In the spring of 2000, Ann and I moved to Madison, back home to Wisconsin after several years of living in Iowa and Illinois. We moved the same weekend the Badgers played in the Final Four. A couple of weekends later, we discovered Saturday at the 70s for the first time. After listening for most of the day I said to Ann, "They need me." It was a joke, mostly; although I was a 70s music geek, I had been out of radio entirely for a couple of years by then and had no plans to get back in. I did, however, send Pat O'Neill a fan letter. (Fan e-mail, actually.) I said I liked the show, and I even gave him a bit of programming advice, about one song I thought was remarkably terrible. He was kind enough to write back, and joked that he would take another listen to the song I mentioned. (I'm not going to tell you the name of it, but it's not in the library today. You're welcome.)
In 2008, I would finally get to be on Saturday at the 70s. It was a thrill then, and it's still my favorite thing to do now. I like it because so many of the songs are ones I remember from when I was a kid, songs I bought on 45s or vinyl albums. But Saturday at the 70s has fans who were born during the 70s, or even *after* the 70s. Here's why: There's an incredible variety to 70s music. What other decade's music spans a spectrum from the Rolling Stones to Donna Summer to Steve Martin's "King Tut"? There's a level of creativity that's unmatched. Nobody ever took the Beatles' ideas further than the Electric Light Orchestra; Steely Dan invented an entirely new style of music that nobody else has been able to duplicate. Certain 70s bands will always be cool: each new generation of kids discovers Queen, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin, and finds them as fascinating as the first generation of fans did. And if you play "I Will Survive" for a teenage girl who just got dumped by her boyfriend, it'll become her personal anthem.
I'm not the only member of the Magic crew who loves Saturdays. Sara, Juli, and I invite you to come hang with us all day tomorrow.