Christmas is a wonderful time of year to slow it down and express thanks and appreciation to those people in our lives who make a difference – or who have in the past. I know that many of you will be spending time with those folks today – or remembering them in some way.
It's an emotional moment for millions as the year winds down, and as we look forward to what lies ahead in 2020 – a new year and the start of a new decade.
That's why today's post expresses appreciation toward a musical legend who has given the world – and radio – a great gift over the past half century and more – his music.
But when it comes to Paul McCartney, the gift just keeps on giving. Not only is his music very much alive and relevant to people across the globe from all generations, Sir Paul's spirit and style continue to impact us decades after we were first introduced to the Fab Four.
Earlier this year, McCartney made a a memorable television appearance that turned out to have meaning and resonance for those of us who work in radio. And today seemed like a good choice in which to bring it back to our “Best of” end of year blog post collection. Hopefully, it brings a little joy to you on this special day. – FJ
Step aside, Art Vuolo. Radio may have found a new best friend.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you are probably very much aware that Paul McCartney has been a highly visible icon during the past year. And in fact, he may have been the most prominent of rock stars during the past calendar year.
So, it may come as no surprise to you that here in our first week of fresh content on JacoBLOG in 2019, Sir Paul makes a headlining appearance. You may or may not be aware that “the Cute Beatle” was a featured guest on the venerable Sunday night news magazine, “60 Minutes” late last year.
Like many of you, I checked out from a lot of media over the holidays, and did not see that particular show on Sunday evening, the 30th of December. I found out about McCartney's interview – the first ever on “60 Minutes” by the way – in a LinkedIn post from Walter Sabo (aka Walter Sterling, host of his own Westwood One talk show). Walter also wrote a strong blog post on the topic last week.
Why was this interview so significant? Because Sir Paul enthusiastically gave broadcast radio a strong shout-out – actually three of them.
Here's the short clip of the McCartney/”60 Minutes” interview, featuring a very befuddled Sharyn Alfonsi.
There are several stunning things about this short :30 love letter to radio.
First, that Alfonsi is incredulous McCartney not only listens to radio, but chooses it as his key music discovery platform and his core in-car medium of choice.
Second, that McCartney isn't just a fan of radio, he's a super fan. And his pushback against Alfonsi's protests should inspire radio sellers in markets big and small to be aggressive against those now-fashionable yet misguided objections to the medium. You'd want McCartney representing your station to advertisers, based on his strong loyalty and enthusiasm for radio.
Third, Sir Paul is one of the most influential music personalities in the world – not a relic from a forgotten generation, but a true icon who has remained relevant and current in today's multi-media landscape. Yes, he grew up with the radio and 45 R.P.M records, but he has also made savvy use of new media over the years – virtual reality, satellite radio, streaming, and of course music video.
And yet, his top choice for music?
Now, some may argue that in spite of his fame and vision, Paul McCartney is a 76 year-old man – well “out of demo.” So, cynics might ask, “What would you expect him to listen to?”
But this isn't just any septuagenarian – Sir Paul's influence in music and across the globe eclipses them all – Bono, Dave Grohl, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift.
As Walter exhorts, all of radio owes Paul McCartney as major league THANK YOU!
OK, I'll start.
Sir Paul, THANK YOU!
In a postscript, Rolling Stone recently published a piece about music tastes and trends, summarizing the year just passed: “Rap's New Generation Took Over, Rock Ruled the Road and Radio Still Mattered.”
It's an interesting analysis of the current state of music, genres, concerts, and entertainment. There's a section titled “Radio Means More Than You Think,” and it's another repudiation of conventional wisdom. In many ways, it echoes McCartney's enthusiasm for radio.
Writer Elias Leight sums up broadcast radio's current state of affairs as follows:
Both stories would make fine additions to any sales kit or pitch. After all, when music authorities like McCartney and Rolling Stone give the medium two enthusiastic “thumbs up,” that's a pretty good sign.
Maybe 2019 won't be a bad year for radio after all.
Thanks again, Walter!
Latest posts by Fred Jacobs (see all)
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