Nope…it’s not drugs…nor alcohol.
I’m addicted to a radio show.
I don’t listen to the radio much these days, usually just the 30 minute drive to and from work and even that isn’t prime listening time because the terrain limits my choices. Driving along the hilltop I may only hear a song or two before I lose the signal and even then the static makes it more annoying than enjoyable.
Last month while I was in California a friend popped in a disc of Bob Dylan’s ‘Theme Time Radio Hour’ as we were getting up and around. Since we were all going about our morning routines I only caught bits and pieces of the show but ultimately sat down with my coffee and the paper and the melodic voice of Bob Dylan in the background. It wasn’t long before I gave up on the paper.
I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under but it doesn’t have XM Radio or news of the fact that this show has been on the air for nearly two years.
Theme Time Radio Hour is a weekly show where Bob picks a theme like ‘Weather’ or ‘Mother” and then plays songs that fit the theme. It sounds pretty dull but with a host that has been in the business for nearly 50 years and an exceptionally broad range of musical tastes, magic happens. Bob tells stories about the musicians he features, some of them personal recollections, tells jokes, and quotes everyone from Socrates to Zappa. It is the best radio show I’ve heard since ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ hit the airwaves all those long years ago.
When I returned home, my friend sent a link to the show and I’ve spent the majority of my spare time these past few weeks downloading the shows, burning them to disc, loading them on the iPod and listening to them at every opportunity.
I recently decided to only listen to one show a week so I wouldn’t run out of new listening material but quickly found that I love listening to them again and again. Little gems like George Jones and Melba Montgomery’s “Let’s Invite Them Over”, Loretta Lynn’s “Don’t Come a Drinkin’” or Little Walter’s “Last Night” just beg a playlist of their own. In fact, I could make numerous playlists from these tunes but why? They play far better when you have Bob’s comments and dry humor stitching them together like a warm quilt on a winter’s day.
Even more fun is how he weaves artists like Stevie Wonder, Merle Haggard, the Rolling Stones, Ruth Brown and L.L. Cool Jay into the same show…and it works! This is brilliant radio and it should be required listening by everyone who loves music.
So, if you have XM Radio, give it a listen. If you don’t…go here and give it a listen. Just be careful…it’s highly addictive…just look at my posting history lately.