Survey Says

Are Denver listeners getting the radio they deserve? A Backbeat investigation.

Why does this matter? Because music has the power to promote greater understanding between people of different cultures and backgrounds. Because obtaining additional knowledge and experience can be educational, ennobling and mind-expanding. And because, simply put, it's fun.

The bottom line: Our experiment stands as evidence that listeners are not as stupid and predictable as music programmers think they are. Radio visionaries willing to acknowledge that fact are in for a pleasant surprise.

The Panelists

Nick Roberts, 7, a first-grade graduate. Is regularly exposed to a wide variety of music. Believes Elvis is the King but doesn't think Bruce Springsteen is the Boss.

Nicole Mourning, 7, a second-grader-to-be. Generally dislikes any music she deems "too slow." She likes Denver's urban and CHR stations.

Katie Teitsworth, 13, a junior high student. Father owns Ziggie's Saloon, a popular blues/rock nightspot. Country music is her favorite.

Jesse Opsahl, 19, a business student at Colorado State University. Most often listens to rock radio, modern or otherwise.

Dan Maguire, 25, a Vista volunteer and guitarist for a local band, Sly Choir. Enjoys modern rock and National Public Radio.

Maria Morris, 26, one of the few employees at Wax Trax who is not a member of a band. Her eclectic tastes include easy listening and jazz.

Michelle Kooi, 30, a CU graduate employed as an environmental consultant. Checks out a variety of rock radio stations; her car sports a Band du Jour bumpersticker.

Jerry Somerville, 33, a pre-printer for a major petroleum company. He hears rock radio on the job and enjoys catching both national and local acts live.

Rick Enstrom, 42, owner of Enstrom's Candy, a Cherry Creek store. He mainly listens to rock radio but wishes stations played more Frank Zappa.

Kate McGrath, 43, a writer. She prefers to tune in National Public Radio stations, but her daughters often subject her to hit-radio programming.

Edna Stanek, 56, a teacher at a Catholic elementary school in Denver. Her radio dial is generally set on outlets specializing in country, lite rock or oldies.

Rock Gunter, 71, semi-retired life-insurance executive and rockabilly/country performer. Fondest of those local broadcasters who play country and jazz.--Roberts

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