February 14, 2017 at 12:06 am #27298
Additionally, the term “gold” is rarely used on-air anymore. Some top40’s used the term “Solid Gold” back in the day, and by that I mean WAY back in the day, like the late 60’s and early 70’s. Back then it may have had a different definition.
Today, however, it is an inside radio programming term, as I said, that is somewhat meaningless. A “Gold” category is the oldest part of your music library, and may or may not even be used, either on-air, or in programming discussion.February 14, 2017 at 12:47 am #27302
Screamer, what you mentioned sounds vaguely familiar. I seem to recall being told to talk to just one person. Perhaps, the idea was to hold onto that person for the length of your shift but actually doing so would be more of a panacea than anything else. Most people have other things to do.February 14, 2017 at 2:11 am #27304
The last time that I recall “gold” being used on the air was with Solid Gold Soul in the mid to late 1990s. On a discussion on this board about the shifting demographics of “oldies” formats, I recall predicting that radio stations would drop terms like “classic,” “oldies,” and “gold” in the process of adjusting their programming to appeal to Generation-X listeners.February 14, 2017 at 9:25 am #27309
Semoochie, no argument about whether or not it is practical to actually hold that person for the entire three hours. The real gist of it plays to the fact that if you program on that theory, you are less likely to burn your library out. If you shorten the playlist and try to run any format not relying on currents like a top 40 format, you are more likely to create fatigue among the listener base, in my opinion.
And as to the “Gold” argument/debate – I think some of you are taking things far too literal. Several stations I worked at referred to “Golds” as hit songs which would always remain in the base library. Meaning, they would never get removed. They might get rested once in awhile but never removed from the library. I know of a Classic Rock station which has had the Stones “Satisfaction” in the library for 40 years, as an example. Same station has Back In Black as a gold. I have seen setups like this: A (heavy), B (medium), C (new/light), R (recurrent) and G (gold) and the Golds were just as I mentioned: Hits for the format that always remained in the library. The category was referred to as Gold. To translate into some newer music, Enter Sandman from Metallica, Plush from Stone Temple Pilots, Beat It from Michael Jackson, Kiss by Prince, Party Rock from LMFAO could all be considered Gold, depending on your format.February 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm #27319
Screamer, you are correct, as I posted the same general thought on this thread yesterday. “Gold” is a state of mind more than anything else.February 14, 2017 at 11:43 pm #27333
Thank you Screamer, the problem with that is the “listener base” is made up of people who listen sporadically throughout the day and every time they tune in, they want to hear their favorite songs. The average person doesn’t get burned out on songs they like, only songs they dislike. I’d be perfectly happy to hear Help Me Rhonda five or six times a day for the rest of my life!February 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm #27343
The process by which oldies go through waves of popularity is mysterious and probably just academic because audience research ultimately determines what songs will be played. Discussions about “X is one of my favorite songs. Why isn’t the big oldies station playing it?” often seem to come up on radio discussion forum. If there are any program directors or music directors* on the board, their answer is invariably that X did not test well.
*In the mid 1990s, Clarke Ingraham, then program director at WPXY Rochester, NY wrote a post on rec.radio.broadcasting, in which he gave the example that the song “Dominique” by The Singing Nun, despite being a #1 hit in 1963, was rarely heard on oldies stations in the 1990s because the demand for this song at the time was “zero.”February 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm #27344
A somewhat more recent example of this is Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My LIfe”, the biggest hit by Billboard standards of the entire 1970’s.
How many classic hits and/or oldies stations play this title today? Virtually none.
So your statement “audience research ultimately determines what song will be played”, is absolutely true.
That said, I really love it when I am bouncing around the dial and find a station (usually a smaller market AM) that isn’t afraid to play bad-testing records. To me it is just a breath of fresh air, however little business sense it makes.
In the meantime, Classic Hits fans are forced to listen to albeit great testing records that to me are so tired and burned it isn’t even funny. But I was in the industry so my opinion is completely objective.
For fun, here is a partial list of what I am referring to, especially as the format has leaned to late 70’s and early 80’s…
“Every Breath You Take” – Police
“Centerfold” – J. Geils Band
“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Queen
“You May Be Right” – Billy Joel
“Jack & Diane” – John Mellencamp
“Old Time Rock & Roll” – Bob Seger
“Jesse’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
“Mony Mony” – Billy Idol
All these make me gag, but the casual listener says, “I love that song!”February 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm #27348
“a smaller market AM) that isn’t afraid to play bad-testing records. To me it is just a breath of fresh air, however little business sense it makes.”
