I've become hooked on the most extraordinary radio program. I had to go to Canada to find it.
FORTUNATELY, living here in Nebraska, it's easy enough to pick up on 990 AM -- the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. out of Winnipeg. And fortunately for everybody out of radio range, all of the CBC's regional feeds are streamed on the Internet.
The program, you ask? It's In the Key of Charles, with Montreal singer/songwriter/pianist/actor Gregory Charles. The program's premise, simplement, is this: Charles sits in his living room, at his piano, and plays CDs -- music spanning every possible genre -- centered on a broad theme.
Between the songs, he carries on a conversation with the listener. Every now and again, he'll tickle the ivories and sing something himself.
It's magic, and it's addictive.
YOU'LL FIND NOTHING like it on American radio, I don't think. Not even public radio, which -- unfortunately -- tends to want to make every damn thing sound academic . . . or at least "inside baseball," if you get my drift.
We don't need corporate radio programmed by HAL 9000. We don't always need to be overtly "educated," either.
What we so desperately need today is communion. One person making a connection with another. One person making a personal connection with many.
People reaching out to fellow human beings.
WHAT WE NEED, especially in our media, is beauty and intelligence. Sadly, that is disappearing by the minute in our society.
Sometimes, though, we find moments of electronic grace. I found mine on the Canadian radio.