Monday, October 31, 2011

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince "Nightmare On My Street"

I used to host a program call Request Radio on my old Virginia station.

Every night, for two hours, we would play only requests. And because we were independent, we didn't really have any restrictions on what we could, or would play.

Basically, if we had it, and someone asked for it, we would play it.

Spice Girls? Of course. Followed by Ozzy Osbourne? You bet.

One of the strangest phenomenons of Request Radio, is that within this little universe of fans who listened to the show every night, certain songs would become "hits." Maybe new songs, maybe old songs, but suddenly, something would catch on, and we'd play it every single night, night after night, over and over until the madness set it.

"Nightmare On My Street" was a silly novelty hit in 1988. WHY did it suddenly become hugely popular on Request Radio nearly a decade later?

Sure, it made sense to play it around Halloween. But people kept requesting it, night after night, into November, past Thanksgiving, for Christmas, and through months of winter into the Spring.

Now this was the old, pre-digital days of radio, when we had CDs, but we were just as likely to have a song on 45.

And one night, I just lost it.

I went on the air and said, "I am sick of this song, and I'm never playing it again. Listen closely."

Listeners heard a loud crack.

"That was the sound of me snapping the record in half. We don't have any more copies and we will never play that song again."

It was very satisfying. Even if it did mean that the kids would just get obsessed with something else stupid.

I'm smiling, thinking about the anachronism, feeling sorry for today's DJ.

Today, the DJ would have to say that he deleted the MP3 and could never play the song again. And before that sentence was over, some kid would have emailed a new copy of the song.

Hooray for analog technology!

Hear the song on Youtube.

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