Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's Next

Now that our "What Is An Oldie?" Series is over, it's time to move on to something new. (I'm still digesting all of the commentary we received ... I just haven't decided quite what to DO with it all yet!!! lol) Meanwhile, here are a couple more late additions to your comments ... This series has been loads of fun, Kent. The variety of responses and the differing viewpoints - coupled with the same recurring themes - have been informative and well-organized. One thing you've touched on a few times is the fact that ultimately the listeners decide which "oldies" they like - and which they don't. The problem we face - as you and the other contributors repeat - is that the radio programmers practice the Stockholm Syndrome, or a variation of it. Feed me the same 100 songs over and over; then perform your "research" and ask me which songs are most familiar to me, or which songs I like best -- and voila! I respond with the songs you've been jamming down my throat. Anyone slightly familiar with psychology sees the flaw in that approach, but that's the way it continues to be done, and that's the way the "researchers" earn their pay. (I know - I recently got the phone call to come listen to bits of 400 songs and receive $60 for my 2 1/2 hours of time) This approach is the same approach all media outlets and all politicians use today. Feed us the same crap opinions or choices all the time ... give us only polar opposites to choose from ... and then force us to choose. Never, ever, offer us a larger variety of options which may require a little more thought, or which allow us to "meet in the middle" and resolve some pressing problems. Sux David Lewis Ain't it the truth?!?!? Amen! (kk)


First let me say you did an outstanding job of the way you presented your readers' responses to what is an "oldie".

Even the comments you made to some of them were exceptional.

(Gee thanks ... I think!!! lol) kk

I can see where one would want to say an "oldie" is from a certain year going up to a certain year, 1955 to 1975.

Here at home, and I don't know if you have ever discussed this before, I have my records categorized together alphabetically. For example, anything recorded in the fifties is grouped together, 1960-1963 grouped together, 1964-1969 grouped together, 1970's grouped together, 1980 through 1989 are grouped together individually by year. I quit buying and getting 45's during the year 1989. I think you know the reason why.

No matter what the musical form, (pop, rock, novelty, jazz, etc), they are grouped together and I can lay my hand on a particular record if I want.

Have a great weekend and am looking forward to Sunday's Comments.

Larry Neal

All my stuff is alphabetical by artist regardless of timeframe or musical genre ... with tens of thousands of material available, this is just the easiest way for me to find something. Plus (as I stated during the series), I'm a firm believer that this music can ... and SHOULD ... coexist alongside each other. Radio has spent the better part of the past 30 years segregating and categorizing and "labeling" music as far as what fits where ... and, in the process, has totally diluted the greatest thing music has to offer ... variety ... new sounds and new trends ... even most of the Internet services today and geared toward "If you like so-and-so, then you're SURE to like such-and-such." At first, this was an interesting proposal ... and actually did get you to isten to something you might otherwise not have bothered with. But now, after all this time, I feel confident enough to make up my OWN mind without someone else deciding what's good for me ... another reason I absolutely HATE this whole consulting mentality!!! (kk)

Morning Kent -

I had every US and UK top 20 hit from 1960 to 1975 on my playlist in 2009, as well as every US number 1 from 1955 to 1959. It didn't work

Exactly why it didn't work was unclear at the time, though I now believe this explains it. There are many things people can do on the internet these days but very few actually use it to listen to the radio, and of those who do, almost all are inclined to listen to the online stream of an AM / FM station they would normally listen to offline

With a few notable exceptions most independent online broadcasters average around 2000 listening hours a month, but compare this to the 6 million plus BBC Radio 2 in the UK had in January and you begin to see what we're up against. Furthermore, research shows that whether people have a choice of 3 or 30 stations to listen to, the average person will only listen to one or maybe two of them and stay loyal regardless of the output. Little wonder programmers stick to the same old same old

Well I've always tried to be different so here's my challenge to all FH readers

Help me build the ULTIMATE play list and let's give the listeners what they REALLY want



That just might be the next step, Nick. We're kicking around several ideas right now ... but honestly, I myself haven't decided yet which format I would most enjoy. If we truly limited the "oldies" to 1955 - 1975, I believe there certainly is an audience for that, as proven by the responses we received in our recent series. But, quite honestly, I'm not sure that would be enough for me ... it would be eliminating too much of the OTHER music that I truly love. More and more, I'm leaning toward the "Music For The Ages" format, as that really hasn't been tried yet on a wide-scale basis. I say let's try something TOTALLY new here that has appeal for EVERYBODY ... let them know what you're doing ... and then wait for feedback.

Stay tuned ... the wheels are turning! (kk)


So what's next?

Well, to understand where rock and roll came from, we've decided to poll our audience in an effort to find the most important songs of the Pre-Rock Era.

What songs and artists were the most influential in developing this hot new sound? What are the "must" songs of this era, 1940 - 1954 ... BEFORE "Rock Around The Clock" made the charts? (When "Rock Around The Clock" was first released in 1954, it failed to chart at all!!! Perhaps America wasn't ready yet for this new rebellious sound. But then, after it was featured as a focal point in the movie "Blackboard Jungle", a rock and roll revolution was born.)

Bill Haley didn't START rock and roll anymore than Elvis did ... but both of these artists were certainly "poster children" of this brand new sound. We want to know which songs YOU GUYS believe are the most IMPORTANT SONGS of this Pre-Rock Era ... not necessarily the biggest hits ... not necessarily R & B / R & R related ... just the Ultimate Play List of Pre-Rock Songs.

Depending on your votes, we'll count down the results. (I don't know if that means a Top Ten, a Top 50 or a Top 100 yet ... that's all up to you!!!) Who belongs and who doesn't? Hank Williams? Louis Jordan? Johnnie Ray? It's ALL up to you!

We need you to vote for the songs and artists that MOST exemplified where rock and roll was headed ... or just the most important "can't miss" music of this era. It's your assignment to put together the ULTIMATE 1940 - 1954 Play List ... what songs HAVE to be on there in order for people to understand where rock and roll music came from? (There's a famous quote that producer Sam Phillips once asked Elvis Presley who he sounded like to which Presley reportedly replied, "Well, sir, I don't sound like anybody" ... and it was that very fact that propelled him to the top of the charts ... yet early on in his career, Elvis admitted that one of his favorite singers was Dean Martin ... and that he tried to channel that sound when recording some of his early ballads.)

We don't know WHAT to expect in the way of results ... while I'm quite sure that some of these are "givens" ... "Sixty Minute Man" by The Dominoes ... "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Wynonie Harris ... Big Mama Thornton's version of "Hound Dog" ... what about an artist like Hank Williams? Does HE belong on this list? (I say yes ... absolutely ... but what do YOU say???) And how about some of the early crooners like Eddie Fisher, Nat "King" Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby? They all inspired OTHER rock artists along the way ... should THEY be part of our "Roots Of Rock" ranking?

Honestly, we don't care HOW many you list ... or how you rank them ... whatever is easiest for you ... if you wanna list a hundred, then list a hundred ... if you want to keep it to ten or twenty, that's fine, too. You're welcome to list reasons for a particular song or artist's inclusion ... or not ... seriously, whatever you want to do is fine by me ... we just want to compile the most accurate list possible.

Give it some thought ... and then email your ballots to We need your help on this one ... and we want to compile the ULTIMATE List. This is an era that isn't typically recognized anymore ... yet paved the way for all that came after it ... so make your vote count!

Thanks for your support! kk

Kent Kotal

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