----- Original Message -----
From: "steven c" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2006 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Community Radio
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "phillip holmes" <[log in to unmask]>
> Well, "the public" have little to do with community radio...in fact,
> if that large segment of the population listen to electromagnetic
> (on-air) radio at all, it is generally one or another of the most
> popular commercial stations...and those are often programmed by
> "experts" many miles away from the stations!
I was refferring to major labels and corporations like Clear Channel who
create the market for artists, not community radio. Sorry about the
nonsequeter. Instead of the big labels letting the game come to them,
they look for a pretty face and produce them into a marketable commodity.
That's supported with radio play. You won't find something on Clear Channel
that doesn't translate over to MTV, The Tonight Show, etc..
> Also, it would be difficult to "force" content on radio...commercial
> stations broadcast what they assume will improve ratings (and thus
> allow them to increase advertising rates), while non-profit stations
> usually have their objectives specified by their licenses.
I'm not suggesting blatant payola, but how many new artists from independant
labels make it onto Clear Channel? Virtually none without a deal from one
of the big record companies.
> Finally, the one most important characteristic of radio is the fact
> that you, the listener, CAN'T see who is "on the other end"...so
> pretty faces go unseen (except in publicity photos, which can be
> faked if necessary). That's why, for example, Kate Smith could be
> a star on radio...and why many radio stars never became TV stars!
> Radio can (as an old ad created by Stan Freberg made clear!) use
> its invisibility to broadcast events that don't happen, just by
> selecting the right sound effects (i.e. "War Of the Worlds," which
> created widespread panic among listeners who weren't aware it was
> only a dramatization!
That was then (all your examples are the "good ol' days"). I'm really
speaking about today's MOR, adult contemporary, etc.. You won't find any
artists being promoted on radio that aren't being promoted on television at
the same time. A physically unatractive artist will find it virtually
impossible to get a record deal. Let's get a playlist from a Clear Channel
station and see if the artists being played aren't also being promoted on
CMT, MTV, VH1, Lifetime, or whatever. I'm serious. It'd be interesting to
see if there are ANY of these groups/artists who are a radio only
> As far as special *E*ffects making old recordings once again
> popular, I'm not sure exactly what is meant. You can "de-noise"
> old analog recordings and make them sound more or less like CD's
> (but not always without creating "artifacts"...) or you can
> try to put them into "electronic stereo" (which isn't really
> possible, as many LP's demonstrate)...however, the result will
> still be OLD music (which is probably acceptable to many
> classical fans, but appeals to a VERY limited audience in
> the "pop music" field!).
Damned English language. Foiled again. "W" likes to claim his mouth is
where English goes to die, but I claim that distinction as mine! What I
mean about repackaging has already been done with stuff like those
questionable duet projects with dead people. Nat Cole and others I think.
A lot of what people hear as "old time" sound is just old production values
like dynamic range and a real acoustic. Just take something, add a
monotonous drum track, compress it, put a rapper in it, and voila! You've
just recycled a 30 years old Verve or Blue Note track with contemporary
production techniques and added a rapper with name value so it's easier to
push. It's already happened (and I'm embarrassed to admit I kind of like
the results on occasion). Also, rap and R&B tracks are released in mono
(nothing seem to be panned left or right). This plays just fine on car
radios where stereo imaging isn't a priority, and clubs, and "boom" boxes
with speakers 18" apart. How many people would know it if their stereo
program were replaced with mono? They might be able to tell if one of the
speakers were disconnected, but that's about it. I've been in auditoriums
where the speakers were out of phase with each other until I told the "sound
man" something was wrong. I'm not claiming to be a "golden eared"
audiophile. I am claiming that not a single female I've known (mom, wife,
girlfriends, etc..) knew it when something was wrong, and none of my
non-audiophile buddies would know either. They don't really care. Also,
all the people they listen to are in heavy rotation on VH1 and CMT before
they hear them on the radio.
> Somehow, I suspect that if I could somehow convince any local
> pop-music station to play, say, fifteen minutes of my complete
> archive of the Benson Orchestra Of Chicago...the next sound
> you'd hear would be a million radio dials being re-set as
> young listeners went looking for their favourite "Urban Dance"
> charted hit tunes!
> Steven C. Barr
I disagree with you on this. People will like what they are accustomed to
hearing. If you gradually reintroduced horns on pop recordings, then
eliminate the drum track, then the "vocalists", then recorded in a real
acoustic space, then introduced dynamic range, then started swinging, you'd
have big band back within two quarters, and the clueless public wouldn't
realize what happened (because most have never heard Count Basie either).
Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit. It could be pulled off in one
quarter. You know that A&R men affect the tastes of the public. What if
John Hammond hadn't been born? Isn't it possible for one powerful man at a
powerful label to dictate the tastes of a nation because HE likes a group or
thinks the singer is hot, or....?