Sunday, November 18, 2012

Radio Wowsville: Old Wave

To quote the chameleonic Neil Young: "Every wave is new until it breaks."

It was the end of the 1970s, times were changing and so was popular music. The influence of punk rock and new wave could no longer be ignored by the commercial music industry, and many entrenched rock 'n' roll and pop artists felt the need (perhaps even the necessity) to modernize themselves and get with the times.

It wasn't unlike what had happened when Elvis Presley came along in the 1950s and the Beatles one decade later -- it was a different world and the established order either had to try and adapt to the emerging trends or get knocked over and drowned out (Mr. Robert Palmer, pictured, certainly understood this).

Many of these dinosaurs and major label artists adapted quite well to what was happening -- Lindsey Buckingham, Hall & Oates, Paul McCartney, even Alice Cooper -- while many seemed to be half-hearted or even totally misguided in their efforts, exploiting and dabbling rather than innovating. What we are left with today, listening back, is some of the most interesting popular music of the period, and also some of the most hilarious and indefensible (we're looking at you, Shaun Cassidy). Some of these recordings are dated artifacts that the artists themselves have since disavowed, while others successfully rejuvenated and updated the sounds and visions of their makers. 

On tonight's "very special" edition of Radio Wowsville, we will explore the music of these adapting dinosaurs -- and give you not only the good and the bad but also the incredibly ugly. It's Wowsville. It's what we do.

Check us out at 11PM on WTJU 91.1 FM or log on at You can also hear a stream of the show after-the-fact at

Don't be afraid - enjoy the old wave.

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