To the editors:
Vituperation in the manner of labels is fine, in my estimation, as long as the invective is from someone who knows me and my tastes. However, "giggling lowbrow" does have a nice ring to it, now that I have been repeating the phrase to myself for a while. Now, if my wife used that phrase concerning me, I'd think she had discovered another aspect of my persona I had not realized. But, Mary Hoberg [Letters, April 10]? What does she know about me?
What a pleasure to read the thoughts of a sensible and knowledgeable man, Edgar Reihl, in reply to the letter of Ms. Hoberg [Letters, April 24]. I have never met the man, but would enjoy the occasion.
After all my years in Chicago radio, I've become accustomed to those few people who love to criticize; fortunately, the thoughts of most listeners are the antithesis of that woman's statements.
Those who know what I have attempted to do in radio over the years, realize I try to provide a great variety of music in an eclectic approach to it. There is no reason why we cannot enjoy a wide spectrum of music from many sources, except for the strictures of a self-elected elitist group possessed of questionable knowledge. I daresay the masters of music, the creative and recreative artists of then and now, did not mean for us to approach it in great awe, speaking in hushed and reverential tones, possessed of a terribly serious mien, as opposed, I suppose, to the "giggling lowbrow" approach, excluding some listeners as not being worthy of enjoying or understanding the music.
Pompous snobs always seem to be of the opinion that only they are able to understand the meaning, intent and gravity of the music; that it should only be what they seem to prefer, something in the rarified air of their exalted state of awareness. And please do not deign to chuckle or breathe before, during or after the performance of the music.
Morning is a time when people are starting to move, encountering minor glitches that may seem major at the moment. Pomposity in the presentation of music and its reception is hardly needed. Most listeners who talk with me, by phone or letter, are appreciative of a lighter approach. That includes not only a modicum of serious music, but lighter music, whether instrumental or vocal, in a melange of sounds. And I even play requests, horror of horrors. Would you believe I consider radio listeners to be part of the audience whose wishes should be heard and acted upon if possible?
But, I'm only reiterating what Edgar Reihl wrote, and he said it much better and more succinctly than I. Again, I thank him.