Each year, WXPN-FM out of Philadelphia (the station with whom I have an enduring love/hate relationship) asks listeners to submit their nominations for songs based on a theme. This year's theme is nearly impossible for someone who loves music as much as I do:
"885 All-Time Greatest and Worst Songs"
This is almost undoable on many levels. First, what kind of songs do they mean? Songs played on WXPN? They've played opera arias on WXPN such as "The Flower Duet" by Delibes. Can we submit those? They've played show tunes and movie themes? Are those eligible?
So you can see the theme is too broad. Even if you toss out show tunes and opera arias/classical and stick to contemporary music, the theme is still too broad. Should Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing" be included or perhaps "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin or will they be a throwaway votes, once again sending Bruce Springsteen into the top ten?
If I vote for "The Christmas Song" sung by Nat King Cole and "Thunder Road" by Springsteen wins this contest AGAIN, I am going to blow a gasket.
I don't live in the heads of WXPN radio show hosts, and I don't know what they mean by "All-Time Greatest Songs." This is an unfortunate case of GM Executive Syndrome, where all those at WXPN making the decisions are thinking too insularly, as if all of their listeners think just like them.
Last night, my husband Bill and I discussed our top ten lists. I told Bill I wasn't going to name artists who should be on anyone's top ten list and then select one of their songs. Instead, I would try to recall the songs that really moved me, that sent me into orbit, the first time I heard them. And there are so many that didn't make my list such as these great tunes:
- "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears
- "Fields of Gold" by Sting
- "Wicked Game" by Chris Issac
- "Another Star" or "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
- "Walking on Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox
- "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones
- "Up, Up, and Away" by the Fifth Dimension
- "Baby, Now That I've Found You" by Allison Krauss
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
- "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
I can't fit everyone who needs to be on my list on my list. How can I not include Billy Joel, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and The Beatles? Or Steely Dan, Annie Lennox, Sly and the Family Stone, and Ray Charles?
So, who did make my list? Well, I'm still finalizing it. In the meantime, I'll leave you to ponder my quandary while listening to this little gem from my lifetime:
And a noodge to WXPN--once again, you didn't list a #hashtag on the contest info page. Sheesh! You guys are killing me. (It happens to be #885countdown but I had to go digging for it.)