When you think about it, 1979 was a turning-point year in music. Sure, you still had Disco and it was still a dominating force in mainstream Pop and R&B. And Rock was still Rock; big enough to fill stadiums, the Glitter and Platforms were fading away but still the staple of most record collections. Punk was on the fringe; big in Europe but the audience was slow to come around in the U.S. It was when Punk rounded off the edge and added those touches which would turn it into New Wave did you find a bigger audience in the U.S. – but it would all change once MTV landed in your town and on your cable channel. It was then that Top-40 stopped making sense – the audience would drift away from the once-impregnable powerhouse bastions of Pop music and leave them to become talk stations, Golden Oldies or silent blips in the atmosphere.
The world and Technology was changing before your eyes – and if you were like a lot of teenagers, you were picking up on things. Everybody had at least one friend who was venturing out in the cultural wilderness to bring back the cool stuff. You knew who they were; they didn’t entirely fit in – they seemed edgy. Maybe they smoked Pot behind the Cafeteria or huffed a bag of Testors at school or had a friend of a friend of a friend who was a Pharmacist who got you all kinds of pills; good ones and weird ones and ones that didn’t do anything. They hung out in Hollywood and sometimes smelled like Beer and cigarettes in class. Those were the ones who brought back stories and told you about records they heard or bands they saw that they had to sneak in to see because they weren’t old enough – and it all seemed a little dangerous. But you liked that.
And it dawned on you that maybe, just maybe, you were the future.
In the meantime, you had KTNQ and Jack Armstrong and Top-40 as it was on January 26, 1979.