Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

The lack of foreign music in American radio stations

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in both countries, Brazil and the USA. I remember being  a young teen in the 70’s and listening to Italian and French music, mostly romantic. Gigliola Cinquetti, Rita Pavoni, Domenico Modugno (“Volare”), the San Remo festival all comes to mind. Brazilian stations played and still play music from other countries.

In the 80’s, I listened to a lot of Britpop, which I still listen to. New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, The Cure and more. Ok, but these songs are in English and they sometimes play in American radio stations, specially U2.

Now, try to find one Italian or French or German song in the Amercican stations! You will certainly find a lot of Spanish stations directed to the hispanic population, but they are a world apart. I am talking about mainstream radio stations, especially the oldies ones. Why do they ignore music from other countries? Is it all commercialism, protectionism or Americans’ aversion to languages “they cannot understand”? The latter may be true because my husband, like a typical monolinguist, cannot listen to 5 minutes of Brazilian music or any other language for that matter without going nuts. He says he does not like to hear music he cannot understand, even if the melody and arrangements are beautiful. Hello!

I remember my parents went to Russia for an agricultual economics conference (in the communist days) back in 1970. They brought back an album with the most popular Russian singers. It was pop music from the 70’s. The songs were beautiful, the voices cristaline, and I listened to those songs over and over without understanding a word!

So besides not liking the songs in most radio stations nowadays (too much hip hop), I miss listening to European music. I do not care too much for satellite radio (too many channels!) and not free…

Maybe if I find a way to hook up my iPhone to my car radio and play AOL radio or Pandora…


October 15, 2008 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Society

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