly. It has been sold out, having to turn some away because the Island had reached capacity.
A second question that rises concurrently with the first question is; what about radio at all? Is it passé? Will that entire form of listening experience disappear and give way to podcasts, Sirius or apps such as Pandora, Spotify, ITunes, iHeartRadio?
This is the age of the smartphone, yet a surprising number of our residents do realize that it’s not healthy, safe, or cool to have your head cocked down at your phone 24/7. Young people in DC do think about such things. (Note: REI’s mega-popular #opt outside ad campaigns)
These days, much of AM/FM listening is done in the automobile.
We all know there’s absolutely nothing that matches the gleeful turning up of your favorite music station, in traffic,,with the windows down to,,um..”share” it with everyone else. You’ve got James King cranked up in answer to the next guys’ OutKast. Or Beyoncé. Or Brett Young. It’s fun!
–Seriously, One thing that local live radio gives you, is the sheer personality of your hometown radio host. They are the stars of their particular musical genre, experts in their field.
Podcasts are great, although they don’t have the immediacy of turning on the radio, and hearing someone local actually speak to you. This person wants to share music with you, and wants you to enjoy his selections. It’s his or her job after all. He is “your DJ”
Although some predicted that drive time terrestrial radio was soon to be a dinosaur as in this 2013 article.~More than two years, and it hasn’t happened yet, in any appreciable amount.
Well it’s 2016, soon to be 2017, and it appears that drive time advertisers are getting a big bang for their buck on radio, ranking #2 out of 71 media channels studied, according to Bob McCurdy
Don’t get me wrong, I love the podcasts and stream frequently. It would just be a shame to lose another genre off my radio dial. It hurts the local musicians, who get shouted out about their performances around town. It hurts the celebrities, national acts who graciously offer radio interviews, eagerly anticipated by their enthusiastic fan base. It hurts the very genre: kids have been buying banjos, Dobros, mandolins after hearing Love Canon, the Gibson Brothers or Chris Thile. They’re starting up bands on every block. Look at Adams Morgans PorchFest.
It will survive of course, but the kids force fed Bieber will have to dig into the apps for these rather hand hewn types of traditional music. Irish, Country, Piedmont Blues, Bluegrass, Old Time.. all types of roots music.
For them, radio is free. No data plan, no technology, and no apps necessary.
In order to keep it free for them, we should do what we can to support The Bluegrass Country Foundation. 501(c)
•volunteer, sign up on the mailing list.
•Follow their social media sites
•Lastly, endorse them with a mention, like or link.
Let’s “Keep The Music Playing!”