Main: Dawn of a New Age

in Daily Programme

by rieladmin on Saturday, 17 September, 2011

Light Music” can be defined as melodic, instrumental music and although its traditional form was derived from the music of the seaside bands of the late 19th century, there is plenty of music that fits that definition even if its roots are in jazz (for the most part) and its heritage quite different.

The music we are referring to is often termed “New Age”. It 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 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.

Elrik Merlin notes: “As a visitor to Southern California from the 1970s and a resident for a decade until eight years ago, it’s curious that the 94.7 spot on the FM dial provided my personal soundtrack for Southern California for many years. In the 70s and early 80s I listened to rock station KMET — in preference to KLOS and ‘that KROQ across town’ – and I remember the ‘St Valentine’s Day massacre’ in 1987 when the station, having lost touch with its audience (arguably as a result of bringing in East Coast consultants), became ‘The Wave’ and introduced the new format. Times were changing, yet my own tastes were always broadening too, and I enjoyed the new station a great deal.”

Then join us at 1pm and 7pm Pacific Time (7pm and 3am in the UK) for the latest instalments in our wonderful radio serials from ZBS Foundation: Traveling Jack at the top of the hour, followed by a new set of tales from Saratoga Springs.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with our friends at the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme in-world now at, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link:

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.


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