The ‘fade-out’ that concludes many songs we all know and love was created back in the AM radio days as a means of cueing the disc jockey (DJ) that the song was about to end, That gave the DJ the opportunity to start talking over the top of the music to tell the listener what they’d been listening to, and to introduce the next song, also while talking over the first few notes. It saves a precious few seconds of broadcast time, and some would argue made for a more dynamic presentation of the music. It’s become an anachronism, sort of like the grill on the front of an automobile, while at the same time being a legitimate and even expected stylistic component of song construction.
My favorite DJ growing up – and that was when AM radio was predominate – was Larry Lujack out of WLS Chicago. Lujack was always the most fun, had the wittiest things to say, much of it bitingly insightful sarcasm At the conclusion of the countdown for the best selling singles of 1969 – 50 years ago next month – concluded with the revelation that of all the great songs that year, the best selling was ‘Sugar, Sugar’ by The Archies, he said, “I absolutely positively refuse to believe this song is number one”. And he never said another word about it, ignoring its very existence.
For what it’s worth, number 36 on that list was Johnny Cash, ‘A Boy Named Sue’. Just thought I’d mention it.
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Three posts planned for next week, all bright autumn abstracts for all you fall color aficionados.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.