Today we’re taking you back to the late 1980s with a programme of music generally described as “New Age” – of the kind you might have heard on a couple of FM radio stations in California at the time.
New Age music came to the fore in the mid-1980s, paralleling the rise of labels like Windham Hill, with radio stations like Metromedia’s KTWV in Los Angeles and KLRS in Santa Cruz. Ultimately the field (or at least the radio stations) morphed into “Smooth Jazz” – which perhaps had a rather broader appeal but at the same time rather lost the uniqueness and spirit that had originally typified the stations’ music.
Wikipedia says of KTWV, “The station changed [from rock station KMET after 14 February 1987] to a New Age Music/Soft Rock/Contemporary Jazz format with the nickname ‘The Wave’. The initial focus of this new format was primarily non-vocal new age music but over the years, the station moved to more of a smooth jazz sound. …The Wave had the title of being the first NAC station in the country but other media writers disagree with actually giving that title to KLRS (Colors) in Santa Cruz, CA which went on the air one month after The Wave – but KLRS played a true New Age music format thus becoming the first station in North America to debut a true New Age format until its demise in 1990.”
Today’s programme includes primarily (but not exclusively) the kind of music and artists that you might have heard on KTWV during a day in the second half of the 1980s when, in the view of many listeners from that time, it was at its best. It includes some of the station’s Wave Aid AIDS charity fundraising albums and a wide range of artists from the period.
Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. To listen from outside North America, click here to start your player if your browser is configured to do so.
This programme is also available in enhanced-quality AAC. Tune in here:http://220.127.116.11:9000/stream.m3u