Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Sunday Comments ( 11 - 04 - 12 )

re: ON THE RADIO:   

Your radio comments keep coming ... so we'll run a few more today ...   

It has been interesting reading your radio rants. I can't disagree with the comments. The bottom line is money and by cutting back on staff and letting computers run the show, radio has suffered. It is tough to tell a high school or college age student today that there will be a job waiting for them on the radio. It is tough to find that first level job even at a small market station because everything but the morning drive is automated. There are many stations that only employ a morning d.j., news person, and a few sales people.
There are still a few of us old schoolers, especially in the smaller markets, fighting to keep the business alive. Our station has a live person, instead of just a computer, running the show for 17 of the 24 hours. On my Saturday night show I still take requests and try to talk to everyone that calls. This past week a caller was trying to identify the song Abergavenny by Shannon. He told me a few lines and luckily I was able to figure it out. He hadn't heard it since the Summer of 1969! We have a local owner and he lets me bring my own cds. I try to play a few every Saturday night that I have never played on the show. That adds up to a lot of music over 26 plus years. There are specialty shows on other stations that don't just play the 'Jukebox From Hell' songs. Magic 98 (WMGN) in Madison, Wisconsin, has a program called Saturday At The 70's that features much more than the typical. The key thing about their show is that they are not automated and they let the djs drop in a few of their memories about a song or the era. There are a few of us out here that still have creative control. We are still trying to live the dream started by those great rock and roll stations like KAAY Little Rock, Arkansas, or WLS.
It is great to see some of the past WLS alumni checking in on your site. We could hear them here in Wisconsin late afternoons and all night long. Bob Sirott was one of my favorites. Didn't he do a bit called 'The B.S. Love Councelor' or did I dream that?
Phil Nee - WRCO
Nope, that was him! I first got hooked on Bob Sirott when he was with WBBM-FM, who actually took a run at being a Top 40 Radio Station in the early '70's. I remember being disappointed when I first heard that Bob was moving to WLS, even though I know it was a life-long dream for him to do so. (Some of you may remember Larry Lujack reading a letter he received from a VERY young, teenaged Bob Sirott on the air a few times, talking of his dreams to get into radio and how much he admired ol' Uncle Lar.) I think that part of me was afraid that my "personal discovery" of a top-notch entertainer was now going to be shared with the world at large and that Bob would have to bend and change his style to meet the corporate image and program format of a big gun powerhouse like WLS ... and, to a degree, that DID happen ... but he was still entertaining as hell ... and one of the best things on the air at the time. (Although we've spent a lot of time recently talking about how great WLS was back in the '60's, the '70's were also a winning period for 'LS ... Bob Sirott, the first-coming of John "Records" Landecker ... Brant Miller ... Fred Winston ... oh wait, I'm confused ... was that the 1974 line-up or what I was listening to yesterday?!?! (Actually, it's damn-near both!!!)
I remember getting up early in the morning just to be able to listen to Bob Sirott usher in the new 94.7  WLS-FM station after the demise of 'Disco 'DAI. (They signed off by playing "Last Dance" by Donna Summer continuously for 24 straight hours as their swan song!) And Bob was there to bring in the new station. But he always had higher aspirations and has since become a national television personality (although I think his deepest roots are still here in Chicago, where he's still part of the local Fox network. Ironically, after his stint on WLS, Brant Miller went on to make his mark on television, too.)
Jeff James did a GREAT "Saturday Night Live At The '70's" show here on Y103.9, where he'd often dip into his personal collection to play some things you didn't hear ANYWHERE else ... including a few that even I didn't recognize! (He still does his "From The Vault" series every day on YouTube via the Y103.9 website ... and we're still supposed to film a week's worth of B-Sides Episodes one of these days, too!)
Dick Biondi had a VERY popular All Request Friday Night show here until fairly recently where he played some of the most obscure tracks you've (n)ever heard! And Danny Lake (one of the most talented guys still at the station) does a credible job of handling an all-requests show on Saturday nights (but I feel that he, too, is sometimes limited by the "shrinking" playlist offered by the station.)
And, of course, we've worked together on several projects in the past in our efforts to make your "Those Were The Days" program stand out amongst the pack ... so, as I've said so many times before, I am ALWAYS willing and able to help support these programs that go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to bringing these forgotten hits to their listeners. ("Abergevanny" is a GREAT example of such a track ... we've featured it a few times here in Forgotten Hits but I'd venture to say that MOST people, much like your listener, probably haven't heard it since 1969 ... and this is yet ANOTHER Top 40 Hit ignored by radio that went all the way to #20 here in Chi-Town) ... all of which makes it another good one to feature today as part of our renewed commitment to bring our readers the very BEST of forgotten hits on a regular basis. (kk)

Hi Kent,
I've been reading the radio rants with great interest, having worked in and around the Chicago market. I may be able to shine some light on the issue of endless repeats of familiar, good testing oldies and the demise of the oldies format in general.
The short answer to the problem is that by and large the lights are on and nobody is home.
Mega owners own clusters of stations in each market. The people they pay to maximize their budgets tell them to cram seven stations into a facility designed for two stations max. These same people tend to believe that some stations are destined (and programmed) to win and others to lose. In the shuffle, one station is generally relegated to office space roughly equivalent to the size of the glove box in the prize van of some other (winning) station.
Stations are thus not so much competing with stations owned by others in the market, but rather for resources within one facility, like pigs competing for teats.
In some markets, with some owners, the choice for "winner" status is the oldies station, but this is the exception. By and large the "winner" in any cluster is the News / Talk station or the Country and / or Adult Contemporary station. These formats are programmed to appeal to a "soccer mom", who allegedly has zero time for anything, let alone music, so she likes familiar sounding things and flees from the unfamiliar. Music, to this so called "soccer mom" is like audio wallpaper. It only gets noticed when it is wrong. I think it could be argued that this "soccer mom" is the result of lazy radio programming rather than the cause. It also could be argued that this "soccer mom" does not even exist.
Given the level of attention to musical quality and variety given to the winning station, you can imagine the gross neglect of the music on the losing station. This logical candidate for the loser seems to be the oldies station based on the fact that the demo who finds 60s music familiar is aging out of the 25-54 cell and therefore is unmarketable to sponsors. I would argue that the people over 54 are among the few who have ever had jobs that paid above minimum wage. Everybody over 54 carrying a 20 something on your insurance (and otherwise your financial back, raise your hand ... thought so).
Until radio is ready to invest in ALL of its properties and realize the full financial potential of each, we will continue to see and hear what we see and hear now.
Jim Shea

Hi Kent,
I've been enjoying the yays and nays. I actually agree with both you and Ron Smith, so how's that for taking a stand, huh?
Actually I honestly think radio is dead for the time being. What I think could happen, at some point, is that folks will take over the low power AM stations and do real oldies. I don't have any real reasoning for this other than the people that have those frequencies seem to be doing different things with them rather than trying to compete with "the big guys." I think they'll stumble on it by accident. 

