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Default RadioInsight for Friday 11 May 2018


Twenty (Or So) (Mostly) Great Songs That Were a Hit on One Station

Posted: 11 May 2018 12:40 PM PDT

A few nights ago, “Bania U Cygana” by Zero came up in my workout playlist.
“Bania U Cygana” was a Polish-language dance record that became a signature
record for WKIE (Energy 92.7) Chicago during its brief tenure as a dance
station in the early ‘00s. It never spread to crosstown WBBM-FM (B96),
whose version of Rhythmic Top 40 was more Hip-Hop and R&B in those days.
There were a handful of other dance stations around the country, but if
they were aware of it, I’m sure they figured Zero for a Chicago-only
phenomenon.* But hot is hot, and “Bania U Cygana” sounded great on the
That got me thinking about other great songs that I associate with airplay
on only one radio station, at least in North America. They are the most
local of local hits — songs that were “1/0” in the parlance of the trade
publication Radio & Records at the time: playing on one station with no new
adds in subsequent weeks. Sometimes there was no format competitor in the
market to spread to. Sometimes the song was market-specific. Sometimes it
was a market such as New Orleans or Montreal that cheerfully makes big hits
of songs that work nowhere else.
These days, it’s hard to get the first add for a left-field record and even
harder to get the second one. Competitors are reluctant to legitimize those
songs, although when I do see a song that’s on only two stations — but both
in the same market — I consider that one of the most compelling stories any
song can have. But it doesn’t mean that the programmers willing to step out
on a song that’s right for their station are wrong.
When I worked at R&R, I once made an awkward attempt to bond with the only
CHR programmer who played the mid-’80s girl-group-meets-dance song “Don’t
Hang Up” by Elly Brown. He was embarrassed that I remembered it even a few
months later. But that wasn’t the intent. I never assume that PDs don’t
know how to play the hits. I’m just delighted when they strategically go
beyond them. Some of the songs I associate with one market were great, some
just curious. But I’m glad somebody played them.
Dag, “Our Love Would Be Much Better” (1998) – CHR in the Southeast in the
mid-‘90s was really Modern AC with jingles. Top 40 from Central Virginia to
Jackson, Miss., had similarities, but Brian Burns’ WDCG (G105) Raleigh,
N.C., stood apart even from that pack. This song by a local band went to
power on G105 without spreading further. At the time, I remember thinking
of it as Dave Matthews Band meets Prince. Now, I imagine lead singer Bobby
Patterson groaning every time he hears Maroon 5.
Raw Herbs, “Don’t Bury Me Yet” (1987) – When I worked briefly in
Alternative radio in 1987-88, I heard the last 20 seconds of this on an
aircheck of KITS (Live 105) San Francisco. Even on the fade, it was easy to
tell what this was meant to be: the Smiths go Country. I’m not sure why I
didn’t just get a dub of the full song from KITS PD Richard Sands. But it
won’t surprise regular readers that I hunted for it for years, including
poring through used record stores on UK trips and finding only other Raw
Herbs singles. I found it years later on eBay. And the best 20 seconds in
the song were still at the end.
Wolfsheim, “Once in a Lifetime” (2000) – Alternative WLIR/WDRE Long Island,
N.Y., was a house built on all things Depeche Mode/New Order-sounding. This
German single — the best Depeche Mode record available at the time became
an odd Long Island-only signature for a latter-day version of the station
during (if I remember correctly) a period when it was Modern AC.
Teenbeats, “I Can’t Control Myself” (1980); Puzzle, “Weekend Rock” (1980) –
In the years before MTV, new wave was a much more regular presence on Top
40 in Canada, but the songs grabbed by Montreal radio were often different
from what worked anywhere else in the country, and still are. The Teenbeats
was a U.K. cover of the ‘60s Troggs classic. I might not convince you that
it’s better, but it’s certainly hotter. (Think of Shocking Blue vs.
Bananarama on “Venus.”) As for the Dutch/Italian “Weekend Rock,” you’ll
enjoy it more if you share my penchant for goofy quasi-novelties. And if
you don’t, you should certainly not listen to the next song.
Test Drive, “Supa Fine” (2007) – WPOW (Power 96) Miami has a 30-year
history of doing its own thing. But this was still an unusual case: an
old-school rap novelty that recalled nothing more than J.J. Fad’s
“Supersonic,” 20 years earlier. It went to power, but never spread to rival
WHYI (Y100) or any other station that I’m aware of. It’s not available on
iTunes, and I don’t think it ever was.
Joe Diffie, “Down in a Ditch” (1997) – Dene Hallam prided himself on
finding album cuts at KKBQ (93Q Country) Houston. Sometimes they became
“Chattahoochee.” Often, they could rack up hundreds of spins without ever
showing up on crosstown KILT (FM100). And 93Q’s success at the time proves
they were secret weapons, not indulgences. This was the song that Hallam
played as the follow-up to “Bigger Than the Beatles” at a time when the
work single was “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.” And it’s a prime example of the off-kilter
genius of the late songwriter Dennis Linde.
Trini Triggs, “Horse to Mexico” (1999) – KPLX (The Wolf) Dallas had its own
penchant for finding songs. Many of its signatures were by “Texas Country”
artists like Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road Goes On Forever,” but Entercom
Houston’s Chris Huff, who saw this from across town at KSCS at the time,
