Sparkle and Fade

Radio personality Tom Kent had this to say about radio airplay of Whitney Houston’s music:

Kent predicts that “After this week, Whitney Houston music will disappear from the airwaves once again.”

He says “The reason why Whitney will never be a ‘classic’ artist is because the record labels designed her music to be disposable. It was mostly synthesized and had a high burn factor, setting the stage for the next Whitney single. It was brilliant short-term marketing of one of the most gifted performers of our time, but the long-term effect was that her music has not stood the test of time.”

[…]

“…[the industry’s] lack of vision not only killed her career, but killed her. She was enabled by the record industry to self-destruct, and she did.”

Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park...
Whitney Houston - Concert in Central Park / Good Morning America 2009 (Photo credit: asterix611)

Think about it for a moment.  When was the last time you idly thought, “Gee, I wonder what Whitney Houston is up to?”  I certainly hadn’t wondered in at least… maybe 15 years?  Maybe more?  I had gotten an email notification on Saturday night that the news was reporting her death.  Until that night, I had no idea where she was or what she was doing for the last decade and a half.  Makes you wonder what other disposable pop stars will be forgotten when their time comes.  Britney Spears?  Ke$ha?  Gaga?

Classic rock radio is littered with dead rock stars continuing to get airplay to this day.  Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia… Kurt Cobain… you get the idea.  Even Karen Carpenter gets airplay when Christmas rolls around.  I guess that’s going to be Whitney’s fate.  After the attention on Whitney fades, we won’t hear from her again until December when we’re in the local shopping mall.

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Author: Chuck

I started out as a child, then things kind of grew from there.  I spend way too much time around computers and radios, but I do like to take a break once in a while.  I'm not a real doctor, but I played one on the radio in college. A bit later on, I wrote an article that was published in COMPUTE!'s Gazette (Commodore 64/128 magazine). I also think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

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