(Hey I can dream can't I?)
I am always amazed that people are really content to hear the same songs over and over again. I've been a singer / player professionally since I was 15 years old. I'm currently in a Tribute band in Minnesota. We don't do artists, but rather themes. When we pick songs for themes we always have long discussions on what to do in a show. I am always of the opinion that we should pick at least a few songs that haven't been beaten to death either by radio or cover bands.
For our fifth anniversary, we put up a list of all the songs we'd played in the last five years and asked our season ticket holders to pick 25 of their favorites. To make it a less daunting task, we would put up only a couple shows at a time since we do about 100 songs in our four themes for the year.
Very close to the top was Free Bird. I realized that many of the voters don't go to the clubs, etc., anymore, because our age group is middle aged and older. I also have figured out that many of those same people have moved on from "music" radio because they've moved over to public radio since radio chased them away by beating all their favorite songs to death, hence they like Free Bird again.
I guess what I'm trying to say in a long rambling way is that for them radio is dead, and the ones that listen to music probably have an IPod or satellite radio in their cars.
As much as I'd love radio back for the same reasons you do, I think it's dead, too, and I just don't listen to music radio anymore. Once they took out the personality away they took the life out of it.
The talent and experience still exists to pump some life back into radio again ... and infuse that personality that we all loved so well. You can't do it by limiting your jocks to six sentences per hour, however ... you've got to TRUST that wealth of experience that you're paying for and just go with it. Will it change things overnight? Of course not ... but if there's even some small hint of success, it's a pretty safe bet that everybody else will follow suit ... because that's all radio is these days ... a copy-cat business. I'm not sure they'd recognize an original idea if it hit them in the head. (Lord knows we've been trying to get our point across for thirteen years now!!!)
There are two things that offended me most about the change at WLS ... the fact that they brought back a stellar, killer line-up and then didn't allow them to be themselves ... and the fact that Jan Jeffries actually went to the media to promote the fact that they were making the format change by playing something else that would make them stand out from the crowd ... and then go on to name the EXACT same songs and artists that every other station in town is playing as if nobody listening would notice. (Talk about insulting our intelligence!!!) Now THAT is running radio with blinders on. (kk)

Why do radio stations play the same songs?
Watever the reason, you KNOW there's MONEY behind it ... and, yes, thanks for stating it WORLD WIDE!
Let's keep this going, Kent - the more we embarrass them, the more likely they'll change.

Click here: Why Do Radio Stations Play the Same Songs?

One thought ... If radio stations are losing listeners because of repetitive music and commercials maybe they should be a little more cognoscente of what listeners want. How many listeners are switching to
CDs and MP 3 Players to listen to their music at home and in the cars!!!
Bill Hengels
They just don't get it! Like I said ... look at EVERY response we received ... EVERYBODY has already given up on terrestrial radio and switched over to something else ... and radio knows this ... yet instead of fighting back for their fair share (or looking into what might have cost them that share in the first place), they just continue to feed us the exact same thing ad nauseam. Either they're completely clueless ... or they simply don't care. (kk)      

I've enjoyed the radio series but can't come up with any ideas as to how the people who run things could understand what we've been talking about.
We've had the same Classic Rock thing off and on here in Nashville, and we now have a new Oldies station that fortunately has a pretty long playlist. It's difficult to listen though, because the voice-trackers are all young guys with no knowledge of the music. They don't even listen to the music, since they're voice tracking from some distant location. We may as well have an electronic test-to-speech converter that announces the title / artist. As we've discussed before, a live or alternate version of some of the music gets into the computer system, and no one at the station realizes they only play the live versions of "Hotel California" and "Midnight Train to Georgia."
I don't get it. With all the DJs out there who know this music and would work for the same (or less), why do the stations use these guys with the bright voices who may as well be back-announcing Russian wedding music? And how many of us would help them correctly set up their music mix for next-to-nothing - or even for free?
David Lewis   

And then this ...

Kent -
From time to time, you mention that rare new track that appeals to your fans. These aren't brand new, but they're new enough, and I find them inspiring.  
Johnny Reid - Dance With Me
Brandi Carlile - The Story
Good Old War - Amazing Eyes
As I find myself turning off "classic hits radio", I've discovered quite a few songs from the current Top 40 playlist that I'm really enjoying ... and many of these are by some of the most popular, current mainstream artists of the day. Pop over to and check out this week's Billboard Top 20.
If you're not already familiar with them, click on songs #1 (Maroon Five), #7 (Bruno Mars), #11 (Taylor Swift), #12 (Pink), #13 (Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen), #17 (Ellie Goulding) and #20 (Neon Trees). I'll put these tunes up against anything else playing on the radio today ... this is some of the best pop music out there right now ... and I'm finding it much more preferable right now to listen to some of these once in awhile as opposed to the fifth or sixth playing of "Don't Stop Believin'" today. Maybe the Pop Revolution is back ... wouldn't THAT be something!!! (kk)

Here's a spooky little story for you all. BTW, I first heard this on WLS Chicago's Larry Lujack show in 1986 and had to track it down. Radio was fun even that recently! Have a ghoulish time!
Hope all are well.
We've run this clip before ... but it's one of MY favorites, too (and it drives Paige CRAZY every time I play it!) ... so here it is again!!!  (kk)

I really think you'd like the Chuck Blore book. In it, he describes the "Ultimate Radio Station" he created briefly in Los Angeles that got great ratings but ran out of money. There's also the story of his TV spots that were syndicated in Chicago, like the remarkable mouth, the late night janitor and luscious Deborah Shelton. Chuck, of course, created those memorable early WCFL jingles.
-- Ron Smith

Hi Kent,
I've been reading all the comments about the sorry state of music radio today on Forgotten Hits.
You mentioned that Internet radio is fine but it doesn't work in the car. I've been having the time of my life using the TuneIn app on my android phone, plugged into the car radio. One car is new enough it has an aux input, and the other is old enough to use a cassette adapter for the cassette deck. I wish the quality of oldies programming that I hear from the likes of KISN ( and WLS ( was available on terrestrial radio, but since it isn't I'll listen to my phone in the car and be very thankful for the technology! If you haven't tried this yet, you'll be amazed at how good it sounds. On a well processed and encoded stream it sounds better than analog FM. Just my two cents!
Love Forgotten Hits. Keep up the good work!

