I would have to say for the bulk of my adult life, I did not like looking backward. History was something to use to your advantage, to learn from and what was done was done.
It was for that reason that I avoided listening to “oldies.” As I grew older, I saw many people in my generation hitting a stopping point in their music growth and, doing what everyone’s parents did, latch on to the songs from their past.
There were different degrees of hitting that lockdown switch. Some hit it on their way out of high school; others, made it as far as college before deciding this was as good as it got.
I have an inner-urging that requires me to know what’s going on, or at least, I did. Over the past decade, I’ve found the newer songs to be rather mundane, sound-alike and non-imaginative. Then again, that could be what happens when you get older. I remember my parents not understanding what the deal was with groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
So during the bulk of my adult years, I followed modern music. Playing a lot of the softer, contemporary songs during my radio days, while secretly listening to other stations play the B-52s or Huey Lewis and the News when I wasn’t at KLSY playing Celine Dion. Music serves a purpose. It’s a comfort zone. The right blend is like a familiar room with exactly the colors and fabrics you would choose if it was up to you.
If you have bet me money years ago that, one day, I would end up at a radio station that played all the hit songs from my high school and college years, I would have laughed in your face. I was doing more than my fair share of trying to keep up with what was new, watching trends, knowing who was in and who was out. Writing for the show prep service, Radio Online helped, in that I couldn’t stay stuck in my generation. I needed to know what was going on now!
Well, here I am, working at a radio station that brags they’re playing “Everett’s Greatest Hits.” That is actually a collection of the best testing, best-researched songs of the late 60s, the entire 70s and a little bit of the 80s. Yep, exactly the kind of station I thought I would never listen to or even be involved with.
But, I’ve gotta tell you, there was something special about that music I had playing on my radio in high school. “25 or 6 to 4”, “Knights in White Satin”, all those songs from 1969-73 were the soundtrack of some really big years for me. I remember the Moody Blues “Isn’t life strange?” playing on the radio when I tried to break up with a girlfriend. We ended up staying together, much to my detriment. Years later, she broke my heart, breaking up with me over the phone from 1300 miles away. Yeah, that’s the old “Sign from God” story you’ll hear from me when I get tipsy enough. Two months later, she married the minister that convinced her to break up with me. But in completely honest hindsight, it was truly the best for both of us.
The songs KRKO plays take me somewhere happy, somewhere forgotten on a regular basis. Geeze, I mean Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” was a monster hit when I was at KQOT. So many stories there. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Woman” was one of the 45’s I have somewhere in my basement.
The oldies, as people call them, are the songs that bring comfort. That you put away for years and then, when things in our modern world come apart, we love to hear and have them stir up memories.
You don’t need to listen to me, but with all local sports gone, KRKO is now playing 99% great songs, one right after the other. Our consultant tells me that after 9-11, Oldies Stations soared in the ratings. We have the challenge of a fairly week FM signal in Everett and a muddy AM station. But man, do we shine online. I’m just being honest. Here are three ways you can take KRKO for a test drive and enjoy Everett’s Greatest Hits:
- If you have an Alexa, just say, “Alexa, play KRKO, Everett’s Greatest Hits”
- On your computer or tablet? Just put www.krko.com in your browser and click on LISTEN LIVE
- You can do that on your phone as well, or download the app which lets you hear the station with a click of a button. To do that, just visit the Apple Store or the Google Play store. It’s free
If you need an assist, please let me know. Of all the stations out there right now, we really do keep it upbeat, positive and do a heck of a lot to help people get through our current insanity.
It’ll do your brain good. And who knows what memories we’ll knock loose tomorrow.