In the first half, music historian and author Harvey Kubernik discussed the enduring popularity of the music of the 1950s and 60s. Kubernik offered a number of factors that could explain its staying power in our culture, including the way it was originally received. Because the music of that era was received so enthusiastically—almost religiously, Kubernik said—a strong foundation for its longevity was laid. In addition, the most successful producers and artists in the early rock era were focused on making recordings that consumers loved and wanted to "own" in the form of singles and albums. This music was helped by the resurgence of vinyl records in popular culture in later generations as well, he continued. In contemporary media, early rock has also enjoyed attention in dozens of compelling, high-quality documentaries. Finally, fans from the original era continue to find comfort in hearing this music, and even re-discover artists they hadn't paid much attention to in their younger days.
The deaths of many musical artists in 2022 was also noted. Singer Bobby Rydell, Jerry Allison of the Crickets, Don Wilson of the Ventures, Jerry Lee Lewis, Christine McVie, and Motown guitarist Joe Messina were among those mentioned. Kubernik also pointed out that a number of "facilitators," people who weren't artists but who fueled the popularity of early rock, died this past year too. They include hit songwriter Lamont Dozier, disc jockey Art LeBoe, and Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart.
In the second half, "Millenial Mike" in Colorado called to report on a project in his state that aims to renovate a hotel in order to provide transitional housing for the homeless. Mike expressed his appreciation for such efforts, and his hope that they'll be effective in tackling the problem of homelessness.
Listening from Hawaii, Jim told the story of an unusual incident that occurred one night while he was on a walk. One light in the sky appeared to be moving much faster than the others, and was much closer than a satellite would be, leading Jim to wonder whether the light was extraterrestrial in nature.
Joe, calling from New Hampshire, shared a story about Barbara Walters, who had died a few hours before the program aired. Joe said that many years ago, his sister went to apply for an internship at ABC studios. Being a bookish type who didn't watch television, Joe's sister didn't recognize the woman interviewing her: Ms. Walters herself.