Sunday, August 7, 2011
July 4th, 2011, I got an idea to make a search into what would it take to start your own online radio. You see, the idea came from some friends that regrouped after leaving the Dallas radio station K104 and they came back to broadcasting online. Skip Murphy, the Wig, Chris Arnold and Nanette Lee were, to me, the funniest radio show ever. When they ALL came back it was as if they never left. (even though they left K104 five years ago) I was and am very happy they are back. After a few mornings of listening to them, I began wondering exactly how they did it. I was sure it was expensive but how much of an expense was it? So, I made the search of "radio station" and I spotted this link to listen2myradio with the caption (start your own radio station for free) The word "free" caught my attention. I clicked the link, and the rest is history.
How am I doing so far?
One thing have discovered is that one person CAN run an online radio station but it will be grueling. The first thing you lose is allot of sleep because if you're like me, a perfectionist, you have to make sure everything is running as you intend.
The second thing that happens is you begin to see yourself in a vulnerable state. Vulnerable, because you quickly discover that not only are you not perfect but that unless you have a degree in broadcasting (and you cannot be shy about this) it will be a struggle, lots of embarrassing moments.
It has been exactly 1 month and three days since I signed up and today I was thinking, Why music? I mean, How did I become so focused on music? Why not sports, like most guys? Why not business marketing? Why not politics? (it's my favorite subject)
The reason I like and love music so much came from a few words that my aunt Doris said to me: "Boy you really like singing. You are always listening to that song. You are gonna a singer when you grow up." Well, I didn't become a singer. However, it was the other part she mentioned that became so prominent about me.
Today, some people meet me and quickly begin saying that I know everything about music. I have never said that about myself. Some people do say this about themselves. I mean, How could any human know EVERYthing about music? (and there are some smart, smart people out there) My aunt Doris saying "you always listening to that song." is who I am. That song I was listening to was by an artist or singer Chaka Khan. Back in the day, she sang in a group called 'Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan'. Then, they changed the group's name to Rufus and Chaka Khan. I would always wondering, 'Why Rufus? I mean, Why not a cooler name?' but I was a kid and hadn't learned about the world of advertising and marketing when it came to music.
Today, I have discovered that some people are jealous of my knowledge of music. Plain and simple: as I told a friend, "I only know what I listen to." And, I have done my research on the artists I follow, very extensively. I had no idea that I was quickly labelled as THE person to go to if you want to know anything about music. One guy approached me and asked me if I could find this underground cd never released 'Love For Sale' by a cat named Bilal? I told him that I had never heard of him but research it for him. He was shocked when he exclaimed, "You of all people have never heard of Bilal??? I thought you knew everything about music!" I was embarrassed at first because I felt that because of my love for music that I should have known who Bilal was or any other artist, but I did not. There is a ton of ambiguity in that statement because on one hand I can see why some would say that, but on the other hand I cannot believe that some WOULD believe that about anybody.
When I was old enough to be trusted walk alone to the store, I would always detour to this place called Milton's Record Shack. There was this black man with a raspy voice that ran the store. From the first day I started going into his store, just before my purchases, he would always ask me if I had heard certain songs. He would observe my purchases and would always, always suggest something else for me to listen to, really it was for a suggestion something for me to buy. I would always reply "No." because I was still cutting my teeth when it came to music genre. My mom listened to Burt Bacharach, Fifth Dimension, and lots of Motown. My step-dad looked allot like Lou Rawls, listened to Blues. As a family we often watched Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Stevie Wonder on TV. The record store owner would play the song or songs for me and if I liked it (which was almost all of the time) then I would find myself standing in front of the cash register trying to figure out how I was gonna make $5 buy four 45's. One day, he gave me a free record and I never stopped going into his shop. I was at that record store so much and called so often that he once told me as soon as I walked in the door "That album by The Emotions didn't come in today! So, you don't have to call everyday asking DID THE EMOTIONS' ALBUM COME IN YET? DID THE EMOTIONS' ALBUM COME IN YET?!!!" I was thinking, I'm bringing him money and now he's making fun of me? My step-dad and a man that went by the CB name Old Crow had a record store right next to E Z Way Quick Mart, and I painted a big black crow on the window. It was called Old Crow Records. Hardly anybody ever came in to buy anything because they only carried a few trays of blues 45's. I remember looking around in that store thinking 'y'all ain't be open no longer than a month.' But I kept on painting the window.
