Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Neil Young-Buying Freedom in the 21st Century?

Leave it to RFP’s Andy Olson. He turns us on to inspired music and isn't afraid to say what he thinks about what's happening to freedom in America. Is it an exaggeration to say that what Radio Free Phoenix is doing is an act of patriotism? How many in music radio have the courage to share personal beliefs? Olson's comments about Neil Young illustrate RFP's dedication to changing the status quo. Neil Young's iconic status and wealth may assure that his outstanding "Living With War" will get played on corporate radio. But what about others? Artist 'blacklists' are part of a 21st century 'McCarthy Era.' Supporting Neil Young, supporting Radio Free Phoenix...is supporting freedom. How much is that worth to us?

Today's radio is a dead end. Artists struggle to be heard, even some well established ones. RFP found a way around the dead end by creating radio that is not mindless and impersonal. Anyone who listened to Andy Olson on Valley airwaves during the last couple of decades knows he's an individual with a mind of his own. And he is an encyclopedia of musical knowledge. From the well known to the infinitesimally obscure, Andy Olson is the ‘go to’ guy. So RFP can offer up gems like the back stories, personal anecdotes and history behind songs and the times they represent. RFP is a living chronicle of our musical and social history. How much is that worth to us?

Bill Compton was legendary for creating unforgettable musical and motivating moments in Arizona radio. KCAC's relationship to listeners was a personal one. So is RFP's. Some thirty years later those KCAC memories still evoke a visceral reaction and RFP continues in that tradition. I'll always be proud that I was given the opportunity to be a small part of it. We would likely have none of the courageous, socially conscious songs we cherish if the media monopolies that have spawned satellite radio had been legal decades ago. Without the determination and honesty of RFP, radio as it was meant to be in the ‘good old USA’ would be part of the 'Antiques Roadshow.'

President Bush has said "you can't put a price on freedom." He's right. The value of freedom is immeasurable. But while the 21st Century has been hailed as the "new communications age" freedom appears to be something that may cease to exist...unless we support freedom with our voices and our pocketbooks.


Florian said...

All the comments about singer Neil Young, your freedoms and all else are said well. It is a sad to see what is going on in America for all. In the world radio has always been the way for people everywhere. even across oceans, to hear what singers in US and the world think about US and global politics.

The American singer protest songs of the Vietnam days like Bob Dylan Joan Baez and the others, all changed US policy and stopped that war. Maybe in US they are aftaid today that could happen again so they now have radio tightly controlled.

I didin't know that it was such a bad situation. It is an interesting website to read. Thank you. I found it accidentally. Now I will read it every so often and try to listen to the radio statioin you talked about.

Good luck to all for what you are trying to do.
I hope you won't give it up. America is still who the world looks at for an example.

Mariah Fleming said...

Thanks for leaving a post on the 'KCAC Lives' website. I'm curious to know from where you wrote and through what link you located this site?

'KCAC Lives' has many interesting links to music and various topics in the "Archives" section. If you click on Radio Free Phoenix under "Community" (on the left) you can find out how to listen to their station from your computer. It broadcasts 24 hours a day for free. Their station also has a 'links' page that will tell you about some other music related sites.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughtful comments.