Friday, September 13, 2013

Sirius XM Radio Network Channel 56: Willie’s Roadhouse


I get to drive a few different cars for my day job, and when I got into one a few weeks ago, whoever drove it before me had the radio set to Sirius XM channel 56, Willie’s Roadhouse. Why did it take me so long to discover this channel?

Willie’s Roadhouse used to be called Willie’s Place, and before that it was called Hank’s Place (after Mr. Williams). The first name change was when Willie Nelson signed an endorsement deal with the network, and the second name change took place after Willie’s Place merged with the Roadhouse channel. Whew. Apparently Nelson now owns a stake in Willie’s Roadhouse.

Channel 56 is home to traditional country and cowboy music, mostly from the 1950s through the 1980s. They the play hits as well as some really obscure stuff from the original artists, including Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Sr., Charley Pride (yay!), Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Patsy Cline. Oh yes, and Willie Nelson. I have discovered songs I have never heard before, and found some artists that I just love, such as Bob Wills, the King of Texas Swing.

Though the lyrics of some of this stuff can be hokey (and at times racist and misogynistic), this music is generally wonderful. It is an important part of our musical history and without these pioneers, modern rock and country music would sound drastically different.

There are also a few regular shows that you can catch during the week, and it pays to figure out when these are on because they are fantastic. For starters, they broadcast The Grand Ole Opry on Friday and Saturday nights. Where else are you going to find this?

On Thursday nights, Wade Jessen (Senior Chart Manager at Billboard Magazine) digs out old vinyl from his personal collection and provides some of the history behind the music . This guy is a treasure, and his on-air persona is great.

And lastly, you can find the Classic Cowboy Corral on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as on Sunday mornings. This show focuses on the golden age of the singing cowboys, and is hosted by super yodeler Ranger Doug Green, and his irritating sidekick “Sidemeat.” Into every life a little rain must fall…

Anyway, Willie’s Roadhouse is now one of the presets on my stereo, and if you have satellite radio, you ought to give it a shot!


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