Saturday, August 18, 2007

Melodies of Germany and Austria: 89.5 FM

The 89.5 FM frequency probably has the most unusual programming in the Dayton area. I've already mentioned the Hungarian Program on Sundays. On Saturdays 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM one can hear Melodies of Germany and Austria, “Melodien von Deutschland und Ostereich”, hosted by Dieter, Eva, and Marita. Usually its Eva und Marita co-hosting, but occasionally Dieter hosts by himself.

The show is a mix of schlager and volksmusik. For example one can hear songs like 'Patrona Bavaria' (a good example of volksmusik) as well as music from the Alps, a popular volksmusik source. Some of this straight volksmusik, but sometimes with more of a pop arrangement and orchestration.

The show also plays schlager, German pop music from the postwar era. Schlager used to be considered very uncool (probably still is) and not worthy of study, but with the advent of cultural studies there has been some interesting scholarly things written on this musical style, which interprets the genre in terms of postwar German culture as well as musical influences
One can hear old standards (called “Evergreens” in German) like Seeman, (Deine Heimat ist Das Meer) and artists like Freddy Quinn…
Freddy, known for his sailor/nautical themed songs, was Germanys entry in the first Eurovision song contest:

The show also plays more modern schlager, and schlager translations of US pop songs, where German words are sung to the American tunes (often having nothing to do with the English lyrics).

The show also has announcements of what the local German clubs are doing: dinners, dances, and so forth. They also do PSAs for non-German ethnic clubs, like polka dances at the Czechoslovak Club.

For a metropolitan area as small as Dayton to have a radio show like this is, I think, pretty special. The show is certainly a window on a musical culture that one doesn’t hear from very often in the USA, sort of an alternative style of pop music

No comments: