Classic Rock Who?

I want to go back to the format that radio started with rock n’ roll, with country artists and green dayrhythm and blues with that oldies type feeling. – Wolfman Jack

by Walter Price

I wouldn’t go that far Wolfman but I get it.

I think I can sort of pinpoint or get close to the time that the Classic Rock landscape or more precise radio station playlists started to reflect the continuing aging of the music as it were, is. Either in 2005 or 2006 I was working for a mega media conglomerate in New York City ya’ll and one of our syndicated programs was a stellar and deep rooted program called Flashback With Bill St. James (since 2012 the show is hosted by Matt Pinfeild). A fine show with a highlight on Uriah Heep, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Stones, Zeppelin and so on. Then I noticed tracks from U2 popping up on the cue sheet. What?! U2 classic rock? Can it be. It was and is.

Going back to my first paying radio job in Texas for a sports station who’s sister station was a great Classic rocker that was heavy into the southern side of the genre with Skynyrd,  ZZ Top, CCR, Molly Hatchet, Allman Brothers peppered and flanked by the standards by Jethro Tull, Clapton, Deep Purple and The Doors. It was a super time for what I knew and understood as classic rock but little time was spent thinking that the current (at the time) rock chart toppers would sooner than later be eligible for the moniker of such music heroes.

This is now and Green Day have wedged themselves into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame, I assume the wheel of aging songs no matter how recent they may feel are now primed for late night AM and on the edges of the FM dial keep rolling on.

As I was writing this I looked up some ‘Classic Rock’ playlists from around the globe and I ran across one that has Queen, Pink Floyd, Boston and Michael Jackson included. Mind blown.

I guess the only question is, “Classic rock who?”. It’s only a matter of time.

As a side note; back in 2005/2006 I petitioned the Flashback programmer to include R.E.M. and The Cult to be included in the new wave of classic sounds for the show and the answer was a continued “No”. I see now both bands feature prominently on classic rock playlists in various places. Cool.








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