Last week we told you about this year's Variety Show put on at our daughter's High School ... now we have an audience-shot video of The Saxonettes performing "The Best Of Doo-Wop" ... remember, these are 15 - 17 year old girls performing this music two weeks ago to a rousing response. How rousing? They're already being asked to expand their repertoire for more performances ... and have been invited to perform The National Anthem for the school's opening basketball game (in four-part harmony no less!) If given the chance, today's younger audience WILL discover, embrace and fall in love with this music if given the chance ... but radio programmers (in their INFINITE wisdom) don't consider THEM part of their desired demographic either. (Morons!)  kk 

I took your advice and have been listening to The Drive's A-Z countdown -- and I'm hooked. I'll admit to finding the whole thing a little bit suspect at first, wondering how they were going to make it work -- but I'm hearing a wide variety of music here that I don't normally run across during the course of a normal listening day. And even some of the more familiar songs sound good again when mixed into the context of this formula. Thank you for the "heads up" on this special programming -- The Drive just earned themselves a brand new listener.
Yeah, I've pretty much been listening non-stop myself since they kicked this off on Friday Morning. Crazy as it sounds, it really DOES work ... and let's face it ... how often are you ever going to hear The Monkees doing "Daydream Believer" back-to-back with "Dazed And Confused" by Led Zeppelin?!?!? (lol)
(Scroll back for the "Listen Live" link)  kk

Superb choice - My Diengly Sad!
Here's my Top 10 list of great singles that were too late in the career of these groups to be big hits.
(Top 40 was being overrun by AOR):
I Found a Girl, Jan & Dean
Him or Me?, Paul Revere and the Raiders
Hazy Shade, Simon & Garfunkel
Try Too Hard, Dave Clark Five
Opus 17, Four Seasons
California Nights, Lesley Gore
Jennifer Eccels, Hollies
Six O'Clock, Lovin' Spoonful
Paint Me a Picture, Gary Lewis
Darlin', Beach BoysPhil
A few Forgotten Hits on that list for sure ... and some of these still sound great. I'll take "Him Or Me, What's It Gonna Be", "Opus 17", "California Nights", "Jennifer Eccles" and "Darlin'" over ANYTHING any local radio station might be playing right now ... and I can boldly make a choice like that without even knowing what song that may be ... because I can say with 75% certainty that whatever they're playing right now is most likely something that I've already turned off three or four times today anyway. (kk)

Hey Kent
Keep the rant going I'm on your side!!!! Wouldn't it be nice to hear a gem like this on the radio!!
And here are two more I'd like to hear on the radio again!!
Mickey sent us "I Must Be The Devil" by The Box Tops and then "Who Do You Love" by The Woolies along with "The Rains Came" by The Sir Douglas Quintet. Honestly, I think you're pipe-dreaming now ... short of an Internet station, you're not going to find these three coming out of your radio speakers anytime soon. We can't even get them to play legitimate Top 20 Hits anymore ... where two OUTSTANDING hits by The Sir Douglas Quintet certainly qualify ... "She's About A Mover" hit #13 in 1965 ... and is a GUARANTEED "crank up the volume" song (if somebody would only play it!!!) This one will get your listeners going EVERY SINGLE TIME. And their 1969 "comeback" hit, "Mendocino" (#14) is another sure-shot audience grabber. Play these two and I guarantee you that you'll hear from your listeners complimenting you on your creative song choices. (By the way, "The Rains Came" was ALSO a Top 40 Hit, reaching #31 in 1966 ... and "Who Do You Love" by The Woolies, which barely scratched the surface of The Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #95 in 1967, seems to be more of a "fan favorite" than anything else.)  As for The Box Tops, "I Must Be The Devil" was a B-Side ... so they SURE ain't gonna play THIS one!!! (I'd be thrilled if they'd play the flipside of that record ... The Box Tops recorded my all-time favorite version of "I Shall Be Released" in 1968 but it petered out at #67 on Billboard's pop chart. Bona fide Top 40 Hits like "Neon Rainbow" (#16, 1967), "Choo Choo Train" (#17, 1968), "I Met Her In Church" (#29, 1968) and "Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March" (#22, 1969) are regularly ignored by oldies radio ... and even Top 20 Hits like "Cry Like A Baby" (#2, 1968) and "Soul Deep" (#11, 1969) rarely get played either. Despite eight legitimate Top 40 Hits, The Box Tops seem to have been reduced to One Hit Wonder status by the all-knowing, all-powerful radio gods, who only recognize "The Letter" as airplay-worthy. (kk)

Is WLS moving up since it changed formats or declining?
It's too early to tell. While the latest ratings book shows a slight increase in their overall ratings, these measurements were taken BEFORE the full-blown switch over to the new "Classic Hits" format. Meanwhile, I'm seeing more and more evidence that K-Hits and The Drive are trying to capitalize on all the negative feedback WLS has beengetting for their change-over. K-Hits has drastically expanded their playlist ... and both stations now have campaigns built around the more music / more variety concept that we keep preaching about. The station that SHOULD have been the clear-cut winner here, simply by remaining true to its rich, long-standing heritage seems to quickly being left behind. (Meanwhile, a real, true, honest-to-God oldies station here now would be a HUGE, welcome addition to the mix ... a station focused on the music from 1955 - 1975 could easily eclipse ALL of these stations, simply by playing all of the great, great music these stations are still ignoring. Anybody out there got the guts? And the money???) kk

Dear Forgotten Hits:
My name is Leonora "Leah" Jordan, and radio today needs a big facelift. It was once so good and now you seem to have to subscribe to Satellite Radio to get somewhere. People shouldn't have to be forced into that. There are those who can't afford it and those who just don't find it worth it to subscribe to it and they should be allowed a say in such things.
There should be a station for today's pure rock / heavy metal, one for 50s and 60s music, one for 70s and 80s music, one for 90s and 2000s music, one for jazz of all sorts, one for soft rock, and maybe a pure disco station. There should also be one for alternative and indie rock. It also occurred to me that there should be one for comedy material and also one for discussions of current issues of all sorts. The latter would have a phone-in thing in which people could call and air their opinions about current issues.
It seems that there isn't too much of a Top 40 thing going on anymore so they should think of possibly starting such a station, too.  Give listeners the choice to find the kind of music and programming they want to listen to.
Also contributing to regular radio' s current state is the introduction of Internet radio. This has to be dealt with, as there are those who'd prefer to just go back to using regular radio, and there are those who can't afford the high-speed Internet access needed to get Internet radio stations and access to them. Or, it just isn't worth it to them. They should be allowed a personal choice in this matter.
Thank you for your time.
Leonora Jordan
Unfortunately, what you're suggesting is pretty much exactly what satellite radio is ... you've got a different station for EVERYTHING. Programming like that on the regular dial probably wouldn't garner enough ratings (or revenue) to keep any one single radio station going on its own. (With satellite, you're paying a subscription service fee in order to have the luxury of access to literally hundreds of stations. They don't really care WHICH ones you listen to ... they collect their money at the end of the month no matter what. And, since they don't sell advertising, your personal choices don't have any real reflection or relevance to what they're programming. Sure, they know which stations are being listened to most often ... but as long as people keep sending their checks in every month, it matters VERY little to the powers that be how the audience spends their listening time.)
You'd think that somebody might get a little creative and realize that a radio station specializing in one format just might earn themselves a very specific (and very loyal) listener base. It works for talk radio ... sports radio ... country music radio ... you know what you're selling and you know who your target audience base is ... and you just set out to service that base as best you can. Yet when it comes to the so-called "pop" stations they seem to be perfectly content to SHARE this group of listeners and, as such, program exactly the same music on all of them (to the point that most of the time you can't even distinguish which station you're tuned in to anymore!)
It used to be if you were flipping through the dial and landed on a particular song or artist, you had a pretty good idea which station you were on ... not so much the case anymore ... they've all become generic carbon copies of one another. What blows me away is that they're perfectly content to have it that way ... in fact, it's exactly what they strive for!!!
Any sense of variety seems to be sorely lacking on the radio dial these days ... yet none of these stations seem to be the least bit concerned about carving out their own niche by coming up with something that would make them stand out in the crowd amongst all the others playing the same old / same old.
And THAT is the sad state of radio that we keep describing here in Forgotten Hits. (kk)

