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How Soft AC is screwing up

No wonder so many people think the Radio is boring.

Picture a woman, age 35, and her sister, age 37, prepping for a weekend party. What do they play on the stereo?

Not Whitney Houston, not Matchbox Twenty, not Beyonce or Usher, not Elton John, not Norah Jones, not Celine Dion, not Jewel, not Madonna. Not the latest hits, not the Grunge Gold, not the “Totally 80’s.”


Instead, they found a compilation CD, put it on, and sang loud and hard along to every song.

What was on this CD?

Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City” America’s “Horse with no Name” Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” Vicki Lawrence’s “Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” Terry Jacks’ “Seasons in the Sun” Helen Reddy’s “Delta Dawn.” etc., etc., etc.

How many of these songs can you find on the Radio at all, let alone in one place?

I repeat: They were singing their lungs out.

I repeat: They were 35 and 37, respectively.

I repeat: These songs are not on the radio.

Perhaps we should have gotten a clue a season or so ago when “Hot Child In the City” was used as an anthem for Sarah Jessica Parker and her friends on “Sex in the City.” Or perhaps we just missed the memo altogether.

It’s very chic right now to do blocks on 80’s programming or even entire 80’s weekends. But just because the 70’s format floundered that doesn’t mean the music these women grew up with has become irrelevant. After all, the 80’s format fared no better, so what gives that music life on the air?

Special programming opportunities are built on the backs of vacuums like these. I know what you’re thinking…these songs don’t test. Well, special programming is all about showcasing what doesn’t test well enough for the regular programming isn’t it? And what will generate a sharp emotional reaction nonetheless.

So consider this a note to every Soft AC station out there, especially those of you with audiences that are predominantly 35-plus (and that is ALL of you):

Where have all the 70’s gone?

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