I recently attended a concert commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Bill Shapiro's Cypress Avenue.
KCUR's weekly program provided my first exposure to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, Joni Mitchell's Blue and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks. I would have eventually discovered these albums on my own, but the show undoubtedly sped the process along. For that, I'm genuinely grateful.
Shapiro's professorial tone led me to believe that he was the ultimate authority on popular music. I was overjoyed. Cracks, however, soon appeared.
He seemed completely oblivious to the the new music I loved most. Did Shapiro not know about the Ramones, the Buzzcocks or the Clash? What about Chic, George Clinton, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall and the Sugarhill Gang?
Years after the fact Shapiro addressed many of these glaring absences. But the damage was done. I realized that while I'd continue to monitor what Shapiro presented, he was no longer my man.
Still, he's got to be one of most rockin' seventy-something guys in Kansas City.