It makes perfect business sense for a small station that doesn’t give a crap about ratings. Small town radio support comes from the locally owned businesses, not national advertising. Small stations can’t survive playing the same songs that the huge stations also available in their coverage area play. Never could. I worked at several small AM’s that didn’t pay into nor cared about ratings and managed to pay the bills. There used to be more of them back then then there are now.
Casual listeners do, as you say, listen for recognizable songs. They generally don’t know the artist or band and often don’t even know the actual name of the song. Big time radio can have those listeners and the ratings that come with them. It’s not the only business model in the game, but if you’re a big powerful expensive to run major market signal, you don’t have much of a choice unless you’re really brave, a bit cocky, and can keep operations expense down.
Also, there are a lot of ‘songs’ out there by familiar artists that a lot of listeners would like including the ‘casual’ type listeners who are bored when they hear the beat to death gold hits – schlock in my book. Here’s your playlist re-done with songs by your artist choices that may or may not have ever been ‘tested’ but are considered great by fans of the bands based on personal feedback:
Police: Walking On The Moon (the edited version was #1 in U.K. Here in U.S. nada)
J. Geils: (Ain’t Nothin’ But) A Houseparty (not a single but anyone that likes J Geils loves this song – again top hit listeners have to know the song whereas some listeners know the bands and bought the ALBUMS).
Queen: The Seven Seas Of Rhye (lesser known ‘single’ that charted in U.K. – the second version, not the first version – it’s U.K. success pushed Freddie into making Queen his full time gig).
Billy Joel: Only The Good Die Young This song became controversial 2 years after it was released when the Conservatives came to power (Reagan years) but for no good reason. By the time it became Top 40 stations like where I worked had moved on to his next album, but people who like Billy love this song. It’s real.
John Mellonhead: Just Another Day A midlevel hit in the U.S. (#1 in Canada) A great song, anyone that doesn’t like it doesn’t understand John. Period.
Bob Seger: Hey, I began playing Bob’s music way before he ever became a mainstream star. Way before. He’s got so many old great songs from his first half dozen albums. Pick one. They’re all great. Try ‘Long Song Coming’ it fits todays news cycle perfectly. Clearly Bob Seger sounding. Anyone that likes Bob won’t tune out.
Rick Springboard: I’ll pass
Billy Idol: Postcards From The Past from a recent album that never got a fair shake on mainstream radio. Must’ve ‘tested’ bad. Ha. Steve Stevens great work.
Top 40 casual listeners – – – you can have them. Give me people that really like music, not just dolts that drive the money part of big time radio and Nielsen meters.
Now if I heard those songs by your choice of artists with my choice of songs coming out of a radio it would instantly earn a button on FM-1. But you won’t because the money people have taken over more and more stations.February 15, 2017 at 8:20 pm #27349
The Brew started off good back in the day, but they basically repeat the same 50 tired old songs over and over.
The MD at the Brew sucks ass. I could program a rock station so much better it’s not even funny.
The proof of the Brew’s weakness is that they aren’t even playing new Metallica.February 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm #27352
Andy, I agree with your post. When I said these small market AM’s are going against good business sense, I meant not trying to compete with big FM music stations, but putting on a standard AM format such as sports, talk, religion, or Hispanic. A lot of these small AM’s that continue to play music, are usually run by old radio guys who are treating their stations more as a “hobby”, but I agree there are not many left in this category. I just love it when I catch one of them in my travels. Because you know the owner and/or programmer (usually the same guy), still have passion for the medium.February 16, 2017 at 1:01 am #27356
Then again Andy, you don’t like Kisn, partially for doing what you just suggested. Yes I know. It’s all over the board and not really your era to begin with.February 16, 2017 at 9:55 am #27358
Perhaps, The Brew is Budweiser, but you want craft beer.February 16, 2017 at 10:36 am #27359
No semoochie, you’re wrong. The problems with KISN are:
1 Everything is a single. A lot of great familiar music never got released as a single.
2 A lot of the music KISN plays is crappy bubble gum that sucked then and still sucks. None of Paul’s choices or my substitutes are crap.
3. The era? KISN doesn’t do the era justice. The era is fine. The programming falls short.
They aren’t doing at all what I suggested. My point is that you can play the artists Paul listed without having to play the songs that stations like KISN beat to death back when they were current and ever since if that’s what you want. Also I doubt KISN ever played Bob Seger before Night Moves, his 8th or 9th album or anything Billy Idol has done this century. No, semoochie, not even close to what I suggested. Nice try.February 16, 2017 at 11:31 am #27360
The only thing on the air currently that plays Classic Rock like you are talking about is the “Deep Cuts” on KZOK HD2.
I’m not sure if that “format labs” format is on an HD subchannel in PDX.
I personally like it because it is the inverse of The Brew. They play everything but those 50 overplayed songs.
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