Saturday, April 29, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Let's face it...The world of "Classic Rock" is changing. Back in the 1980's, Classic Rock meant perhaps 2 decades (1967 - 1987), but now in the year 2006, we're almost pushing 4 decades!!!
I'd like to treat this blog entry a little differently - I'd like to get your opinions first. Why do YOU think some of the songs get played so often? Why do we have to hear the SAME 3 or 4 songs from a certain band?
Feel free to expound on the topic if you care to - And remember, you can post anonymously, too.
posted by Paul Dickinson at 9:11 AM |
Jim from Tomah said... I think we hear the same songs because that's what people want to hear. People don't really like to be "challeneged" too much. But, I like the fact you guys play some newer bands and deeper cuts from older artists.
Paul Dickinson said... You're absolutely right, Jim...Some people like to hum or sing along to songs they know. Life is challenging enough. People don't want to be "educated" with music, most times.
I find it hard to watch some of these new shows on TV...Sometimes I'd rather watch a rerun or a show I'm familiar with...maybe the same thing...
Of course then the argument is "Well, these same old songs and TV shows had to be "new" to you at some point, right?"
Anonymous said... Paul, Axeman here. This is gonna be fun. I'm all about that last comment you made. First, I'll weigh in on the main point. I agree people like to hear the songs they can sing along to and not be "educated" with music. Another thing is, I think radio stations, in general, are afraid to play anything else. WHY! Fear of upsetting the sponsors? Fear of losing listeners? How many sponsors do you really think listen to the station every minute of the day? Probably just long enough to make sure their ads are being run. And how many listeners do you suppose you lose every time you play a "B" cut rather than a more popular song by a certain artist? Are we all that shallow?! I believe there are a lot of songs out there that if people heard them they would want to hear them more. I think people are stuck in this musical rutt and a rutt is nothing more than a grave with both ends knocked out of it. Since we're talking about "classic" rock, by now we all have our favorite bands on vinyl, cassette, cd, and on our computers...and probably the lyrics to boot. Why, then do people insist on wanting to hear them when they turn on the radio, sometimes even calling in to request it when it's sitting right next to them? Isn't radio SUPPOSED to "educate" us musically and introduce us to "new" music? How did you hear your favorite song for the first time? Radio? Didn't you you rush right out and buy it so you wouldn't HAVE to rely on the radio to play it when you really needed to hear it? Jim from Tomah...Did you feel "challenged" the first time you heard one of your favorites or did you think "this is really a cool station to play such a good song"? I have a few dozen songs that I would not have even known about had it not been for WCCN's willingness to deviate from the same old cookie-cutter songs once in a while over the years. People, there is no shortage of songs out there, if I hear "Shook Me All Night Long" one more time I think I'm gonna hurl! Ah yes, the "new" song. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" was a "new" song when I first heard it(on the radio) and I liked it. Partly because it was by a band I already liked and partly because I simply liked it. I believe that new song went on to spend a record number of weeks in a row at #1 on the top 40. Furthermore, if you know anything about the history of the song, it wasn't even supposed to be on the album! What if every radio station in the world said, "our sponsors wouldn't like that song" or "our listeners don't like that kind of music"? This just goes to show that you don't know if listeners will like something or not if you don't play it. Listeners and sponsors co-exist so you shouldn't be afraid of upsetting either one. I'm not finished yet but you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time...
Paul Dickinson said... Hey again, Axeman - Thanks for taking the time to post here again...Let's whittle this elephant down...
I think radio stations, in general, are afraid to play anything else. WHY! Fear of upsetting the sponsors? Fear of losing listeners? How many sponsors do you really think listen to the station every minute of the day? Probably just long enough to make sure their ads are being run.
I think sponsors generally look at "the numbers" and see on paper how many people or what percentage of people are listening. I'm sure a lot of sponsors don't even listen to our station, but more likely and hopefully get some added traffic at their business, and customers saying things like, "I heard your ad on 1075 The Rock"...
You would also be surprised at how fast listeners will change the dial when they hear a song they don't like (Take my wife channel changing in the car, for instance!) Our goal is to not play ANY song that would make someone want to click over to the competition.
if I hear "Shook Me All Night Long" one more time I think I'm gonna hurl!
