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Lisa Miller - "How I Got Into Radio"

Blasting Out The Past

12-9-2013

Although I love music, I am certainly no expert; except when it comes to what I like, and then Im a genius. I feel as if I am being robbed of the music I love. Yes, I admit it, I am a classic hit, classic rock fan. I am a product of the late 60s early 70s and Im proud to tell you that I recently saw the Rascals and Eric Burdon in concert.

But when I look for stations to listen to in the US, I find myself tuning in Gold in London. This morning as Do You Think Im Sexy and Turn to Stone was blasting during my shower I realized what the difference is between US classic music and European classic music; and that is the blokes overseas are not afraid to admit they like rhythm and they werent shamed away from disco. With all respect to Mr. Dahl, who performed one of the most memorable stunts of the late 70s, we women liked disco because we could dance and it wasnt as uncool as it was painted by you men without rhythm.

So when I listen to Gold, I hear the songs I love, the music is killer and I wish we could program our classic hits stations with the same iPod shuffle as the PDs, MDs, and jocks of the Isles and inland. The music is tasty. The specialized weekends are clever, make sense, and tie into memories that relate to our lives yesterday and today. The jocks talk about today and let the music remind us of yesterday as if it was last week and, voila, we are young once more.

You cant force this feeling or sound, it has to come naturally and either its in your DNA or its not. Someone who is 30-40 years old can run the selector but they can't create the emotion or find that sound that makes a five-record sweep so amazing you hold your breath for 20 minutes and you bounce in your car, sing at the top of your lungs, and spend the commercial break calling an old friend.

So, I beg my friends who have the honor of programming these amazing stations to check out Mikes Radio World for a list of international stations by format and take a trip through time and an adventure that makes it seem like you sampled all of the 31+ flavors at Baskin Robbins. The Swedish, the Germans, and beyond have given us our music in a way that makes it sound like its brand new and youre excited to hear it once again. And you realize that its the greatest music ever recorded.

Lisa Miller is the president of Miller Broadcast Management in Chicago. She's also one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women in Radio. Miller can be reached at Lisa@millerbroadcast.com or 312-454-1111.




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(1/30/2014 9:30:32 AM)
I just stumbled across this article...and I wholeheartedly agree. I think classic hits stations that don't add disco/dance songs into the mix are missing out on a sizeable segment of the audience.

- Don C.
(12/27/2013 6:19:36 PM)
Totally agree. Astute comments. Our local 'golden oldies' station plays everything and it's wonderful hearing that, anytime we want to: 24/7.

- Raider One
(12/9/2013 10:04:40 AM)
Fully in support of Lisa's position. This is a market made up of the folks who have most of the money, too.

However, this gang are not driving turnip trucks. Nor are they drooling into cups. They will not be satisfied by the same, vacuous formatics of today or (and this is significant) - yesteryear. Nor will accept a non-stop jukebox approach to be of much value.

Since the tunes on the playlist are, pretty much, a given, the only way to be successful is to concentrate on what hits the air.... between the tunes.

As this is a demographic that prefers real beef, we had best be wary of scattering around chicken-like bits and marketing that as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Practically, the easiest thing to do with this format would be to do what we do best - screw it up.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(12/9/2013 8:03:34 AM)
Lisa:

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. But, Classic Rock stations in this country tend to be leaned toward men (which gets stations "the beer buys"), and men, for the most part, don't like disco.

You're right, though. Not much difference between "Stay With Me" (Faces) and "Do You Think I'm Sexy." It's still Rod Stewart singing.

- Kevin Fodor

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