By Duane Doobie
SPRINGFIELD, MA – According to our friend Jerry Del Colliano (who delivered a very informative address at the TALKERS conference in New York last Friday), the millennial generation – known for its collective attention deficit disorder – doesn’t listen to songs all the way through. They don’t have the time or patience.
As an observer of the 18-31 crowd (and it is a gigantic crowd at that), the former USC professor of the music business notices that when they “own” the song and are playing it on their digital devices, this highly-caffeinated, self-absorbed demographic just listens to the parts of the song they like and ignore the rest.
He suggests that pop music radio follow this trend and boldly play only the best parts of songs – commonly referred to in the biz as the “hooks” (my word, not his). He suggests that pop music radio should play compilations of the hooks from a number of hits in sweeping, pre-produced segments — what we used to refer to as “montages” (again my word).
Interesting suggestion… and from the Doob’s vast reservoir of industry memories and professional programming experience, not necessarily a bad idea IF executed properly under certain conditions and within specific contexts.
Beyond that, the issue of song length – past, present and future – has always been a subjective affair regardless of the average attention span of the targeted demographic or the decade in which the task of programming to it occurs.
This applies not only to songs but movies, TV shows, speeches, books and publication articles as well — but for the sake of professional focus, let’s stick to radio and music.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — Urban-flavored formats grab our attention as we commence in-depth overviews of May PPM results.
Getting us started is urban adult contemporary.
Facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, May 2014) comprise the following scoreboards, which indicate that almost six of 10 urban ACs that meet our ratings criteria either improved April-May (6+) or remained steady.
In order to be listed in print by Nielsen Audio, a station has to be a subscriber to that ratings service. Owing to that reason, non-Nielsen Audio subscribers do not appear here.
Today Is Second Day of Music Royalty Hearings Before House Subcommittee. The man everyone in the radio business will be watching is NAB’s Charles Warfield who goes before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Warfield, of course, will testify that radio provides free promotion for the sale of music – both physical copies and digital downloads. He’ll point to a study commissioned by Nielsen that illustrates that point. Some of the findings from the Nielsen study that you can find here, are: “Radio airplay drives music sales and on-demand streaming, beginning with the first week of consistent radio airplay and continuing through the peak sales week. In fact, a significant correlation (r2 = .92) exists between overall radio airplay and song sales.”; and, “Looking at the performance curve of the songs, the study shows that radio continues to support songs up to and beyond peak sales week, demonstrating radio’s ability to drive song sales and lengthen the lifecycle of a song.” In addition to touting radio’s PR abilities, Warfield is also expected to call for a level playing field with respect to rates. He’ll state that the current rates make webcasting cost prohibitive and suggest that digital radio services pay the same rate as cable and satellite music services. Also testifying today will be Saga Communications CEO and Radio Music Licensing Committee chairman Ed Christian. He’ll argue, among other things, that AM/FM radio should not be considered just another platform like digital pure-plays and satellite radio – that they are different for a number of reasons, primarily its free, over-the-air nature. The foundation of Christian’s argument is that the current royalty distribution process is not fair and, until there is agreement that the royalty distribution system is efficient and equitable, “the conversation should not turn at all to level of payments made by music users generally, and the radio industry in particular.” Christian also says, “With particular reference to the recurring demand by the recording industry for a sound recording performance right to be imposed upon terrestrial radio, please understand that the radio industry is not some vast pot of riches that can be tapped as a bailout for a recording industry that has failed to execute a digital strategy that addresses a decline in its own brick-and-mortar income. Congress unambiguously intended that, in exchange for unique promotional support afforded record labels and artists, terrestrial radio should be treated differently from other transmission platforms. That premise has not changed and the RMLC strongly supports our industry trade organization, the National Association of Broadcasters, in its efforts to oppose imposition of this licensing obligation that would cripple a radio industry that has been financially treading water for years now.” Read Christian’s testimony here.
The Optimal Length of Songs. RadioInfo’s Duane Doobie explores the eternal question – just what is the best length for a song in terms of radio airplay? He looks at history and also takes a close look at the present arriving at the conclusion that the optimal length of songs for radio airplay is a completely subjective determination dependent on conditions and context. In a provocative new thought-piece posted today (6/25), Doobie writes, “I think the most important consideration in determining song length should be the quality of the song and the intrinsic connection between its length and its quality…not to forget the expectations of the audience.” Doobie analyzes the widespread observation that millennials have a serious case of collective A.D.D. – but he suggests that radio programmers should not necessarily jump to the conclusion that their listening attention span (or lack thereof) is necessarily written in stone. To read the entire piece, please click here.
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (6/25) includes such names as: Kat Dahlia, Lizzo, Watsky, Major Van Winkle, Asher Roth, ZZ Ward, Naughty Boy, Sam Smith, Sam Romans, OK Go, Hamilton Leithauser, George Ezra, Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Ben Fields, Bernie Grundman, Phox, Zinedine Zidane, Les Murray, cln, Grateful Dead, Golden Pony, James Bay, Tontario, Arty Hill, Bumper Jacksons, and Carson Hill among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Townsquare Media to Go Public with IPO Hoping to Raise $144 Million. The negative spin on this story is that by going public, Townsquare Media becomes another company that must serve shareholders first – with all that that implies. But the reality is that Townsquare’s backers – Oaktree Capital and GE Capital (with 62% and 18% stakes, respectively) – have poured a lot of cash into building the company’s portfolio of 312 radio stations and number of digital publications. The company is sitting on $645 million of outstanding debt and the IPO would help put a dent in that if it raises the $145 million it hopes for. The one aspect of the company’s balance sheet that is turning radio industry watchers’ heads is that, according to its S1 filing, 26% of its revenue is coming from the non-radio end of its operations. At this point, there is no timetable for the IPO or any report of how much shares will be sold for.
Stewart Adds “Wave” Programming Duties. Adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM,” Los Angeles operations manager Ralph Stewart takes on additional responsibilities programming co-owned urban AC KTWV “The Wave.” He succeeds Rick Thomas, who departed on May 1 to become PD of sibling CBS RADIO New York City CHR WNOW (now WBMP “Amp Radio”). Commenting via internal correspondence, CBS RADIO Los Angeles senior vice president and market manager Dan Kearney writes, “‘The Wave’ is a brand that has always been rooted in quality. Ralph’s passion, vision, and understanding of [KTWV's] brand, make him a perfect choice for PD. Ralph has a track record of success as part of the team that helped keep KTWV in the top five for over a decade. We are looking forward to Ralph maintaining the station’s high standards while injecting some fresh ideas into this Southern California original.” In 1990, Stewart began a 13-year run as assistant program director for “The Wave,” when KTWV was NAC/smooth jazz. His past credits include being PD of KNUA, Seattle. Elsewhere within the CBS RADIO Los Angeles cluster, Thomas had programmed classic hits-oldies outlet KRTH “K-Earth101″ as well as “The Wave.” As RADIOINFO reported last Friday (6/20), his replacement at “K-Earth” is four-year CHR CKFM “99.9 Virgin Radio,” Toronto PD Chris Ebbott.
Sparrow New DOS at Clear Channel New Orleans. New Clear Channel New Orleans director of sales Nicky Sparrow comes to the cluster from CC’s Memphis operations where she held the same title. She has a long history with the company, starting in 1999 and working in markets in Mississippi, Florida and Tennessee. She worked her way up the sales and management ranks to become director of sales for the Tallahassee cluster in 2006 before moving on the Memphis stations. In addition to her sales oversight for the eight-station New Orleans group, she’ll continue to serve as a member of Clear Channel’s sales operations center’s development team for the food and beverage sector. CCM+E New Orleans market manager Dick Lewis says, “Our New Orleans cluster has some of the most successful radio stations in America. We needed a person with exceptional talent and an ability to lead the cluster to continued revenue growth. Nicky’s desire to stay at the top of her game is clear as she consistently offers a fresh perspective and creative approach to projects. She has a history of maximizing revenue and is the perfect fit for this position.”
Tommy Del Rio Adds ‘105.7 NOW FM’ Spokane Programming Duties. Currently serving as Mapleton Communications’ regional program director, Tommy Del Rio adds programming duties at the company’s CHR KZBD, Spokane “105.7 NOW FM.” In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Del Rio is responsible for programming at Mapleton CHR outlets KCDU, Monterey-Salinas “101.7 The Beach” and KQPT, Chico “NOW 107.5 & 107.9” as well as adult contemporary stations KBOQ, Monterey “B103.9” and KYNS-AM/K229AK, San Luis Obispo “B93.7” Del Rio comments, “This is an exciting opportunity to evolve the ‘NOW-FM’ brand in Spokane. I am very grateful that CEO Jim Shea and VP/programming Mike Skot believe in my programming and marketing strengths to help drive the continued growth and success of our top 40 properties.”
Tom Humm Extends at Beasley Las Vegas. Las Vegas radio pro Tom Humm inks a new, five-year deal to remain in his vice president and market manager role at Beasley Broadcast Group’s station group there that includes: classic hits KKLZ, country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote,” rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7,” adult hits KVGS “BOB FM 107.9,” and news/talk KDWN. Beasley Broadcast Group chairman and CEO George G. Beasley says, “Tom’s deep roots in the Las Vegas community provide a perfect fit for Beasley’s focus on programming radio stations that are live, local and truly committed to the communities we serve. Since joining our company in 2008, Tom has built a solid team of radio professionals that excel in their respective jobs. His success speaks to the adage that good leadership starts at the top.” Prior to joining Beasley, Humm served as general manager for CBS RADIO’s Las Vegas radio cluster.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After 32 years at Emmis country outlet WTHI, Terre Haute, Indiana “HI 99,” Barry Kent is retiring. The morning drive personality is putting the wraps on a 45-year career in radio that included serving as program director for WTHI for 30 years (Eric Michaels took over PD duties at the station in 2012)……More exits from Clear Channel stations to report as Gary Michaels leaves adult contemporary KJSN, Modesto “Sunny 102” where he was program director and morning host. At the same time, Tony Bear leaves the PD and afternoon host position at the company’s rhythmic oldies KQOD, Stockton “Mega 100.”…..At Momentum Broadcasting’s KJUG, Tulare, California, Adam Jeffries is out as program director and afternoon host. Operations manager Randy Hendrix will assume the PD role there.
PPM Analysis: Urban AC. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of urban adult contemporary stations in PPM markets from the May 2014 data. This analysis allows you to compare the performance of urban AC outlets market-by-market, fluctuations from April to May, fluctuations from one year ago, market ranks, market share and more. See Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.
KENZ, Salt Lake City Evolves to Adult Hits ‘TRAX 101.9.’ The shift from classic hits to adult hits on Cumulus Media’s KENZ, Salt Lake City – from “Classic Hits 101.9” to “TRAX 101.9” – includes a morning show shuffle. The syndicated Bob & Tom morning show moves to rock KBER “The Bear” and that station’s Mick & Allen show jumps over to KENZ. The station says it is playing “a fun mix of hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and more, without chatty DJs…everything from Prince to The Police, from Adele to Pink, from The Rolling Stones to Smashing Pumpkins, and everything in between! The station’s tag line is: “TRAX 101.9 Playing… Stuff We Like.” Operations manager Sue Kelley comments, “We are extremely excited to bring this new format to Salt Lake City on ‘TRAX 101.9.’ ‘TRAX 101.9’ is irreverent, retro, full of attitude, and lots of fun. Every focus group of radio listeners tells us that what they want is a station that plays a variety of truly great songs of all genres, with less repetition and less clutter. We intend to fulfill that craving here in Utah with ‘TRAX 101.9!’”
Envision Networks-Syndicated ‘Mojo in the Morning’ Now Heard in Panama City. The WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955”-based “Mojo in the Morning” show is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s WVVE, Panama City “Groove 100.1.” The show is billed by Envision Networks as one “imperfect people laugh about life and themselves,” featuring Mojo, Spike and Shannon. WVVE program director Marc Summers comments, “I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with the show so far. It is so well set up and executed, that making it fit into a local station’s format is tight and seamless. The content of this show is perfect, and the music balance is nice, with ‘Groove’ still having its musical control and essence protected in the morning. I was really concerned that I may get into another Mario Lopez situation, but this show hits that female sweet spot (get your mind out of the gutter) perfectly… I cannot imagine a ‘Groove’ listener not being totally engaged in this show!”
NASH Bash Young Guns Showcase. Country act Gloriana was one of six acts that performed at Cincinnati’s historic Taft Theatre as part of the NASH Bash Young Guns Showcase celebrating the launch of NASH at WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1.” The free concert also included performances by JT Hodges, The Cadillac Three, Chase Rice, Danielle Bradbery, and Easton Corbin. Pictured here are (from left to right): Gloriana’s Tom Gossin, Cumulus RVP/GM John Kilgo, Gloriana’s Rachel Reinert, Cumulus RVP/GM Dave Crowl, and Gloriana’s Mike Gossin.
‘Jewel 99.3’ in Fresno, ‘Legends 100.3′ in West Palm Beach Making Efforts to Lighten Spotloads. Following on the heels of yesterday’s news published here in RadioInfo regarding Entercom alternative rock KKND, Seattle’s adoption of maximum 2-minute spot breaks – a.k.a. the “two-minute promise,” we heard from several broadcasters telling us they already have taken the “fewer commercials” tack. Illustrated here is John Ostlund-owned adult contemporary KJWL, Fresno “Jewel 99.3” which began a new format based on the clock you see here that allows just five minutes of spots per hour, giving advertisers ownership of each break. Ostlund tells RadioInfo, “On April 26, we changed ‘K-Jewel’ to ‘Jewel FM’ and began playing 55 minutes of music every hour, with commercial breaks never longer than 60 seconds. We’re also playing four new artists every hour, including local singer/songwriters. The early response has been off the chart. Tonight (6/24) we’re hosting a free Andrew Duhon concert in the Jewel FM Gallery which we will broadcast ‘live’.” Literature designed for prospects states, “Commercials breaks never longer than :60 seconds. Our advertisers OWN their breaks. Come ZAG with us.” On the other side of the country, Dick Robinson Entertainment LLC-owned WLML, West Palm Beach, Florida “Legends 100.3 FM” tells RadioInfo the standards-formatted station has been keeping its breaks to two minutes since February. General manager Charlie Shapiro says, “Our affluent Palm Beach County audience loves hearing more music, our advertisers greatly appreciate their spots having more impact, and it’s exciting to us when we read in the trades how others in the industry are following our lead and recognizing the benefits of this proven ‘old school’ approach.”
Steve Shaw Named Westwood One President. Moving up from his post as SVP of Cumulus national sales is Steve Shaw who takes on the president role at the company’s Westwood One syndication and sales unit. The company says Shaw will “expand his role as head of national spot sales for Cumulus’ owned-and-operated stations to include all national and digital sales for WestwoodOne, effective immediately. In this new role he’ll oversee Westwood One Networks, Westwood One Sports, and Westwood One Digital, including Rdio and Cumulus National Sales, which will be renamed Westwood One Media Group. Shaw was previously president of Katz Radio Group and president of Cox Digital Solutions. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Steve will drive the integration of our large stable of national media assets and advertising products under the Westwood One brand. His track record of success in both broadcast radio and digital media will be instrumental as Cumulus and Westwood One combine to provide a compelling new set of ad packages designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our advertisers.” Shaw comments, “Westwood One brings to listeners and advertisers an incredibly powerful combination of great content across a multitude of distribution channels. With many of the most established brands in sports, talk, news and entertainment, as well as emerging new brands including NASH and Rdio, the opportunities are significant. I am very excited to be working with the Westwood One team to create unique and effective solutions for our agency and client partners.”
Clear Channel PDs Add iHeartRadio Programming Duties. Five Clear Channel program directors are taking on new responsibilities for programming content for the company’s digital platform iHeartRadio. The following will serve as digital brand coordinators for their respective formats: WFLZ, Tampa’s Tommy Chuck for CHR, WSIX-FM, Nashville’s Michael Bryan for country, WBTP, Tampa’s Bo Money for urban, WWDC and WBIG, Washington’s James Howard for alternative and rock, and WNUA, Chicago’s Gonzo for Spanish. iHeart Radio SVP of programming Chris Williams comments, “As iHeartRadio continues to upgrade and achieve new heights of success it is critical that we maintain focus on speaking to our various constituents in a custom and authentic voice. After working closely with the SVPP team and our brand managers, we’ve identified programmers who not only excel in their respective formats, but who are also leading-edge digital minds.”
KMLE, Phoenix Names Christopher ‘Matthews’ Wagnon APD, MD, Midday Jock. Taking over for the departed midday personality Bo Hunter at CBS RADIO’s country KMLE, Phoenix is Christopher “Matthews” Wagnon. He also takes on the assistant program director and music director duties. Wagnon comes to CBS Phoenix from Cumulus Media’s Tucson station group where he was director of marketing and promotions. During his career he was West Coast director of promotion for Flying Island Entertainment promoting artists such as Gwen Sebastian, Ray Scott, Ty Herndon, Billy Dean and Terri Clark. His radio experience includes time spent as APD at KAWO, Boise “WOW Country 104.3.” KMLE program director Tim Richards states, “Chris is the perfect fit for this opportunity at KMLE. He is a great on-air talent with a wide spectrum of experience and knowledge. We are excited for Chris to join our CBS RADIO family here in Phoenix.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Radio programming pro Mike Abrams – who worked as programming coordinator at Emmis’ WQHT, New York “Hot 97” during his career – exits his most recent post as director of digital music programming at Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio as the company restructures that department. Abrams was with SiriusXM prior to joining Clear Channel…..Christopher Hackett joins CBS RADIO hot AC KVIL-FM, Dallas to provide traffic and weather updates weekdays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. He’ll also handle weekend jock duties…..Seton Hall University-owned non-com rocker WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey “Pirate Radio” brings alumnus Jennifer Kajzer aboard as the station’s new underwriting sales and marketing manager. Kajzer most recently was with CBS RADIO in New York as integrated media manager…..At CBS RADIO’s Detroit operations, midday personality and music director Jack Shell signs a contract extension to remain with country outlet WYCD where he’s been since 2011. He’s also now serving as assistant program director…..Budget cuts hit the Clear Channel Madison cluster and country WMAD-FM director of digital programming and afternoon personality Mike Conway exits…..James Raggi is moving from Boston to Fort Wayne where he’ll join Sarkes Tarzian-owned hot AC WAJI “95.1 Best FM” as morning drivev co-host alongside Angie Nash. Raggi is leaving his current gig as executive producer and on-air personality for WXKS “Kiss 108” on the Matty Siegel show…..Haleigh Dever joins North American Broadcasting’s rock WRKZ, “99.7 The Blitz” for evenings. She comes to Ohio from neighboring West Virginia where she was the night jock at WHBR, Parkersburg “103.1 The Bear.”
Beasley Philadelphia’a Natalie Connor to Retire. After a radio career that has spanned 34 years – 23 of those with Beasley Broadcast Group in Philadelphia – vice president and market manager Natalie Connor announces she’s retiring from the company after her replacement is found. In her position, Connor country WXTU-FM and hip hop WRDW-FM “Wired 96.5.” Connor joined Beasley Philadelphia in 1991 as national sales manager for the company. She was promoted to her current post in 2009. The Arkansas native began her radio career in Little Rock and quickly gravitated toward the sales end of the business. She comments, “My time with Beasley, with WXTU and more recently with ‘Wired 96.5’ has offered me an amazing career. Our Philadelphia staff is incredible; this team is the best, hands down. I’ve been so fortunate to succeed in an industry that I truly love, with amazing people by my side and a dedicated corporate team in Naples, (my future home!). None of this would be possible without the Beasley family. Bruce Beasley hired me 23 years ago and it’s been one heck of a beautiful journey ever since. I am very blessed.”
iHeartRadio Pool Party to Air on The CW Network, Be Streamed on Yahoo! The third annual iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party is taking place this weekend at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Clear Channel announces the concert will be aired live across its CHR, rhythmic CHR and EDM stations. Additionally, the event will be streamed via Yahoo! and aired as an exclusive television broadcast on The CW Network. Performers taking part in the weekend’s show include: Jennifer Lopez, Neon Trees, Tiësto, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon and Magic!
WNOW, New York is WBMP. The change from ’92.3 NOW’ to ’92.3 AMP Radio’ for the CBS RADIO CHR comes with new call letters as the station officially leaves behind WNOW and becomes WBMP, New York.
Kantar Media Reports U.S. Ad Spend for Q1 2014 Up; Radio Categories Dip. The Sochi Olympics were a boon for U.S. ad spend in the first quarter of 2014 but television was the beneficiary of that. However, even without the Olympics money, the U.S. ad spend was up just under 4% compared to the same period a year ago. As for radio, national spot was the only category – at a jump of 6.7% — was the only one to see an increase from last year. Local spot, network radio and Hispanic spot were all down with local radio dipping 4.7% compared to the same period a year ago. Kantar reports that both local radio and Hispanic local radio saw declines attributable to lower spending from the retail, auto dealer and restaurant categories. See the press statement here.
Clear Channel Announces Winner of Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Campaign. This is the third Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star contest and the band that will get to play at the coming iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in September is the Orlando-based trio Before You Exit. The band garnered some seven million online votes and in addition to the iHeartRadio Festival, will be a part of Macy’s Glamorama, the retailer’s annual music and high-fashion events this summer, as well as the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November. Before You Exit is comprised of three brothers – Connor McDonough (vocals/guitar), Riley McDonough (vocals) and younger brother Toby McDonough (vocals/guitar) – and their album and first single are described by Clear Channel as “a soaring pop-rock album of uplifting relationship songs that blend sharp hooks with bright and buoyant rock.”
Summit Media’s DuBose-Parmer Split the Subject of New Lawsuit. When David DuBose – reported partner in the creation of Summit Media and player in the purchase of the Cox Media Group stations the company acquired – exited Summit earlier this year, many wondered what had happened to the partnership between DuBose and Summit CEO Carl Parmer. We may know a lot more about that relationship if the suit filed by DuBose ends up in court. According to the Birmingham News, DuBose is suing Summit and Parmer for unspecified damages alleging that the two defendants violated a verbal agreement in which DuBose would serve as chief operating officer for five years for a salary of $318,000 plus bonuses and benefits. DuBose was also to be an equity partner in the company. DuBose was let go by Summit in May and given a final check of $25,870. Summit and Parmer deny DuBose allegations. Read the whole story here.
Alternative ‘107.7 The End’ in Seattle Makes the ‘2-Minute Promise.’ Vowing it is “re-imagining the radio experience entirely,” Entercom’s KNDD, Seattle, “107.7 The End,” is announcing what it calls “an unconventional move to redefine how it presents radio to its listeners” and is unveiling the “2 Minute Promise,” never playing more than two minutes of commercials at a time. It goes on to say, “‘The End’ will not only play half the commercials compared to other radio stations in Seattle, but will also play the most music of any station in the market.” Program director Garett Michaels adds, “Since its inception, ‘The End’ has been a leader in new music discovery and a radio innovator. The time has come for a radio station to make a stand for our listeners and our advertisers.” Station VP/GM Jack Hutchinson comments, “We are proud to be the first station in the United States to offer this bold, innovative approach to radio. We know our listeners will be more than excited about this change and we are just as excited we can provide our clients an incredibly unique platform to showcase their message to our End listeners.”
Alternative Rocker ‘X107.1’ Debuts in Altanta. Taking over on the 107.1 frequency previously occupied by country WTSH, Rome, Georgia “South 107,” is alternative rock “X107.1” from Cox Media Group. The new format comes after Cox enters into an LMA with Woman’s World Broadcasting to operate the country outlet which it moved to the 93.5 frequency serving the Rome, Georgia market as “South 93.5” The alternative format will be heard on 107.1 in the Rome market and on translator W296BB, Jonesboro at 107.1 just southeast of downtown Atlanta. CMG says “X107.1, an ‘Alt40’ format, is the city’s new alternative station featuring popular artists dominating today’s airwaves including Lorde, Fitz and The Tantrums, Imagine Dragons, Passion Pit, Avicii, The Black Keys, The Lumineers, Vampire Weekend and many more.” Cox VP of programming Steve Smith adds, “The 18-34 year old audience is an extremely appealing demographic to advertisers and that audience has a strong attraction to alternative music today. Our research tells us that Atlanta is ripe for an Alt40 radio station like X107.1.” The station is playing 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row.
Jess Jennings Joins ‘Bob 106.9’ in Savannah. Moving from Riverbend Communications’ country KTHK, Idaho Falls “105.5 The Hawk” to L&L Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah “Bob 106.9” is Jess Jennings who will serve as midday personality and music director. Jennings says, “I’m so excited to make Savannah my family’s home and work with Gigi South, Gabe Reynolds, T.C. Michaels, and the L&L staff. Special thanks to Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, Scott Mahalick, and Bill McElveen for this opportunity. I’m thrilled to contribute to the growth of L&L Broadcasting and our mission to provide the best local radio and build profitable relationships with our clients.” WUBB program director T.C. Michaels comments, “Jess’ warm sound, hilarious personality, and music directing skills are a perfect fit for WUBB. Her passion and enthusiasm punches through the speakers, which will easily connect with our key Savannah/Hilton Head demos. Her music directing talent will positively contribute to L&L Broadcasting’s objective to provide the best local radio for our listeners and advertising opportunities for our growing client list. I’m very excited to have Jess a part of our team and family.”
Tim & Willy to Wrap Self Syndicated Show on Friday. After parting company with longtime home KMLE, Phoenix in July of 2012, Tim Hattrick and Willy D. Loon launched their own Arizona-syndicated show. Now, however, the duo announces that running their own operation has taken its toll and the show will end on Friday, June 27. In a press release, Tim, Willy and Andrea Hiland write, “For more than 10 years we dreamed of building our own radio company; a place where we could be the genuine ‘Tim & Willy Show’ again — unrestricted, fun, connected with our audience and free from all the overthinking that made the radio business so strange and unrecognizable. We did it. It wasn’t easy. But it was so fun and satisfying. In many ways our show was poised to be a huge success. The unfortunate reality is that the cost of starting and running our own company took its toll. Being our own bosses was hard! We found ourselves wearing so many hats – we just didn’t have enough heads! We spent too much time on things we’re not good at and it robbed us from the thing we do best. For this and other reasons we made the very difficult business decision to bring an end to our venture.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Journal Broadcast Group’s hip hop WKHT, Knoxville “Hot 104.5,” Mean Jean joins the station as evening personality and music director…..Former triple A KINK, Portland personality Dave Scott is now the afternoon drive personality at Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland…..Denver radio pro Scott Curtis is named midday personality at classic rock outlet “93.7 The Rock” airing on K229BS, Lakewood, Colorado located due west of downtown Denver…..Jim Bosh exits Great Eastern Radio’s country simulcast WKKN, Keene/WXXK, Lebanon in New Hampshire “Kixx Country” to pursue other opportunities. Bosh has been morning drive host at the station.
Adams Radio Group Launches ‘Soft Rock 103.9’ in Fort Wayne. After a frequency shuffle that moved sister classic rock WXKE down to the 96.5 frequency, Adams Radio Group announces WWFW at 103.9 debuts as AC “Soft Rock 103.9.” Adams president and CEO Ron Stone says in a statement, “We spent a great deal of time, starting in November, researching the market and determining what listeners really wanted. It was amazing to us how strong the response was for a soft AC. We are very excited to fill this void for Fort Wayne. The reaction has already been overwhelming.”
Horizon Broadcasting’s KLTW, Bend, Oregon Re-Brands. The station will remain an adult contemporary outlet but effective immediately, Horizon Broadcasting Group’s KLTW, Bend, Oregon drops the “Continuous LITE Rock LITE 95.7” moniker and takes on the “95.7 MY FM – Bend’s Best Variety” brand. Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman says, “Today’s 35-54 year old woman in our digital world wants things newer, with variety, fresh and her way – and they want it now. Today’s woman has her own career, her own Facebook page, Twitter account and they want a radio station that they can perceive as their own. That’s exactly what ‘95.7 MY FM’ has become – the Bend’s Best Variety focusing on contemporary music from the 80s to now – meeting all of the criteria of a radio station for today’s 35-54 woman.”
Rock Band “Madison Rising” Blows Them Away at Talk Radio Conference. The rock ‘n’ roll ensemble Madison Rising – a group that bills itself as “America’s Most Patriotic Rock Band” – has a video version of its performance of the National Anthem that was played for an SRO crowd at the start of the recent (6/20) “Talkers New York 2014” radio convention. According to eye-and-ear witnesses in attendance, the crowd of radio and television talk show hosts and broadcast management at the event were blown away by the quality of the music and the powerful images in the video. TALKERS (and RadioInfo) publisher Michael Harrison introduced the video by saying that in his opinion, “This is the best rock interpretation and performance of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ to come down the pike since the late Jimi Hendrix did it in the late sixties.” Check it out for yourself. The video is now playing on RadioInfo TV located in the box on the upper right portion of this page.
CBS RADIO Names Chris Ebbott ‘K-EARTH’ LA Program Director. Taking over for Rick Thomas (now at the company’s “92.3 AMP Radio in New York) as program director of CBS RADIO’s classic hits KRTH, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101” is Chris Ebbott who comes to LA from Toronto where he’s been PD at CHR CKFM “99.9 Virgin Radio” since 2010. CBS Los Angeles SVP and market manager Dan Kearney says, “While we talked to many talented candidates, Chris’s track record of success with the classic hits format, success in developing on-air talent and past history with our cluster made him an excellent choice. I fully expect ‘K-EARTH’ to continue to grow under Chris’s leadership and vision.” Ebbott’s bio notes that while in Toronto, he guided “Boom 97.3” (CHBM) from 2010 – 2013 and it became the highest-rated adult hits station in core demos soon after his arrival. Ebbott is returning to Los Angeles where from 2004 – 2010 he helped launch CBS RADIO’s “JACK FM” (KCBS) while he was operations manager. Ebbott comments, “‘K-EARTH’ is one of the premier radio brands in the world and to be a part of the team responsible for its future success is both an honor and thrill. Thank you to Dan Kearney and Kevin Weatherly for the opportunity. CBS RADIO Los Angeles is a second home for me and I’m looking forward to once again working with the whole crew.”
WXRT, Chicago’s Terri Hemmert Recuperating from Knee Surgery. As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WXRT, Chicago midday personality Terri Hemmert is going to be off the air for a number of weeks while she recovers from knee replacement surgery. The 63-year-old jock at CBS RADIO’s Windy City triple A outlet writes on Facebook: “This will involve weeks of boot-camp-like physical therapy and rest. I will have to convalesce at my home for several weeks. I wanted you to know so you wouldn’t panic and think I retired or something unthinkable like that. No way. I will not be on my midday show for several weeks, and ‘Breakfast With The Beatles’ will have to be a doctor’s orders, one-hour show for a while (except for Ringo’s birthday special July 6th…special dispensation for 2 hours!).” WXRT personality Frank E. Lee is expected to sit in for Hemmert during her absence.
New York Festivals Announces Radio Awards Presenters. When the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards gets underway at Manhattan Penthouse in New York on Monday, June 23, a roster of prominent executives will be on hand to present award segments. Presenters taking to the stage to honor 2014’s World’s Best Radio Programs include: Natalie Tso – program host, Radio Taiwan International/Radio Awards Grand Jury member; Joe Richman – founder & executive producer, Sarah Kramer – contributing producer, Bruce Wallace – contributing producer – Radio Diaries, USA; Chris Brookes – director, Battery Radio, Canada; Tim Collins – CEO, OceanFM, Ireland; Charles Pellett – anchor & reporter, Bloomberg Radio, USA; Ben Manilla – president, Ben Manilla Productions, USA; Clea Conner Chang, director of marketing/production, Intelligence Squared, USA; and Therese McIntyre – presenter, Athena Media, Ireland.
CC Goes Rock on St. Louis Translator. The urban format is gone from W279AQ, Mascoutah, Illinois (as well as on KLOU-HD2) in the St. Louis market and rock “Louie 103.7” takes over. The station is using the slogan “Man Up St. Louis” and will feature core artists as disparate as Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Green Day, Sick Puppies and Local H. Clear Channel regional program director Stephen Stewart comments, “‘Louie 103.7’ will be a real man’s station for guys who like beer, BBQ and really good rock music. We’re excited to bring a rock station to St. Louis that we know will really resonate with our listeners.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At L&L Broadcasting’s CHR KTFM, San Antonio, Blondie & Nugget are named the new morning drive team. Blondie comes from Cumulus Media’s WABD, Mobile, Alabama while Nugget was most recently on the air staff at Journal Broadcast Group’s KHTT, Tulsa…..Beth Reynolds is the new evening personality at NextMedia’s classic rock WERV, Aurora, Illinois “95.9 The River.”
New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke
Also timeless: the radio mojo upstairs at Caesars, where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention wrapped Wednesday. Because this state has only one commercial TV station – New York City’s channel 9, re-licensed to Secaucus to save its license years ago – this was, de facto, a radio show. I attend lots of these state conventions, and each year this is a real good one.
Applause to affable NJ Broadcasters’ president/CEO Paul Rotella, who rounded-up some 300, an impressive headcount for a state meeting, in a state this size, with station travel budgets still tight. And these attendees WERE…local…very “of” this unique state. Proof: side-by-side on Radio Row: TWO stations on 1450AM, licensed-to, and sounding-very-much-like, their communities, in different parts of The Garden State.
“Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who The Movement EP (RCA)
Bruce Warren, writer for The Key (a website devoted to local music for Philadelphia – powered by WXPN 88.5, one of the really awesome non-com stations that takes local music seriously) said, “Who is an electro-techno-pop singer-songwriter from Sydney, Australia, [that] released one of the best EPs of the year . Not only does Who have a remarkable voice, the songs on her independently released EP are anthemic, infectious mini epics that scream ‘play me loudly.’”
“When I first came across Betty Who, I was so excited to find an artist with her blend of catchy pop hooks and refreshingly honest lyrics,” said Lindsey Cook, A&R manager at RCA, in a release published in Billboard. “Whether someone is hearing her song for the first time in a viral video or dancing their heart out alongside her at a show, Betty Who spreads an overwhelming feeling of happiness wherever she goes.”
Betty Who, the Australian-born, New York-based pop singer, who released her debut EP The Movement last April, signed a U.S. label deal with RCA Records days after a YouTube video of a flash mob marriage proposal that incorporated her single “Somebody Loves You” went viral.
I caught a live performance of Betty Who with Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart on “Eric & Kathy Mornings” on 101.9 FM WTMX, Chicago back in January. The performance was enough for me to keep an ear out. The fact as to why this track, in various incarnations, has been featured on the RadioInfo EDM Chart.
“Hangover” by Psy featuring Snoop Dogg (Republic)
Psy’s new song “Hangover” featuring Snoop Dogg dropped a few days ago and the video has already racked up more than 51 million views on YouTube.
The video for “Hangover” shows Psy taking Snoop on a guided tour of what can only be described as hardcore drinking, Korean-style. CNN described the duo as consuming “endless bomb shots, hanging out at a jjimjilbang (Korean bathhouse), throwing up, and karaoke with strangers — with one particularly surreal scene of Snoop, Psy and two Korean women blithely skipping through an amusement park, presumably drunk.”
This song may not be a good fit for airplay on your station. However, talking about the collaboration and video and driving the engaged listeners to the station website to view advertising, is definitely a good fit for almost any CHR oriented station… such as WNKS 95.1 FM, Charlotte.
“Popular” by Michelle Johnson Popular (Cloverdale Music)
Actress Michelle Johnson (Blame It On Rio, Death Becomes Her, Far And Away, and others) released her debut album in the middle of this month. It was written and recorded at her self-proclaimed fully stocked home recording studio.
Johnson is on the brink of hitting the big 5-0. The title track of this album sounds as if it was made by someone half that age. Popular blends dance and R&B grooves with Michelle’s lyrical poetry. It’s upbeat, it’s reflective about love and life and relationships.
“Since I was a little girl, I’ve always written poetry and songs and even little plays and stuff in music class,” she said in a release. “I guess it was a few years ago, I started changing my poetry into music, and through a friend, started recording. I thought, ‘Wow!’ The minute I started in the studio, I just felt it down to the core of my being, ‘This is what I want to do always. I want to be able to do this for the rest of my life. I love it so much.’”
There’s another song on the album, “I Like ‘em (B.D.C.,)” that involves men (and women) that exhibit a certain level of confidence (I will let you listen to the song…) The whole thing relates back to an online relationship she once had. While I wonder if the teenage/playful attitude that worked so well with Katy Perry (“Let me see your P….eacock…cock…cock… your P…eacock,”) I do know that this track is some great CHR ear candy.
Do you remember that commercial for a major beer company called “Here’s to Love Songs?” Does it jog your memory when I mention that the catchy commercial featured Gena Lee Nolin and the Klimaszewski twins? Did I say Twins? How about some lyrics…
I love football on TV / Shots of Gena Lee / Hanging with my friends / And twins
I love burritos at four am / Parties that never end / Dogs that love cats / And…and twins
And I love you, too / Here’s to love songs!
I did say Twins… and as an aside, that spot is one of the most famous Super Bowl commercials in the history of people caring to keep track of such ridiculous things. A little known fact, it was a kid’s song by Tom T. Hall entitled “I love” that was basis of that jingle. It was used with altered lyrics.
I think that there is something universally interesting about twins… probably those twins more so than others… but if you look at music generally, there are actually quite a few twins worthy of note: Wax and Herbal T, Bee Gees, Proclaimers, National, Styx, Tegan and Sara, Watson Twins, Breeders, and now these guys.
“We Are Done” by The Madden Brothers (Capitol Records)
In this post Good Charlotte-era, I couldn’t help but wonder what twins Joel and Benji of the Madden Brothers were up to. Seems that they are releasing an album Greetings from California due out on October 7th on Capitol Records.
The retro-soul single is getting some major market play from KISS and KYSR in Los Angeles. Mark Summer, PD/MD/golden-eared jock at WDDJ/WQQR/WKYQ in Paducah, KY, thinks the latest from Madden Brothers is very good. “I like the quirky intro and it’s got a 60s pop feel to me.”
And as if this wasn’t enough reason to check out the album and to play the song, the brothers wrote “California Rain” and “Abbey” with King Midas, Pharrell Williams. “We went to see Pharrell because he’s someone we really love and respect,” Joel said in an interview with Billboard. “Benji brought an acoustic guitar and Pharrell recognized that we wanted to make classic, California rock ‘n’ roll and drew comparisons to the Eagles, which inspired us even more. We wrote ‘California Rain’ together that night.”
This song debuted on On Air with Ryan Seacrest…
The King Blues were a ukulele punk rock band from London. In the dictionary, you will see that they are credited for fusing ska and folk together with influences from punk. Tariq Ali described the band’s sounds as “rough, radical music that should unsettle the rulers of this country. A new generation of musicians are challenging war-monger politicians and their courtiers.” I probably should have included them in last week’s discussion of politically charged yet commercially marketable bands.
“Another Man” by Itch The Deep End (Red Bull)
Itch was the lead singer of the King Blues for over eight years, but the band announced their break up in April 2012. Word on the street says that Itch walked away at the peak of their popularity due to not wanting to see their body of work diminished. Is that integrity? Is Itch the Rocky Marciano of punk/ska?
After abdicating his blue crown, Itch flew to Los Angeles to begin working on solo material with collaborator John Feldmann of Goldfinger. The Deep End also features guest appearances by Adam Lazarra of Taking Back Sunday, Matisyahu, and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.
“I’m beyond excited about being able to finally release my first solo album,” said Itch in a release. “I’m so proud of this record, I’ve taken the time to get it exactly how I want it to sound and have had the honour of working with some life time heroes. You can hear how much fun I had making this record and how creatively free I was allowed to be. This is without a doubt the best record I’ve ever released.”
“Jenny” by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes (Vanguard)
Golden-eared music director Karoline Kramer Gould is the brain behind the programming of “The Heights” – a 12-hour block featuring a unique blend of triple A formatted songs, drawing from an ever expanding bottomless pit of a deep playlist on WJCU 88.7 FM, a noncommercial broadcast station owned and operated by John Carroll University. Gould recommends “Jenny” by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes.Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes are a nine-piece soul band from Melbourne, Australia.“When Clairy Browne first came on the scene in 2009, a lot of people were skeptical. Oh no! Not another band with a gimmick! After listening, and my jaw hitting the floor, it became clear that behind that beehive is a woman who has an incredible voice and mega talent. Not to mention, she’s backed by phenomenal musicians. Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes have a perfect grasp of music from the 60s that they have updated and made their own. That’s what I look for in a band — passion and innovation (with a huge dash of fun). Clairy Browne and her crew has it in spades.”
“Whoomp (Club Mix)” by Tradelove (Loudbit)
Who doesn’t love the original from Miami bass group Tag Team? This version is an excellent addition to any CHR/EDM playlist because it’s all the listener recognition inherent with the song while adding a whole new dance music dimension. Tradelove (aka Artificial World) is an international DJ/producer from Poland. He’s got works on multiple labels, and has done authorized remixes of some of the biggest tracks.
“Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance (Embody Remix) (Ignition) (UK)
The original song debuted this week on the RadioInfo Rock Music Chart at number 29. This remix is listed in the EDM red zone. The focus of this particular description is more about the original song, as there isn’t much information available about Embody, other than he’s a UK producer/DJ and someone worthy of note.
You never know who you’re going to meet on the first day of school. Sometimes, you can end up being introduced to one of the best friends you’ll ever know. That was the case for Clemens and Philipp—otherwise known as Milky Chance. The Kassel, Germany duo met in an “Advanced Music Course” at the start of eleventh grade, and they creatively jelled right off the bat.
“On that first day, you’re looking around the classroom trying to see who’s cool and who’s not,” laughs Clemens. “We clicked though. It didn’t take long at all for us to notice that we got along great.”
They got along so great that they played in a local band until graduation. Even though the group disbanded when their drummer left Kassel, Clemens and Philipp kept on making music. Weaving together elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars and lilting, lush vocals, they harnessed a style unequivocally their own.
Clemens put it best, “Think of it as the singer-songwriter spirit mixed with electronic beats. Somehow, it’s always a little bit melancholy, but there’s a positive spin. You can dance to most of it too! Melancholy is something that I carry within me. I write the best songs when this mood catches me.”
In order to capture that, the boys built a tiny studio in the quiet house Clemens grew up in. Over the course of two weeks in 2013, they cut their full-length debut, Sadnecessary, on a minimalist setup, spending hours getting the settings just right. They didn’t need anything more than a rudimentary interface, microphone, and computer. That’s why Sadnecessary sizzles so much.
“There was never a plan,” Clemens goes on. “We only played two shows before we decided to make the album. We never bought expensive studio equipment or even hired a producer. We did what we wanted to and what felt good at the moment. We just wanted to record our music. We never thought it would go further than that.”
However, it went a lot further than that. After cutting the tracks, Clemens and Philipp uploaded the first single “Stolen Dance” to YouTube. With its bright handclaps, plaintive acoustic guitars, and his own gravelly smooth delivery, the song became a viral sensation, eventually racking up over 30 million-plus YouTube views and made them the “most blogged about act” on Hype Machine for that month.
About the song, he says, “It’s less of a story than a feeling. The feeling in the song refers to a certain moment I wanted to hold on to. It’s the sentiment you experience when you miss somebody you really like and just can’t spend time with that person. You’re sad the other person isn’t there, but you’re also happy for the beautiful moments you’ve spent together.”
Sadnecessary, released on the musicians’ own Lichtdicht Records in Europe, became a phenomenon. The live shows too started to take off. Driving themselves in their own small car, taking nothing but a guitar and a set of decks, Clemens and Philipp set off on what would eventually become a 100+ date European tour. Using nothing but their Facebook page to announce the shows, very soon Milky Chance were playing to sell-out crowds at venues that increased in size as the tour unfolded and more shows were added. Culminating in playing to a rapturous capacity 7,000 crowd at Hamburg’s Dockville Festival. An experience Philipp described as “insane.”
“Ordinary Love” by U2 (Pretty Pink Remix) (Furr) (UK)
Last November, U2 released their powerful single, “Ordinary Love” in honor of one of history’s greatest figures: Nelson Mandela. That song made us relive all the sweetest memories and beautiful days we’ve all shared with U2, while simultaneously spreading the love and peace that Mandela fought for until the day he died. This already melodic song is taken to a nu-disco level with solid percussion, enchanting keys and consistent clave claps. Pretty Pink rose to internet fame last year with a remix to Daughter’s cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
Music Ninja writes, “With a song with that much meaning and depth, it was almost inevitable that some brave soul in the dance music world would take on this divinity and add a new essence of beauty to it. That brave soul was Pretty Pink. Known for making people groove across dance floors around the world, the German house goddess decided to turn a historically pivotal song into something truly euphoric. Without straying too far away from the integrity of the original, Pretty Pink adds a subtle, yet powerful, dose of heavenly melodies that have Nelson Mandela smiling from up above the universe.”
While we generally put the EDM covers of non-current songs in the red zone, I expect this to chart as it is gaining momentum in clubs across the south west.
“More Than A Cotton Dress” by Tyler Barham (YN)
Montana native Tyler Barham describes himself as an aspiring country singer/songwriter, but with one look at his online YouTube and Facebook following, you’ll see that his aspirations are quickly becoming reality. With over 8.7 million upload views and an online following of over 50 thousand, Tyler is building the foundation for a successful music career.
Born in Bozeman and raised in Florence, Montana, Tyler began singing when he was nine. In his early teens, Tyler competed in various talent competitions in and around Montana winning several high profile competitions. But the majority of his popularity has come by way of YouTube and his covers of popular country songs which have introduced him to a worldwide audience.
This light-hearted, fiddle-driven, summer-time tune is newcomer Tyler Barham’s effort to swim against the whole bro-country tide. There’s even a reference to an iconic country music legend in the second verse.
“I’m a fan of a lot of the songs out right now, but at the same time I know I need to be different as an artist and somehow stand out among the current trend in Country Music. I feel that ‘More Than A Cotton Dress’ does just that.” said Barham to Nashville.com.