Ah, the crux of the argument! Here's one slant...There is a "silent majority" out there...the people who listen, turn our station on, like the music, d.j.'s, etc. These are the folks that never call in to contests, never request songs...they just listen silently. Usually, and I mean usually, the person who calls in frequently and voices their opinion or displeasure frequently are in the minority. So, the people who care the most about this stuff (song choices), and vocalize their opinions on topics such as these, are, in my opinion, in the minority. It goes back to the heavy music thing, too. The 21 year old guys who liked ultra heavy metal would call us FREQUENTLY and praise us for the great tunes we were playing, while the silent majority sat back and perhaps turned their radio dials to another station. So while in one respect we were getting a lot of praise over the phone from the metal heads, the flip side is is that the station in reality wasn't GAINING any listeners...but it sure seemed like it with all the praise we were getting!!!
Anonymous said... Axeman's reply. I would like to see these mythical papers that show how many listeners a radio station has. How do you really know? I'm one of those people that will change even my favorite station, not if but when they play a song I don't like. Everyone does it, so if any sponsors are reading this, you can take those papers and burn them, because they mean nothing. If you want to avoid someone "clicking over to the competition", then stop playing "Innagoddadavida"(example) or whatever that song is. If there is one person, umm, stoner, out there that likes that song, why make everyone else suffer? You realize for the 17 minutes and 10 seconds that it's playing you only have one listener. I know songs like that only get played maybe once a month, but if you're only going to play it that much then why play it at all, obviously noone is chomping at the bit to hear it. Maybe there should be a survey on how many people "click over" when songs like that come on. I found your last paragragh interesting. Am I in the "minority" because I care enough to partake in "the blog"? OR, am I in the "majority" because I am a "loyal listener"? Perhaps all that praise you were getting was a hint that you were just a couple more metal songs a day away from pleasing everyone. With WCCN's unique style, if you were to play 2 or 3 more metal songs a day you would be, in my opinion, the perfect radio station. I wonder how many other listeners feel the same.
Paul Dickinson said... This is an interesting debate, Axeman...Thanks for keeping it going (I think!)
If you want to avoid someone "clicking over to the competition", then stop playing "Innagoddadavida"(example) or whatever that song is
Your "In-a-gadda-da-vida" is another listeners "ultra heavy metal song". While you despise hearing that tune (I get numerous requests for it, by the way) once a month, other listeners may feel the same unlike for those 3 metal tunes you'd like us to add everyday. While In-a-gadda-da-vida is long and "groovy and psychedelic" shall we say, it does blend better into the other music we play, as opposed to the metal, which sticks out like sore thumb to older listeners (usually) and makes them want to change the channel. Also, I think when people hear that Iron Butterfly tune, they know it only happens occasionally, like you said, whereas with adding more metal songs DAILY, may suggest a format change to them and we could possibly lose that listener permanently.
Perhaps all that praise you were getting was a hint that you were just a couple more metal songs a day away from pleasing everyone
We will never be able to please everyone. Like I said, it sure seemed like those heavier metal song additions were a step in the right direction, but those "mythical papers" told us differently. And again, when factories and businesses were switching us off because we were "too heavy" was a big factor. All it takes is a plant manager to walk by the radio and hear something "loud and offending" to cause him to boycott the station. Now keep in mind, I think we still play a good mix of metal...Dio, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Metallica...
Anonymous said... Axeman again. I honestly believe you could add 2 or 3 more metal songs a day without making it sound like a format change. I'm not talking about playing 2 or 3 of those "loud and offending" songs, I mean just more of what you already play in that catagory. You listed 4 "metal" bands that you play...great examples, I like all of them. You also have alot more in your collection...I've seen it. You do play a good mix, but remember when the lighter stuff far out-weighs the "heavier" stuff, it comes off as trying to please just the "older" listeners. I've heard MANY younger people(low 20's) say they don't listen to WCCN because you only play "old rock" and softer new stuff. Why would they think that? I know it's not true, you know it's not true. My guess is they had to listen too long to hear a "heavier" song vs. hearing an older one, that they probably never heard of before, within seconds of tuning you in. I would have to play "devil's advocate" and agree. I listen to you every day, and most days it is a long wait through grandpa's rock before I hear something that I would consider "heavy". Luckily, I do like alot of the other stuff you play, not just metal. Again though, I can't help but think radio stations place WAY too much stock in those mythical papers. Do they ever stop and think that for every listener that turns the station, there's another listener tuning in. So when you talk about those factories that switched you off, maybe there were 1000 random people that switched you on. If you have "x" amount of listeners and that never changes, or very little, what difference does it make who they are?
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