I got a text this morning while I was on-air from my girlfriend. She had just heard the new Tim McGraw song “Lookin’ for That Girl” and was completely losing her mind. We started talking about the song and the upcoming CD and she could barely contain her excitement. We had a similar conversation recently about the new Eric Church song and the soon-to-be-released CD, too. While we may not always see eye-to-eye on our music tastes, she gets just as excited and passionate as I do for new music. It’s one of the things I love about her.
That conversation with her got me to thinking back about hearing new music for the first time. It was one of the things I loved about radio when I was younger. And it’s a whole different beast today. There are so many different outlets. Sure, you can hear all the new stuff from your favorite artists on Froggy, but there’s so much new technology at your fingertips. You hear all the time about artists debuting new songs at certain websites, exclusively for a TV show or even live streams of the new CD weeks before its release. Not only that, but I’m pretty sure that you can find leaked copies online via methods that aren’t exactly a popular choice among record labels (read: illegal download).
I’m 36 years old. When I was a kid (and even in high school) we didn’t have all of that. I had 2 main sources of getting music. One was from my buddy JT. He was the man. His cousin was a few years older than we were and had access to all of this incredible music. Whether it was new Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Garth Brooks, Janet Jackson or Helloween, I always knew I was going to hear it from him pretty early on.
The other, obviously, was the radio. They would tease new songs and I would sit for what felt like hours with a blank cassette and the tape deck on pause, waiting to record the song I was waiting for. Eric Carmen’s “Make Me Lose Control” is the very first song I can remember being obsessed with taping off the radio. I also remember Westwood One would do album release parties. They’d play a few songs (not yet on the radio) from the new record and interview the band about it. A lot of times it’d be done in front of a live audience. It’d be a Sunday night and I’d stay up (again with the tape deck paused) ready to record, then play it back over and over, studying every lyric, note and piece of trivia I could.
Of course, recording off the radio and dubbing to another cassette was the start of making radio shows as a kid too. Heather McRibbits and I talked a lot before I sat down to write this about how she’d record songs then make commercials and interviews and everything else. But that’s a whole other blog for another time.
So I guess that although technology has evolved over the years, the aforementioned conversation made me realize that the excitement is still there. It proves once again what I’ve always felt: music and the love we share for it is neverending…