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Monday, September 14, 2009

This Week in Theme Time Radio Hour History

A sad milestone this week.  Two years ago, on Wednesday, September 19, 2007, Season 2 of Theme Time Radio Hour began with the "Hello" show. As well as airing some notable shows, "Classic Rock," "Lock & Key," and "California" among them, Season 2 would hold several surprises for listeners:

While never completely phased out, email readings would gradually lose ground to a new segment - listener phone calls to Studio B.

TTRH finally aired the series' long-promised "Classic Rock" episode, with music featuring rocks of the mineral sort.

The first TTRH rerun aired on October 31st 2007, a repeat of Season 1's "Halloween" show.

TTRH would do a second "Countdown" show with all-new material, the series first theme to cross two seasons.

Season 2 would end without explanation with the "Cold" show on April 2, 2008 after only 25 episodes being aired, in contrast to Season 1's 50 shows.

I get email on a regular basis asking if I have any information - positive or negative - about a Season 4 of TTRH.  Season 3 of TTRH began on Wednesday October 3, 2008 with almost no fanfare...only mentioned in a press release from Sony and in some media articles a week or so earlier. Given that Dylan's Christmas album, Christmas in the Heart, is scheduled for release on October 13, there's a very slim possibility that October 14 would be the logical start date of a Season 4.  But, there's currently no evidence of that likelihood and, in truth, more evidence against the possibility.  Mr. D. made it clear in his May 2009 Rolling Stone interview that his work on TTRH was over, although he did offer up the slight hope that he "didn't know" whether he would continue, and that Sirius XM seemed eager for more episodes. While Sirius XM continues to mention Dylan and TTRH in its publicity materials, it has yet to make an official announcement on the show's future.  At present, the show has become the I Love Lucy of radio rebroadcasts, as one commenter pithily put it.

All good things come to an end, and my opinion is that the series has ended. But we have those 100 shows, and our memories. During an interview with one of the members of the TTRH team, I asked if there had been any resentment on their side about  the show being copied and distributed over the internet within days - sometimes within hours - of being broadcast on XM. 

"We were much more concerned about a show getting bootlegged before it 'officially' aired on the radio," he answered. "And we devoted most of our energies to making sure that didn't happen, rather than trying to stop what we knew we couldn't stop. Actually, we thought it was kind of cool that all the shows ended up on the web.  It means Theme Time Radio Hour will live forever."

1 comment:

Adam Dean said...

Yes, friends, Theme Time Radio Hour will live forever! And to all the great friends who have taken this show into their hearts and souls, I say 'amen". Thanks, Fred!