- January 19, 2022 at 10:41 pm #118995ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 563
In a previous thread about TV singers, it was claimed that most of those songs could be heard on commercial radio. I rather doubt that.
Anyway, here is a smattering of songs that I featured on a Surfin’ the New Wave show from Artisan Radio. The theme of that particular show was songs you likely wouldn’t hear anywhere else.
First, Rocky Erickson & the Aliens with I Walked with a Zombie. Rocky, of course, was lead singer for the garage band 13th Floor Elevators, until he fell mentally ill and was institutionalized. He formed the Aliens band after he was released from hospital.
Next, we’ll look at a little number by Klaus Nomi, a cover of the Lou Christie hit Lightning Strikes. Klaus was a German born opera singer (countertenor) who was known for his bizarre stage performances and choices of music. He also covered You Don’t Own Me and The Twist.
We’ll follow that with a little musical number called The Creature with Two Heads by the fictional band (from the TV show Laverne & Shirley) Lenny & the Squigtones, otherwise known as MIchael McKean and David Lander. McKean also starred in Spinal Tap (another fictional band).
And then we’ll listen to Jonathon Richman and the Modern Lovers with There’s an Abominable Snowman in the Market. Great stuff.
We’re almost done. Next, there’s the Fabulous Poodles with Vampire Rock. The Poodles were a UK band and you’d have a better chance of hearing them on English radio. Not in North America.
And finally, one of my favorite New Wave/Punk/whatever groups, the Cramps, with Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? A tender story about family pets. This was a dance floor favorite for a while.
There were other songs, but those are the highlights.
I enjoyed putting that show together so much that I did another one a bit later on, and I may share it as well (just to give an example, it featured the Video Kids, a band from the Netherlands, doing Woodpeckers From Outer Space).January 20, 2022 at 6:20 pm #119000MarkModerator
Total posts : 711
I think Timinbovey’s post was comparing *his* commercial station and that they play all the songs we(Artisan and I)were mentioning, to commercial stations in general and saying it is more common then you may think. I am not in a position to know as in the USA, not so much in Canada, there’s many small lower power local stations like Tim’s and there may be other oldies stations like his that do play off the beaten path to a niche audience and won’t just play main hits than everyone would know with a 300 song playlist. But I think it’s safe to say that mainstream commercial radio has to get advertisers and have to stick to an age group and format and audience that advertisers want to advertise to. In Toronto the audience measurement companies that do the surveys don’t care about the over 55 age group and neither do the stations so the “oldies’ or “classic hits” stations get “younger” each year. They also play what everyone will know. It had to be a big hit. Not only that but 60s refers to 1968 and up….they won’t play a Frankie Avalon song from 1961. Even Zoomer 740 in Toronto is not what they were 5 years ago. They have lost me.
So in conclusion the point I am making is while there may be some stations around like Tim’s it’s a small minority. A station may play “Johnny Angel” but not others that she recorded because they were not “hits” and other than a few like me, Artisan, Timinbovey, and a handful of people in the general public, would know them. Commercial radio sticks to the main highway so to speak, not the side streets.
So if Tim’s station where he works is playing all the songs that we were talking about….it’s great….so I say…making commercial radio great again!…or at least better.
Even today there’s stuff around like Dea Matrona, a female trio from Ireland playing 60s and 70s style rock and country, write their own songs….check them out. They are touring and doing concerts and have an album or two but you will never hear this on radio. Radio has no peripheral vision. They won’t venture off the main expressway.
Even my dad told me when I was growing up…late 50s and 60s, and listening to the hit parade stations which played the same 40 songs in rotation that there’s so much more than what radio plays and he was right. I didn’t care at the time as I was in love with rock and roll and the hit parade but along with the charted songs they could have also played a lot more.
The station that Tim works for is unique and is willing to get the niche audience also as well as the mainstream.January 23, 2022 at 3:14 am #119017timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 806
Yes, we are likely a small minority of AM stations, but we have been that way for over 34 years (That’s how long I’ve been working there as morning show host and chief engineer). Our regular playlist has nearly 6,000 tunes in it on a 1955-1976 oldies station, (about ten times more than any typical oldies station) and we have plenty of songs that go past that time period on each h end. My show also includes different songs than the library as I play vintage and obscure vinyl from my collection every day. We are a 5000 watt AM station with a 250 watt FM translator with the antenna at over 400 feet with a solid 60 mile coverage area. We also live stream all day, have downloadable podcasts of my morning show and the afternoon drive shows and are also carried live on the regional cable TV system.
We also own a classic rock 100,000 watt FM with studios down the hall. We also have an expanded playlist there, take requests over the mid day, and don’t shy away from album tracks, etc.
And across the hall is our 100,000 watt A/C station that leans toward “hot a/c” and as far as I’m concerned is the “at work and girlie station” with a few song exceptions, but again, with about 5 times the playlist of a typical AC station. Personally, it’s not my thing but my wife likes it and it’s on in damn near every office within a 75 mile radius.
As far as oldies go, if you don’t expand the playlist the format gets very old and very boring very fast.
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