In yesterday's paper I read an article about how car makers are no longer offering cassette decks, even as an option. Soon, they say, CD players will also be obsolete as the whole world switches to other music formats. None of this affects me directly, but this does: At the bottom of the article there was a brief paragraph saying that satellite radio has run its course as well.
Yeah, well, I hope not. My satellite radio is on during the day when I'm working, and any time I'm in my car. I haven't ever coveted an iPod, but that's probably because I live alone and work at home and can listen to my music as long and loud as I want. When I'm out in public, sitting at a coffee house sipping my latte (I really do that), I'm usually reading my Kindle (the original, now obsolete model).
Just last Friday the satellite radio introduced a new channel. It's a two-week temporary station called Simon and Garfunkel Radio, highlighting their music both together and individually. It's a promotional event celebrating the release of the fortieth-anniversary edition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," one of the most meaningful albums I ever owned.
In fact, it brought back memories of my sophomore year at UC Santa Barbara, just before the album was released. There were rumors that the title song was something special, and the campus radio station got hold of several demo versions. It was quite a tease, because the song was so beautiful and ethereal and unexpected. They got me listening to their station all day, just hoping to hear the latest version.
Anyway, both of my satellite radios have been tuned to the S&G station since it came on the air, and I'll keep listening for the duration. They also have more or less permanent channels dedicated to other artists, including Bruce Springsteen (E Street Radio) and Jimmy Buffett (Margaritaville Radio). And Elvis Presley and Pearl Jam.
There are also music stations for each of the last seven decades, and others for any genre or subgenre of music you can name. Seriously. You can't think of a style that doesn't have its own channel, and there are vast numbers of news, talk and sports channels. If this medium is on its way out, I for one will miss it.