Who's Got the Beatles? WEAM's Got the Beatles!
D.C.'s 1960s Top 40 machine, WEAM, is long gone from 1390 on the AM dial--it's now called Continental Radio and features broadcasts in Spanish, Amharic and other languages of the Washington immigrant world. But for those who grew up here in the 60s, WEAM was the sound of the city, the beat of a generation.
This afternoon on XM satellite radio, WEAM will be back, in a five-hour re-creation masterminded by Terry Motormouth Young, the deejay who puts together XM's "Sonic Sound Salutes," faithful reconstructions of the radio stations of a couple of generations ago. The broadcast will be available on XM's Channel 6 or if you don't subscribe to the pay service, you can listen by signing up for a free trial at listen.xmradio.com
Or you can hear some of the actual original WEAM sounds archived on Webly Webster right here.
This is not the first time Young has channeled the voices and jingles and hit tunes that made WEAM the go-go (no, not that go-go, the one with the white boots and the Hullaballoo! hits) sound of D.C. He recreated WEAM a couple of years ago and the Post's Paul Farhi wrote about it here.
XM's dedication to the sounds of the stations that Americans grew up with in the 60s and 70s is one of the important distinctions between XM and Sirius that make their likely impending merger all the more disappointing and worth fighting.
The two satellite services each do different things extremely well, and they each have their weak points. There are avid fans of both, and depending on what your particular passions may be, a different service might be right for you. Hard core jazz fans tend to gravitate toward Sirius, while rockers tell me they find the XM approach reaches deeper into the vaults. Baseball lovers choose XM, while football fans need Sirius. That latter divide is easily papered over in a merged satellite world, but the different notions of how to do music radio represent a real divide in approach and philosophy--just one of many reasons why the proposed merger is a bad, though understandable, idea.
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