Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Lord have mercy!"

This might not fit neatly into my weekly reviews of various houses of worship, but I'd be remiss if I didn't voice my anger at the removal of Jim Ladd from KLOS.

For those not in the know, Jim Ladd is a legacy broadcaster who helped to transform FM radio and fought to preserve its uniqueness. He is known as the last of the freeform rock jocks, operating without a playlist and choosing -- or letting his listeners choose -- the music on their radio station. Jim Ladd often referred to radio as the "tribal drum" that called a community together and united them through the gift of music.

I won't presume to know about Jim Ladd's faith, but he strikes me as being a very spiritual individual. If he's ever spoken of his specific beliefs, I never heard it; mostly I've heard him express love and compassion towards all of humanity (with the possible exception of a few station managers and politicians).

I wanted to share a set of songs for those who know of him and for those who do not; he really is a special broadcaster. This set of songs evolved from a request made by one of his listeners, namely me. I called into his show about 10 years ago and talked with him. I was in a foul mood and I requested he play some sort of music to provide a little hope on what had been a dreary day. Jim Ladd provided in a way few DJs can do; he selected some songs that were spiritual and uplifting... songs that were not on anybody's playlist. What happened then was amazing: It lit a spark that ignited the community, and soon other listeners were calling in requesting songs to add to the list. The community came together via the tribal drum, and the music on Jim Ladd's show connected us in spirit.

Jim Ladd is not dead, and I have little doubt he will resurface on another station soon. In the meantime, if you'd care to hear some of the set he created specifically to help strengthen me, click here. The audio is converted for a cassette tape (remember those), so apologies for the lower quality and tape hiss.

Lord, have mercy.


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