MT. PLEASANT, Mich. -- The invention of the radio dates back to the late 1800s, and many inventors played a part in developing it into the entertainment and information medium we know today. If you can believe it, there was actually a time when people listened to rather than watched everything from news to shows (imagine the concept of "binge-listening" rather than "binge-watching")!
Even though television dominates most of our media nowadays, there's still one thing that many of us still turn to radio for, and that's music! In honor of National Radio Day on August 20th, here are Graff Mt. Pleasant's picks of some awesome songs from Billboard's Top 100 for each decade of music radio!
1940s: "PEOPLE WILL SAY WE'RE IN LOVE" - Frank Sinatra, 1943
Recorded during the early musician's strike of the 1940s which meant that a chorus had to be used in place of a band, "Ol' Blue Eyes" proves on his interpretation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that he didn't need instruments to croon his heart out.
1950s: "I WALK THE LINE" - Johnny Cash, 1956
The first chart-topping hit by the one and only "Man in Black", the unique chord progression in this song was inspired by backward playback of guitar runs Cash had recorded while stationed in Germany as a member of the Air Force. Why does he hum so much during? To find his pitch in amidst all those key changes!
1960s: "SHE LOVES YOU" - The Beatles, 1964
The "Fab Four" exploded onto the American music scene in the early 60s, causing countless teenage girls to lose their minds and forever leaving their mark on music history as one of the most influential acts of all time. This love song of theirs, unusually written from the perspective of a third rather than first party, is impossible to not belt at full volume.
1970s: "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" - Queen, 1976
Freddie Mercury's magnum opus is one of music's most iconic, fusing elements of rock and opera into nearly six minutes of mastery. Mercury's vocal range was so enormous and powerful that medical science has trouble explaining how it even existed in the first place, and "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a perfect example of his legendary capability notably the opening five-part harmony which is comprised entirely of his voice.
1980s: "MATERIAL GIRL" - Madonna, 1984
Michigan's own Madonna established herself as a hitmaker and pop icon with this punchy tune. While the song is often taken literally as valuing wealth over love, many critics have made a case for "Material Girl" being an early voice of feminism in music, coming from the perspective of a powerful and capable woman whose success allows her to have her pick of many suitors - although she subversively warns that money cannot buy happiness.
1990s: "I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU" - Whitney Houston, 1993
This song might have been written by Dolly Parton, but it arguably was made by Whitney Houston. Covered for the soundtrack to The Bodyguard in which Houston starred alongside Kevin Costner, this impassioned ballad spent 14 weeks at number one, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time, and the best-selling single released by a woman in music history.
2000s: "ARE YOU GONNA BE MY GIRL?" - Jet, 2004
It's impossible not to dance to this solid, honest-to-goodness bit of rock n' roll from Australian quartet, Jet. While many comparisons have between the song and Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" and The White Stripes' "Screwdriver", drummer Nic Cester has cited Motown greats Martha and the Vandellas and the Supremes as its principle inspirations.
2010s: "ROLLING IN THE DEEP" - Adele, 2010
Her first number one single in the United States, Adele channels Wanda Jackson with a dash of Tina Turner in this song from the perspective of a scorned lover who makes the hard realization that, despite lingering sentiments, reconciliation is not possible. With over 7.6 million copies sold, "Rolling in the Deep" holds the record for the best-selling digital single by a female artist in the US. Note: She says "ship".
We hope you've enjoyed this trip through musical time with us, and encourage you to remember that the musicians listed here as well as your personal favorites owe much of their careers to the radio! This National Radio Day, support your local radio station and thus your favorite artists by tuning in and enjoying the music!
At Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant we strive to provide our customers with a car buying experience that is accommodating, stress-free and fun! Visit us at our Chevrolet dealership located at 4580 E Pickard Rd in Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 or our Buick GMC Cadillac dealership located at 116 N. Mission St in Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.