html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: In a Marcel Wave, of course.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

In a Marcel Wave, of course.

On my drive to LA I listened to what I think may be my favorite radio station. For about two and a half hours in the southern San Joaquin Valley, you can hear 103.3 Kings Radio, Your Nostalgia Station for Lindsey, Visalia and Hanford. Kings Radio plays the oldies, but not the ones you’re thinking of. Your Nostalgia Station plays the music of the '30’s, '40’s and '50’s. I listen for it every time I’m in the south Valley. The commercials are sad, for assisted living and in-home care and small knick-knack stores. But, oh the music is lush.

I can’t tell you how absolutely unabashedly romantic these songs are. The strings swell, and they doo-wah, and they rhyme about your eyes and sighs. He’ll croon to me and pour out his dreams for me to dance on. He is not self-conscious, not at all. It is perfectly natural for him and the next smooth singer to love me for all eternity. He does not have naughtiness on his mind; Elvis won’t even have hips for another twenty years. He just wants to gather me in, pull me in to this music made for couples to dance to. I want him to. I want him to hold the back of my hands against his chest and pull me close, so we can glide and turn and breathe together, and he can sing the chorus softly into my hair.


Anonymous I don't pay said...

Well, well. They've a broad playlist, with a lot of dreck, but the great songs in that genre are really wonderful. And that romantic and above all intimate quality they have has probably been preserved for us now by their being out-of-fashion for so long.

In the late sixties and early seventies, liking this music was not done. Those of us who did usually didn't talk about it then. I've since found many musicians actually liked it a lot. K.D. Laing has a funny bit about it: "I have a confession to make: I am a Le..Le..Le...Lawrence Welk Fan!" The young Sinatra's way with a ballad, or Peggy Lee, was a kind of secret habit 30 years ago.

Here's something I posted at Beck's, thinking about being asked to smile:

I remember that discussion we had at Unfogged about being asked to smile, and I remember asking whether it should change how I thought about Nat King Cole's beautiful song of that title. As I know the Coles family, it is a bit personal to me. So just this week I was having lunch with my wife and asked her.

"John, Nat's voice on the radio is that of a kind friend who knows you, who knows your heart is breaking, but that you will be ok. It's an artifact of the intimacy that he well understood radio and records to give, so that he, a 1950's black man, could come into little shacks in little Illinois river towns and talk to the white woman at the kitchen sink. See the difference?"

8:38 AM  
Blogger jens said...

I like "Gentleman Jim" Reeves. Never a guilty pleasure, since I have no shame.

Imagine my surprise when I did "He'll Have To Go", and my favorite karaoke hostess Meghan (with her green, purple, or orange hair, and her tight tattoed abs, and her other job bartending at an "alternative" bar) told me that was one of her favorites (she also likes "Annie's Song" from John Denver).

She is also the lead singer of a very energetic rock band, and the last two concerts she started, before going into "Don't call me a bitch, baby, I'm a rock star", with a very sensitive rendition of "Cry Me A River".

11:03 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Hey you! It seems there's a purpose to my long-dormant blogger account after all-- to leave comments here!

Anyway, yeah, old music rules. Stupid rock n roll.

Merry Christmas,

11:04 AM  
Anonymous justus said...

I went to Hanford High (among others). I remember that the water in the high school smelled like rotten eggs because of the high sulphur content. It was nauseating.

I ended up graduating high school from Lemoore High which is about 10 miles west on 198.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was single, I was quite fond of Sinatra. His early stuff was good, too -- but you can tell the difference in his voice as he got older.

I was surprised yesterday when I found myself nearly tearing up by listening to John Mayer's latest album (the slow, sad stuff). I was feeling pretty sorry for myself (wife working, us in different cities, me working, interstate driving). I underestimate the ability of music to move people.

Here's to a merry Christmas to all and best hopes and dreams to our proprietor, Megan. Cheers, -K.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Bummer you couldn't get Friant water at the high school. It is so pure it sucks the cement out of the canal walls.

Glad you're here! Stupid rock and roll.

See, we have even more in common.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Merry Christmas. Hope you're back with your wife VERY soon.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad likes Sinatra. He also likes Randy Travis but I forgive him.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You're gonna have to forgive me, too.

Well honey, I don't care
I aint in love with your hair
And if it all fell out
I'd love you anyway

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great song. I'm not sure that 9/11 was the death of irony (clearly not) But I don't think that there are many pure-hearted popular songs like that anymore. -K.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous thelonious_nick said...

The station sounds intriguing. The last station of that ilk in the DC area switched over to sports talk radio 2-3 years ago. But my problem with all such stations is that the ratio of Glen Miller to Duke Ellington is far too high.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like one of the very few music formats that isn't on satellite radio.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter: I think that 'Standards' on Sirius may not be completely what Megan was listening to, but close. Lots of Sinatra and Ella. -K.

9:27 AM  
Blogger CharleyCarp said...

Two of the most popular band I used to see in the late 70s in Montana were the Big Sky Mudflaps and Live Wire Choir.

Nice people, nice music.

6:26 PM  
Blogger CharleyCarp said...

The CDs are worth it. I'm partial to LWC's first record (no 11 on list).

6:30 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I'm pretty sure that Kings Radio, Your Nostalgia Station for Lindsey, Visalia and Porterville plays a lot of the dreck as well as the great classics. In the couple hours I can catch it, I usually only hear one song I've heard before. But even the chaff sounds good the first time.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Stacy from Sacramento said...

My husband and I have to travel from Sacramento to Chino often, and the only thing we like about the drive, in fact, the thing we look forward to, is 103.3. Great songs we remember because our parents listened to this music when we were kids, in the years before we each discovered rock and roll stations.
This last week we heard that we should be able to begin getting this station via on-line service, but we didn't write down the info, and a search of the internet didn't yield any usable info. We'll be driving up to Sacramento tomorrow, and will be listening closely for the web site to hook up to this wonderful station.
I'm glad to know we aren't the only ones who enjoy this station, and I think my only regret is that I don't, or can't, patronize this station's advertisers.
My favorite song I've heard is "Time," I think by the Poso Seco Singers. "Time, oh ti-i-ime, where did you go? Time, oh good, good time, where did you go?" Excellent anthem for this lovely station.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Stacy from Sacramento said...

AOL members can get this station at:

For the rest of us, try this link, not Kings Radio "Your Nostalgia Station," but wonderful nontheless.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Michael from Fremont-to-Glendale said...

Hi Megan . . . thanks for posting this information in your blog. I was searching to find Kings Radio online with "103.3 Kings Radio Visalia nostalgia" and Google listed you first. I thought I'd update the comment that I used from Stacy of Sacramento. Her link even if you're not an AOL member, gives this information:
1. Open "Windows Media Player"
2. Click on "File". Click on "open URL"
3. Type into the window: " "
4. Click on "ok"
Thanks to you, Stacy from Sacramento!

1:25 PM  

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