Part of being a good musician is knowing what good music is. We wont try to define 'good music.' We wont debate musical or artistic values.
Until about ten years ago, the way most people learned about the latest music releases was through radio. Today's classic rock radio stations play 'classic rock,' but they don't give you the feel of the rock stations from the '60s and '70s that modern stations draw their inspiration from.
You can experience the full spectrum of rock radio at its best from the '60s through the '90s by listening to my music playlists on Youtube and Spotify. These playlists are based on the real playlists from three influential Dallas FM radio stations.
KNUS 98.7 FM is a recreation of the 'underground' station that drove the migration from AM to FM in Dallas, and covers the years 1967-73. Remembered by locals as a hard rock station, it was really Dallas' first FM non-format. I have left out holdover hits from the '60s like Good Vibrations and Incense and Peppermint. This was the age of the supergoups. The Beatles and their solo projects, Stones, Who, Kinks, Blind Faith, and Led Zeppelin dominated the airwaves, along with Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, James Gang, Doors, Janis, Traffic, Hendrix and Jethro Tull. Ninety percent of air-time was divided between only about 50 bands. Besides Janis, a few songs by Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, and Judy Collins' AM country-crossover hit, Someday Soon, there were very few women's voices. At night, they mixed hard rock and 'jazz fusion' like Brian Auger with jazz stars of the '50s like Dave Brubeck and Yusef Lateef. KNUS was essentially replaced in by a new competitor, KZEW 98 FM in 1973.
KZEW 98 FM covers the years 1973 to 1978. There was a string of hit records by Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt. Fleetwood Mac added Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie attained a new level as a writer and a musician. Heart also had a string of enduring hits. It was also the era of acoustic 'soft rock,' the era of 'country rock' and the short-lived 'progressive country' movement. Hard rocker Joe Walsh began a 2nd career with his move to the Eagles. For hard rock, we had Robin Trower, Bad Company. Southern rock by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker. ZZ Top made three more great albums. West coast studio groups like Steely Dan, LA Express, Tower of Power.
Are you enthralled by the music you're listening to now? Or are you sick of FM, cable, and satellite station
Radio playlists gave listeners a sense of musical context.