One of my greatest memories as a kid was watching Hee-Haw with my grandfather. I’m sure he was watching for the country music (maybe not, I was only 7), but I also remember him laughing quite a bit, so he must have been into the whole show. In this day of so much impersonal and predictable programming on the radio, I’ve been so happy to find a voice that has made listening to the radio Hee-Hawesque, which means fun (and maybe even fun for my grandfather…except he passed away a long time ago, but who knows, you know what I mean…).
So, here is my first full fledged recommendation. I reserve the right to pull it back if Eldon ever wins the Tour de France and is found to have been using steroids. There must be standards, you know.
Alright, The Eldon Thacker Show is a must listen for a few reasons. First, the music is authentic. The format of the show could be called Americana, but I think that might be too limiting. Eldon seems to reach for songs that cover whatever genre he feels like playing. The variety makes listening an adventure, like a box of something other than chocolates. Country, rock, old school R&B, blues, they are all there for the listening. Playlists are published to his web page, but you must speak Thacker to find them, so look for the Yammerin’ tab. In fact, just this week on Show-190, Lefty Frizzell and Aretha Franklin joined with Black Prairie and Crow Moses to give the show some old and some new. Yet all of it was tight and fresh because each of these artists are under represented on today’s mainstream air waves.
Second reason to listen..? The show is funny. There is a feel to the comedy skits that is Laugh In or WKRP in Cincinnati. While that might seem old to some, imagine clean humor with plenty of double entendre. The jokes are good corny, seem to shoot for common, as in everyday situations (What’s not funny about fart jokes?), but are done with taste, and sophisticated wit, so I’m not afraid to listen with my family. Good, clean fun…
Finally, Eldon is just as authentic as the music he plays. I get the sense from listening to the shows that he sincerely believes in his self-described role as “music preservationist.” Now, that’s a big title, but he seems to relish his opportunity to go Indiana Jones on the music industry. Eldon talks of new artists with the right amount of promotion and respect while he holds older artists with a reverence appropriate for their contributions to music history. I don’t get the sense Eldon is in it for any reasons other than fun, providing a varied and independent voice to music programming, making sure music is heard not lost, and maybe he needs to feed some deep rooted idiocy or lunacy, something we should all do more often.
Please go check out the Eldon Thacker Show and find out for yourself. The show airs live Sunday nights at 10pm Central Time on 1510 WLAC-AM. You can also catch the replays at EldonThacker.com (my Monday choice), or listen via wlac.com.