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While listening to the radio here in Los Angeles, the station played “All Along The Watchtower” by Bob Dylan, and when it was over the host said:

“That’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ by the great Bob Dylan. That song was made famous by Jimi Hendrix, but I think Bob Dylan wrote that originally.”

And no, that wasn’t a student radio station.


He didn’t know if Bob Dylan wrote it.

And I don’t quite understand “wrote it originally” — suggesting that Bob Dylan wrote it and then later someone else wrote it, too.

When I go into a computer store and the salesperson knows less about computers than I do, it doesn’t encourage me to buy from that store.

When a listener to a music radio station knows more about the music than the host, that listener does not bond more closely to that radio station.

I’m just sayin’….

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  • Johnny Milford January 27, 2010, 5:03 am

    Reminds me of a jock who, on the air, said Bob DY-lan (rhyming with Smilin’). When I confronted him about it, he said he had never heard of of Bob Dylan and didn’t \that kind of music.\ I told him I could understand not liking it, but I couldn’t understand not being aware of such a legend, especially since this jock was \in the demo.\

  • scott snailham January 27, 2010, 8:16 am

    Still amazed of what we call a “legend” in society. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, I suppose their music moves us emotionally and is universal. But how much of that is really promotion and hype? Major record company $$$$ certainly talk for promotion.

    Dylan is better as a poet and writer then a singer, but given his status in pop culture of the 20th century (which I like better then legend) you’d think the guy would know. I suppose people are unaware of andy warhol.

    As for the original comment….honesty isn’t always the best policy on air, unless you’re going somewhere with it. If you’re going to get a co-host to rag you out on air in some good on air ribbing banter, sure. It can make the audience feel good from a gameshow perspective, but if you just throw it out there, it doesn’t come off looking good.

  • Harley Benner January 27, 2010, 9:42 am

    It’s a sad example of what remains of the radio talent pool following the corporate purge. Most of the “survivors” that were allowed to remain on the air were either compliant or cheap enough (or both) to keep their jobs. Jocks are instructed to talk about sponsors, remote appearances, station websites, ANYTHING but the music. It’s what happens when an entertainment medium is run by bankers, insurance salesmen and bean counters.

  • John O'Mara January 27, 2010, 10:05 am

    At our A/C stations I’ve encountered younger announcers who didn’t know that Burton Cummings had been in the Guess Who (and we’re in Canada so Cummings’ solo tunes are A/C staples). Or that Don Henley was also in the Eagles. Where does the fault lie? Should the announcer take the initiative to learn more about his or her playlist, or should the PD be encouraging them to do so?

  • scott snailham January 28, 2010, 3:12 am

    I remember working for an AC station who started getting their CHR format talent VT on weekends….the PD really should have advised her to say “The CHY-lites like it should be and not the “CHEE-Lites” like she ended up on the air saying after “oh girl”.

  • Rob Holding January 28, 2010, 7:24 pm

    I used to listen to a guy that would say things like “That was Cliff Richard and ‘Daddy’s Home’ which is actually a remake. It was origonally recorded by a band called the Hi-lites back in, I think, about 1964 and they took it to something like number 4 or number 5 on the charts”

    The funny thing was many years later I came across the book that he was READING out of when he said that. He knew full well when it was recorded and where it got to on the charts because the book told him all the details.

    No excuses for sloppy announcing

  • Rob Holding January 28, 2010, 7:38 pm

    My bad, it was Shep and the Limelites. It was 1961. And it reached #2 on the billboard charts in May of that year. Maybe I should do some research. (Good thing I’m no longer on air 🙂

  • John Pellegrini February 2, 2010, 6:39 am

    Two favorites from my memory here – I remember an article in Rolling Stone describing two girls in a record store (remember them?) holding up a Beatles album and one saying “Wow! Paul McCartney was in a band BEFORE Wings?”

    And the other – driving through a small town in the midwest in 1986 listening to a local radio disck jockey introducing a song by “Joo-Lie-Oh Eye-Glass-EE-As”. Considering that Julio Iglesias was everywhere that year including multiple appearances in Johnny Carson I thought the dee jay was amazing!

  • Joe Knapp February 14, 2010, 9:03 am

    Thinking I was ever so clever while visiting a heritage rock station in a major market, I corrected the jock who had just played a record by Ray DAY-viss of the Kinks. Having heard his name pronounced DAY-veez all my life, I was feeling pretty cocky about my musical knowledge; that is, until the jock informed me that he’d interviewed Ray Davies just last week, and Ray himself corrected HIM on the pronunciation of his last name!

    I don’t blame the jocks as much as I blame their managers. People in any profession need proper training. If you’re hiring someone to talk about the music, you may want to screen the applicants to make sure you find someone who has an active interest in the artists and music your station plays. If you only hire people based on how their voice sounds, you may want to have someone else write everything they’re going to say. Just because someone has a nice voice doesn’t necessarily mean they can ad lib 😉

    Of course, in these days when economy of scale translates into firing all your talented people, there’s a very good chance you’ll hear this kind of thing more often in the future; that is, unless those who are misinterpreting PPM results, or bankers who think they can run a business they don’t understand, eventually dispose of all the on-air talent so they can play nothing but commercials mixed with a little music.