In Britain, sad music floods the airwaves as radio mourns the queen

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  37 comments

In Britain, sad music floods the airwaves as radio mourns the queen
As the country was still processing the death, British radio had already turned down the dial on the pep and begun providing listeners with more somber sounds: Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” for example, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” The Cars’ “Drive” and a lot of Adele, Cooper said.

What would you consider to be appropriately "somber" music for mourning the death of a national leader in the US ? 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



www.washingtonpost.com   /arts-entertainment/2022/09/10/sad-music-radio-queen-elizabeth/

In Britain, sad music floods the airwaves as radio mourns the queen


Kelsey Ables 6-8 minutes   9/10/2022





If anyone in the United Kingdom was prepared for the emotional fallout of the   death of Queen Elizabeth   on Thursday, it was the country’s radio DJs and producers.

Ben Cooper, chief content and music officer at   Bauer Media Audio UK , a company that operates dozens of British radio stations, said that at the time of the queen’s death, blue “obit   lights” flashed in radio stations around the country. Long-standing protocols, known as “obit plans,” quickly kicked into gear. There would be no more advertisements. No on-air competitions. Prepared playlists flooded the airwaves.


As the country was still processing the death, British radio had already turned down the dial on the pep and begun providing listeners with more somber sounds: Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” for example, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” The Cars’ “Drive” and a lot of Adele, Cooper said.

The tonal shift was happening not just at Bauer’s stations, but across the radio landscape as well — from major broadcasters to local stations. Even Fun Kids, the British equivalent of Radio Disney, switched to playing instrumental versions of children’s movie music to reflect the national mood, said station manager Matt Deegan.

For many in Britain — where, according to a recent   survey   by   Radio Joint Audience Research , 89 percent of the population listens to the radio for, on average, 20 hours a week — the expectation was clear: The country is in mourning.

It goes beyond radio. During the official 10-day mourning period, some sporting events and festivals have been canceled. Comedy shows have been removed from TV programming.

Such sensitivity isn’t legally mandated but is widely expected, Cooper said. “Radio stations are the soundtrack for society. And you have to reflect the mood of the nation. It boils down to the fact that this was someone’s grandmother, someone’s mother, and the British population has a huge affinity and love for her. And so when someone dies, you don’t want to play loud music or be in a celebratory mood.”

Deegan, of Fun Kids, said the British Broadcasting Corporation has set high expectations for radio’s response to troubling times. “Here, radio is such a part of people’s lives, and we’re very fortunate to have the public’s interest, so we work very hard to give them something decent to listen to,” he said. “I think that’s why we may be more reflective on a point like this.”

For his station, complying with such expectations can be tricky. “Kids songs are upbeat,” he said. “They’re about dancing around, having a laugh, singing along, and so when you want to do something else, you have to think hard about it.” But you don’t want to be caught playing a song like “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” right now, he said.

For industry insiders like Cooper and Deegan, the death of the queen is a moment for which they have been meticulously prepared. Cooper has worked in radio for three decades and says the protocol for a major death, such as that of the queen, is “drilled into you.”

“It is something that has been in the back of my mind throughout the whole of my career, that this is something that you have to get right,” he said.

Cooper worked as a producer on a pop music station   at the BBC at the time of Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and remembers the grief mounting across several days. “You had to mirror that sadness,” he said. “It lasted pretty much all the way through to her funeral.”

Now, Cooper oversees Bauer UK, which has stations ranging from the pop-centric KISS to a station focusing on the hits of the 1970s to 1990s — all of which have begun playing their format-specific sad songs: Beyoncé’s “Halo,” for example, or Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.”

According to Cooper, stations are expected to start introducing more midtempo music in the coming days but will return to somber tunes for the day of the funeral, Sept. 19. He has encouraged producers and hosts to monitor the emotional pulse of their audiences.

Some listeners applaud the change. When Polly Sharpe, a 45-year-old lecturer in journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, left the house for the first time after hearing of the queen’s death, she found solace driving to the reflective 1990s music that Bauer’s Absolute Radio was playing. “It was quite nice to have the music to allow me to think about it rather than having the reporters talk to me about how we should be feeling,” she said.

Sharpe heard songs by the English rock group Elbow and other soothing music and thought about the sense of stability the queen had brought her in anxious times. “It felt like we were this tiny island, but at least we had this amazing woman.”

