Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hate radio gives way to Sinatra & company

For about a year now, the sixth radio button in our car was set to KGIL 1260 AM in Los Angeles. That's where, while punching among Randi Rhodes, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, Ron Reagan Jr. and Stephanie Miller, we'd get our doses of hate from Glenn Beck and Lars Larson and settle in for old school jazzman hilarity from Michael Savage, the crackpot hipster who offers the most inspired, personal, nuttiest radio since the passing of the late Howard Stern.

On weekends, when the other stations were selling nutritional aids, KGIL would switch to standards-- songs of people like Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Rosemary Clooney, Diana Krall and Mel Torme.

Now, suddenly, the hate is gone and only the songs remain. For the past week or so, the station's been switched to an all-standards format, and while much has been written about the all-news station KFWB switching this month to all-talk and Dr. Laura, we haven't seen any word of this revolution, which should have made big news amid the Savage British ban and Glenn Beck boycott alone.

In any case, it's brilliant, and with our AM radio buttons bookended by Radio Disney and Radio Dino, the only real downside is that it doesn't come with FM audio. On a ride to the store tonight, we heard Sammy Davis Jr., Lou Rawls & Dianne Reeves and Sinatra singing That's Life, while a couple of nights ago we heard a great guitar tune and used Shazam to identify it as Off Key, the English language version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Desifinado performed by John Pizzarelli. We bought it on iTunes.

It turns out the official changeover takes place tomorrow.

(Wikipedia says: "
KGIL (1260 AM) is a radio station licensed to Beverly Hills, California... On August 27, 2009, the station switched to a mix of oldies and adult standards as "Retro 1260." As of August 31, Mike Sakellarides, heard for 25 years on KOST-FM, is the new morning man, followed in middays by former KKGO DJ Nick Tyler. Jeff Serr, formerly of KMGG, KBIG, and KODJ, does afternoons. Retro 1260 emphasizes vocals and plays Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys, as well as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Steve Tyrell, and Michael Feinstein. As of September 4, 2009, KGIL streams online at http://1260.am/.")

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