(July 14) “Rock ’n’ roll is here to stay. It will never die.”

The words from Danny and the Juniors’ late-1950s rock anthem unfortunately may be only a thing of the past, given current trends in commercial oldies radio.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older than I’d like to admit, but a lot of the music I like isn’t being played much on the radio anymore.

I never thought the day would come when I couldn’t hear Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Platters and so many others of that “American Graffiti” era regularly on the radio.

This also must come as a shock to certain East Coast produce wholesalers, since New York and Philadelphia are among the birthplaces of American rock ‘n’ roll acts like the Four Seasons, the great girl groups and the doo-wop vocal groups.

One wholesaler I know in Philadelphia has his basement decked with early rock ’n’ roll memorabilia, including souvenirs from Bobby Rydell and other Philly rockers — the kind of artists that commercial oldies radio seems to have forgotten.

I recently heard a rumor that the broadcasters soon will quit playing ’60s music altogether, shifting their “oldies” radio stations to the mid-’70s and ’80s eras.

The trend isn’t totally shocking because advertisers, which control commercial media and therefore its news and entertainment, have for years obsessed over people in their 20s.

Those preconceptions — many call it ageism — are starting to counter reality.

People older than 50 control nearly 70% of America’s wealth — $28 trillion. Households headed by 55- to 64-year-olds have 15 times the median net worth of those under 35 — $112,000 vs. $7,240, according to Census Bureau figures quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The article describes how advertisers are only now waking up to the fact that older consumers buy products, as well.

That’s a lot of money to ignore.

One idea hitting a chord that isn’t going after peoples’ money concerns a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that encourages needy senior citizens — members of that oft-ignored buying group — to buy fresh produce.

In the senior farmers market nutrition program that the USDA renewed this spring, low-income senior citizens are given coupons they can use to buy produce directly from growers at farmers markets and roadside fruit and vegetable stands.

Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi and Rhode Island and three Indian tribes in New Mexico and Mississippi were added to the program, which serves all but four states. Elderly in Pennsylvania, New York and Alabama are among the biggest participants in this successful program that uses federal funds to encourage healthful eating habits.

“The farmers I’ve talked to around the country are pleased with the program — especially as they see their carefully grown fresh fruits and vegetables going to lower-income seniors who value their connection with the farmers and appreciate the opportunity of obtaining these nutritious products,” said Gus Schumacher, president of the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp., which oversees the program.

Robert Guenther, vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C., applauds the program as a good role model.

However, he recommends that the program — which costs about $17 million a year — be expanded to other venues such as supermarkets, thereby providing elderly consumers access to even more fresh produce year-round.

Though I’m not close to joining the senior set — I’m 42 — I’ve been increasingly disturbed watching the mass media’s pathetic obsession with the young, as if Britney Spears has anything interesting to say or why a story about a rapper’s film would make the front page of a prominent daily business newspaper.

One of the country’s legendary oldies radio stations, WCBS-FM, New York, seems to have forgotten that rock ’n’ roll existed before 1964. That music — and its listeners — apparently don’t exist anymore.

The radio station plays only late ’60s and so-called oldies from the ’70s and ’80s, including, yuck, disco. Though that radio station didn’t have any competition with the music it was playing, it surrendered to shortsighted advertisers’ demands by blowing up a successful format to sound like any other radio station on the dial.

Some produce distributors, such as Long Island foodservice distributor J. Kings Foodservice Professionals Inc., Holtsville, N.Y., can see beyond today and are actively marketing to clients and institutions that are demanding higher-quality cuisine.

They’ve been increasing their sales to hospitals and nursing homes that are upgrading their menus.

The money and influence of the older generation is profound and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s something produce marketers also should consider. As the baby boomer generation ages, more of them will want more fresh foods.

Now, I’m going to return to that malt shop and watch girls deliver sodas on roller skates, with my buddies and me in my little deuce coupe listening to “I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, and other car songs. ...

Wait! That wasn’t me. I didn’t grow up in that era. I just like that music. Guess I don’t count.