Saturday, April 28, 2012

REINVENTING LIGHT ADULT CONTEMPORARY RADIO

Adult contemporary radio is one those things about the industry that I have a love hate relationship with. Personally, I prefer the music on adult contemporary over country music radio and talk radio. My problem is the attitude and presentation. I could actually forget and enjoy the beauty of the softer rock/pop music, if it wasn't for the constant reminder that this radio station is programmed to reach an audience made up of uptight, prudish squares and snooty preppie dorks. The liners frequently contain a veiled attack another radio station (that skews to a younger audience) by announcing that they "don't play rap or heavy metal." The liners seem to promote the radio station as a form of white, up-class, middle-school conformity that preaches the values of being "family friendly" and "everyone at work can agree on." The hidden message is "The people who don't like this radio station are child molesters and drug addicts, who live off welfare and worship Satan."

The jingles on these radio stations feature syrupy arrangements with whispery singers. There also has for several years been a trend to have a song for the morning show with a whining male vocalist that sounds like it belongs on a Contemporary Christian station.  

There seems to be a "Little Miss Pris/mommy blogger" nature to many adult contemporary radio stations. Topics discussed by the morning shows and some of the on-air people seem to be about girls prom dresses being "too sexy," what cartoons are "bad" for your child or too much soda is "bad" for you. The rest of the time they promote that the website has photos of "cute kittens." As David Letterman might say, "You can insert your own 'pussy radio station' joke here."

Now there are some newer variations on the AC format coming along, which feature a more younger and hipper music mix. While I welcome this, there needs to be a "light" AC that aims at changing audience, as well as a "Hot AC." Most of the kind of radio stations I'm referring to are "light" AC and are stuck in the 80s and 90s, when the format was big. Most of the music hasn't changed, because that style of music is dying out (along with some of the performers). Much of the music you hear on these radio station belong to what I call the "ding-ding-ding" sound of the 80s and 90s pop music. Two perfect examples of this are "Hello" by Lionel Ritchie and "Saving All My Love For You" by Whitney Houston. these radio stations are stuck in the "Just Say No" era.

There are people, like myself, who would listen to a soft rock/pop station if it the presentation wasn't directed at a "proud to be square" audience and the music was changed to be more smooth and vibrant, less bland and lifeless. They want something like this for when, as Gilligan at Retrospace would say, they are "making pancakes."

    
Here are some changes I would make to the "light" AC format:

1. Imagining and Liners - More funky and less sappy. Jingles should have be sort r&b/smooth jazz influenced with horns, not syrup strings with singers that sound like they should be on a Contemporary Christian radio station.
Sample liners:
  • "Our radio station is like a night out with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the other radio stations are like listening to speeches by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman."
  •  "This radio station doesn't believe that there is such a thing as a prom dress that is too sexy for school."
  •  "If you co-workers don't like this radio station, tell them to take a flying leap out a window."
  •  "The only thing better for your kids than listening to our radio station is letting them stay home from school to watch reruns of The Simpsons and Family Guy all day."
  • "We know that our listeners are usually busy. They have a wine cooler in one hand and a bong in the other, while they are trying to open a pack of condoms."
  • "This radio station promises not to offend African-Americans, Gays, Hispanics, Native Americans, Jews or Atheist, but we are going to try and get your grandma's panties in a wad."
2. Move away from core artist of the past AC (Michael Buble, Josh Grobain, John Denver, Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston) and go for the artist driven from classic rock radio for not being hard enough or at least add more classic rock and R&B artist. It is what the young generation calls "yacht rock." Throw in some smooth jazz instrumentals for measure. Sample playlist:
  •  "Wish You Were Here" Pink Floyd
  •  "Fall On Me" Pousette-Dart Band
  •  "Do It Again" Steely Dan
  •  "Fool In the Rain" Led Zeppelin
  •  "Special Lady" Ray Goodman and Brown
  •  "All Apologies" Nirvana
  •  "Come Softly To Me" Jane Oliver
  •  "Peaches En Regalia" Frank Zappa
  •  "Little Red Corvette" Prince
  •  "I'm Gonna Love You" Barry White
  •  "Jack & Jill" Raydio
  •  "Tangled Up In Blue" Bob Dylan
  •  "Year of the Cat" Al Stewart
3. In promotions, emphasis volunteering. You should give away prizes, but you should partner with a charity or volunteer organization, especially on remotes. Another thing is provide the audience with weather and news. Don't over do it, but the audience for a radio station like this will want to know what is going on. 
4. Make the morning show fun not a "cranky parent show." Find a host that is the caliber of David Letterman, Robin Williams or Bill Maher, not a wimpy hen-pecked husband who whines about there being "too much sex on TV." His female co-host should giggle at everything this guy says, but still be a person who the females in the audience will relate to. Also don't run down the artist being played. That defeats the purpose of playing them. Promote their concerts, appearances and music. Duh! Why can't modern radio stations do that the right way? Also don't insult or slam young people and children. Remember those people are the future of your radio station, if you insult them and run down the stuff they like will probably not listen to you in the future. This explains another reason that light AC is going away.

There is always room for a "light" radio station, but there needs to be revamping of the presentation and music. The people these radio stations tried to reach in the late 80s and 90s probably don't listen music radio anymore. They probably listen to the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity. So lets make a soft & light station for a fun crowd.

Of course, an opinion like these explain why I;m considered the Super-Villain of the Ozarks!!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins in ’Dark Shadows’ show, dead at 87

Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins in ’Dark Shadows’ show, dead at 87

I was planning to create a post about Dark Shadows and Barnabas Collins, when I read of Jonathan Frid's passing.