Not everyone agrees about how best to honor the queen .   Lex Wilson, 19, who lives outside Newcastle and listens to the radio at work, says the tone doesn’t feel quite right. It’s not that she’s against the queen, she explains, but that the music programming misses an opportunity. “I feel like hearing all of this sad music, it’s not reflecting the celebration of what was such a great and long rule by Queen Elizabeth.”

James Ward, a journalist based in Bristol, simply doesn’t get the fuss. “It’s been absolutely bonkers,” he said. “As you walk down the street, every 20 yards you see the picture of the queen. It’s insane. This is the kind of thing that we make fun of North Korea for doing.”

Listening to the radio, Ward has heard local DJs with no national media experience struggle to meet the moment.

“They’re just dragging out anything that they think sounds plausibly sad,” he said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. Songs I’ve never even heard, like power ballads from the ’80s. There’s this charade of solemnity. It’s not their responsibility to grieve on behalf of the nation, but that’s the task that they’ve been given.”

Ward is alarmed by the way the media has abandoned stories about, say, the energy crisis, which could kill people who cannot afford to heat their homes this winter. “There’s a real kind of sinister side to it,” he said of the incessant mourning. “The lack of impartiality. The assumption that everyone in the country wants this.”

While such sorrowfulness might send Ward to Spotify, Cooper believes this kind of event can actually increase loyalty to radio.

“We talk a lot in the media about streaming services and playlists, but radio is so much more than a playlist,” he said. “It is that connection to the zeitgeist and capturing those feelings in the ‘live-ness’ of radio. I think this moment shows the power of the medium.”




Article is LOCKED by author/seeder
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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

What would you consider to be appropriately "somber" music for mourning the death of a national leader in the US ? 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Penny Lane celebrates part of her era:

Penny Lane, there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It's a clean machine
 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
1.2  Hallux  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I would call Adele's music more depressing than somber. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I would play "The Greatest" by George Benson, "Make Someone Happy" by Jimmy Durante, "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood, and "Smile" by Michael Jackson

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
3.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh1hKt5kQ_4

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4  JBB    2 weeks ago

I suppose the pomp and pageantry of her funeral and his coronation will be historic but at the end it seems like a good time to scrap the anachronism.

The Richest Woman in the World is Dead. Now Charles and Camilla can retire to a council house in Leeds and the rest can get real jobs selling cars or real estate. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4    2 weeks ago
at the end it seems like a good time to scrap the anachronism.

It's not my country or culture or tradition, I'm happy to let the Brits decide their own way ahead.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.1  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.1    2 weeks ago

The English can do whatever they want. The idea that an elite group of the whitest of all people are practically worshipped because their great great great granddaddy was the most ruthless climber of all seems a false hierarchy for modern times.

I just watched the Queen arriving in Edinburgh...

The hundred guards and marching band kilt it!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
I just watched the Queen arriving in Edinburgh...

Why?

The hundred guards and marching band kilt it!

Good one!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
The idea that an elite group of the whitest of all people are practically worshipped because their great great great granddaddy was the most ruthless climber of all seems a false hierarchy for modern times.

That got me thinking so I looked it up.  The House of Windsor started with King George V, Elizabeth's grandfather, not her "great great great granddaddy".

was the most ruthless climber of all

I don't know about ruthless, he was a grandson of Queen Victoria andhis father and older brother died.  Are you suggesting that he had them killed?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.4  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.1.3    2 weeks ago

The queen's granddaddy changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor over World War One because it was too German!

Elizabeth is a direct descendant of George III and Queen Victoria. Her lineage goes back to feudal times.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.1.5  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.1.4    2 weeks ago

You've done it again jbb.  Your effective posts got me to turn on CNN.  How disgusting, all off this coverage in the US media of an elite member "of the whitest of all people" being worshipped by all of those white nationalists lining the roads that her coffin travels and at the gates of her stolen palaces.   Now I understand that President Biden will attend her funeral, doesn't it just want to make you vomit?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1.6  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.1.5    2 weeks ago

Vomiting? Are you feeling nauseous again?

That reminded me to lite a candle for you...

A neighbor brought them to me from Haiti.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.1.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.1.6    2 weeks ago
Vomiting? Are you feeling nauseous again?

