Well, maybe it would like me to listen. But it clearly does not want my opinion about the music it plays.
The other night, I received a call from a woman with a honeyed Southern accent, asking whether I’d be willing to attend a local gathering to help rate music. Sure, I said.
Then she asked what radio station I most often listened to. I told her WAPL, our local rock dinosaur in this corner of Wisconsin (and whose playlist certainly can be described as “oldies”).
Then she asked whether I listened to an oldies station. Sure, from time to time, I said. She asked me which one. I drew a blank.
Oh, OK. Never mind. Thanks, but no thanks. Uninvited.
I ran this past a friend who knows a lot more about radio than I do. He assured me it’s standard procedure. He also can explain it much better than I can:
“My guess is that for some reason they want to exclude people who cross over between ‘APL and whatever the oldies station is up there, although for what reason I don’t know. … These focus groups generally rely heavily on the station’s core listeners, because they’re the people most likely to have opinions about the station; the vast majority of people like their favorite stations but don’t obsess about it.”
OK, I’ll buy that. After all, I might have suggested they play oldies like …
One from 1969: “Kick Out The Jams,” by the MC5. You really ought to.
Or one from 1971: “We Got To Have Peace,” by Curtis Mayfield. Yes, we do.
Or one from 1974: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” by Gil Scott-Heron. Hey, I heard it on FM radio in Wausau, Wisconsin, when it came out in 1974, so why not now?
Or one from 1975: “Fight The Power (Part I),” by the Isley Brothers.
Nah, they’ll never play any of that. Talk about your bullshit going down.