Growing up, CBC Radio 2 was the lamest of all radio channels. It played classical music almost exclusively, and the only time I tuned in was if it happened to be Saturday morning and I really had a hankerin' for Vinyl Cafe.
A couple of years ago, there was a much-ballyhooed format change at Radio 2. Well, not a total format change, a la that of WKRP mythology.
It still plays classical through most of the day, but the big difference was the morning show and the afternoon/evening drive program. They program a mix of music like I've never heard. It's like there's no genre, but the only qualifier is that is has to be good. I've heard Shad to mambo to Cee Lo to Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson and then to Arcade Fire in one set.
This morning while I was in the shower, they played Joel Plaskett's "Through & Through & Through," a song that you don't hear enough on the radio. Bob Mackowycz, the morning host, said that if Tom Petty was from Nova Scotia, he would be called Joel Plaskett, and then described him as "a heartbreaker in a lobster bib." Come on! Who doesn't fall in love with a host who says things like that?
If that's not convincing enough, they've got Rich Terfry on the Radio 2 Drive show in the afternoons. He's just returning from a tour under his stage name, Buck 65. He was a radio host back in Nova Scotia, and is great.
I don't know if it's the hosts who are responsible for the programming of these shows, but the music mix is exceptional. Kudos.