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Our Number Crunchers Are Ready to Serve You

To the Editor:

“Clear Channel does not have the Albany market ‘locked’ because we have the name Clear Channel.”—Dennis Lamme, VP/Market Manager, Clear Channel Radio [Letters, Dec. 18].

First of all: What does that even mean? Who has claimed that their name alone is the problem? The problem, as I see it, is that Clear Channel and other radio conglomerates like them have squeezed everything which is peculiar off the airwaves. If you came of age in the ’50s and ’60s, radio was where the culture was exploding. The sounds of the South and rebellious North, the sounds of black culture meeting white rebellion, were what we knew as mainstream. Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Motown (featuring The Funk Brothers, white and black musicians grounded in jazz and blues who came together gloriously in that small studio in Detroit) all laid the groundwork for the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Memphis and Muscle Shoals grooves of Stax and Atlantic, which were soon to come. Aretha Franklin? Where would Aretha Franklin—admittedly the single greatest voice to emerge in American popular music in the last century—fit in on the airwaves where Mr. Dennis Lamme, VP and Market Manager Extraordinary, exerts his numbing, numbers-crunching influence?

“Our top-rated results are instead the result of the 150-plus employees that I employ and their dedication to unprecedented customer service to both our clients and our listeners”—Dennis Lamme, in the same reply quoted earlier.

“Unprecedented customer service to our listeners?” What does that mean? Does that mean that if one hundred thousand of us call or write the station and demand that Clear Channel seek out the new voices and sounds that are almost totally marginalized by his corporation and others like it, that Clear Channel would dedicate a station or significant hours of programming to those kinds of music?

Please, please, please. Let us not forget that Clear Channel’s owners are a group of Texas good old boys who are some of Junior’s biggest financial backers. If they were serious about serving the needs of their listeners, these jokers need go no further than the annual South by Southwest Music festival in Austin; 50 miles up Highway 35 from their corporate home in San Antonio. They won’t, and we shall remain unserved.

Steve Hillard Swartz


In “No Heat, Few Consequences?” (Newfront, Jan. 22) we inaccurately reported that Visions One Management Group is the landlord for the house at 85 Morris St., Albany, which recently went without heat for two weeks. In fact, Visions One had previously managed the property for the landlord, but the landlord had defaulted on the contract several months before this incident. Visions One attempted to fix the heat anyway, although it had no obligation to do so. Visions One had been reported as the landlord in other news sources; we made several attempts to verify this with Visions One, but the company did not return any of our calls.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at

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