recalls this as the one that was their true secret weapon. It still plays
on KPLX now, and nowhere else.
Rose Royce, “Angel in the Sky” (1978) – “Wishing on a Star” became one of
those songs retroactively known by everybody for a while, but it got the
bulk of its airplay as an album cut, especially at WPGC Washington, D.C.,
and didn’t become a single until much of the excitement had run its course.
A year later, they tried to recapture the magic. The hit from Rose Royce
Strikes Again was “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”* But the “Wishing”
soundalike was this one — even lovelier and more affecting in my
estimation. And the only place I ever heard it on the radio was R&B AM WOL,
which was never shy about playing album cuts.
One Way, “Now That I Found You” (1979) – Detroit’s Al Hudson & One Way had
nearly a decade’s worth of R&B hits, although “Cutie Pie” is the most
enduring. This was a B-side that played for several years as Cancon on CKLW
Detroit without ever being officially added. The song’s co-author was
former CKLW PD Dick Bozzi, but don’t call it a favor. CKLW genuinely needed
Cancon R&B, a rarity in that era, and this has the same sweetness that made
Stephanie Mills’ “Never Knew Love Like This Before” such a hit a year
later. I vaguely remember hearing this on AC WMJC (Magic 95) as well, but
it’s an indelible memory of CKLW in its last few years as a CHR station.
Venna, “Sha-Kum-Up” (1984) – She was a local Detroit artist with a handful
of singles on several labels. This was a song that lasted for about a month
(or maybe less) in light rotation at R&B WGPR Detroit, a few years after
the once-influential station had been eclipsed by WDRQ and WJLB. This is
utterly unknown, but it’s great propulsive female dance/funk. Only the long
version is on YouTube now, but the single is even better and tougher.
Egyptian Lover, “What Is a D.J. if He Can’t Scratch” (1984) Local acts
Uncle Jam’s Army and Egyptian Lover probably represent the moment when KDAY
Los Angeles began its evolution from merely a great, musically aggressive
R&B station to the mid-‘80s cradle of Southern California hip-hop. A few of
KDAY’s finds (including Timex Social Club’s “Rumors”) spread to crosstown
KGFJ or later to KPWR (Power 106). But this B-side I remember as all its
Valentine, “Take You Back (Street Corner Song From ‘Rocky’)” – Despite its
proximity to Philadelphia, Princeton, N.J., was usually more in the
cultural orbit of New York. But that didn’t keep all things connected to
Rocky from being a big deal, including this WPST Trenton, N.J., hit under
then-PD Tom Taylor. Many years later, I heard this on an aircheck of KCPX
Salt Lake City, but I always thought of this as a WPST exclusive on a
station where “Ariel” by Dean Friedman, “The Whistler” by Jethro Tull, and
“Forever Autumn” by Justin Hayward were all far bigger than they were
nationally. And only WPST played Valentine’s next single, “So Sad to Break
Up.” Valentine leader Frank Stallone was derided for depending on exposure
in his brother’s movies — I remember a New York magazine jibe about Sly &
the Family Stallone — until “Far From Over.”
Bo Donaldson & the Hewyoods, “Oh Boy” (1976) – In the mid-‘70s when glam,
bubblegum and ‘50s nostalgia collided in the U.K., the British band Mud
went to No. 1 with this reworking of a Buddy Holly song. Mud had a series
of British smashes as a vehicle for the Chinnichap writing/production team
after the Sweet decided to write their own songs and rock harder.* In the
U.S., however, this version of the song went to Bo Donaldson & the
Heywoods, two years after their success with a pair of U.K. covers, “Billy
Don’t Be a Hero” and “Who Do You Think You Are.” By 1976, that act was in
the worst possible place — tagged as teen idols by PDs, usurped as teen
idols (by the Bay City Rollers) with listeners. But I remember this going
to No. 1 at KCPX. It may have also made it on to rival KRSP.
Sus Ruso, “Switch It to Rock And Roll” (1983) – Gerry Cagle’s KFRC San
Francisco out-rocked the yacht-rock-driven Top 40s of the format’s early
‘80s doldrums by finding its own songs. (The R&R profile of KFRC from that
era has a subhead along the lines of “the importance of stiff records.”)
Most of what set KFRC apart was R&B crossovers like this one, but there
would also be pop/rock oddities such as this Joan Jett-influenced Atlantic
single. Cagle played a similar farfisa-flavored oddity (lost even to
YouTube) at KWOD Sacramento during its period as a CHR/Alternative hybrid:
Rainbow Girls, “Dudes on the Beach.”
Tina Yothers, “Baby I’m Back in Love Again” (1987) – For most people, if
they know this neo-girl-group song, it was because Yothers sang it on
“Family Ties.” I heard it on Jerry Clifton-consulted KGGI Riverside, Calif.
That station was already Rhythmic Top 40 at the time, and I remember it as
an odd match (as well as an odd thing to encounter in the first place). But
I guess it fit in a Debbie Gibson sort of way. Later, I would come across
an earlier version by Canada’s Mens Room, best known for having the Cancon
hit version of Belle Stars, “Sign of the Times.”
Ying-Yang Twins, “Get Out the Way” (2017) – A few years ago, I wrote about
songs I associated with CKLW. You could easily do the same for songs that
were only hits in New Orleans, or even on one station. KHOM (Mix 104.1)
made a cottage industry of them during the mid-‘90s. That station’s MD was
Tom “Jammer” Naylor, now PD of WEZB (B97), which seems to continue the
tradition at least once a year or so, often with a Mardi Gras or
sports-related novelty like this one that the station played last fall.

