The most recent buzz about AM Radio isn’t encouraging. Many have written off the band as consumers increasingly turn to FM and digital for entertainment.
So where is the surprise? Technologies advance, consumer preferences change, and time marches on.
If, like me, you’re old enough to remember the “golden age” of rock and roll, AM Radio was the medium everyone wanted. AM Radio launched Elvis, Jerry Lee, The Beatles, and countless others. Legendary stations such as WABC, WLS, KHJ, and KCBQ — to name but a few — brought music to millions of teens now into their senior citizen years. The memories are irreplaceable, but unfortunately the medium that delivered all this magic is not.
Again, where is the surprise? The AM generation moved from vinyl to cassette tape to CD’s and now streaming digital. The delivery method has changed, but the concept remains the same.
The truly sad part is the magic that made it all so special is gone. The terrific radio stations with personalities who drew millions have diminished to the point that most listeners can’t identify anyone past morning drive. For those of us who spent time DXing AM stations from hundreds of miles away, those evening jocks made the AM band sparkle like nothing ever heard on FM, let alone digital. It’s a world forever lost to those who have never experienced it.
So let AM slide quietly into oblivion. It was wonderful while it lasted. And if you lived it, the magic you experienced is a part of you that will never fade away.