Music means a lot to me. Maybe too much — I have to have it at all times! If a song catches my ear I will remember forever where and when I first heard it.
When I landed in Quartzsite as a boondocking RVer — no electricity; no television — I bought a little radio that pulled in two FM stations. Both played classic rock and I enjoyed hearing the 25-year old songs. Coming from a big-city multi-format new-music radio market, that first week was pleasantly nostalgic. The next week the same songs played every day and grew familiar again. Hearing the SAME songs week three irritated me.
I discovered Quartzsite’s own little radio station, KBUX, that formed the soundtrack to the Quartzsite experience. Polkas, waltzes and country tunes flowed from RVs, stores and vendor booths. The “programming” was switching between two long reel-to-reel tapes —played, rewound, re-played. Waaaay too much repetition!
Making the best of the situation I amused myself by making up new lyrics for old songs. I knew the words by heart so the task was pretty easy. ‘Mess’ became ‘dress’ as in “What a Beautiful Dress I’m In.” This turned into some raucous campfire fun at night and quickly grew from nutty to naughty.
Terri Clark’s “When Boy Meets Girl” devolved into “When Boyd Meets Earl.” And any lyric with the word ‘truck,’ well, that’s just fair game.
I learned about an AM station in Parker, KLPZ, that featured live, local on air talent. Imagine! A local business employing local people and keeping local advertising dollars in the community.
Ten years later KLPZ thrives; growing, changing, adding new programs and talent — even throwing in an occasional thrill ride (yuk, yuk). AND — this is great — we can call in song requests. I have my own personal juke box in the Little Bit More Show. What fun!
And 10 years later those classic rock stations are still playing the SAME songs, now 35 years old. I pity my rock-jock pals whose station managers restrict them to small playlists. Their poor ears!
Rock on, KLPZ!!!
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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.