We listen to a lot of Radio Paradise. This is an independently programmed, listener-funded internet station. It’s a beautiful piece of the internet as far as I’m concerned. We listen to it pretty much all weekend long–leaving our week-day mornings to local commercial radio to ensure we get any morning news about road conditions or other weather-related things we need to know about.
The fact that we listen to them both means I get to truly appreciate the art of being a great radio programmer.
Yesterday morning, for example, the local station played a wonderfully stark ballad from Dave Matthews, and followed that with the harsh sounds of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” These two should never go together under any circumstances. Even though I wasn’t deeply listening, the pairing jarred me. Then this morning I sat down to my normal word production time and sat through a series of songs that were knit together in such a brilliant fashion that it was almost like the station was talking to me.
The capper was the paring of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” with Duke Ellington’s “Sassy,” which one online forum member posited had been written about Sarah Vaughan, whose nickname was, natch, Sassy (technically, it was one of her nicknames). I don’t know if that song was written about her, but I can tell you that the act of listening to a station that is so lovingly programmed is a wonderful thing. You should try it some time.