While the Wikipedia definition is skewed towards the bias of the person who wrote it, it has the basic facts correct. Adult standards is a music format primarily heard on a.m. radio, targeted at the self-proclaimed “Greatest Generation”. It generally includes music from the 1930s 40s and a little bit of the 1950s – anything up until the beginning of rock ‘n roll.
Typical artists you would hear would be Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, etc… 20 years ago, format was heavier on the big band era – Ella Fitzgerald, Patty Page, the Andrew sisters, Tommy Dorsey and the like. If you were a teenager in the 1930s, you are now in your 90s – so the format has been dropping most of the pre-World War II music, and adding in artists like Linda Ronstadt and Barbra Streisand.
Cumulus Media now owns both of the major satellite delivered adult standard music services – one originally part of ABC radio, and the other from Jones radio.
Last week, a person was finally put in charge of the revamp of Westwood One – which now includes NBC radio, the Westwood One Sports Lineup, the old Jones music syndication, the Jones progressive talk lineup, the a Westwood One talk network (Jim Bohannon, Dennis Miller, Phil Valentine) and the ABC music radio formats.
Cumulus already announced their intent to consolidate these music services – but they are taking it way further than just consolidating.
Now that a new guy is in place, and they’ve made it clear that the syndication done by Cumulus will be under the Westwood One brand, I started going through and changing information about these programs. In the course of doing that, I found the “new” definition of what “adult standards” means, according to Cumulus
Westwood one begins by saying adult standards is targeted at the people who own 89% of the wealth of the country – the upper end of which is the trailing edge of the baby boomers. At 58, I am already too old for adult standards.
The artist list includes Frank Sinatra, that’s the only old-school singer on the list – replaced with the Beatles, the Carpenters, Barry Manilow, and Michael Buble.
And so it goes…