FORT WORTH If you think music radio is too tightly formatted or repetitive, you might want to head over to the left end of the dial, where stations like Fort Worth’s KTCU/88.7 FM and Dallas’ KNON/89.3 FM and KKXT/91.7 FM stretch things out a little more..
Or a lot more, in some cases — such as “The Rock Menagerie,” Dale Gleitz’s rock ‘n’ roll anthology show that airs 7-9 p.m. Sundays (unless it’s pre-empted by a sporting event such as the Horned Frogs’ recent College World Series run).
Each week, Gleitz picks a theme — recent ones have included the music of 1967, “songs about the whole family” for Mother’s Day, and one about flowers, trees and birds to celebrate the beginning of May. Although you will sometimes hear the familiar, more often Gleitz goes for deep album cuts — sometimes from albums or even artists that rarely get airplay.
Gleitz has to go deep, because in 25 years of doing the show — he’ll celebrate the 25th anniversary with this Sunday’s edition — he has rarely repeated a song. According to Gleitz, he has played 17,546 songs on the show during the course of more than 1,000 theme-based playlists. Even within the limitations of a two-hour show, that’s not easy.
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The celebration is actually a little belated — partly because of those College World Series pre-emptions. “The show began as a temporary substitution on the summer schedule of FM 88.7 in June 1992,” Gleitz says in a release. “A quarter of a century later, it’s still on KTCU-FM.”
But this time, there will be repetition from the past, as Gleitz says he will celebrate musical gems from the show’s history. Expect some surprises. This is a show that, after all, once did a tribute to novelty DJ Dr. Demento, and, during the 2005 Super Bowl, did Philadephia Bands vs. New England Bands (when the Eagles had the ball, Philly bands played; when the Patriots had the ball, Boston-artist songs played; and during halftime, music from Jacksonville bands played in tribute to the game’s host city).