You don't know Jack

Sometime last week I was riding along in my trusty Toy-ota and heard some kind of weird song on the radio. I say it was weird because my radio was tuned to Rock 103.7 FM and the music was far and away from the type of music that station usually played. I soon realized that the halfway decent Houston rock station was no longer a rock station for it had been Jacked.

Cumulus Media switched formats on me. What was Rock 103.7 had suddenly become Jack FM. It is described in the linked article as a “eclectic, iPod shuffle-like” format. Jack FM plays what they want to play, at least that’s what they say.

Apparently its a popular format in both Canada and the U.S. It plays music without the non-stop talk of deejays who may or may not know what the hell they are talking about, which is a good thing. But since it is so eclectic there naturally will be any number of tunes you won’t like, which is not particularly a good thing.

Since listening to Jack FM I have heard, of course, Led Zeppelin, but also Prince, Stevie Wonder, Hot Chocolate, Bee Gees, Kelly Clarkson (I think). It is a real cornucopia of sounds, a place one might hear Stevie Wonder’s gritty rock “Living for the City.” But one might also hear “Mandy” by Barry Manilow (Sorry for the link. I guess I just have a mean streak.) I don’t know for a fact they would play Manilow but theoretically at least it is something one might hear.

The jury is still out, as far as I am concerned, on Jack FM. But living in what is a really disappointing radio market, I’m game for something different. But the first time I hear “Mandy” …

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