When radio play bombs, bless those CDs

Radio music in the car can be a good thing. But not always.

There is within us the capacity to endure things moderately disagreeable — up to a point and a time limit.

That point is annulled, that time limit expires immediately for me when it comes to explosive rock or tormented heartbreak.

Clashing noise and caterwauling get zapped.


Same with tedious, monotonous, endless muddy streams of commercials.

But the station has never been switched when delivering the voices of Willie Nelson or Nat King Cole or Ray Charles, Doris Day or Dionne Warwick or Rosemary Clooney.

OK, old timers, all.

Just like me.

Folk songs are fine until they get too wound up in the politics of train wrecks and mining disasters.

And I love country music until we reach such heights as a tractor that turned over and smashed somebody in three-quarters time. A wailing waltz is too much.

This doesn’t apply to David Allen Coe’s brilliant satire that includes the line, “I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison.”

However, Slim Whitman reaches the borderline with “Please paint a rose on the garden wall so mom will think summer’s still here.”

Huh uh, Slim, ol’ buddy. Too much mush.

Hypersensitivity? Nah, more like hyper-intolerance. Involuntary channel-hopping due to intemperance of the ear.

Which is why cars come equipped with a CD deck. Thank the gods of technology.

With a CD aboard, you can turn off the unwanted sounds of poor music-selection, as well as really bad, boring, stupid and mundane commercial messages.

Just for the record — the CD, that is — you can enjoy the late Messrs. Cole or Charles, or Mr. Nelson, who is now 86 but still singing beautifully through his nose by ear.

Embattled highbrows of the rank of the incredibly gifted David Ogden Stiers’ Major Charles Emerson Winchester (M*A*S*H), can enjoy opera with a flick of the disc. No station-switching needed.

With a well-chosen CD, country fans can enjoy the stuff that never gets forgot — twangs they love so much about “mom and them” and trucks and hard times and prison.

And when the station that promises smooth, easy listening, but too often shatters your ears and your mind with punk rock and grunge metal and bubblegum pop and a shipload of unwanted commercials ….

You slide in the blessed CD.

The road gets much smoother with Count Basie in the front seat with you. Or Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman.

With friends like these, there is no unreflective urge to smash the car radio.

Let the game come to you — always carry a CD.

Corky Simpson is a veteran journalist who writes a column for the Green Valley News.

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