My post was going to be called, "WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH BARNABAS COLLINS' HAIR?" It was a in-joke perpetrated by Dark Shadows creator and executive producer Dan Curtis on line producer Robert Costello. Originally, Barnabas was not a character on the show, he was added in 1967 when the show was on the verge of being cancelled. However, the famous painting of Barnabas was always in the foyer of Collinwood (That is it in the above photo behind Frid), there just wasn't any features on the face except for the distinctive hair style.

When the before the show went on the air, it was decided that portraits would be hanging around Collinwood of various Collins ancestors. Staff members posed for the portraits, but the faces were not filled in because they wouldn't be show up on camera.

Robert Costello posed for the foyer portrait of a man holding a fancy walking cane with a large onyx ring on his finger. Dan Curtis gave the artist painting the portrait extra money to paint the hair on the man to look like Robert Costello's bad toupee.

When the Barnabas character was to be introduced, it was decided that the portrait in the foyer was of him. They added Jonathan Frid's facial features, but unfortunately the Barnabas character would be stuck with having hair that looked like a bad toupee. Now, Johnny Depp will be sporting the hair that looks like Robert Costello's bad toupee.

       

Levon Helm Loses Battle With Cancer - AllAccess.com

I WANTED TO BE THE NEXT DICK CLARK


By now you know that Dick Clark passed away at the age of 82 yesterday.  My goal, when I got into radio was to be the next Dick Clark. I wanted to influence what young people listened to and be their "trusted adult" friend. This was important to me growing up here in the Ozarks, where adults don't respect young people or their music.  I was surprised to find that Dick Clark was only a year older than my parents.

I think President Obama pinpointed what made Dick Clark so popular with the younger audience. He said in a statement, "But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel -- as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was." Dick Clark seemed young because he acted young, positive and having fun.The problem I have with most local radio in the Ozarks is the negativity. As far back as I can remember Springfield radio announcers seem to say things like "We ain't gonna like what them thar folks out in Californy like. That thar is stoopid!" Part of the problem is every thing in this part of the world is geared toward old white people with too much money and guys who own large pickup trucks with Confederate flags in the back window. For some reason, nobody in the radio industry in this area was interested in helping me to become the "next Dick Clark." For some stupid reason they are more interested in the next Rush Limbaugh.

While many Baby Boomers associate Chubby Checker, Fabian and Connie Francis with American Bandstand, my generation remembers the regular appearances of the glam/prog/new wave act Sparks. It was always fun when Dick Clark got around to talking to the keyboard player Ronald, who looked like a cross between Adolph Hitler and Darla Hood's cranky father in the Little Rascals.

As Dick always said at the end of American Bandstand, "So Long!"





SPRINGFIELD MO IS STILL STUPID ENOUGH TO HATE THE SIMPSONS


I have had some people tell me that they missed the strongly opinionated style of my old blog. They really miss my criticisms of the hypocrisy that is rampant in Springfield, Missouri and the surrounding area. On the old blog, I christened it Ozarks correctness (kind of an opposite of political correctness). Last week, I discovered that somethings never change in the Ozarks. A national story and a local TV newsman's picks for his favorite cartoon characters of all time produced an abundance of stupidity from Ozarkers that I can't believe still exist. Over twenty years after The Simpsons debuted on TV, Ozarkers still hate them with a neo-fascist passion. They brag that they don't watch The Simpsons nor do they let their children watch the Simpsons. Yes, this is what we brag about here in the Ozarks. While Mayor Christine Lundberg of Springfield, Oregon was overjoyed to find out that Matt Groening named The Simpsons hometown after her city, the crabby, hateful scum here in the Ozarks were celebrating that that we were not the namesake.

This has been going on since The Simpsons debuted in 1990. In Springfield, MO and southwest Missouri, anyone who said they liked The Simpsons or wore a Bart Simpson t-shirt was considered to be on the same level as Saddam Hussein. Ozarkers wanted The Simpsons toys and clothes banned from stores, they wanted them banned from schools and they wanted The Simpsons banned from television. I recently went back and looked at the old Springfield News Leaders from that time. There were only a few letters in support of The Simpsons. I wanted to print off one, from a Simpsons fan, that mentions the fact that many of the critics of The Simpsons were upset about Bart being proud of being an underachiever. As I read this letter (Which is very intelligent and well-written-the writer should have his own blog), I was struck by how much it was describing what has become common place after the No Child Left Behind Act. If you don't believe that the emphasis on achievement test is out of hand, read this story from KYTV news. I also find it ironic that the people who were upset about Bart being "disrespectful" to his teacher are the same ones who enjoy it when the talk radio vermin attack public school teachers.
CLICK TO ENLARGE

I wish I could have copied more of the top letter. The writer thinks the whole controversy is stupid and has some great things to say.

Personally, I think Springfield and the Ozarks need to get over themselves and lighten up. If I was in charge of this country, I would have people who don't like The Simpsons executed and DFS remove children from the parents who forbid their children to watch The Simpsons.I think it would make this world a better place.

Of course, that is why I'm considered the Super-Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Mike Wallace Interview featuring Rod Serling (1959)


Mike Wallace interviews Rod Serling before the Twilight Zone. I wanted to include this because I fully understand Serling's feelings about censorship and advertisers.

The Big Surprise game show with host Mike Wallace




I'll bet some of you thought I was lying about Mike Wallace hosting a game show in the 50s. Here is one of them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MIKE WALLACE ON SKY KING



As many of you know, 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace past away over the weekend. Many don't realize that Wallace was not always the journalist asking hard questions, but was also an announcer and, in the 1950s, an game show host. I had always heard that Mike Wallace was an announcer on the Sky King radio show. Here is a great recording of the Sky King radio show with Wallace at the very beginning reminding kids to be safe.

Also, here is a great article from a Old Radio Shows blog about Mike Wallace's radio career.


MIKE WALLACE 1918 - 2012
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