Posted by keithosaunders on March 24, 2011
One night I was scanning around the upper reaches of my satellite feed (DISH network) when I came upon a series of Sirius radio stations. Most of them have lame themes, such as 70s rock, or sounds of the 40s — not the good 40s, as in be-bop, but the corny 40s, as in Glenn Miller.
There are two stations, however, that are worth listening to. One is Little Steven’s Underground Garage, hosted by the guitarist, and erstwhile Sopranos actor, Steven van Zandt. The title of the station is somewhat self-explanatory. He’s just a guy with great taste in rock. He plays lots of obscure stuff from the 60s, and he plays some modern stuff as well, sprinkling in a smattering of history, as well as interesting anecdotes. He does this with a relaxed, post-beatnick veneer of hipness.
The other station I listen to is Sirius Sinatra I’m a big Sinatra guy, so this is right up my alley. Sinatra is played every third or fourth song, and they’ll also play Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Johnny Hartman.
Every once in a while they’ll play Rod Stewart singing a standard. Why? While it’s true that Stewart is singing great songs, such as You Go To My Head, and For All We Know, the level of musicianship is so far below the aforementioned artists, that it is painful to listen to.
It’s times like these when the corporate essence of a company like Sirius shines through. Some suit must figure that Stewart will entice the coveted baby boomers. Anyone serious enough (no pun intented) to listen to this station for any amount of time, does not want to hear the American songbook butchered. Rod Stewart singing standards is like me performing the soliloquy from Hamlet.
If I was Rod’s manager I would have given him this advice:
“Rod…bubby…what happens in the shower, stays in the shower.”