One of my Facebook friends posted a new video from the band Hanson and asked, kinda jokingly, “Is it too late to be a Hanson fan?”
“Yeah,” some people replied.
When Hanson first emerged from the sea, in 1996 or so, I was a DJ at a tiny radio station in Northern New York. It was called “Northern New York’s Mix 96.” And when we read the weather, it was always, “Your Seaway Valley Weather Forecast.” I guess that’s because we weren’t far from the Saint Lawrence Seaway. We were the only ones I knew of who referred to the region as The Seaway Valley. But anyway. Hanson was a big deal for a little while, because of this song:
And they might have even had another minor hit during that time. “MMM-Bop” is the one everyone remembers. It’s catchy and cute. While it was in Heavy Rotation at Northern New York’s Mix 96, I played it once every three hours. Every day. For months. And I had to sound excited about it too, or I’d risk losing my $7-an-hour, 60-hour-a-week job. And every time there was a half-day at Seaway Valley schools, the phone would ring and school kids would call and make requests (they wouldn’t even wait for the All-Request Lunch Hour), and they’d “request” “MMM-Bop” and I’d say, “Sure, I’ll get that on for you!” as if I was responding to their request, except I was going to play it anyway, sometime in the next three hours.
Often, a little girl would call, or six different little girls, I don’t remember now. And the little girl would ask to speak with Hanson. As if when she heard “Mmm-Bop,” the boys were playing it on their instruments, live, right there in my Seaway Valley Studio (which was the second floor of a garage behind the station-owner’s house). I tried to explain a few times that Hanson wasn’t here. Eventually I started saying, “Sorry, I just put Hanson down for a nap.” I was a smartass and also thought I was very cool. Often, I had to plunge the broken toilet while I played a long song, like “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle.
And, one day, Hanson was demoted to Medium Rotation, which was every five hours, and then light rotation, which was once or twice a day. The little girls were now calling to speak to someone else who wasn’t there, The Backstreet Boys, maybe. And I got a different job, and I stopped wearing that Cosby sweater I wore to work all the time. I think I knew it was ugly then, but it was cold in that garage, and the sweater was warm.