Exactly, doesn't white, racist nationalists worshipping the body of this whitest of white make you feel the same way? 

That reminded me to lite a candle for you..

Thanks, but is that environmentally responsible?

A neighbor brought them to me from Haiti.

I know that they can use the commerce. It's not as easy for them to get here as those in Central America. 

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
4.2  afrayedknot  replied to  JBB @4    2 weeks ago

‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.2.1  JBB  replied to  afrayedknot @4.2    2 weeks ago

The March of The Winkies from The Wizard Of Oz plays in my head when the Queen's Guard goes marching round in bearskin hats.

Like, "Oh-Ri-Ole Oh-Rioles Oh-Ri-Ole Oh-Rioles"

Do they singing of songbirds or snack cookies?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @4.2.1    2 weeks ago

Must you be so impertinent?

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
4.2.3  afrayedknot  replied to  JBB @4.2.1    2 weeks ago

Hah…as a kid watching I always heard: ‘oh we love the oollddd one’

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.2.4  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @4.2.2    2 weeks ago

Bugger Off!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @4.2.4    2 weeks ago

Ever heard of:

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander"?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.2.6  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @4.2.5    2 weeks ago

No! I never heard that before. How original! /s

original

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.2.1    2 weeks ago
The March of The Winkies from The Wizard Of Oz plays in my head when the Queen's Guard goes marching round

LoL, I remember having the same thought decades ago when I saw Angela Davis speak on my campus.  She had these Black Panther body guards on stage with her and when they brought her out and when they escorted her off stage they did these syncopated, soulful military moves, instead of bearskin hats, they wore black berets.  So maybe more French than English.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.8  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.2.4    2 weeks ago
Bugger Off!

You certainly know your British slang, jbb.  Are you a closeted Anglophile?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.2.9  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @4.2.6    2 weeks ago

Always glad to enlighten those in darkness.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.2.11  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2.7    2 weeks ago

I wonder if that is in your Hoover Era FBI file. You must have been counterculture, or...

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.12  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.2.11    2 weeks ago
I wonder if that is in your Hoover Era FBI file.

LoL, the FBI has never shared files with lowly me.

You must have been counterculture, or...

Not sure what your definition is of counterculture, but my first trip to DC was during the largest anti-Vietnam war protest, in late  April 1971.  Estimates were 500,000 but maybe that was Trump-like hyperbole.   I was fortunate enough, as a high schooler to get a seat to watch John Kerry's statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971.  Very interesting and a great party on the Mall.

Where were you then, scalding live pigs in OK?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
4.2.13  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @4.2.11    2 weeks ago

Speaking of pork, do you enjoy Beaststro in the South Bronx? Jerk pork riblets, full rack of ST. Louis ibs, and my favorite, Pernil, a portion of roast pork shoulder, with rice & beans and salsa verde?  Their pulled pork sandwich is pretty dam good as well. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
4.3  Ender  replied to  JBB @4    2 weeks ago
a council house

Ha. I wonder how many people here know what that means.

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
4.3.1  Hallux  replied to  Ender @4.3    2 weeks ago

Council houses are very small (not enough room for a Corgi) and usually divided into 2 residences. You can Google Earth the one I grew up in until 1957 at:

13 N End Rd, Yapton, England

It's a stones throw from the Maypole Inn frequented by both my father and grandfather.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Anybody going to be on topic or should I just close the article? 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @5    2 weeks ago

On topic, I would have to wonder how many people actually listen to the radio anymore.

I only do in the car.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Ender @5.1    2 weeks ago

The article states that 89% of Britons listen to the radio 20 hours a week. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
5.1.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Ender @5.1    2 weeks ago

I listen to NPR and SiriusXM at home and in the car.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Ender  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.2    2 weeks ago

At home I either do Youtube vids or listen to my Itunes.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
6  Drinker of the Wry    2 weeks ago
Annie Lennox: “I think she did an incredible job of staying on course throughout the extraordinary events of her reign and her lifetime. Whether you happen to be pro or anti monarchy, there’s no question that she totally performed her duties par excellence right up to a few days before her passing…Britain has lost one of its most outstanding monarchs, the like of which I doubt will ever be seen again.”

Well said Annie.

 
 

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