Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A few words on the subject of show identification

 I recently received a comment from a listener here on the blog page. Since I haven't figured out how to reply personally to such messages I thought I would instead say something on the subject here.

Basically, this listener said that he has a problem with hearing the words "Stuck in the Psychedelic Era with the hermit" several times per hour. He pointed out that that particular phrase was repeated eleven times in a single hour. Although I suspect that is an exaggeration, he did have a valid point. I do repeat that particular phrase quite often. And yes, it's deliberate.

So that leads to the obvious question: why on Earth do I repeat that particular phrase so often? The answer lies in the nature of radio listening itself. 

Since at least the 1960s and maybe even earlier, the bulk of radio listening in the US takes place in cars. Yes, there are exceptions. A lot of workplaces have the radio on for background noise, for instance. And in the late 60s and early 70s, before FM radios were standard equipment in most cars, people only heard FM on a stereo system. For the most part, though, radio listening takes place in cars. 

The most convenient thing about a car radio is the ease in which one can, with a simple touch of a button, increase of decrease the volume or, more importantly, change stations. And we do. We don't like a particular song? Change stations. Obnoxious commercial? Change stations. We love to hit that button. And why not? There's no law that says you have to keep the same station on all the time, right? The other thing about listening in cars is that we can tune in at any time. It could be right at the top of the hour. It could be five minutes later. It could be at 37 minutes and 22 seconds past the top of the hour. And then, when you reach your destination, poof! The radio is off.

Put those factors together, and you quickly realize that at any particular time, a significant portion of the audience just tuned in and probably will be gone in just a few minutes. It's my job to make sure they know what they are listening to before they hit the button. 

And that is why you hear "You're Stuck in the Psychedelic Hour" and/or "You're Rockin' in the Days of Confusion" so often. It's simply a matter of letting people know what they're tuned into.

1 comment:

  1. Some people have too much time on their hands and need to vent on trivial things :) Keep up the great music! - Long time listener and record collector in East Rochester.