THEN, after moving moving to Dallas at the eve of my 21st birthday, I used to go into the record store (yeah I know that sounds funny, RECORD STORE, 45's and cash register) and I noticed that people were shopping for music. One couple I had walked past was trying to remember how a song went. I backed up and told them "Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam." They were like "THANK YOU SO MUCH! Do you work here" I was like, hmmm, I like doing that for people. When they had asked me if I was an employee is when I became ashamed and embarrassed. So, I guess you can call me a music nerd instead a music fan or desperate for attention (which is another subject). "No," I answered the couple. I just enjoy helping people, when it comes to music. Then I got the bug and began going back to that record store was all I could think about. (Sound Warehouse on Knight and Lemon Avenue, today the building is a bank) Yep, I got the big head of helping people figure out a song with only a snippet of its information. But see, back in my hometown, Midland, Texas, KCRS had this music contest that kept me glued to the radio. The rules were simple: be the first to call-in when you figure out the name of a song. I never won but I found myself knowing most of the songs played in that contest.
Another reason I think people equate me with knowing everything about music is because of my school background when it came to music. I was exposed to classical music in the 7th grade and up into my college years because I was in band. (now playing Amy Winehouse "Black To Black" [shuffle is on]) When I started high school this is really where my exposure to many genres of music became so prominent in my life. Each year, I signed up for band and each year we would have these fundraisers in order to make money so each band student could pay for their way to go on the Band Spring Trip. We would go door to door selling fruit cakes and ads spaces in our school yearbooks. It was so cool because this was more than 300 students, on 4 greyhound buses, with chaperones, headed to a distant state and just having fun. These trips made learning how to play classical music and studying its history fun. On one of those greyhound buses racing down a highway at night, I sat listening to all the conversations and especially all of the music played while on those trips. We had this thing where anybody could play a song (FOR A SHORT WHILE) as long as it had cuss words. This is how I learned about rock: Queen, Black Sabbath, Lynard Skinard, Ambroisia, Little River Band, Toto, and Pop: Olivia Newton John, Elton John, and Country: Roy Clark, Glen Campbell, Juice Newton and Alabama...etc... I could go on.
Why do I talk so much about music? Because it is really all I know and have the most fun listening. One of my friends says that it a way I escape. In college I took this fascinating course, I think it was called 'Music Advertising' during summer....for free......while everyone else was on summer-break. This course gave me a closer look into the mechanics of music and how it was massed produced and targeted for specific audiences.
How is my radio station doing? Do I have tons of listeners? The station is steady as she goes. About my listeners? There are 3-4 that regularly stop by. Many times they only stay a few minutes but that's ok. The most listeners I have had was 20. But one thing I have quickly learned is that since we have this explosion of information which includes music, there are so many bands and so many, many songs that having a radio station back in the day would be a big deal. Today, not so much. Most people have the time or patience to be serenaded. But it's fun playing to my audience of 3.
(song that just shuffled into play La Caution - "Thé à la menthe" [the laser dance] Ocean's 12)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A few years back, a radio station played only one song for, what I can remember, an entire week. Talk around town raced about that a brand new radio station was emerging but they only played one song over and over again. Almost everyone was talking about it, inquiring of why the same song was being looped, and what was the point. But we all figured out that it was a gimmick to get our attention. I remember thinking, 'Wow! What a cool gimmick. Now, nobody will forget that radio station.' The song the station played was by Newcleus, and their song was "Wicky, Wicky."
I am replaying one of my favorite songs ("Cinema" - Benny Benassi [Skrillex remix]) all day Wednesday up until midnight.
It will become apparent, especially if you are a regular reader of my blog.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Since the days of Napster, when it was free and the rush to download as much music as possible was better than almost any drug, I've stumbled across another milestone in my life. I now have my very own online radio. However my reason for bringing up Napster is not moot. Napster allowed person-to-person sharing which is what also drew attention to it. The authorities were in their boundaries to censure Napster because it was grand theft to SOME degree. Either way, now a person can have their very own online radio. ([whispers] except its not a radio station. It is a glorified way if you pay to share your music with someone else or with a mass audience)
August 4, I will be turning 50 years old. At times, especially since starting my radio station, it seem like I am about to turn 22 way back when good ole Napster gave us that rush of blood to the head to share with another person our taste in music.
My radio station <<<---click My...