Posts Tagged ‘Country Music’

News Blues

June 6, 2011

A fellow worker once told me how he solved his depression problem. He said he had been a country music fan, but he finally realized that the sad stories told in country music were causing his depression. He said he stopped listening and stopped being depressed.  Well, just think about the stories being fed to us constantly by news media.   They give us a constant stream of all of the horrible and unjust things going on in the world, about man’s inhumanity to man, his proclivity to stay at war, his greed,  the wrath of nature with its more powerful tornadoes,  hurricanes,  forest fires, melting ice caps, rising oceans, plagues and famines.  Maybe they will throw in a warm and fuzzy tale at the end of a newscast to try to keep people from feeling either depressingly sad or mad after watching the news,  and that may work some, but it’s overpowered by the rest of the newscast.

 I can’t give it up altogether, but I can cut back and that’s what I have done. Admittedly, I opt for escapism.  I watch American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance, and I can understand why so many millions of others do, also.

I read more novels that I did in the past – though I also throw in some history books because I am a history buff – and I watch movies, and still go to movie theaters, and I watch the Braves occasionally (though, that can be depressing, too) and I go to music concerts, and plays, and am now more inclined to watch comedies. Life is tough enough without my spending time on made up tragedies.

Earning my living by reporting the news on television and radio, it’s hard for me to come to the conclusion that if I want to be less depressed I should stop watching, listening and reading the news. But, to be honest I have come to that conclusion. 

I can’t give it up altogether, though. One does need to know what’s happening because it can have a direct effect. Take the sad story – well, sad for me and everyone else but the 8-figure oil company executives and people who own tons of oil stocks – of the price of gasoline.  I can’t ignore that because I must have gasoline. Still, there is a sense of helplessness about it, because the only thing I can do about it is drive less. If enough of us would do that, and stop buying gas guzzler SUVs and monster pickup trucks that are rarely used as trucks, and slow down, we could perhaps affect the price of gasoline some, but basically that’s not happening.

Bottom line: no, I can’t give up keeping up.  That’s really not a smart thing to do. But, I don’t have to spend all day wallowing in the horrors of the world, and I’m not going to. 

Willie Nelson’s Favorite Singer is …

May 17, 2010

Frank Sinatra.  Who would have thought that one of the biggest country music icons of all time would have picked a non-country singer?  He told Time magazine, “I got to know [Sinatra] pretty good. He has always been my favorite singer. As far as I’m concerned, the rest of us – we trot along behind him.”

Willie’s new album Country Music is now available.

What a Bear and I Have in Common

September 10, 2008

  I learned that country music radio personality Bear O’Brian and I have quite few broadcasting career things in common. For one, we just kept coming back to Columbus. Some people have been critical of Bear for moving around so much, but they just don’t understand the dynamics of being a local broadcasting personality.

  In my view, it’s a good idea to move around in the early stages of becoming a broadcast personality. For one thing, it’s the quickest way to get your salary up to a decent level. For another, and this is especially true if you move to larger markets, you learn different, sometimes better, ways of doing things. And once you have proved that you can cut it in bigger markets, you are more appreciated by management when you come back home.  That translates to higher pay.

  No matter where you work, it’s a good idea to have a good relationship with your boss, and part on good terms. You can’t always do that, but it’s good when you can. You could say that Jim Martin is to Bear what the late Jim Woodruff, Jr. was to me. Both Jims hired us at least three times. 

Jim Martin, Gen. Manager PMB Broadcasting; Bear O’Brian, Kissin 99.3
  Friendship with the boss counts for a lot, but what counts most of all, though, is whether you can attract an audience. Ratings rule. I was fortunate in that area, and so is Bear.

  Another thing Bear and I have in common is how someone convinced us to change our names. Bear said the progam director at his first station, WRNZ in Wrens, Georgia, told him that Wade Collier is not a good braodcast personality name. He suggested Bear O’Brien. “Now,” says Bear, “the only people who call me Wade are my mother and some relatives.  My wife calls me Bear.  We were both working at the same station when we met and I was going by Bear by then.”

  My name change wasn’t quite that drastic. My mentor at WDAK, the late Ed Snyder, convinced me that Richard McMichael, which is what my family and everyone else called me, was too formal, he said. He suggested Dick. (He let me keep my last name.)  It’s been Dick, outside my family, since 1948. The only people who still call me Richard are the few relatives I have left. 

  Bear’s back doing his morning thing, this time on WKCN-FM, Kisssin’ 99.3, from 6 to 10 on weekday mornings.  He’s working for a different company this time, but not a different boss.  Jim Martin left Clear Channel Radio and now owns, with a few other people, PMB Broadcasting.  Bear worked for him when both were at Clear Channel.

 Bear’s show went on the air Monday. He said there was a delay because his contract with WBAM-FM in Montgomery had a non-compete clause in it and the management of both stations had to work out that before he could go back on the air. They did and he’s back. Over the years Bear has done some wild things on the air, I’m told, but he says he is doing a family-friendly show and even includes a 5-minute religious segment. His goal, he says, is to not only entertain, but build trust with his audience. 

  To be honest, I am not a devoted country music fan.  I do like it, even going to Nashville once to attend the Grand Ole Opry, but it’s not my favorite music.  I’m basically a standards, jazz, and classical music guy.   I have made appearances on a few of Bear’s shows when he was in town before. We had fun. I like him.  Welcome back, Bear.

Premier Podcast: Eddy Arnold, Ray Charles and Dick’s World

June 14, 2008

What do Eddy Arnold and Ray Charles have in common and what do they have to do with this blog? Find out by clicking on the link below.