On the Radio

There’s a new radio station in Ottawa – Jump 106.9. They’ve converted from some sort of rock station (they were called The Bear, I believe) to a top-40 format.

This has caused a problem for me because my kids love them some Top 40. In the car, when they’re with me, we’re mostly listening to Hot 89.9 – the biggest station in town other than CBC, and clearly they are doing quite well as they have been giving away $10 000 prizes on a weekly basis for the past little while, and when you have that kind of money to just throw around, you’re golden. No wonder Jump has tried to jump on board (ha!).

So sometimes on 89.9, they talk, or have commercials, or play one of the blacklisted songs that I cannot stand, including this one – have you heard it?


So anyway, my kids would love to be able to flip over to ANOTHER Top 40 station during these intervals, and LO, their prayers have been answered with the new choice!

The problem is this: my radio buttons are maxed out.

There’s only six buttons in the car. They’re all spoken for. So to add Jump, I have to give something else up, and that has caused endless dilemma, when really I should be thinking about something more important, like world events, or illnesses in the family, or what’s for dinner, or DEAR GOD, taking a selfie.

Slot 1 is CBC Radio One. Definitely not going anywhere – I’m a total CBC fangirl.

Slot 5 is an unusual choice – Jack FM in Smiths Falls. They’re an oldies station – like, really old oldies. They play hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and I cannot count the number of times I have tuned them in and they are playing a treasured song from my youth – perhaps something from the days when we used to drag out all my mother’s 45 records and have a DJ night. Songs that I still know all the words to and can sing along with and bring back so many memories. I highly recommend their “60s at 6” hour.

DEAR GOD, I am so very, very old.

Slot 6 is Hot 89.9, which I cannot remove because there would be mutiny in the car, and plus, I kind of like Katy Perry, don’t judge me.

That leaves the other three, which are contenders for removal. Slot 2 is BOB FM – a “whatever” kind of mix station that is sometimes crappy but sometimes brilliant. They literally will play whatever and if you want to hear disco, or reggae, or 80s pop, sometimes all in one mix, you can! I like them. Slot 3 is Live 88.5 – although their alt-rock format was 100% my wheelhouse in my 20s, I find I don’t listen to them much as alternative music is just so TIRING sometimes, but I keep them around because this is Sir Monkeypants’ go-to station.

Slot 4 – oh, slot 4. That’s BOOM 99.7, the 80s and 90s retro station. I really, really want to like them. I am absolutely their target market. But I find that when I turn there, they are either playing a) something that makes me cringe in horror, bringing back memories of every terrible 80s trend like neon sweatshirts and lace fingerless gloves, like say, “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder, or b) something I like, but actually own, because I was still somewhat music-aware in those years, so I’ve heard it a million times and can play it any time I like, like say, “Baby Ran” by 54-40. Unlike Jack FM, where I routinely hear songs I haven’t heard in YEARS and are SO TRIPPY, BOOM is usually playing something I have definitely heard within the last year, or never wanted to hear again.

So I guess that’s settled – slot 4 goes to the new station. They’ll have to prove themselves slot-worthy, though – so far, the jury’s still out, as their promised “90 minute segments of continuous music!” seem to be more like 90 SECONDS of music between commercials (trademark Gal Smiley). There’s serious slot competition in this town, Jump – get on with it.

9 thoughts on “On the Radio

    1. Oh. My. God. I have never heard that song before but you are BANG ON, it is like the great-grandmother of that #selfie song. And the video!! The blue eyeshadow! The leg warmers! The sparkly headbands! The white tights! I have never, ever, seen the 80s so perfectly embodied in a four minute clip before. GAG ME WITH A SPOON.

      Sad to say, my teen years were pretty much exactly like this – or rather, I DREAMED they’d be like this. I guess maybe mankind will survive after all :).

  1. This is a very original post! LIKE!

    Our Odyssey has a second row on the FM radio thingy so I have double the amount of choice, which is kind of a nice thing. BECAUSE…during rush hour traffic in a snow storm at night having to drag the girlie to the rink for the hockey playing brother makes me want to listen to something calm and soothing, like a classical station, or a jazz station, not hard rock or classic rock or top 40 or whatever it is that people listen to. Those are there and will remain there until the van and I do part. ha.

    And I certainly would never in a million years erase the AM station 680 news because they do traffic and weather together on the ones every 10 minutes. So if you’re driving in the GTA you would be foolish to not listen to the traffic updates that give you not only the updates but some clever alternates to help you out.


    1. I just found out that there are actually TWO other top-40 style stations in town – KISS 105.3 and Majic 100.3 (which is technically a “soft rock” station but if I am not the market for “soft rock,” then NO ONE IS). So now what? I am quite envious of your second row of buttons!

  2. we listen to KISS 105.3 as it is top 40 w/o so much crazy stuff. I find it more “kid appropriate” than Hot 89.9. Majic also plays a lot of the top 40 too.. not just soft rock. give them a try

  3. My favourite station is XL 103 – Calgary’s GREATEST hits. It is music from the 60’s-80’s and dear god, how I love it. The commercials on there are mostly for Grey Power Insurance but I care not.

  4. Geez, I feel positively radio illiterate. I have CBC 1, 89.9 and Matt’s sports station. And my CDs, recorded from my ipod music, which are totally disorganized and only have the first song on them written down so I can never find what I want anyway. Mostly I just sing to myself in the car.

    I agree with Javamom – sweet post idea.

  5. smothermother

    I never heard of BOOM. Interesting. I might have to check it out. As well Jack. I would totally be into that as it seems we had very similar childhood musical experiences. Even though we have 10 radio buttons I really only use 2. CBC and 88.5. Sometimes I flick to 89.9 or Magic. At work I listen to CBC2. Exciting life I lead I tell you.

    I hear the Selfie song last week and did indeed weep for our future generation. And then was irate that they were playing it at a time when all the 7-10 year old girls were listening.


  6. What smothermother said.
    And, thanks Lynn, this is very timely ‘cuz I really wanted tto find a way past or around 89.9. My kids (sadly) love it, so I know I can’t remove it altogether. Thankfully, I also have 10 slots.

    I’m actually printing this out, adding in the actual numbers for the “dial” (OK, I guess the word I’m looking for is the “frequencies”) and putting it in my bag. The next time I’m waiting somewhere in the car I can program in Jack and BOOM! and KISS – and maybe remove a repetition or two of 89.9.

    In an effort to do this, I found a handy listing of the local radio stations, with dial locations:


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