Mitch and Kerry have tested you. And you have failed.
All season long CBC Radio One’s morning show here on Prince Edward Island has been outsourcing their music programming to their listeners in a jiggle they call “All Request Winter.”
Setting aside the obvious abrogation of editorial responsibility this involves, it was possible to imagine that the wisdom of the Island Morning crowd would take us in unanticipated musical directions. So I was willing to temporarily suspend my curmudgeonliness.
And then yesterday at 8 minutes to 7 o’clock the clock radio alarm went off and I found myself waking up to a Captain & Tennille song.
Perhaps, I thought, a rare misstep.
And then while making coffee they played Could I Have This Dance by Anne Murray. And I realized things were going down hill.
But they lost me entirely this morning with Lady In Red: as I made my way to have a shower I found myself literally wanting to gnaw my own ears off.
So here’s the thing, Island Morning listeners: I know that you and Donalda-Jean Gallant stared into each others eyes at the Colonel Gray Valentines Dance in 1986 while Chris De Burgh crooned and the disco ball splashed waves of light that made the gym seem like a Las Vegas showroom.
But I don’t care.
And even if I did care, it’s absolutely no justification for inflicting your musical memories on contemporary Islanders.
Nowhere in the CBC Mission Statement does it say anything about playing dreadful nostalgic music, and I think it’s hard to squeeze morning after morning of Anne Murray and the Captain & Tennille and the like out of “distinctive programming of the highest quality.”
Even if you set taste aside, surely the job of stoking the musical nostalgia fires falls to private radio: the role of the CBC, musically speaking, should be to take us all in unexpected directions.
That doesn’t mean we need to wake up to acid punk. Well, at least not exclusively.
But it does mean that maybe music programming is best left the experts, that DJing should be recognized as a professional skill, and that turning morning radio into some sort of dreadful collectively-programming iPod was a hideous unfortunate mistake.
(Oh, and as long as you’re asking, I’d like to hear For Wanda by the Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band).