Things That Threaten My Sanity: Station Call Letters in Songs
When a singer sends every radio station a personalized version of his* current single with that station’s call letters not-so-subtly slipped into the lyrics, it always makes me cringe. Sure, it might give the artist a slight competitive edge, but it’s also like a confession that the song probably can’t compete on its own merits: it needs to resort to flattery. And seriously, why should the station be flattered? The singer probably burnt through a huge list of call letters in the span of an hour. It’s highly unlikely that he knows KNCI from KTOM… or cares. He’s just stroking radio ego.
This whole trend reminds me of the developmental stage where toddlers will, with utter incomprehension, repeat anything they’re told. Sure, it can be entertaining to hear the little tyke repeat classic lines from The Godfather. But look at the way he watches you for affirmation, measuring the effect of what he just said, and try not to feel a little guilty for abusing the privilege. Kids are more interesting when they stop parroting and start taking some stances. The same is true of musical artists. When they’re willing to sing any station name handed to them just to get a nod of approval from Papa Radio, they come across as weak and needy. How about going out on a limb and having a little faith in the song and performance as it is?
* Why does this seem to happen most often with male singers?