I’m a radio head — not a member of the English rock band Radiohead — but a devoted listener to radio when I’m in the car traveling back and forth to work four days a week.
For my morning commute, without fail I listen to Dave and Luanne on the local talk radio show, “Hot Talk” on station WRNN.
I catch up on the local news, hear community leaders inform us as to what’s going on in our neighborhoods and occasionally listen to a candidate telling us why we need to vote for him or her.
Then I smile while I drive down the road as Dave informs us of the latest “naked news,” which usually takes place in Florida, lists signs that the end of the world is at hand and reveals the latest fiascos created by dumb crooks.
It’s a pleasant combination of news and humor which puts me in a good mood for the day ahead.
On a weekday, Dave and Leanne are as much a part of my day as my cup of coffee in the morning, but the drive home is a different story.
When I switch on the ignition, the same radio station is in national hard core political mode. After a hard day’s work, I’m not ready to face the real world, so before I can back out of the driveway at the office, I’m tuned to 92.9 on my radio — country music all the way.
I love many types of music, from Bach to John Prine and almost every kind of music in between.
“Full Moon and Empty Arms” from Rachmaninoff’s piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.
I hear it and I feel like it’s once again a Sunday afternoon in the mountains and I’m enjoying the beauty of the music and the majestic scenery before me.
But that’s not my traveling music on the end of a work day.
Country music fits my mood, and unlike classical music, I can even sing along with it a bit every now and then.
When a male country star sings about cruising around in his pickup truck, it makes a girl feel as if he’s somebody’s boyfriend and maybe he could be hers because he’s so approachable. Unlike a rock star, she could take him home to meet her family.
And the lady country singers are feisty and ready to make a dent in radio airplay which is so dominated by the men.
Half the time, my mind is miles away and I don’t really pay close attention to the music.
But I have definitely noticed a trend in the choice of songs since the pandemic began.
Almost everyone has released a new drinking song, from “There Ain’t Nothing that a Beer Can’t Cure” by Thomas Rhett and John Pardi, to “There’s a Hole in the Bottle” by Kelsea Ballerini.
Luke Bryan has the season’s top fun-in-the-sun song, “One Margarita,” and even Carrie Underwood added to the list with “Drinking Alone.”
Luke Combs sums it up best in “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
It makes me think the breweries are probably doing a booming business while we are socially distancing.
Also, there’s still a lot of lovin’ and breaking up going on in real life, so as long as songwriters can find a hook and can play three chords, country music will never end.