Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rock the Boat Radio

I remember seeing the advertisements on TV when I was in high school, living in the middle of the state. It was the early '80's, a time of weird hairdos. Disco was dying and rock'n'roll or cheesy soft rock were the choices.  WFNX burst onto the scene offering alternative music, something I'd never heard of and wouldn't be able to tune into until I moved north of Boston a few years later for college.  It was a small radio station, located in a small city on the north shore, but it gave a voice to anything and everything deemed not mainstream.

An eclectic mix of music and radio programs, in it's earlier days there was a wine buyer who would discuss wines, a radio show called "1 in 10" discussing LGBT issues long before they became as mainstream as they are today, and the music was a mix of new artists and new wave/alternative rock. The Ramones, The Smiths, Nirvana, The Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins all were on WFNX before one or 2 of their songs made it to the rest of the stations. It was how I found out about new music for many years.

 I was hooked and it became my first choice radio station from college until today.  Sure, I'd flip around the dial when there was a song I really couldn't stand, or a long string of advertisements, but I'd always return.  Sadly, WFNX announced this week that they are shutting down, all the djs have been let go and they are being sold to Clearchannel.

I understand the business decision; along with everything else, radio is changing due to the digital age and the internet. Why listen through advertisements when you can create your own personal radio station on Pandora? I'm sad because it's the end of an era, a goodbye to djs I'd listened and become attached to over the years. One more small, independent company going the way of the dinosaurs.

I suppose as one gets older life is full of these changes. Progress brushes the things that are obsolete aside to make way for new, more efficient and exciting things. I understand that is the way things work and know there is reason for things being this way. And I think it is a good lesson to appreciate things they way they are today, for we have no idea what tomorrow and the day after tomorrow will be like. That's what keeps life exciting, interesting and new.

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