Picks and Pans Review: Radio Concerts
ABC's FM network last year inaugurated its Supergroups series, eight shows that are scheduled for 1980. The first—Blondie in London—ran in March and included a solid two-hour set, minus time for commercials and some chitchat with Deborah Harry. The sound quality was excellent, and the audience enthusiasm more than made up for the technical tricks Blondie had to leave in the studio. The next Supergroups concert, featuring the Cars, airs April 19 on most of the 200 ABC FM stations (check local listings), and Styx, the Moody Blues and Chicago appear later in the year. Most of the 500-station ABC Entertainment (both AM and FM) network, meanwhile, will broadcast the second of its new Country Greats in Concert series April 12, with a spirited hour-long set by Tanya Tucker. Ronnie Milsap is scheduled for May 3, the Oak Ridge Boys for June 7, Waylon Jennings for August 2. The often exhilarating concerts of Jazz Alive!, which began in 1977 on National Public Radio, are still alive too. The 1980 schedule includes harmonica jazz man Toots Thielemans on April 13 and Woody Herman, Tom Scott, Oscar Peterson, Anthony Braxton and Billy Taylor later. None of these series is really broadcast live, but even on tape they are a relief from the mechanical repetition of top-of-the-chart radio.