During the 60’s top 40 stations had some great jingles to ID their stations and these were a key part of a stations’s brand image.
WUWU FM in 1982 was definitely not top 40 but they were looking to build an audience, Their playlist during the day included some mainstream acts as you hear Gary Storm announce that he just played Rush and the Headpins. I think they had realized that you cannot build a station just with alternative artists so they would try to woo ( or would that be woo woo) the listeners with a few known commodities and then introduce them to some amazing alternative music as you hear on this clip with an unusual rendition of “Whole Lotta Love”. The clip is from September 1982.
Listen at the beginning to two ID’s. The station was different sometimes way out there and these ID’s are among the best that I have heard. They were longer than the usual but I believe they were a very effective tease to listen to the station. They were not recorded on the same show as the rest of the clip and you will find them interspersed between parts of several tracks. I have also placed a contemporary ID from 97 Rock so you can compare what a more mainstream station was doing. I love how one ID segues into”Princess of the Universe” by Todd Rundgren. Total Rock’n Roll !
Gary Storm I believe was doing day time and not his Oil of Dog all night extravaganza See the Oil of Dog Corner on this web site for more on that. Also note that you can hear the infamous Bob Allen on this clip promoting his talk show the Town Crier which he also presented at WBUF earlier. Yes the man who took the station hostage during it’s last day with this format.
When David Letterman began his late night show he was truly groundbreaking. The irreverent segments such as “stupid pet tricks and “Larry Bud Melman” etc were pushing the envelope of the usually staid and old school world of TV talk shows. He may have lost some of his edge over the years and who would not after all that time.
The one area where he’s remained a pioneer is in showcasing musical acts which have retained their “indie” cred and credo and which have not received much exposure elsewhere on commercial radio or television.
Groups such as Wilco, The Jayhawks and Dr. Dog have all been able to showcase their talent and gain a national foothold thanks to Dave.
Enjoy this clip by Dr Dog. Not from Letterman but a great slice of indie Americana nevertheless. Steven Colbert please follow the leader !
This is the latest contest for your chance to win a Tim Horton’s or Starbucks gift certificate valued at $ 10.00.
There are eight musical selections and there’s a connection from one track to the next. Your mission is to list all eight artists and also guess what the connection is from track to track.
The first person with the correct answers wins. Contest will be up for about one week. Gift certificates are purchased in Canada but I can look into US redemption if I get a stateside winner. World at large sorry but you are welcome to play for bragging rights.
Email your answers to Javedjafri@rogers.com or leave them in the comments section but I won’t publish those until the contest is closed. Members o the SOWNY Board can send me a private message there.
A goblin’s added a ninth track but there’s no apparent connection to the eight and it’s just the first track repeated. Maybe you can come up with a connection for bonus points.
Good luck and have fun. Congrats again to the “Original Hank for winning the last contest.
Anyone is welcome to play but gift certificates used for prizes may be redeemable only in Canada.
Delivery of prizes will be by regular mail and delivery as good as our postal services.
Ladies and gentlemen now presenting John Farrell on WBUF from 1975
This air check clocks in over an hour and gives you a great taste of what a real free-flowing rock station could sound like. Farrell worked at least three of the Buffalo NY progressive rock stations WPHD, WBUF and WZIR. In a way BUF was the best progressive rock station that the city ever had. They were the longest lasting and the format was never watered down until they changed to pure album rock in 1978. John sounded serious and was concise and not prone to ramble. The atmosphere created on his show was one of smokey psychedelia. The music featured on this clip includes Spirit, Phil Manzanera, Armageddon, Weather Report, Emerson Lake and Palmer and an entire side of Hendrix.
Yeah this is far out man and you will be somewhat “experienced” in the art of progressive free form after you listen.
The end of the clip segues into the next show.
Farrell’s next stop after BUF wasWZIRon the 98.5 frequency in 1980. New Wave had arrived and his delivery seemed to lighten in keeping with the times.The smokey haze disappeared as he was working the afternoon drive shift. I will be posting quite a bit of WZIR in the future including more John Farrell. Enjoy this for now.
Many of you may be aware of Zooey Deschanel as an actress in the hit TV show New Girl as well as her movie roles. Less known is her work as a singer with the duo She and Him along with her musical partner and lo-fi indie artist extraordinaire M Ward. They have made three albums together and should be on the radio but are shut out because of the fragmented but narrow mentality of commercial radio programmers. Ironic that a lady who markets so many products by way of her TV commercials is not able to get wide exposure for her music. In my opinion She and Him should be and could be huge musical stars.
Both Zooey and M Ward are fans of baroque pop-rock of the Left Banke, The Zombies and The Beach Boys. and these influences are evident in their music. In fact Zooey did a great interview with one of her heroes, head Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the Stereogum web site a few years ago. Enjoy this cover by She and Him of a tune made famous by the Beach Boys and wonder why no one has heard of them.
