Used to be that when you turned on the radio, you had a few different types of radio stations you could listen to.
Okay, being from southeast Georgia, we didn't have a huge variety of stations to listen to, but we had some variety.
There were no Spanish-language stations, or talk-radio stations back then. At least, not around us.
As I mentioned before, the big station to listen to was the Big Ape, WAPE AM 690, out of Jacksonville. Later on, as FM radio took off, most teens and young adults opted for WZAT (Z-102) in Savannah. Sure, my hometown had a station, but the format changed throughout the day: Country, Adult Contemporary, R&B/Soul, Hot 100/Rock. The larger cities had the big stations.
The thing, though, was you could tell them apart. The Country station played Country music. The Rock station played Rock music. And so on.
The other day, I was listening to Boomer 95.3 (WRLD), the oldies station. They played a song by the Beatles. Then one by the Eagles.
Then they played something else and I didn't like it. So I changed the station, and landed on The River 95.7 (WIOL), the Classic Rock station. They were playing a song by the Beatles. Then one by the Eagles.
Did you catch that? A station with one format played the Beatles and the Eagles. Then, a station with a different format played the Beatles and the Eagles.
Is that a commentary on why they are two of the biggest-selling groups? Or is this saying that radio formats are being combined and diluted?
I mean, on the one hand, it's great that there are more stations playing the Beatles and the Eagles. But I hope I don't start hearing Barry Manilow's "I Write The Songs" played next to Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love".
Like actually happened on the stations we listened to back in 1975.