Some good music out on The Range

This is not The Range. I don’t know who these guys are.
I just needed a photo and I found this one.

Last year when I was a bludding bogger, er make that, blodding bugger … Oh hell, you know what I am trying to say. When I started this blog last year I was living temporarily where I am again staying, which is in Allen, a suburb just north of Dallas. One of several positive aspects of returning to North Central Texas is the chance to enjoy once more, a very good radio station that I first wrote about in May 2005. That station is KHYI-FM 95.3 (The Range.) So good is The Range that I have added it to the select company of radio stations listed on my blogroll links, to the right.

The station, which calls home Howe/Plano/Dallas-Fort Worth, bills itself as “hard country” but is also often identified as an Americana station. I admit to being a fan of both. As Joshua Jones, sales vice president for the station, says on the KHYI Web site:

“The Country Music Industry had alienated so many fans by the “Great Garth Cloning Experiment of the 90’s,” that The Range seemed like a breath of fresh air. KHYI brought many listeners back to Country Radio.”

Amen to that and then some.

Actually, country music had taken some wrong turns way before and way after the 90s. So much of what I hear on mainstream C & W stations these days is what I consider pure, unadulterated crap. I thus have long preferred the older country and western performers of the Hank Williams/George Jones/Merle Haggard/Johnny Cash/Marty Robbins and so forth ilk.

Certain musicians in recent years often teetered on the edge of being country but might have been closer to being folk than country. John Prine (“Your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore/They’re already overcrowded from your dirty little war.”)comes to mind. Thus when I was sleeping one night, I woke up and there was a new genre known as Americana.

The Range mixes both hard country and Americana very effectively. Sometimes they may even throw in a little blues, or God forbid, rock and roll. And I happen to like all such types of music. I have also discovered some new (new to me) artists that I would probably never heard otherwise were it not for The Range. This is not to say that I like everything they play. They sometimes spin some crappy records of all kinds but I have yet to see a radio station that does not play some music that I dislike. Just to display an idea of the station’s diverse music, consider The Range’s Top Ten this week:

10. Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Page: Rock n’ Roll

9. Johnny Cash: Loves Been Good to Me

8. Chip Taylor: Bippity Boo

7. Lost Immigrants: Judgement Day

6. Trent Summar: Horseshoes and Handgrenades

5. Corb Lund: Trouble in the Country

4. Ray Wylie Hubbard: Rabbit

3. Solomon Burke: Aint Got You

2. Todd Snider: Looking For a Job

AND THE #1 SONG IS………………………………………………………………..

1. Chris Knight: Enough Rope

I would call that eclectic.

The deejays at The Range sound like those of the smaller towns whom I have always found to be one of the more charming aspects of commercial radio. The production is not slick and polished. It makes you think that these people playing the discs are really people and not a machine playing a recording from some high-rise in Manhattan. Why their discs even skip from time-to-time. While that is annoying, it also better than listening to the absurdity of radio detritus such as Walton and Johnson.

Apparently, The Range seems to do well attracting Internet listeners as well as those from the Metromess area. Hopefully more will listen both to the radio and the Internet. I also hope that, for however long I have to stay in this area, that The Range will continue playing its great mix of music that I like.

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