My 2021 #atozchallenge Theme

For the past few years, I’ve used themes for the A to Z Challenge that involve words roughly chosen at random based on a given pattern, e.g. portmanteaus, eight-letter words, words that start and end with the same letter, etc. I even had one year where I simply said I wasn’t going with a theme, which was kind of like trick-or-treating in your street clothes.

This year, though, I wanted to do something different. I thought about using stock symbols and writing a little bit about the companies behind them, but I thought better of it. I was worried that people (that’s you) would take one look and move on to the next blog. Then I had an idea that I thought might work…

On of my regular features on The Sound of One Hand Typing is Top Ten Tuesday, which used to be The Friday 5×2. The idea is that I go out to an archive of radio station surveys such as Oldiesloon or The Airheads Radio Survey Archive, select a survey on that day in some past year, and re-create the station’s Top Ten with videos on YouTube, which I then share for your entertainment.

What I decided to do was to select a random survey from a North American radio station every day in April (except for Sundays, of course) and build its Top Ten list. Radio stations here are assigned a three- or four-letter callsign: the first letter for stations in the US is W or K (generally east or west of the Mississippi River, respectively); in Canada, the first letter is C; and in Mexico, the letter is X (and the callsigns are five letters long). The second letter of the callsign will be the letter of the day according to the official A to Z Challenge calendar.

There will be a couple of exceptions to this rule: I’ve selected a Japanese radio station (whose callsign starts with a J), and one of the offshore radio stations in Europe (Radio Veronica, off the Dutch coast at Hilversum).

I will do my best to hold to the format that I use on Top Ten Tuesday, including some remarks on the song, although they might be abbreviated. Also, the dates I choose might not be in April, to simplify things a little.

So there you have it: my theme for the 2021 A to Z Challenge. Hope to see you all there! Don’t forget to enter your theme on the official form and be sure to get a copy of the final spreadsheet after registration closes on March 20.

49 thoughts on “My 2021 #atozchallenge Theme

  1. John,

    I’m glad you decided to go with music instead of stock symbols. You can never go wrong with music! lol I’m looking forward to seeing what you share. I know it’ll be great stuff and it’ll give me some excellent tunes t listen to while I visit other blogs. 🙂 Thanks for checking out my theme reveal.


  2. You have some interesting themes, don’t you. Happy that this one is music related, because I enjoy all your Music Moves Me posts. And thank you for the reminder; I forgot to complete the A to Z spreadsheet after I posted my reveal post; chalk it up to old age (ha ha) I just signed up.


  3. I don’t really understand right now the US name system for radios, but I understand what your theme will be 😉. Cool theme, it’s going to be fun!


  4. Wow, that sounds really interesting. Thanks for all the work you do collecting these lists. I am really curious to see what top ten’s look like around the world.


  5. Very cool. Funny thing, two radio stations that share a building in my area are WAEB and WZZO. A to Z. I never thought about that until just now. (AEB probably stands for Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem — like the airport is ABE, same towns in a different order).

    I’m getting ready for the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. And hoping to honor the wonderful women in my life on March 8 for International Women’s Day.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author


    1. I’ve featured surveys from WAEB a couple of times, as it happens. Haven’t done WZZO, but you never know. By the way, WABE is the NPR station in Atlanta, which is why you’re using WAEB.


  6. You usually manage to put an interesting twist on anything you do. I’m sure this year will be no different.

    Have fun with it!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  7. This sounds interesting! Looking forward to it! I’m doing a teaser reveal today, with full on reveal happening in 2 weeks 🙂


  8. John, I have no doubt you could have made the stock symbols quite interesting! Just posted my reveal. Looking forward to your musical posts!


    1. No, I’m doing radio surveys and already have a Z, as well as an X and a Q. I’m using the call letters of the station (minus the K or W for US stations and the C for Canadian stations).


    1. Reminds me of the old Peanuts cartoon where Lucy was trying to decide what she wanted to be for Halloween. Linus says, “why don’t you go as a fussbudget? Then you won’t need a costume…”

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