"I Heard You Been Layin' My Old Lady."
But I didn't air it, for fear that my station, KAOS, could get in deep trouble, because we've been told that the FCC is showing less and less tolerance for innuendo or outright sexual content. Our friends at KBOO in Portland, two hours south of Olympia, were fined $7,000 in 2001 for a song by Sarah Jones called "Your Revolution" that was intended to parody songs that degrade and sexually exploit women. But it took just one crackpot who didn't get the joke or took the "moral" high road about street slang, and struck with a punch (a phone call to the FCC) that's a monumental blow if you're a small, community radio station like KBOO or KAOS.
Although I'm the father of two of grown women and saddened by the increasing illiteracy of American society, I also think that this big push for media to be "family friendly" all the time is for phony puritans. I love humor that works on different levels, and there's no reason for adults to have to wait for the kids to be tucked in bed until they (the grownups) get to hear something subtle and, well, adult.
I think of those skits the Beatles did on their Christmas flexi-discs for their fan club members. And how a young kid would laugh solely because of the zany speaking style that John Lennon used on one of them, but how any adult would understand immediately when John bellowed, "Me too...twice a week, sometimes!"
Yeah, let's just ban everything, you soulless moralists! Ban that great old record by the Moments, who found love on a two way street but "lost it on a lonely highway." Or Dan Fogelberg's "Same Auld Lang Syne," where he runs into an old flame and at the end of the record, their "tongues were tired." You don't think they'd been just talking, do you?
I think we ought to be able to get away with a little naughty chatter if we can do it with some understatement and brevity--you know, the soul of wit.
Last year, on a Portland oldies station I can occasionally get when the wind is right, I heard a female newscaster talking to her broadcast partner about Shirley Ellis' 1965 hit, "The Name Game." As you probably know, there's one person's name that can not be plugged into the goofy rhymes of "The Name Game," or you get an obscenity.
So the other broadcaster says he's got some listeners on the phone who are going to sing part of "The Name Game" on the air, and the best version wins the prize of the day.
The names of the listeners are something like Paul, Jenny, Tony, Sarah, etc.
Now, this newscaster gal may have rehearsed her comment about the listeners' names, but the other announcer sure didn't know about it, because it caught him off guard, and it was great radio. "What, no Chuck?" she asked.