I was driving to the Bay Area on Friday evening and listened to the KPFA evening news for the first time in God knows how long, and Mark Mericle is still the voice! A little weaker given his age – has to be in his late 70s – but still glad to hear a radio voice from my childhood live! And although the politics are on the dogmatic side, the stories are still very well researched and written – NPR quality.
The next morning on my way into the city I listened again. Now, I know that Johnny Otis died a few years back, but seriously. okay… when I was in high school I would either watch TV or come home from a concert or movie with friends, fall asleep to the Church of the Subgenious, and wake up to Emmet Powell’s Gospel Hour. I don’t remember if that came before or after Khalid Al Monsor (spelling it phonetically) would come on to lecture all the white listeners about their inherent racism – nice thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning – but that was only 1/2 hour. After that, it was the Johnny Otis show – he did blues and rock for the rest of the morning and it was pretty much music for the rest of the day until the evening news followed by a half hour call-in talk show. After that it was jazz until early morning. I spent many hours doing homework in my parents’ kitchen listening to Forms and Feelings – old African American guy with a low deep voice calmly DJing. I wouldn’t pay attention to the names of the artists or the different eras and styles – my first college roommate would teach me all that.
But I listened in on Saturday morning and they were blabbing politics! Saturday morning!
Look, you know I’m a politics junkie. I live politics. Breath politics. Devour politics. I’m fascinated, moved, entertained, and driven by politics.
But I’m thinking – Guys! It’s Saturday morning! Give it a rest!
And then another childhood voice from the weekday Morning Show with Kris Welch (childhood crush!) Philip Muldari is hosting “the Sunday Show” (so much for originality). It used to be this guy, can’t remember his name, would play baroque music and then for a half hour he would read “all the news that’s fit to spit” basically summarizing all the stories on the front page of the NY Times with his wry humor and commentary. And maybe he would take some calls. And then back to the music. And then at 11:00 it was Across the Great Divide, a folk show always starting with Kate Wolf’s song of the same title.
Now both mornings are filled with blabber!
The Revolution needs a day off.
And now I’m looking at the weekday schedule! The morning show used to end at 9 a.m.. Then there was avante guard or classical music until 11, at which time there was the “morning reading” and then public affairs for an hour or two and them music until the news. There was talk after the news until 8. That’s plenty of talk!