FREMANTLE muso Lucky Oceans is the latest casualty from the ABC’s swingeing cuts to its music program on Radio National.
Oceans had presented Daily Planet for 26 years but it was pulled from the air on Friday.
In a bid to save cash and expand its digital content, the ABC has also binned RN music shows The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set and The Rhythm Divine, leaving it with just The Music Show on RN at the weekend.
Fans are calling the mass cull “the day the music died”, and have launched an online petition which has already amassed 22,357 signatures.
Renowned WA blues pianist Paul Gioia got an early break when Oceans played one of his songs on Daily Planet and says its cancellation was a sad day for “real” music.
“Shows like Daily Planet are where people like myself learned where we sat in the musical landscape,” he says.
“People like Lucky had done all the hard yards and were like musical curators who presented the best of the best for us to digest.”
Critics of ABC’s digital expansion argue it leaves many rural people out of the mix and few people listen to digital radio in cars, while podcasts have copyright restrictions.
Alexandra Bailey-Charteris, ABC digital communications specialist, says a lot of RN’s music programming pre-dated its current offerings and the cuts have “been made in context of ABC’s broader music stations: ABC Classic FM, Classic 2, ABC Jazz, ABC Country, triple j, triple j Unearthed and newly expanded Double J”.
“You can also still hear Jazztrack with Mal Stanley on ABC Jazz – listen online, on your TV, digital radio or via the ABC radio app.
“Beyond that, music will also be discussed and played on our popular local radio stations in the capital cities and on our regional network.”
The cuts have irked Phillip Adams, long time presenter of RN’s Late Night Live, who ironically had a pop at the ABC in his weekend column for the Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper.
Mr Oceans, who won a grammy with Asleep at the Wheel in 1978 and was in the Zydecats, declined to comment.
The Chook understand he will be redeployed within the ABC.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK