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Spectropop V#0113

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 07/07/98

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             Volume #0113                         July 8, 1998
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                Radio Caroline - The all day Music Station      
    
    
    
    
    Subject:     Oldies radio
    Sent:        07/07/98 3:01 am
    Received:    07/07/98 7:47 am
    From:        Alan Haber, zoogXXXX@XXXlink.net
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    Claudia Cunningham wrote:
    >One of the things that annoy me most about the so called "oldies" 
    >stations is the fact that there is a great conspiracy of silence 
    >toward half of the songs that were very popular in the 50s ad 60s.
    
    I've said this elsewhere, but it's a good idea to repeat it here: 
    there is no such conspiracy. I've worked in radio on and off for 
    21 years. No radio station conspires to keep good music from 
    listeners. It's just that stations are in business to make money, 
    pure and simple.
    
    Stations do tons of research -- too much, many think -- to come to
    conclusions they ought to be able to reach with minimal research 
    and a good gut to trust. For some stations, only songs that topped
    or nearly topped the national charts are play-worthy; for others, 
    it's songs that were regional hits.
    
    Let's take your example of Sam The Sham. I hear "Wooly Bully" and 
    "Lil' Red Riding Hood" on oldies radio, but never "Ju Ju Hand" -- 
    that song only reached #26 on the Billboard charts. You might hear
    that at night on the weekends, when listenership might be somewhat 
    leaner, but not during peak dayparts.
    
    Same goes for The Temps. "Ask The Lonely" and "Keeper of The 
    Castle." The former reached #24 on Billboard; the latter hit 
    number 10, but probably didn't get played very often because it 
    peaked at #10 in November of 1972, the year after it first charted.
    
    I agree with your thoughts, Claudia, but that's the way it goes in
    radio, formats be damned. There is forever a move to shorten, not 
    lengthen, playlists. I can't listen to the oldies station here in 
    the Washington, D.C.-area because they repeat the same damn songs 
    over and over and over again. I wish we could have a radio station
    such as the one you have outlined, but as long as radio stations 
    are businesses, I'm afraid it can't be so.
    
    That said, if you can listen to audio over the Internet (a 
    RealAudio player, available free from http://www.real.com,
    and at 
    
    least a 28.8 modem will do it, although a faster modem will be 
    better -- 56k is primo), you might want to go to http://
    www.onair.com and listen to the oldies channel. The company that 
    puts this together claims a 4,000-strong kitchen sink full of 
    tunes spread among three channels. I don't know how many are 
    oldies, but I can't remember a single repeat (of course, I don't 
    listen all day and sometimes not for a week or so). You'll hear 
    loads of fifties and sixties and some seventies. And you'll hardly
    ever hear a hit. I think you'll be in heaven.
    
    Alan
    
    
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    Subject:     radio
    Sent:        07/07/98 1:37 pm
    Received:    07/08/98 2:26 am
    From:        Ron Bierma, ELRONXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    
    In a message dated 7/6/98 11:34:19 AM, you wrote:
    
    >This is just my opinion, and my opinion plus 25 cents will buy 
    >you a cup of coffee, but I'm wondering if anyone out there feels 
    >like I do.
    
    and a fine cup of coffee it is, Claudia...yes, I do feel the same 
    way you do. Did you know that Elvis had 5 hits? The Beatles had 
    about 7, the Beach Boys about 6, Herman's Hermits had 2, Gerry & 
    the Pacemakers had 1. The Hollies had 2, Never heard of this Carl 
    Perkins fellow. Or this Gene Vincent fellow. Heard someone called 
    buddy Holly once, but never again. I'm truly disgusted by oldies 
    radio. RB
    
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Radio, Radio
    Sent:        07/07/98 2:56 am
    Received:    07/07/98 7:47 am
    From:        Doc Rock, docroXXXX@XXXcom
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    Radio stations have two (or more) criteria for their play lists. 
    Keep in mind that most radio patrons are NOT oldie freaks like you
    and I are.
    
    1. Stations (rather their consultants) do telephone polls. They 
    play oldies on the phone, and the person called rates each song 
    between 1 and 5. Any song rated 1 or rated 5 by most people is 
    eliminated. 1-rated songs are ruled out because they are disliked 
    now (without regard to chart positron). Songs rated 5 are 
    eliminated because (so the logic goes) any song many people really
    like is a song that many others will feel equally strongly about, 
    but will hate instead of like! (Crazy, eh?) So stations are left 
    with the 3s and 4s.
    
    2. Most radio listeners change the station immediately or put in a
    tape if the song that is on is not one that they know. That 
    eliminates Teddy Randazzo, but allows for Beatles LP cuts that 
    never charted.
    
    A station could not care les if oldie collectors like us listen.
    
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Re: Where Are They?
    Sent:        07/07/98 2:52 am
    Received:    07/07/98 7:47 am
    From:        James K Cribb, jkcrXXXX@XXX.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    Claudia wrote:
    
    >One of the things that annoy me most about the so called "oldies" 
    >stations is the fact that there is a great conspiracy of silence
    >toward half of the songs that were very popular in the 50s ad 60s. 
    >For instance, they will play "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham but how
    >about the other songs which reached the top of the charts by Sam 
    >such as "Little Red Riding Hood", or "Ju Ju Hand"? Silence, total 
    >silence.
    
    I do not listen to oldies radio, but it seems clear from this and 
    other recent posts it is limited in its play list. But what struck
    me here is a possible part of the reason. In the 50s and 60s, 
    regional hits were still very much a phenomenon. And here is a 
    case in point, while both "Woolly Bully" and "Little Red 
    Ridinghood" charted in the Tampa Bay area where I cut my teeth on 
    top 40, however "Ju Ju Hand" never did. As has been noted, most 
    stations today are owned/controlled by national syndicates or use 
    the same national consultants. Because they are appealing to a 
    national audience in a highly mobile society they do not include 
    regional hits.
    
    Does anyone out there have knowledge of the selection criteria? 
    Could it be national chart position and national sales figures 
    from a 45s original release that determine if it makes the "cut"? 
    After that I'm sure focus groups play a big part.
    
    By our involvement on this list, we are all deeply into music. If 
    you handed the average boomer on the street a blank piece of paper
    and said you have 15 minutes write down your top 40 favorite songs 
    of all time, I doubt most could even come up with 40. And if they 
    included "Woolly Bully" I doubt they would even remember who 
    played it, much less any other singles that were released by the 
    band.
    
    Watch it now...
    
    James
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Re: Where Are They?
    Sent:        07/07/98 3:03 am
    Received:    07/07/98 7:47 am
    From:        Anthony G  Pavick, XXXX@XXXama.lm.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    on 07/04/98 11:33 pm, CLAUDIA CUNNINGHAM wrote
    >One of the things that annoy me most about the so called "oldies"
    >stations is the fact that there is a great conspiracy of silence 
    >toward half of the songs that were very popular in the 50s ad 60s.
    
    You and me both. This is one of the reasons I don't listen to much
    radio these days. Actually, I'd say it was closer to 90% of the 
    music is ignored.
    
    >Now, I kind of concluded that the original oldie format was based
    >on a bunch of businessmen who wanted to make a quick buck and who 
    >figured the population had a two minute memory capacity.
    
    Radio as we knew it is almost dead, as the money grubbers don't 
    give a sh*t about the music and only want the advertising revenue.
    I bet they actually feel they could sell a lot more ads if it 
    wasn't for the music.
    
    Oh how I long for an AM station that was radio like it was then - 
    with the great songs and the not so great (can you say Tennessee 
    Bird Walk). I grew up on late nights tuned into WCFL, CKLW, WLS, 
    and WABC. Little by little all the AM stars faded. The last time I
    heard anything that even resembled that sound was in 1988 on 66 
    WNBC. Late night a guy named Big Jay Sorenson did the Time Machine. 
    What was so great about him and the show was that he played the 
    lesser known things and the things not beaten to death even then 
    by oldies radio. Once I recall him flipping Cliff Nobles' The 
    Horse to play the vocal version on the B-side -- Love Is Alright. 
    Try to get the automatons at your local 'OldiesXX' 'Q-whatever' or
    'Variety - Not' to be that brave.
    
    I must admit to a certain pleasure in tuning into Toronto's 1050 
    CHUM. As far as I know it is the last remaining big metro AM-er 
    still doing oldies, and doing them close to the way they were in 
    format. Visit www.1050chum.com and listen in real audio to judge 
    for yourself - this is not a paid advert :-) But then I also 
    realize that due to Canadian content rules for Canadian stations, 
    much of what I'm hearing -- Bobby Curtola, Terry Black, and Barry 
    Allen for example, may be as worn out as what we get on our oldies
    stations in the USA.
    
    Back in 1988 I did my last stint on the air. I was on an 1000 watt
    AM station in a small town doing oldies during the week and on 
    their FM station doing what passed for top 40 on Saturday nights. 
    Seeing as we had very weak management, I got a way with murder. I 
    dug out some goodies and once aired Conway Twitty singing Hello 
    Darlin' in Russian. Yep, and I played River Deep Mountain High, 
    too, as well as .. do you remember You Came You Saw You Conquered 
    (just to get a little Spector spin on this thread).
    
    On the FM station I did my show just like the boss jocks of old. 
    Imagine the formats of the 60s meeting up with Guns and Roses. I 
    used to go home with a headache though, more because the music was
    crap than for the magic.
    
    >This is just my opinion, and my opinion plus 25 cents will buy 
    >you a cup of coffee, but I'm wondering if anyone out there 
    >feels like I do.
    
    I'll take you up on that cuppa!
    
    Tony
    
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Re: Where Are They?
    Sent:        07/07/98 8:43 am
    Received:    07/08/98 2:26 am
    From:        Ron Sauer, RGSaXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    In a message dated 98-07-06 12:43:30 EDT, Claudia Cunningham wrote:
    
    >Now, I kind of concluded that the original oldie format was 
    >based on a bunch of businessmen who wanted to make a quick buck 
    >and who figured the population had a two minute memory capacity. 
    >They probably hired a bunch of kids who weren't even around during
    >the Golden Age of Top 40 who worked cheap and just played the more 
    >obvious hits of the era.
    
    I agree. Our local oldies station does play a lot of the more 
    obscure oldies, but it still gets tiresome hearing the standard 
    fare. I enjoy it when they have an "Oldies you don't hear on the 
    radio anymore" weekend. Occasionally some of those will stick 
    around a few weeks.
    
    Ron
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     RE: Where Are They?
    Sent:        07/07/98 10:15 am
    Received:    07/08/98 2:26 am
    From:        Mark Landwehr, mslXXXX@XXXbs.com
    To:          Spectropop List, SpectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    >One of the things that annoy me most about the so called "oldies" 
    >stations is the fact that there is a great conspiracy of silence 
    >toward half of the songs that were very popular in the 50s and 60s.
    
    You've got to understand that "oldies" stations, in fact ALL radio
    stations are out to make money - And the only way to do that is to 
    get good ratings so they can charge more for advertising. In 
    today's thinking, if you play oldies that only a small percentage 
    of the listeners remembers, you're cutting your audience share & 
    hurting your rating. SO, these "oldies" stations have to play 
    "safe oldies" (i.e.. tunes that many people remember), which most 
    often means only those hits that made the Top 5 or 10 on the 
    Billboard charts.
    
    >They probably hired a bunch of kids who weren't even around 
    >during the Golden Age of Top 40 who worked cheap and just played
    >the more obvious hits of the era.
    
    Today's deejays, program directors, music directors, and station 
    consultants were probably NOT around when these songs were popular
    (As late as 1986, I was chewed out for playing "Baby Sittin' Boogie
    " by our consultant. He said the song was never a hit!!!) - They 
    have to rely on those "safe oldies" 'cuz that's the only reference
    they have. It does sound very disconcerting to hear a pimply-faced 
    voice intro a Gene Vincent oldie, but those of us who used to do 
    that sort of thing (and are now in our 40s and 50s) can't stand 
    the "corporatizing" that has gone on for the past 10 years or so 
    with radio. Plus, they don't want to spend the $$$ to hire us when
    they can get a "pimple voice" for minimum wage. That's life, and 
    that's why I got out.
    
    In the mid-70s, I was a deejay at an oldies station in Atlanta, GA
    (now that's when oldies were oldies - today, Peter Frampton is an 
    "oldie")...Our program director was a record collector, and we used
    15,000 of his platters as our playlist!!! We played virtually 
    everything from 1954 to 1968, and we were all quite knowledgeable 
    about the music. Our station was owned by a small company in 
    Alabama, and we didn't pull high ratings, but we had a solid core 
    audience that made it all worthwhile. I even got the OK from the 
    P.D. to put together a 3-hour Saturday afternoon show one time 
    that featured nothing but Phil Spector - The response was 
    overwhelming - Our guideline was "if it made the Top 100, play it 
    - if it didn't, we still might play it"....My final song was the 
    flip side of "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha" (which is the
    same song BACKWARDS). We had fun!!!
    
