Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Once was smooth jazz

The things you find on the Internet, eh? Something on a site somewhere, a video on YouTube, pretty much anything can lead to somewhere else, including a memory of a different time. Or maybe it’s more information about something. In any case, it’s kind of an adventure.

The video above is Vox’s latest episode of its Earworm series, this one about is about “smooth jazz”, a category of popular music that some people loved and other people absolutely loathed. I did both, depending on what it was and who the artist was. But I think one of the most important points mentioned in the video was that it was music that people listened to at work, to help them get through the day. I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing.

My own connection was different, though. In my Interet Wading post back in October (last item), I mentioned listening to Chicago’s WNUA 95.5 which at the time played “New Age” music. Their tagline at the time was “Music for a new age.” There’s a little more to that story.

In the late 1970s, I started listening to a radio station called WMET when it switched to an AOR (Album Oriented Rock) format. By the 1980s, after some format changes, and a name change, I’d moved on.

In the late 1980s, I heard about WNUA, but didn’t really start listening to it regularly until around 1990, by which time it was shifting to smooth jazz. It was actually quite pleasant to have on in the background in the evening, especially when my partner at the time and I would sit around and talk.

Thing is, all those radio stations I mentioned were the same one, it just changed several times over the years. Actually, so did I.

I couldn’t possibly remember what radio station I listened to regularly after WNUA, but I remember it as being more or less Top 40. But, of course, in late 1995 I left Chicago for New Zealand, and that meant new radio stations and a whole lot of music I’d never heard before (like some of Hot Chocolate’s songs, as I mentioned in this past Sunday’s Weekend Diversion).

All of this came about because YouTube suggested the video to me (I subscribe to Vox’s videos), and I watched it. There was a very brief mention of WNUA, and that led me to look it up, and that’s how I remembered something I’d long forgotten—that WNUA had been another radio station I listened to, WMET (I think, but can’t be sure, that I may even have listened to WMET’s predecessor, WDHF).

Had I not watched the Vox video above, I’d never have looked up the radio station, but because I did, it reinforced something I talked about in October and something else I talked about this past weekend. And it connected not just those posts, but also my memories.

The things you find on the Internet, eh?

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