Many thanks to Gary Shannon, who has renamed his new site "Forgotten Classic Hits" ... please know that we truly do appreciate it.
And, as I stated before, I'm all about keeping this great music alive ... so we'll do our best to help promote your station and site. (Hopefully, once in a while, you'll do the same for us!!! Especially now that we're featuring at least ONE Forgotten Hit in every posting!!!)
Deejays on the list will find some great programming suggestions here (if you've got the flexibility to modify your playlist at all ... sadly, MOST jocks have absolutely NO say or input into what they play anymore, no matter how many fresh ideas they may come up with) ... but we're still hoping that a few of you will climb on board and feature some of our "Today's Forgotten Hit" suggestions on your programs.  (Your listeners will thank you for it!)
Meanwhile, Gary's come up with a good one from the early '80's this week ... you can check it out here:

Kent ...
Thank God there was no damage to my house.
Monday = Power off, 6:30 PM.
Thursday = Power on, 6:45 PM.
No TV, No Computer, No Heat, No Hot Water.
I did have WCBS-FM , on my battery powered radio. That's all I needed to make it through the storm.
Frank B.
While we haven't mentioned the storm until now, we have been closely watching the complete devastation on the east coast brought on by Hurricane Sandy ... I can't even imagine dealing with this (and I've been through a couple of floods myself ... but when all of this was finally over, it honestly looked more like a war zone!) Thank God for the Radio, eh? (Segue into The Beach Boys' single ... "That's Why God Made The Radio") A few years ago FH Reader (and Colorado deejay) Wild Bill Cody got stranded at the studio when something like nine feet of snow crippled the city. He stayed on the air the whole time ... the other deejays couldn't even get to the station! People need comfort at a time like this ... people need a friend ... something to hold on to. THAT'S what radio can do ... THAT'S the power that it has. (Of course with MY luck they'd play "Jack And Diane" for the fourteenth time and I'd throw myself right into the eye of the storm!!!) kk
This will give you an idea of how bad things are on the East Coast.
We have a LOT of readers out your way ... we haven't heard from folks like Paul Russo from Cool Scoops or Dave The Rave ... hope you all are OK. And poor R.I.P. Renfield ... a few weeks ago, he had a stroke ... and has been slowly going through rehab recovery ... and now this. (Man, and I thought I was having a bad month!!!) Rich and Mamie (our tour guides when we came out to Philly a few years ago) ... and so many others. We feel for you and pray that you are all-right. Hopefully there's some comfort in the music ... although "Rock You Like A Hurricane" should probably stay off the air for a while. (kk)

How about a little "softer side" of "Sandy" to wrap things up today?  Here's ANOTHER great Forgotten Hit, courtesy of Ronny and the Daytonas!  (kk)

The Saturday Reviews


Wow! You talk about MUST SEE TV!    

This is "The Legends of Laurel Canyon, The Complete Documentary"

This was recently recorded in L.A. and features everyone that lived in L.A.'s Laurel Canyon back in the day. We're talking Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, to Mama Cass Elliot and the Mamas & Papas, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield, Love, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, The Mothers of Invention, Alice Cooper ... and the list goes on ... hell, for all I know, YOU may have lived there back then!

I suggest you sit down, relax with your favorite adult beverage or "WHATEVER", and watch this thing in it's entirety It's about 75 minutes long, but is a walk down music history of the 60's.
Enjoy my friends, I did!

Hi Kent,
In case you haven't seen anything about this, I'll pass it on.
A documentary aired on the ABC station in LA last weekend called The Legends of Laurel Canyon. In it, they talk about many of the folks that lived in the area in the 60's and early 70's.   

You can view the whole thing ... around an hour, I think ... here: Click here: WATCH: The Legends Of Laurel Canyon, The Complete Documentary | News | Music News | Noise11     

I have seen a couple of books at on the subject but haven't read any of them. Have you?

Actually the BEST book I have seen on this subject is by our FH Buddy Harvey Kubernik ... HIGHLY recommended ... another "coffee table" type book paying homage to this incredible era in rock and roll music history. You can grab your copy here:

And it's on sale, too!!! Nearly $12.00 off ... you will not be disappointed. (And be sure to check out Harvey's book on The Monterey Pop Festival, too ... we ran a review here:) kk    


And, speaking of great books, we just read another one!   


I just finished reading an EXCELLENT book by Sheree Homer called "Rick Nelson: Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer" ... highly recommended!   

While Sheree admits that she's a bit "new to the game" of Rick Nelson's music, she has done an excellent job of recreating the excitement of this era ... and bringing life to every phase of Rick's career.  Personally, I'm a lifetime fan ... and have read countless pieces on Rick over the years ... I've seen him perform live half a dozen times and have hundreds of Nelson video pieces in my collection ... yet I still learned things I never knew before. This book is jam-packed with information from cover to cover, with lots of photos you've never seen before, too!   

Sheree covers Rick's entire career ... from cute, irrepressible Ricky on his parents' television show ... to rock and roll / rockabilly pioneer ... to country / rock innovator ... to the Madison Square "Garden Party" fiasco ... and his late '70's / early '80's return to his roots ... right up to the end. (Unfortunately, as you already know, Rick's story has a VERY sad ending.)   

You'll find lots of stats, facts and figures and some in-depth looks behind the scenes, thanks to numerous quotes from Rick's former bandmates and associates. (You'll find lots of Rick's quotes sprinkled throughout the book as well ... Sheree really did her homework on this one ... and, in addition to pouring over hundreds of recorded documents also interviewed over 40 of Rick's close friends, family members and associates to give you a very up close and personal look at Nelson's amazing career.)   