    But, the station didn't make $$$, was sold, and that was
    that...Eventually, owners became increasingly paranoid and greedy,
    playlists tightened, on-air patter became more restricted, and the 
    TRUE oldies station eventually faded away to what you are 
    complaining about today. It will never return, because everyone 
    wants to play it "safe" now...The name of the game today is MONEY,
    like it or not.
    
    Mark Landwehr
    
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    
    Subject:     Re: Everybody Loves Dean Martin
    Sent:        07/07/98 4:07 pm
    Received:    07/08/98 2:26 am
    From:        Chuck Limmer, CLimXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    In a message dated 98-07-06, Claudia Cunningham wrote:
    
    >I long for a station which will broadcast the real, true music
    >of the 50s and 60s, and yes, I mean everything... even Dean 
    >Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime".
    
    Claudia:
    
    What I long for is a copy of Dean's biggest hit of the '60s on CD.
    Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but the Martin comps I've seen
    recently seem to have everything *but* "Everybody Loves Somebody." 
    Why one of his only two U.S. #1 singles would be left off the 
    various best-ofs and collections is beyond me. Anyone have a 
    lead(s)?
    
    Chuck "every boy would have what I found in your arms" Limmer
    n.p. _Imagination_, Brian Wilson (well, whaddayaknow, he's still got it.)
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Winky Dink
    Sent:        07/07/98 3:07 am
    Received:    07/07/98 7:47 am
    From:        David Feldman, feldXXXX@XXXderables.com
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    > Never heard of these duets. Wink Martindale was a local LA DJ in 
    > the mid sixties, although not a very hip one. I think he was on 
    > the MOR channel and later went into television as a game show 
    > host or something. The records can't be too good except maybe for 
    > novelty value. Anyone heard these?
    > 
    To his credit, Wink didn't try to be hip.
    
    He was on KFWB, the seminal rock and roll station in Los Angeles 
    in the 1950's. Most of the staff were hipsters some of whom were 
    genuinely engaged by rock (B. Mitchell Reed) and some who were not
    (Bill Ballance, one of the great radio talents of all time).
    
    Wink actually had quite the recording career. Along with Rick Dees, 
    and J.P. Richardson, he was a disc jockey with a gold record (for 
    "Deck of Cards"). And he released several other singles on Dot
    Records, including one I actually like -- "Black Land Farmer." 
    Dave Feldman
    
    CD of the Month: It's a tie!
       Belle & Sebastian: "If You're Feeling Sinister"
       Billy Bragg & Wilco: "Mermaid Ave."
    Word of the Week:  "blasphemous"
    Lyric of the Week: Woody Guthrie:
       "I said little girl, it's plain to see,
        there ain't nobody who can sing like me.
        She said it's hard for me to see,
        how one little boy got so ugly."
    Best Time Killer of the 90's:  Filling out the UPDATED gender survey at
      "http://www.imponderables.com"
    
    
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    
    
    Subject:     Re: 7/07/98 12:45 am (Dunes Records)
    Sent:        07/07/98 8:52 am
    Received:    07/08/98 2:26 am
    From:        Ron Sauer, RGSaXXXX@XXXom
    To:          Spectropop List, spectroXXXX@XXXties.com
    
    In a message dated 98-07-06 12:43:30 EDT, Jamie LePage wrote:
    
    << A very revealing post, Paul. Thanks! I hope at some point we 
    can discuss Dunes label and its hits, especially as they involve 
    Spector and Las Vegas. I mean, Dunes was connected with the Vegas 
    hotel somehow, wasn't it?
    >>
    >From Mark Ribowsky's book "He's a Rebel":
    "Ray Peterson, the country singer, who had a big hit with Jeff 
    Barry's "Tell Laura I Love Her" in 1960, had broken with RCA 
    Records after five years and begun a label with his manager, Stan 
    Shulman. The label was called Dunes, after the Las Vegas Hotel 
    where Peterson did a four-month run every year." The book goes on 
    to say that Spector and Peterson had met earlier and hit it off. 
    Spector did the producing because Leiber and Stoller were booked 
    up.
    
    Ron
    
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    END
    
    
    

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