“Go Back To Stillwater” by Rosie and the Ramblers Whatever You Need (Selena Rosanbalm)
Their sound is a juxtaposition of young and old, of modern and classic, of country, rock and blues. It is sincere, but notwithout a sense of humor. It is raw and emotional then catchy and hilarious. Rosie’s song’s themes are influenced by her childhood spent moving throughout the South and her search for the answer to “how can you plant roots when the ground beneath you won’t stop moving?”
The quintet’s offering is comprised of songs written by front woman Selena Rosanbalm, and is a candid glimpse into her past, her self-perceptions, and her departure from the innocence of youth. The band, an outstanding ensemble including Matt Thomas (electric guitar), Bob Hoffnar (pedal steel), Vance Hazen (bass), and Mike Bernal (drums), supports her every step of the way. Straight country morphs into and edgy rock feel, the rise and fall guided by Selena’s alternately sweet and biting lyrics.
Who are her influences? Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Patsy Cline, Lucinda Williams… so trust me, this group is someone to keep an ear out for.
In 1968, the Detroit Tigers baseball team found themselves in the World Series (and again with the “Roar of ‘84”) and with the impending buildup, the Tigers recorded their ever so famous “Go Get ‘Em Tigers” – the original can be seen below.
So why is this cover of the 1968 Detroit Tiger Theme Song a pick? Well, it’s not so much for the song itself, as the song represents an amazing example of what the Orbitsuns can do. I mean… listen to what they have created from pretty much nothing. This is a band worth knowing about.
“Go Get ‘Em Tigers” by The Orbitsuns (Three One Three)
The Orbitsuns are, according to their website, “riding their tired old horses across Detroit, their saddlebags stuffed with bourbon, cigarettes, Coney Island hotdogs and worn Johnny Cash cassettes [and] the Motor City’s finest purveyors of low down and dirty outlaw country.”
Front man Vinnie Dombroski made his name with alt-rockers Sponge in the ‘90s, with hits like “Plowed” and “Molly (16 Candles).” Sponge was signed to Sony Records for their first two albums (Rotting Piñata and Wax Ecstatic) and were the opening band on the first night of the Kiss reunion tour in 1996.
That band is still a thing, as are Dombroski’s fetish-tinged industrial band Crud, proving that the singer is as prolific as he is talented. It was during the early part of the new millennium when Dombroski discovered love for writing fire n’ brimstone, honky-tonk hoe-down from Hell cow-punk music, and before long he found himself with a gun case full of songs that would shake the dust from the oldest Stetson, but wouldn’t fit comfortably in either Sponge’s or Crud’s repertoire… so he started another band.
“Roadhouse Shrine” by Mat D and the Profane Saints Holyoke (Mary Moe/Music Works)
RadioInfo told you about Mat D and the Profane Saints back in March. Having seen lead singer Mat deRiso’s voice being described as having “recently chased a Brillo pad with a double-shot of something off the bottom shelf at a rural route dive,” it wasn’t long before I had the entire album digested.
D is kind of a bad boy… but not in the popped collar, wallet chain that touches the floor, or even wearing his knickerbockers below the knee – type way. Instead, he sings about the lives of murders, thieves, and the hard living regular folks – which, according to Mat D, are not really that different.
If you are looking for “genericana” – this is not it. Mat D and the Profane Saints tell it like it is and don’t hold anything back. Golden-eared afternoon jock at KMIT, “Hot Country,” 105.9 FM Mitchell, South Dakota, Joel “Big J” Van Dover says, “During today’s age of ‘Bro’ Country, a band like Mat D and the Profane Saints is the ultimate musical refreshment for those of us that crave real, heartfelt, from the gut music. It’s storytelling at its best, and Mat D’s heart and voice bleeds truth when he sings.”
Mat D and the Profane Saints will be performing with the Avett Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Ziggy Marley, Wildfeathers, and many others at “Saturday in the Park” on July 5th in Sioux City, Iowa. I won’t be able to attend, but I certainly know it will be a great show.
The Iceman (aka Bobby Golomboski), host of multiple internet shows including top 40 New Country Artist Countdown on Radio on the Row, has a set of golden ears when it comes to finding some really great up-and-coming talent. The Iceman is an early supporter of multiple RadioInfo Country Music Chart pick of the week artist, Ben Rush (someone we are keeping an ear on, as he keeps making great music). This week, The Iceman is touting Lance Stinson. Stinson hails from Lumber City, a South Georgia town with a little more than a thousand people. His song “Tail Lights and Dust” was number 3 last week on Iceman’s Top 40 New Country Artist Countdown.
Iceman says, “Childhood – for Stinson – was a character-building mix of rural life and hard work. He and his four older brothers grew up on his parents’ farm. His first musical memories came through the speakers of his dad’s ’79 Ford pickup. The eight-track gave him a good dose of Keith Whitley, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard, (whose ‘Rainbow Stew’ remains a favorite.) Stinson said, “Dad was a big Hank Sr. fan, and my older brothers liked Hank Jr., so I picked up a love for both. My brothers were also fans of a lot of the ’80s rockers like Def Leppard and Poison, and I wound up with a little of that in the mix too.” Apparently he calls it “kick-in-the-teeth country.” “There’s still some traditional sound to it,” Stinson adds, “since I love story songs, but then it’s got that edge to it.” The Iceman says that this approach “has made him one of country’s most exciting young talents.”
Duane Doobie is music editor/director of RadioInfo and reflects the composite musical opinions of the RadioInfo editorial staff. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duane Doobie is music editor/director of RadioInfo and reflects the composite musical opinions of the RadioInfo editorial staff. He can be emailed at email@example.com.
By Duane Doobie
NEW YORK – The Doob is coming to you from the Big Apple this week where I’ll be attending our sister trade publication TALKERS magazine’s big annual conference (Talkers New York 2014) on Friday (6/20) and hangin’ with some of the biggest stars in talk radio as well as key executives, many of whom operate both talk and MUSIC stations.
Those who have been in this business for more than a week know that some of the highest-profile talk radio icons got their start as music radio disc jockeys. Most will tell you that they migrated to talk radio to escape the tyranny of the “shut up and play the music” dogma that spread throughout much of music radio since the mid-eighties causing it to eventually lose ownership of the “personality” franchise so important to commercial radio of any genre.
We don’t often hear stories about talent leaving talk radio to join the ranks of music radio – but perhaps the time has come in the cycle for that to start happening. Or at least for music radio and talk radio to learn from each other for the overall good of the medium. (Talk radio needs to enhance its pop culture and let’s-have-fun IQ… so it is, indeed, a two-way street.)
There are enormously talented people in the talk radio industry who would bring the finely-honed art of story-telling, presenting, interviewing and commenting to the music radio mix if only given the chance.