These two clips are from WCMF FM- Rochester NY. The first one is from 1975.
We lived near the lake and I had hooked up the TV tower antenna to my FM receivers. I looked forward to the days when I could pick up a clear signal from Rochester as this gave me more choice in terms of free form FM programing. Like most FM rock stations at this time WCMF had also tightened it’s format but had not gone full bore AOR ( Album orientated rock) yet. The clip features music by Steely Dan, The Marshall Tucker Band ( yes southern Jam band were more popular in the US than Canada) and Feel Flows by the Beach Boys to close. A few interesting commercials including one for the Happy Hooker movie. I hope I have some Mighty Taco commercials when I get to the Buffalo, NY stations.
The second clip is from 1983 and by this time CMF was fully AOR and so the interesting programing had been relegated to Sunday nights. Bringing to mind Elvis Costello’s words from Radio Radio “so they put us on the reel to reel.” The show was called Import Export and it featured cutting edge new wave. The first track is Breathless by the LA band called X and the second an edited ( by me) version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties by The Velvet Underground and Nico . The track is pre-new wave/punk as it was released in 1967. I don’t think I have ever heard this track on the radio before or so I thought until I recently rediscovered this tape.
The famous ( in Rochester) Unkle Roger a hold over from the free form days was a co-host of this show but I don’t think that’s him on the clip. Leave a comment if you can confirm who it is.
Focus groups, consultants and data are key to marketing success and no one will deny that but there are some things of the heart and mind that all the data mining and research will not tell you. That’s a fact sometimes over-looked in some business sectors and radio is a prime example. The importance of radio to people’s lives has diminished but I think things could be different.
My very favorite format in radio was the short-lived progressive free form rock radio stations which could be found in almost every radio market by 1969. The format did not last long but it won over a lot of hearts and minds and had a loyal following. The format first took off at KMPX FM in San Francisco in 1967. The start of the format coincided with the ascendance of the long playing LP as a major attraction for rock music fans who were evolving from the short form 45 RPM discs and top 40 radio. Rock was maturing as the album became an art form. The Beatles got the ball rolling with the Rubber Soul album released in 1965 and with the release of their Sgt. Peppers album in 1967 the rock album as a statement and full listening experience was solidified. The hyper active and fast paced top 40 rock format was not necessarily the best vehicle to showcase albums and into the void appeared KMPK. The youth culture was in ascendance and it was maturing.
There had been a few earlier experiments in expanding the rock playlists beyond the top 40 hits of the day. WOR FM in New York being one but KMPX was the real deal where DJ’s began programming long sets of album cuts interspersed with hip chatter, spoken word poems, comedy and more. The music play list was huge and though the rock genre was the prime focus you could also hear folk, Jazz, classical and early world music. Ravi Shankar for example. Rock itself was expanding and groups such as the Buffalo Springfield and of course the Beatles were exploring various genres of music within the space of one album. The possibilities seemed limitless and there was a willing audience ready to accept the diversity. Continue reading When Focus Groups Failed→
Please do stick around for a bit while you are here.
Click to listen and win.
I would be thrilled if you partake in this little contest. Identity all the artists in the musical clip above. I held the same contest at work last spring. The clip consists of the names of some peers at work .
I’ll leave the contest open for a week and the person with the most correct answers will win a $ 10.00 gift card to Starbucks or Tim Horton’s ( Canada).
This contest is now closed winner was The Original Hank from Toronto. Your gift card will be our shortly Hank. A high profile Toronto personality came close and left me answers in the comments section. A new contest will be posted soon.
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s proceed to the name game.
There’s a wonderful and fascinating show on CBC radio one called “Under The Influence” hosted by Terry O’Reilly which should be appointment listening for anyone connected to Marketing either directly or indirectly. He’s a captivating host with a style and delivery that keeps the listener engaged. There’s also learning involved and it’s tuition free.
Recent topics have ranged from the evolution of marketing in music to Customer Service as a key marketing tool.
Last week’s show was about “Elevator Pitches”. These are compelling pitches that one can use to sell themselves or their ideas in the space of time that it takes to go from one floor to the next on an elevator. O’Reilly sums up the concept as:
“Distilling a selling idea down to a few words is the ultimate test: If it can be encapsulated in one compelling sentence, it’s strong. If it can’t be, the idea is probably fuzzy”
The show begins with the example of one of the most famous Elevator Pitches. One that Steve Jobs used early on to woo a top executive from a corporate powerhouse to join Apple. This was the pitch:
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
Learn more about this as well as some of the other most effective elevator pitches and have a look and listen to the other show podcasts to broaden your marketing acumen:
The Moody Blues started off as a straightforward R&B group in the mid 60’s. With a change in lineup they evolved into one of the better progressive rock bands by 1967. They had a great run of several spacey concept albums from 1968 to 1973. This track is a great example of their work. Taken from the album “In Search of the Lost Cord” and no trace of the excess and self indulgence which was often evident in this genre.