It's a well-written, informative book that holds your interest from cover to cover ... speaking of which, I just LOVE the cover ... what a GREAT shot of Rick, circa 1964 - 1966.  

You can order your copy here:
Click here: Rick Nelson,Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer: Sheree Homer,Foreword by Bruce Berenson: 9780786460601: Books   

Or right through the publisher, McFarland, at; 1-800-253-2187.

And we've got a great, too oft-forgotten Rick Nelson track from 1963 for you today, too ... 

Tell me THIS one wouldn't sound great coming out of your radio every once in a while!!!   

Friday, November 2, 2012

Who's Gonna Play 'Em?

We can bitch all we want about the songs that radio chooses NOT to play ... legitimate, bona fide hits that captured our hearts back in the day ... many of which STILL sound fresh and exciting today (especially after not hearing them much for awhile) ... but if radio's not gonna play them, then who is?!?!?   

Well ... WE are!!!   

We've been pushing the Forgotten Hits concept for 13 years now ... and, as such, I offer a new commitment ...   

We will now feature ... with every new posting ... a Forgotten Hit somewhere within the piece ... 

Even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the piece and has to run as a "stand alone" segment.    

We're reclaiming and redefining our mission ... and we're backing up our stance ... radio needs a make-over ... and these songs STILL sound great (if somebody will only play them!)  And I whole-heartedly believe that your listening audience will agree if given the chance.   

Call them suggestions ... and (with a little bit of luck) maybe some of the jocks on the list will take them that way (and actually program a few of these into THEIR broadcast day as well!) ...     

Call them the music that time and radio has forgotten ...  

Call them whatever you want.   

But we're returning to our original purpose and rededicating ourselves to doing our part to keep this great music alive.   

Here are three such suggestions ... each and every one of them legitimate Top 20 Hits from the '60's ... and proven fan favorites ... So why aren't these songs part of regular programming?  (Or, at the very least, featured once in a while as an occasional "WOW" song?!?!?)

Yep ... today we show you what radio COULD (or is that should?!?!?) sound like (with just a little "outside the box" thinking!)  Is there really a listener out there who wouldn't be pleased to hear one of these tracks again???  (kk)

Or Chuck or Bob or Brian or whoever ... just give it a shot and see how your audience reacts ... you just may be surprised.  And, for those of you playing at home, we're giving YOU the chance to play dee-jay, too.  Run these songs together ... overlap at the fade ... do your best "to the post" dee-jay rap over the intros ... have fun with these ... 'cause this is good-time music at its very best! 

And for more great variety and surprises, be sure to tune into The Drive for the next eight days as they go through their massive album library and feature favorite tracks from A to Z.  It all starts this morning at 6 am Chicago Time ... and will run for a little over a week ... 2000+ great tunes in alphabetical order ... with absolutely NO repeats!!!
Give it a listen right here:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The NAY's

Not everyone responding to our recent rave-out agreed with us ... here are a few of the "NAY's" we received ... (along with a couple of clarifications along the way ... or, as I like to call them, a series of my "You're Missing The Point" comments!)

Well it's time for me to add my two cents, for better or worse. There are many times that I'll feel the way many of you do when that overplayed song comes on the air. There is a silver lining to this redundancy that is of value to the propagating of this thing we love called "Rock and Roll".
Many of these songs came out back when a buck just wasn't the buck that it is today. Those artists should still be getting paid for their efforts of yesteryear. They did, after all, give us most excellent music that revved up our souls and are a large part of the "Forgotten Hits" repertoire.
The kids of today need to be turned on to the old artists with a repetition that will get them into that same groove and feeling we once felt. Thus, the sales of CD's, which will put those new bucks into the artists hands. The old artists still tour (I saw The Moody Blues awhile back, I'm just saying) and are making some good scratch for their old efforts. Younger kids are showing up these days and that is a good thing. This a result of getting hooked on the oldies by radio or by growing up in some potheads' house where this was a staple 24/7. The point here is, that those super songs had the sound and the hooks that made them appealing and compelling enough to make you want to own them or go see the concert.
Of course I don't listen to the radio much unless I'm on a trip and it is usually tuned to a Mexican station that plays American Rock and Roll that is obscure and most of which I've never heard before. Lots of B sides and really good stuff that didn't make overplayed status. I personally don't mind the other stations that play the redundancy, because being a singer, I sing along and tell the bride I can kick Steve Perry's ass on "Lights" or how "Light My Fire" should've been sung. Under her breath I can hear her say "you wish" ... well, 40 years ago maybe. So my not being a radio aficionado doesn't allow me to enter a dog in your hunt, BUT I just wanted to be the Devil's advocate here for the sake of all the geezers that still have the balls to get out there and shake a tail feather. Long live Rock and Roll!!
PS: Off topic, I just want to give Chicago a definite kudos. There are many great groups from the area but in my humble opinion, I have to say that after years of diggin grooves, one person stands out for me, and he is from Chi-town. MARVIN JUNIOR, for me, is the very best soul singer of all time. Oh I know, I have a list of spectacular others, too, but that man is the epitome of power, guts, and soul.
Alex Valdez    

YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT:  I agree ... and there has never been a greater advocate than me when it comes to introducing a new audience to the GREAT music of yesterday ... and I have seen time and time again the incredible response and reaction from these kids as they discover music with a catchy melody, intelligible lyrics (ok, so maybe not "Louie Louie"!) and just an over-all feel-good vibe.  They are NOT going to experience that, however, with radio playing the same two dozen artists 75% of the time!!!  If you REALLY want to build a new audience, they need to experience first hand the musical variety that was at our fingertips every time we turned on the radio back then.  There is more to the music of our generation than Journey, John Mellencamp and Billy Joel ... it's really as simple as that.  So I whole-heartedly AGREE with your sentiments ... they're just not being executed properly.  Meanwhile, the lion's share of music that WE grew up with (from the '50's and '60's) has nearly disappeared for good because programmers feel there's just no audience for it anymore.  As I've stated numerous times in the past, that's programming with blinders on.  Go ANYWHERE where this music is playing today and you will see the kids respond and react to it in a positive way.  (At my daughter's High School Variety Show a week or two ago we saw a young man play a note-for-note perfect version of The Beatles' "Blackbird" ... and watched a quartet of young female singers do a doo-wop medley that consisted of "Earth Angel", "Sh-Boom", "A Teenager In Love" and "Lollipop" ... and the crowd went NUTS!!!)  Walk through a theme park and you'll hear music of the '50's, '60's and '70's playing ... through the speakers and on the rides ... and the kids are happily singing along.  Go to a kid's birthday party and you'll hear it on the jukebox.  Go to the pool in the summertime and you'll hear it blasting through the speakers.  Same thing at the ballpark ... literally EVERYWHERE this music is being played, it is being responded to in a positive light by a young listening audience ... yet radio isn't about serving and building an audience anymore ... it's about the advertising demographic ... and that's all they can see.  (Perhaps those ratings would go up if radio was playing what people really want to hear!  Now I know that that's just an unproven theory ... but I'm saying "Why not put it to the test?")  Even our daughter has made comments about how often they seem to play the same songs over and over again ... and she's fairly new to the whole radio game.  How burnt out is SHE going to be in a few years???  She's already choosing YouTube, Pandora and her iPod over what radio has to offer today because at least through these outlets, she can program some variety into the mix.    And it's become even worse here in Chicago where we no longer have an oldies station.  At 2 1/2 minutes each, you can cram a WHOLE lotta music into each hour ... and feature far more variety when doing so ... now all we get is THEIR version of "Classic Hits" ... by the same two dozen artists, 75% of the time.  If you want to hear THAT much music by ANY artist, just pop their CD in in your car. When I turn on the radio, I want to hear variety!!!  (kk)

