Saving Classic Rock Radio

This might be odd coming from a guy who subscribes to multiple music streaming apps, but I love some good old fashioned FM radio (from time to time). Growing up, that’s what you listened to in the car. It was the best you had, besides maybe a sleeve of CDs. But today with music streaming, podcasts and satellite radio, is there a spot for terrestrial radio? Absolutely, but they’re doing it wrong.

Traditional radio is split up basically into two power houses; “Hot 100s” and Classic Rock Stations. Now I can get down to some pop hits, but I can’t stand that “pay to play” song system major labels got going on. Classic Rock is where it’s at though. About three decades of master pieces make up the genre, so with such a strong library why can’t they keep people listening? Well honestly it’s hard to get people to sit through a barrage of commercials every 4 songs when they could just stream a similar playlist. But I got the formula to fix Classic Rock Radio. After a week of being stuck to listening to nothing but it, I figured it out, so here’s my remedy.

First off, lose the “Hot 100s” mentality. There’s no need to play Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive four times a day, every day. There’s almost unlimited songs to chose from. I’m willing to bet that most DJs on these stations have incredible Rock knowledge. Put that to use, play some B-side tracks, mix in some live version with some commentary on that year or tour. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Rush and The Beatles have three dozen hit singles a piece, spread the wealth.

Second, play some old audio and interviews. Most of the musicians are either no longer with us, or at the point where they don’t need to go on radio to promote anything. There is though, hours upon hours of interviews and footage from the past you can play back. Let me hear what Jimi Hendrix had to say back in ’67. There’s so much forgotten gold that people just let collect dust.

Thirdly, and probably my boldest take, set aside one day a week and play new(or newer) artist. Pick an artist, let’s say Bruce Springsteen, and play an hour of bands he inspired. Get quotes or audio of them talking about how their music or writing was effected because of which ever artist.

I don’t know maybe I need to stop reminiscing on the days of sitting in the back seat humming Limelight and Stairway to Heaven.

I Got You,

Sean Thompson

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