I have been in Salt Lake City for a while now and one of my biggest complaints has been the radio stations. It may sound petty, but try living somewhere with bad radio stations. It becomes a big deal if you like music and you drive. Like everywhere, Salt Lake has a few top 40 stations and the usual other nonsense, but there was no station that played music I grew up with, namely, 80s and 90s hip-hop and R&B. Until now.
Just the other day, again, as I was scanning the airwaves looking for something decent to listen to on my car radio that has no Bluetooth (Bluetooth, I always said, could solve my problem because I could stream whatever I wanted, but alas, my car is old enough that it was a non-standard feature back then, if it even existed), I came across a song I recognized and stopped. “What station was this?” I thought. I sang out loud in the car to that song, and the next song, and the next. This was not today’s unskilled, demeaning, boring, hip-hop, but instead it was inspired, talented, story-telling music from the genre’s glory days of twenty years ago. And it was here in Salt Lake City.
94.9 The Vibe (“Classic Hip-Hop”) is here and it is my new favorite radio station. I have lived in New York and San Francisco, where radio stations are world class, and The Vibe is up there among the best I have heard. I know radio is a dying breed, but in the car that is sometimes all I have. And my view of Salt Lake and its once horrible radio stations has been changed. I hope the audience here is large enough to appreciate it and make it stay, or we may see this station go the way of all of the smooth jazz stations across the country. But until then, I will be a loyal listener; they have already won me over.