Kent - 
I agree with your concept that there's a lot of worthy songs not being played on the radio. I truly miss listening to the radio and remarking "Oh Wow - I haven't heard that song in ages!" 
But I counted 186 songs on your list. If a station expanded it's playlist to, for example, 1000 songs and played them equally, you would still hear one of your overplayed songs once nearly every five plays. My point is simply that if we are going to make a solid argument to the radio stations perhaps there might be a more powerful way. I would start by seeing just how many different songs a station plays in a five-day (Monday - Friday) week. Then exert pressure for them to increase that number. Again, I agree completely with your "rant" but I think we need to strengthen our argument.
Steve Davidson
Scottsdale, AZ    

YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT:  It's not about the song count ... it's about the saturation of the same artists being rammed down our ears 24/7.  (I could easily have added another 50 songs to this list by the same artists ... that isn't the point ... although some songs DO seem to be EXCEPTIONALLY annoying by the sheer number of times they're played each day.)
You'll see arguments below saying that we all have our favorites that we'd rather hear (which would only alienate another set of listeners) ... but I'm here to tell you that I don't care WHICH 24 artists they are ... I don't think ANY group of artists should maintain that kind of radio domination because the end result is that the audience will ... and has ... grown sick of them.  I bought every single one of those songs on my list ... and genuinely LOVED this music ... but radio (through its infinite wisdom of non-stop repetition) has made me HATE many of these songs and artists now.  (In all fairness, as pointed out earlier, it's not the artists' fault ... they created some GREAT music ... but radio has beaten it to death in such an over-the-top, cram-it-in-our-ears sort of way that many of these artists have now become cringe-worthy from the very first note!)  Give some of this music a rest ... rotate it with OTHER songs and other artists that will make us love and appreciate these artists again.  Many of these songs today don't make it past the first three notes before I'm changing the station.  Program VARIETY into your schedule and we can tolerate listening to these artists again.  After turning off oldies like "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Oh, Pretty Woman" for six weeks straight, I've found that I can actually LISTEN to these songs again six weeks later and think, "Wow, that actually sounded pretty good."  It's just when the same music is beaten into our heads over and over again that we react to it negatively.  These are GREAT songs ... but radio has made me HATE them.
I used an analogy the other day that back in the days of Top 40 Radio, we lived with hearing the same songs during every four-hour radio program because that was the format of the day.  But if you're going to sell yourself as "The Greatest Hits Of All-Time" and "The Classic Hits of the '60's, '70's and '80's", your play list library is now open to literally THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of songs, ALL of which now fit that format and those guidelines ... you're not limited to ANY 40 songs or artists anymore ... so there is absolutely NO reason to beat these songs to death ... because those same 200-300 songs are simply NOT "The Greatest Hits of All-Time."  The greatest hits of the era you're covering encompasses SO much more ... and you're losing your audience in the process by driving them away with the same day in / day out repetition.  (kk)     

Seems to me, Kent, that you're just a tad paranoid about what radio stations play! For starters Chicago AIN'T the only city in the world! Secondly, I presume you think that Forgotten hits is so important in the grand scheme of things, that if you rant enough about playlists and who the RRHoF puts up for inclusion, that those in charge will bend to your thoughts and wishes, and will do what YOU want. Thirdly, FH is a good site, but it's fast becoming the KK soapbox, and it's time you shut up and spread your parish a little further than Chicago, and indeed the USA. There's a whole world out there playing music, and producing good stuff. Buy yourself an internet radio and start listening to stations in Europe, Australia, and the rest of the world. You're fast becoming a bloody bore!   
G Van Win (UK)   

YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT:  Based on the response we've seen so far, if there's a "majority of one" here, it's more likely you than me. As stated in our "soap box" piece, this problem isn't confined to just Chicago ... it's nationwide ... and, from what we've heard from many of our readers, WORLD WIDE as well!  It's a full-blown epidemic of cookie-cutter programming.  Sure, Internet Radio is an option ... but not in my car. I'd just like to know that for the brief hour each way to and from work the possibility exists for me to hear something OTHER than what's on that list.
Maybe you've come to expect such narrow-minded programming living in the UK where for decades and decades the ONLY option was the BBC ... and you learned to listen to whatever was being force-fed to you because there simply was no other option ... it was all you were going to get. But if everyone there in the UK agreed with you, then Pirate Radio never would have been invented and become as popular as it did!!!
My purpose here isn't to sway anybody's opinion over to my side or my way of thinking ... I'm not trying to convert or convince anybody of anything ... my point is simply to say "Hey look ... if you agree with me, and you're as fed up with this situation as I am, then I think it's time we DO something about it." I talk to deejays and programmers all the time ... they either seem to have little or no input in these matters, regardless of how they may really feel about it ... or cite the "research" as stating that this is what the listeners really want to hear. I disagree ... and, from the looks of things, so do thousands and thousands of others out there. All I'm saying is "There's strength in numbers."  I'm just one guy ... I'm not going to change anything all by myself ... and this isn't going to change on its own. So if I can use whatever influence Forgotten Hits may have to spearhead such a movement, I'm all in. My intention isn't to change the way somebody else thinks ... you're all entitled to your own opinion on this matter.  I'm simply saying "If you feel the same way I do about this, then let's DO something about it."  Is Forgotten Hits "so important in the grand scheme of things"??? Probably not.  I guess we'll find out. But at least I'll feel better knowing that I tried. (kk)

