I was listening to a radio station, yesterday (yes, actual over-the air-radio).
Radio must be a tough gig, these days, with a deluge of modern on-line and streaming possibilities. How do you compete, when the average person can choose almost anything they want to hear at the very moment they want to hear it? What’s the point of having to listen what someone else decides you should listen to, followed by 8 minutes of commercials that NO ONE wants to listen to?
Well, these guys play everything. “The Gamut” radio. A typical track listing: A song from Bon Jovi, followed by something from Donna Summer, followed by the Andrew Sisters, followed by Bing Crosby, then back to something more modern from Lady GaGa, then, what the heck, Men Without Hats. With this kind of variety, you may actually seek them out just to hear what’s playing. Most likely, it’s something you’ve never even heard before.
Which brought me to this simple point: There is more music on this planet than anyone knows what to do with, or will ever hear in their lifetime. Countless new recordings released every day. There were 75,000 albums released in the US in 2010. That’s ONLY the US. These numbers only increases when you talk Digital releases, which is now open to practically anyone who can record their voice and upload it to a service. Heck, even I have a comedy album (serious, click this link).
Now, multiply this by television and film releases, and all the expanding producers and venues in the digital world (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sony, etc.), and I also realize that, NO ONE; musician, actor, or personality, will be remembered after we all leave the planet for subsequent generations. Yes, there are some shining exceptions to the rule, but one day, even they will fall by the wayside.
Lesson: Do the thing that you love. Never do it for the fame or fortune. Just do it. Even if you “make it”, continue to do it for the love of the art and the joy of creation – because even with success and fame, one day you’ll be Bing Crosby. Go ahead, ask a 15-year old who Bing Crosby is. Or Peter Lorre. Or Gary Shandling, or Henry Winkler…