It has been three months since I have been able to go to channel 4 on my presets for SiriusXM and hear big band and swing pulse through my car’s speakers. Three long, painful months where the replacement for the soothing orchestral sounds and crooners from the “golden era” has been Billy Joel.
40s on 4 returned at 3am Thursday, June 26, 2014. I have never been happier for a drive into work in my life.
Maybe that sounds weird coming from a 24-year-old. Maybe you anticipated me being well into my fifties or sixties (I get that quite often).
I love Johnny Mercer to death. My favorite song of all time (which I have on an LP) is “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra from 1941. I listen to the 40s on my way home from work because it keeps me calm in rush hour traffic. And it’s awesome, let’s be honest.
So when SiriusXM announced a week beforehand in March that Channel 4 would become the “Billy Joel Channel” until June 25, I was livid and then heartbroken. I wanted to write complaint letters. I wanted to scream from the tops of buildings how unjust this was. I went through a phase of wanting to take a picture of my radio display every time I heard a Billy Joel song on a different channel and email them all to SiriusXM’s support email.
Scroll through the channels and you will hear Billy Joel on 70s on 7, 80s on 8, Classic Vinyl, Classic Rewind, and The Bridge, and that’s just on my personal presets. Scroll through the channels and you’ll hear big band and swing on… Siriusly Sinatra on channel 71, but it’s the more polished sounding songs and not the instrumental big band songs. And it’s not on my presets.
Look, I understand that there are people out there who love Billy Joel (my sister-in-law among them). I understand that SiriusXM has to do little things like this to spice up their lineup. But when they’ve done it in the past, they’ve picked an empty channel up in the 100s and done it for a weekend (Pink Floyd Channel at first, now that’s Sunday nights on Deep Tracks), several weeks (Tom Petty Channel), or a month (Led Zeppelin). But they never took away another channel for that long. I think that’s what’s infuriating about it.
And I won’t lie, if they had replaced 40s on 4 with something like the Led Zeppelin channel (which I still want back), I probably wouldn’t have been so adamant in my anger. Billy Joel to me is just okay. He has five or six good songs, but they are overplayed everywhere else.
I’m not a complainer. I’m that customer that tries to be agreeable with everything. Everyone has their own battles in life and heck if I want to make someone’s life harder for the few minutes I’m in their life over something that doesn’t even matter ten minutes from now. It’s not worth it. So I never wrote an angry letter, though I may have made a few angry tweets.
So instead of writing a complaint letter about losing my favorite channel for a quarter of the year on a radio I pay a fair amount of money to subscribe to, I just sent off a “thank you” email to 40s on 4 for returning and making my day a little bit brighter:
This is just a quick email to tell you guys how happy I am that 40s on 4 is back on my radio. I refused to go to channel 4 for the last three months and I can’t tell you how happy I was this morning when I could scroll down to it on my presets and hear Glenn Miller first thing in the morning.
I’m afraid to change the radio away because I feel like it will disappear.
So thank you for returning. And if you wanted to play “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey on loop for several hours, I would have no problem with that.