Gather around kids as the cranky old man offends everyone (including Kent) with what's wrong with radio and its listeners and even its critics ...
I used to play a fun game with WLS-FM even before the change. If I woke up before the clock radio went off, I'd predict which artist would play. 80% of the time I got the artist right and maybe 20% of the time I'd even have the song right. I had their clocks and library memorized, which wasn't hard to do. Once I woke up to the same song five times in eleven days.
When the new format started, I was able to play the same game within a week. Since then, though, I've switched my clock radio to K-Hits. They play the same songs, but they rotate them less predictably. I'm about to get an I-phone and will probably also get a clock radio / charger for it and wake up to Slacker.
The problem with many radio program directors - and I'm speaking generically here - is that they tend to think of radio as having started when they came to town. They don't see their format, slogans and contests as being stale and boring. To them, they're fresh, new and unique. There's no sense of the past because then they'd have to admit someone before them knew what they were doing. And that would diminish their own sense of self-importance. Make no mistake about it, they think they're the savior of radio when in fact they're one of the reasons for its slow demise. Don't expect these carpetbagger PDs to explore a city's musical heritage. They believe the audience moved to town when they did. They may be willing to hire legendary talent from that city, but they handcuff the talent with their liner cliches and no-talk segues.
The old tried-and-untrue "Listen for xx song, be the xx caller and win!" contest, for example, that many program directors think is so great is actually counterproductive because it encourages the listeners (even those who don't call in) to notice how often songs repeat.
Auditorium research tells them people like "Jack and Diane". It doesn't say how often people want to hear it or John Mellencamp in general. It's a snapshot of the moment, not an indicator of the future. To determine attitudes, you use focus groups and perceptual studies. Likewise, they are not good at predicting the future, only the present. You need a good program director to understand and utilize that information properly.
But the audience is partially to blame. Since every radio station hears "you play the same songs over and over" in their focus groups, they tend to ignore what they hear. Ask the average listener and they'll tell you - ANYONE can program a radio station. Just play THEIR favorites. Because they ("and all their their friends") like it, so EVERYONE will like it. Hear that often enough and you'll understand why stations say, "We're professionals. Don't try this at home, kids."
There's a fine line between giving feedback and an amateur condescendingly telling a professional how to do their job. People who wouldn't tell a doctor, plumber or auto mechanic what to do think they know SO much more than a radio professional.
Calling, writing and e-mailing a station becomes ignored because they have always heard those complaints. If they look the other way at scientific research imagine how they feel about such unscientific "research." Even if the audience isn't "crying wolf" that's the perception because listeners
have always cried it yet continue to listen.
Good auditorium research DOES include songs the station isn't playing. Occasionally you'll find a gem. But the vast majority of the time the new songs are rejected by the very same people who tell you that you're playing the same songs over and over!!! If there's a consensus that the audience wants to hear something else, trust me, the station will jump on it.
It's impossible to play a large enough library of songs to avoid hearing "you play them too often" without playing too many songs the mass audience doesn't doesn't know or remember. (And yes, multi-million corporations with limited channels are interested in mass audiences, not niche segments. That's one advantage satellite and Internet companies have.) No one ever gets upset at hearing their favorites too often - only the marginal tunes or the ones they dislike. (WLS-AM used to play the five biggest tunes every hour-and-a-half). Ron Britain told me people would complain when he was at WIND playing 3,500 songs that they played them too often. If you played 10,000, though, your audience would be
miniscule because the unfamiliar songs would cause tuneouts. And there would still be just as many people complaining that you play the same songs over-and-over as they notice ones they don't like appearing again. Even a great "forgotten hit" will cause tuneout unless you can give the audience the background of the tune and artist as a buffer to its unfamiliarity (one reason why Scott Shannon could play them). But that can't happen with "shut up and play the hits" programming. And that's the point.
Research is great at telling you what songs to play but terrible at telling you how often to play them. So you rely on the program director's experience and knowledge to keep a station with a static playlist fresh. That includes regularly resting some tunes, strong personalities to complement the music,
playing the occasional "oh wow" song, contests that are as entertaining as the music, regularly scheduled features, playing topical tunes and working very hard to keep patterns from forming. I guarantee you my clock radio game wouldn't work with a PD like Tommy Edwards or New York's legendary Joe McCoy. A large number of these real good program directors, though, have sadly moved up or moved on.
In the '60s, almost 100% of the contemporary audience listened to Top 40 radio. By the late '60s and into the '70s, the audience split into Top 40 and Album radio. Oldies stations now don't play the Carpenters, Barry Manilow and Bread because they're trying to find a balance between those two segments. In the '80s it gets worse as you add Alternative stations and a huge number of Adult Contemporary channels to the mix. Is it any wonder stations trying to play '70s and '80s music can't find a large consensus of music that appeals to all these niche segments? Programming Classic Hits is not the same as programming Oldies just with different years. Which is why we need Real / True / Proper / Correct / Classic OLDIES stations and a sales staff that can point out to advertisers the advantages of appealing to an undiluted Baby Boomer audience.
Big radio chains are so in debt that they need immediate results. There's no time to develop long-term formats. Remember "Jammin' Oldies"? It had a very small playlist and played those tunes sometimes every nine hours? There was no vision for the future. The future was "that moment." Their "scorched earth policy" ruined a lot of artists and songs for the listeners. Many Supremes songs are still "burnt out" with listeners thanks to this short-term programming. Trust me, the same thing is about to happen with the artists on Kent's overplayed list.
Don't let ratings fool you. It's a "zero sum" game. In the end, all the shares combined add up to 100%. But 4% of a big pie is not the same as 4% of a small pie. And traditional radio is doing a great job of sending listeners to satellite radio, Internet channels, YouTube and their own MP3s. Clear Channel's Bob Pittman (who gave us "WMAQ's gonna make me rich" and MTV and is one of my early influences) is on a mission to "reinvent radio" by convincing advertisers how strong its numbers remain (remind them
about Baby Boomers while you're at it, Bob). But I hear no talk about improving the product, just its perception. And, by the way, who were two of the artists he used at advertiser functions to grease his message? Elton John and Stevie Nicks. He should have saved the money (Clear Channel is $302 million in debt) and just played one of his Classic Hits stations.
Now get off my lawn, you kids.
-- Ron Smith    

YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT:  The difference between this letter and the one above from the UK is that THIS one offers informed insight into the process of what's going on behind the scenes in radio. I wouldn't presume for a second that I'm qualified to program a radio station ... but I DO know that playing songs by the same 24 artists isn't the solution. In THAT respect, we all seem to agree. That's why other listeners are loading their cars with CD's, listening to their iPods or, in your case, buying a dock that allows you to listen to Slacker / Internet Radio at home instead of what constitutes today as terrestrial radio. (It's also why you changed your alarm clock from WLS to K-Hits!) So on THAT point, we all agree. And yes, when Internet Radio becomes available in the car, I'll drop my case. But in the meantime (and for the benefit of those of us who can't just run out and buy a new car right now!), I'm suggesting a revamping of the "norm". So on this point, we disagree. I believe that a good, solid, on-going coast-to-coast campaign of contacting these stations and telling them that we want MORE from a radio station ... that we want more variety, more substance, more entertainment ... WILL eventually get their attention ... it might cause them to re-evaluate their research ... but it will only work if we do it droves.  And we must send an on-going message.  This has to be a concentrated, universal message, sent to EVERY offending radio station around the country or it doesn't have a chance. Will this happen? Who knows ... 'cause if everybody does it for a day or two and then it tapers off and dies down, any attention you might have grabbed will then be lost again. (And let's not forget ... these guys think that they're doing it right ... they think that they're giving us exactly what we want ... and that they're presenting it better than anybody else on the dial. I'm talking tunnel-vision to the max here!!!)  But if we can get some media coverage out of this ... get a few "Friends of Forgotten Hits" to cover this as a human interest story and help us get the word out ... then at least we can raise awareness and let folks know that there is a campaign out there to try and set things right again.
Based on the responses I've seen, it would seem that MOST people out there seem content to simply turn off their terrestrial radios and listen via the Internet instead ... they've already given up ... and I suppose ultimately I may choose to do the same. But I haven't forgotten how much listening to the radio meant to me. Sure, back in the day of Top 40 Radio, these stations only had a play list of maybe 60 songs ... the current 40 hits, a batch of oldies and maybe a couple of new premiers ... and we listened to it and we accepted it ... because that was the format of the day. We waited for that brand new Beatles song to be played every hour (and even switched the station, hoping we could catch it in between again on another channel!) But we were also constantly entertained by the talent on the air in between. We didn't care if we heard the same songs every four hours then because that's what radio was ... that WAS the format.  (We didn't care that we only had three TV stations either, remember???)
But today ... if you're going to present yourself as the "Classic Hits Station" playing "The Greatest Hits Of All-Time", then you should at least acknowledge the fact that there were more than 300 Hits during the era you're programming ... and more than 24 artists that made those hits. Wanna do The Greatest Hits of the '60's, '70's and '80's??? Fine ... then take 100 songs from each of those years and start off with a library of 3000 songs ... mix 'em up and rotate 'em so we get to hear equal portions of each decade ... pick the biggest "tried and true" hits and long-time favorites ... throw in a couple of surprises from each year ... and have a go at it. Even if you played 15 songs per hour, it'd take you 200 hours before you'd have to repeat a single one. (Now we both know that won't ever happen, but it gives you some idea as to what the scope of this could be!)
Rank your songs as heavy, medium and light rotation ... and then play a mix of EACH every hour ... your heavy repeaters will still pop up often enough so as not to alienate any listeners ... and every one else will be rewarded with a "wow" song every now and again. (Hmmm ... may I COULD program a radio station after all!?!?!?)
Anyway, I've heard all the reasons and excuses why it can't be done ... but I've yet to see anybody TRY it and see what happens. Money and sponsors are a big part of the equation ... you'll get no argument from me there. (Someone else suggested that instead of focusing on the talent that knows how to broadcast these tunes, why not focus on the sales staff that can deliver the sponsors to make this whole idea a running success!!! And they very well may have the best point of all!)
Will we change anything? Probably not ... but at least we're giving it our best shot. (kk)

Comparing programming a radio station to performing medical surgery really isn't really a fair comparison.  The doctor's purpose is to save lives ... radio's purpose is to serve and entertain the public.  If the doctor fails at his purpose, the patient dies.  When radio fails at its purpose, we simply change the station and look for something else.  (One of my favorite lines of all-time came when Larry Lujack was back on Real Oldies a few years ago and read a story about Mother Theresa ... and then equated her efforts to what HE does on the radio, which is basically telling the audience to dial 1-800-MATTRESS!!!)  

Thanks to today's technology, EVERYBODY has become a music programmer.   With iPods storing 10,000 songs ... and iPhone apps like iHeartRadio offering 14 MILLION songs at your immediate disposal, the times have certainly changed.  We don't HAVE to listen to the radio today.  The choices are limitless.  (I made the point the other day that thanks to more inspired programming on cable tv, not one single network drama was nominated for an Emmy this year ... a television first.  Now I suppose we could argue that ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox simply need to add boobs and the F-word to their programming to turn things around, but I think we present a better case ... and have a better chance of selling that case ... by concentrating on radio instead!)
The point many of you seem to have missed while I was up on my soap box is that I'm trying to SAVE radio ... not abandon it.  Read through EVERY comment in this series (yay or nay) and you'll find that each and every one of you has offered and  suggested an alternative to terrestrial radio ... most likely because you've already given up on it.  Carry CD's ... bring along your iPod ... subscribe to satellite service ... listen to Internet stations like Slacker, Pandora, Live 365 and others ... each and every suggestion offered is what to do INSTEAD of listening to the radio!!!  (Not much chance of me swaying anybody over to "my side" if most of you have already given up!)   

MY purpose in all of this was to simply say, "Hey, Radio ... get your heads out of your asses and DO something to save this format ... before it, too, become extinct."  Even the negative comments we received spelled out the fact that these readers have already jumped ship and are now listening to something else.  I seem to be the only one here who is FOR radio ... and what it can be ... yet my bitching has been construed as "negative" when, in fact, I seem to be the only one saying anything positive about what radio could and should be.   

We live in an immediate society now where the entire world (and virtually everything you could possibly want from it) is at our fingertips.  The concentration level of today's listener is pretty much non-existent.  Everybody is multi-tasking and splitting their attention between numerous distractions to the point that they're not really absorbing any one of them.  As such, radio has "dumbed-down" to an audience that THEY think will accept (without any question or hesitation) a steady diet of 24 or 25 artists, 60 - 75 % of the time.    

All I'm saying is that we deserve more than that ... but instead of hearing any positive suggestions as to how radio might improve itself, all we got were suggestions of what to do INSTEAD of listening to the radio ... proving again that MOST of you have already given up.   

So I say unite and revolt ... because radio today is pretty revolting.  Is there a chance we can save radio???  Who knows.  But we'll NEVER know unless we try.   

My purpose here is to motivate radio to step outside the box ... and to motivate YOU to keep after them about it.  I believe there is strength in numbers ... I believe if we make a strong enough, concentrated effort, we just may get their attention ... at least open up the possibility of some discussion as to how radio might change to better serve their listening audience.  Get their consulting groups to kick around a few new ideas ... see if we can get a few stations onboard, which might cause a few others to adapt due to peer pressure ... and try to make radio INTERESTING again!!!  But they need to do so while they still HAVE a listening audience ... and, from what I've seen, there aren't very many of us left!   

(Stepping down from my soap box now ... apologies if we're still boring you!)  kk