Posted: Oct 16, 2006 4:53 pm
Jack, the cd I've just put out is not a "local" band, which is a term I think denigrates the music. Memphis music currently coming out is better than most of what you hear on the commercial Memphis radio stations. Time will show that.
For whatever reasons--format style, money, payola, ignorant program directors--my releases have never received any radio play on Memphis commercial radio. WEVL has been great over the years and they do, occasionally, play Memphis music mixed in their various formats--especially Harlan T. Bobo. With this new release--a Texas band recorded at Ardent, I've been extremely pro-active trying to see if commercial radio has changed its attitude since the advent of internet radio, satellite radio, and fiercer competition in general. The answer I have found is no, they have gotten worse and harder to crack. The evidence is there when you hear artists who have traditionally been shoved down the public's throats (I'm talking about Tom Petty-type classic rockers etc. here) complaining about the lack of airplay because of Clear Channel's stranglehold and the loosening of ownership regulations that has allowed massive consolidation in each market in the last 10 years.
I think Memphis bands should give their cds to rock 103 and do everything they can to get them (or any station) to play it. (I submitted mine to the program director and he has not played it on a locals show or any show). However, I don't think their format will be heard as they are ghettoizing the music, and from what you say, they are playing a lot of dreck. Why should I listen to 3 hours of lame music? Why not put the best songs in the regular rotation? They did in the late'70s/early '80s with Keith Sykes, Target, Larry Raspberry and it greatly benefited those bands and the Memphis musis scene. (By the way, those were not necessarily the best songs, but my point is they played Memphis bands heavily in rotation...) I don't think bands should be played just because they have a cd out. I think they should be played because it's great music. I think the "program directors" (don't know why they call them that any more, they aren't programming anything anymore--just playing something off a fax from corporate) wouldn't know a great song if it bit them in their ass or else they wouldn't be playing a majority of what is on Memphis radio.