Saturday, November 17, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Music for grown-ups

Longtime Monitor host Gene Rayburn inside NBC's Radio Central

This week on the Big Show, we're all on the Monitor beacon once again.

Monitor was a revolutionary program when it was introduced to NBC Radio in 1955 -- a mix of music, news, features and interviews that ran most of every weekend. But for me, it's a bit of home, a bit of the world I knew.

It's grown-up news, grown-up hosts and grown-up music for what seemed at the time a grown-up world. By the measuring stick of our never-ending silly season -- as in this present moment -- the world of Monitor . . . America in the 1950s, '60s and early '70s seems even more grown up, despite the upheaval of that era.

AT LEAST the '50s and '60s had honest, substantive conflict. We have rival factions of spoiled schoolkids throwing spitballs, calling names and alternately picking up their toys and going home.

Mom!

Dammit, we all need a happy place. The memory of Monitor is one of mine -- a memory of a world run by adults. As opposed to us.

The memory of Monitor also is the memory of "Monitor music," which seemed very adult and very square then but now, upon further review, seems very adult and kinda cool. We'll be playing a lot of that on this episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

The Monitor theme of the Big Show this go around jibes with some other themes floating around the stacks of wax in the studio here. Like home, and can you go there again. We'll be exploring that musically.

And old days, lost youth and the march of time. That's a tasty thematic set as well on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

THAT MAKES two more theme sets that kind of point back to Monitor . . . the long-lost happy place on the radio dial for geeks like me. Monitor, the vanquished redoubt of grown-ups who used to run the world, took serious things seriously and, truth be told, kinda had more class than We Who Knew We Knew Better Than the Old Fogies.

That's it. That's pretty much the show this week, and I think it's a good one. I'll bet you will, too.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

1 snappy rejoinders:

Russell W. said...

Everything you said.

Three chimes to you, "old friend"!