Monday, June 06, 2005

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Another Forgotten Generation

Another Forgotten Generation

June 6, 2005

By Richard Kuper

The Op Ed Page

First it was the Greatest Generation. Now it is the Baby Boom Generation.

A few years back, the music of the Greatest Generation-- big band, swing and pop music from the 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's -- disappeared off the radio airwaves. This music should be on the free airwaves of radio. This was a great loss, as the music from that generation was phenomenal and stands the test of time.

This past weekend, the music of the Baby Boom Generation-- real rock and roll music from the 1950's, 1960's, and early 1970's -- disappeared off the radio airwaves with the demise of WCBS-FM in New York City. Elvis Presley is off the air! The 4 Seasons are off the air. The Beach Boys are off the air. The Beatles are off the air. The Rolling Stones are off the air. The Supremes are off the air. The Drifters are off the air. The Temptations are off the air. Stevie Wonder is off the air. Many, many other great artists are off the air. One can still catch some of the late 1960's and early 1970's music on a few other radio stations, but this is the death knoll, and those stations will likely be disappearing soon. This is a great loss. This music should be on the free airwaves of radio.

Now it may be true that the bulk of the music-buying public is the teenage market of the day, but the rest of the population also likes to listen to the music they enjoy, and also still buys music. In fact, I would argue that the odds are that more adults actually still buy music from establishments that sell CDs and other media than do teenagers, who find ways to get their music for free. And it seems to me that the record companies (or whatever they call themselves now that records, as such, are no longer the media recordings are made on), would want to do everything in their power not to lose any segment of their paying customer base. Yet, as I recall, when the music of the Greatest Generation disappeared from the airwaves, I did not hear any cries from the music industry, while these days they take children to court for downloading songs from the internet. There was also no central voice from the Greatest Generation demanding that their music be on the radio. They just quietly receded and listened to whatever records they might have owned, and satisfied themselves with that, and perhaps someone (e.g., a son or daughter) would surprise them with an occasional gift of a CD with recordings of the music they loved.

So now the question is: will the record companies again take the disappearance of the music of the Baby Boom Generation lying down? Will the Baby Boom Generation also take this lying down? Will the advertisers who are trying to reach the Baby Boom Generation also take this lying down?

Well, here is your chance to be heard. A new blog has been created to voice your opinion. It's called: "Bring Back The Music" and it can be found at:

Make your voices heard. Let the radio executives know that you want your music to be available on the radio.

What's your opinion? Make it known at: