March 09, 2005
His prices are INNN-SAAAAAAAANE!
If you grew up anywhere near New York and you have any memory of the 70s and early 80s, the title of this post surely lit some long-disused neurons.
Crazy Eddie was a legendary audio/video/electronics retailer famous for his "INN-SAAAAAANE!" TV and radio commericals, always done on the cheap and featuring the same manic spokesman. Recently I was reading one of my regular Internet bulletin boards, the New York Radio Message Board, when I happened on this fascinating thread where an insider discusses the rise and precipitous, felonious fall of "Crazy" Eddie Antal and his brain-searing commercials.
I highly recommend the NY Radio Message Board, by the way, for anyone with an interest in New York radio. It's mostly populated by pros, and it's chock full of inside dope about the business, art, technicalities, ratings and regulatory issues of radio programming. Air America is frequently discussed. (Success or failure? Basically, liberals say it's raking in the dough, conservatives say it's on fiscal life support. Liberals say its ratings are strong, conservatives say they're in the dumper. Much Talmudic dissection of dayparts and demographics is involved).
One of the interesting topics discussed a while back was: Since there are really no broad-based "Top 40" stations playing a wide variety of music any more, and there is no real "top 40" that everyone knows and shares, will there be any "oldies" stations in the future? Since everyone's listening to a different kind of music, how can there be? And, I would argue: Since radio has made itself irrelevant with a combination of cookie-cutter non-local programming, canned playlists dictated by conglomerates, and intolerable commercial loads, where will its future loyal listeners come from, the ones who stick around long enough for their favorite songs to become oldies?
The site, incidentally, began as a tribute to Musicradio77 WABC, which needs no introduction for those who remember it, and for which any introduction would be insufficient for those who never heard it. There are enough airchecks (recordings of shows) on the site to send anyone who remembers AM pop radio into a nostalgic reverie.
I went to school briefly with Eddie Antar's daughter. She died of cancer a few days after graduating high school.
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