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Lack of jazz on the North and South East US dial?


Robert J
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I just returned from a drive from Canada to Miami. We took I-75 through Detroit down and I-95 back through Buffalo in return.

I kept tuned to the airwaves, but I sadly report that I did not pick up a single jazz station or jazz tune in the total of 50 hours I was driving. Thanfully I had some CDs.

I did this trip 4 years ago and got the same results. However in Tennessee that time I caught some college show faintly that had a Jelly Roll Morton profile. It only lasted 1/2 hour.

Of course I was not near NYC.

Is this really representative of the radio reality of where I drove? I do have to say that 50% of the dial in any of the states I travelled was country music :wacko: Also I'd need a good hard rock fix to keep going at some points. Ohio and Pennsylvania were good for that. Long time since I've heard Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold". :g

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there's a bigger reality to consider: jazz accounts for less than 4% of all cd sales. why would radio programmers offer music that most people don't seem to want during primetime? jazz fans are better represented during the evening and late-night hours on predominantly college and public radio stations while the massess are vegging out on crap tv.

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there's a bigger reality to consider: jazz accounts for less than 4% of all cd sales. why would radio programmers offer music that most people don't seem to want during primetime? jazz fans are better represented during the evening and late-night hours on predominantly college and public radio stations while the massess are vegging out on crap tv.

Yes, so unless you drove straight through and concentrated your jazz dial search to the evenings and overnights, I'd say its a good chance you'd miss some decent jazz programming.

And for anyone attempting this in the future, remember that since jazz tends to get programmed on public stations and college radio, you can restrict yourself to the low end of the FM dial, and avoid that span that is apparently 50% country. :g

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Having driven from southeast Florida to New York and back on several occasions, I learned a long time ago, say around 1975, to keep quite a load of jazz cassettes, and now CDs, in the car to pleasurably occupy the time. Of course, this did not work a year and a half ago when I flew in to New Jersey and drove back my mother-in-law's 1988 Mercury Sable (totally clean and only 35,000 miles on it in 14+ years!) which - strangely believe it - did not have a cassette player and (of course) not a CD player in it. That was one LONNNGGGG ride back home. <_<

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Jim,

You are right about WDET. I grew up on that in University as well as when WJZZ was more hardcore jazz. Remember, I was born and spent 23 years in Windsor, though now living in Oakville Ontario.

There was heavy snow coming down when I crossed the Ambassador bridge so I was concentrating on that. (You ever tried to find the I-75 off the bridge? You take a tour of Mexican town for awhile!) I had Brad Meldhau's Anything Goes CD then on the car stereo as I prayed my wiper fluid would hold up.

You might be too young to remember WWWW (W4, 106FM in the 80s - great hard rock. I think that was when Howard Stern was there, or was that WRIF, 101?). Is WABX still around?

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Dan - true. I can't say that I was 100% efficient. I did have the hard rock on to keep awake during the boring stretches (AKA Georgia and Florida :D ). The last time we drove through the night. This time we stayed in a Knoxville motel going down, and somewhere in South Carolina off the 95 coming back. I suppose of course I was making a general observation of the state of radio in a lament. I was not joking about the country music, though it is the same when you get 200 miles out of Toronto in any direction.

I think worse that not having any jazz on the radio was that there's not a single Starbucks on 75 or 95 to keep my blood pumping :o . I did pull over to one accidentally when we stopped for lunch somewhere in an Atlanta suburb. The girl at the counter was shocked when I ordered a double espresso, short. "Sir, I don't know how you could ever drink that".

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As I have mentioned before. there are only 5 fulll time Jazz stations in the U.S

The closest one to you route was WGMC in Rochester, but alas, you can't get it in Buffalo.

During the day most stations that carry Jazz programing, are NRP stations and carry those shows during the day. WGMC is not a NPR station.

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Lack of jazz? This has been a problem for years. I have learned to just throw on a cd, and not wait for radio stations to play any decent jazz, cuz they don't!

Unless you frequent boards such as Organissimo, it's difficult to discover new music/artist without some access to radio.

Jazz radio down here is rather minimal but by listening to what was available, I discovered both Don Pullen and Horace Tapscott, now two of my favorite musicians, as well as countless other musicans and albums. Thank you Len Pace and WLRN!

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