Cheese Patrol is our yearly homage to all the songs that people vociferously hate but secretly know all the words to. These are the songs we grew up with; overorchestrated. overwrought, oversynthed, over the top.
It started very innocuously on a Friday night back in 1990. Sue and I used to have shows back-to-back on Friday. We were followed by Danny and Shawn who would alternate weeks on the "Spin Control" show. Danny had a penchant for early 80's cheese, and would often play processed cheese food with a straight face. Danny also had a penchant for phoning in several minutes before he was due on the air to tell us he was stuck at work and wouldn't be here to do his show.
Once, he called at 9:58pm to tell us he wouldn't be here at 10. I was out of ideas to continue on with the indie rock slop I was foisting on the loyal listeners, so I decided to take Danny's dairy product theme and run with it. I beamed as I cued up Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" and "Cheese Control" was born.
Over the years, "Cheese Control" metamorphosized into the "Cheese Patrol", and our initial 2-hour time slot blossomed into a 6 hour "special" in 1991, a 10 hour spectacular in 1994, a16 hour fest in 1995, a 24 hour New Years Eve marathon in 1996, and a somewhat scaled-back 20 hour gala in 1997. (1992 and 1993 were off-years due to my self-imposed exile at graduate school in NC).
Eventually we'd like to have all our playlists up on the web, and maybe some background "stories" on why these songs are so special to us. We're starting with the latest 1997 playlist and we'll add information whenever we emerge from our lameness with bursts of creative verbiage.
So what exactly makes a song cheesy? We ourselves often argue over
the relative cheese merit of various songs but there are a number of
criteria that most classic aged slices have in common:
The regular participants each have "specialties", which for the most part tend to be determined by how old everyone is. Sue does the 60's top 40 and the 70's prog rock thing, Nancy does the 60's chick and 70s/80s/90s punk rock thing, Shawn does the 70's sap thing, Keith does the early 80's thing, and I get stuck with late 70's disco/R&B thing mainly because I was the one who was 12 at the time (OK, I'll admit it, I like the R&B stuff).
That's all for now. Something has gone wrong with the facilities in the building that houses WMBR and a sharp sulfur smell has permeated the studio. It smells like exit 13 on the New Jersey Turnpike in here. I think I need to go.
Your cheese queen, Lisa
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