The post Twenty (Or So) (Mostly) Great Songs That Were a Hit on One Station
appeared first on RadioInsight.

Domain Insight 5/11: Saga To Spread The Pure Oldies

Posted: 11 May 2018 11:06 AM PDT

Saga Communications appears to be launching three new Pure Oldies branded
stations. Plus updates on Savannah and new registrations for Grand Haven
and San Angelo.
This content is for Premium Annual and Premium Monthly members only. Visit
the site and log in/register to read.

The post Domain Insight 5/11: Saga To Spread The Pure Oldies appeared first
on RadioInsight.

Station Sales Week Of 5/11

Posted: 11 May 2018 04:35 AM PDT

After first announcing their purchase last October, Paul Coates Mike
Huckabee’s New Directions Media Group LLC have filed their application to
purchase Hot AC My 100.1 KOMC-FM Kimberling City, Country 102.9 The Z KHBZ
Harrison AR, Classic Country 106.3 KRZK Branson, Full Service AC 900
KHOZ/94.9 K235CE Harrison AR, and Classic Hits 1220 KCAX/98.1 K251BZ
Branson from Earls Family Broadcasting for $6.5 million. The group will be
operated under the Ozark Mountain Media Group name, which began operating
them via LMA on October 1, 2017.

Educational Media Foundation sells 90.7 KSRI Santa Cruz CA to Natural
Bridges Media for $265,000. The buyer plans to flip the station to a
Community based Public News/Talk format as K-Squid KSQD.

Cantico Nuevo Ministries will purchase Silent 1580 WLIM Patchouge NY from
Polnet Communications for $350,000. The buyer owns towermate 1440 WNYG
Medford NY.

Brent Lee and Mathew Moore’s Spoon River Media will purchase Standards 1540
WLOI and Country Eagle 96.7 WCOE La Porte IN from the bankrupt La Porte
County Broadcasting Company for $237,000 with $145,372.19 going to pay
monies owed to the IRS.

Providence Educational Foundation acquires 91.3 WGON Slidell LA from Crisis
Pregnancy Help Center of Slidell for $100,000. WGON is already part of the
Christian AC Lifesongs Radio network based at Providences 89.1 WBSN-FM New

Immaculate Heart Media purchases Christian 90.3 WIGW Eustis FL from On The
Rock Communications for $130,000. IHM has already begun operating WIGW via
a Programming Agreement with its Relevant Radio Catholic network.
Translator Sales

First Ventures Capital Partners sells Alternative Alt 93.7 K229AK
Baywood-Los Osos/San Luis Obispo CA to Dimes Media for $10,000 as the
company exercises the option agreement first granted to Mapleton
Communications in 2012.

The bankruptcy trustee of Community Translator Network sells the CP of 93.3
K227CP Cheyenne WY to Mountain Community Translators for $10,000. K227CP
will rebroadcast Educational Media Foundations 90.9 KLWV Chugwater WY.

Spirit Media sells 99.1 K256CA Navajo Mountain-Lake Powell UT to Redrock
Radio Group for $1,000. K256CA will rebroadcast Classic Hits Redrock 92.7
KBDX Blanding UT.

The post Station Sales Week Of 5/11 appeared first on RadioInsight.

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