Monday, August 22, 2011

Give This Some Thought ... On Your Way To The Ballot Box


Kent ...
Look at the countdown that WCBS-FM is putting together for Labor Day Weekend.
You can vote as many times as you want.  I'm stuffing the ballot box with Platters votes.
Frank B.
Despite the hype, my guess is that they already know which songs they're going to play ... because it's the SAME list of songs they play all the time anyway!!!  At least on Ron Smith's Labor Day Countdown I know that he's actually TABULATING the votes and putting together an accurate list!  See below. (kk)

It's that time of year again, time for the Twelfth Oldies Music Labor Day 500 (for those of you from outside America, Labor Day is a U.S. holiday that pays tribute to the average working man. It's the first Monday in September). We do it now every other year, so it's our first since 2009.
Please vote below for your ten favorite oldies singles in order from the 50's, 60's or 70's (songs must have made the Billboard Hot 100 chart or its predecessors though we reserve the right to allow classic R&B tunes such as "Bo Diddley" to appear).
We will not accept any more than five songs by the same artist. This is to discourage fan clubs from stuffing the ballot box with ten votes for their faves.
Please vote only once. Anyone voting more than once will have all their ballots disqualified. The deadline for voting is Saturday, August 27 with the results available right here the following weekend.
Those of you who request it will receive a copy of the top 500 list when it comes out.
Good luck to all Oldies artists and thanks to all of you for your votes!
-- Ron Smith /
I've told the story several times in the past about how I used to work for the printing company that printed the Memorial Day 500 Countdown for WJMK, Magic 104, Chicago's premier oldies station at the time.  It was pretty much the same kind of deal ... call in or email your votes and then, over the holiday weekend, they'd count back The Top 500 Vote-Getters ... except in actuality, we had already printed the list two weeks BEFORE the voting deadline!!!  So while a promotion like this might actually help a radio station (assuming they're paying attention!) determine which songs their listeners REALLY want to hear ... or build a mailing list of loyal listeners ... it's pretty rare that these votes have any impact at all on the outcome of these weekend specials.  (Ironically, this past weekend I took part in The True Oldies Channel Mega Music Poll, where you were asked to rank the 600 songs on their play list from "Hate It" to "Love It" ... as well as vote as to whether or not you were tired of hearing that song on the radio.  Unfortunately, it's kind of the same scenario ... you're voting on songs that they're already playing ANYWAY ... which isn't allowing any new ALTERNATE music to make the station's play list.)  This is the biggest thing wrong with radio research and consulting ... they're all still working from the same list ... the same starting point.  Instead, why not encourage your listeners to list the ten songs they'd most like to see you add to your station's play list ... now THAT would be make for an interesting list worth reading!!!  (kk)
ALL KIDDING ASIDE:  Seriously ... invite your readers to name TEN SONGS that they'd like to hear you play in somewhat regular rotation ... in order to keep the list viable, stipulate that the songs HAVE to have been legitimate Top 20 Hits ... (that'll keep all the obscurities and album tracks off the list).  
And, if you're interested, we'll even help the process along.
If any legitimate radio station / oldies channel / Internet Oldies Outlet wants to seriously pursue this idea, we'll work in tandem with you ... we'll run a list of eligible candidates ... nothing but Top 20 National Hits that receive virtually NO regular oldies airplay anymore.  Direct your listeners over to our website and we'll help you build the ULTIMATE OLDIES PLAY LIST by taking input from the people who REALLY matter ... the listeners.  NOT the consulting firms (who charge you big bucks for a service nowhere NEAR as good or accurate as ours will be) ... not the Program Directors who THINK they know it all (simply because they've been doing it the same way for 20 years now and hey, if it worked in the past, it sure as hell ought to work again, right?  Not!)  
Think about this for a second ... do you keep track of your listeners' request ... because MY guess is that the greatest majority of those requests are for songs you're NOT playing regularly.  People want variety in their musical menu.  How much valuable information are you ignoring simply by not paying attention to your listeners and relying on that "tried and true" list that everybody ELSE across the country is playing?
I'm talking about taking a moment to reach out to the REAL oldies fans out there and tabulating THEIR votes.  Heck, I'll even help you do the tabulating.
All kidding aside ... we'll start a list over at ... and each and every day over a 90 period we'll list LEGITIMATE TOP 20 SONGS and invite your listeners (and our readers) to vote on the ones that THEY feel still belong on the radio from time to time.  And we'll provide this service ABSOLUTELY FREE.
So here's your chance to listen to the people who actually listen to the music.
It's Phase One of The Forgotten Hits Ultimate Oldies Play List ... and it's yours for the taking.
Interested?  Then let me hear from you and we'll see what we can pull together.  (kk)
JUST TO PROVE A POINT:  Just to prove a point (regarding how many GREAT Top 20 Hits are continually ignored by oldies radio), all week long we'll be featuring selections in our brand new TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT feature of legitimate Top 20 Songs that rarely get played on the radio anymore.
Just for fun, this week I picked up my brand new copy of Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" book (13th Edition) and, JUST TO PROVE A POINT, I randomly opened it to five different pages, betting myself that no matter WHICH page I opened, I would find at least ONE song that was a legitimate Top 20 Hit that doesn't get any airplay anymore today.
Be sure to follow along with us this week as we salute some GREAT music that just doesn't get the respect it deserves anymore.
And, speaking of voting, congratulations to FH Readers (and sometime contributor) Preston Ritter, original drummer for The Electric Prunes, who topped THIS poll for "Best Nugget" recently!

Even I'm surprised at the outcome.
Now I'd have to guess that MOST of us could not name which songs and artists appear on the original "Nuggets" album ... so I had to dig out my original vinyl copy of this LP to see what the competition was like for this one.  (Side One, eh?!?!? So that means there'll be three more polls our readers can vote on?  Cool!)
I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM (LAST NIGHT) by THE ELECTRIC PRUNES is the lead-off track.  It's followed by DIRTY WATER by THE STANDELLS, NIGHT TIME by THE STRANGELOVES, LIES by THE KNICKERBOCKERS, RESPECT by THE VAGRANTS, A PUBLIC EXECUTION by MOUSE and NO TIME LIKE THE RIGHT TIME by THE BLUES PROJECT.  Hmmm ... well, I'll have to send along my congratulations along with a "Sorry, Preston" ... because for ME you guys would have come in at #3 ... right behind LIES and DIRTY WATER, two of my all-time '60's favorites.
Side Two includes OH YEAH by Chicago's own SHADOWS OF KNIGHT, THE SEEDS' classic PUSHIN' TO HARD (a #1 Record here in Chicago back in 1967!), MOULTY by THE BARBARIANS, DON'T LOOK BACK by THE REMAINS, INVITATION TO CRY by THE MAGICIANS, LIAR LIAR by THE CASTAWAYS and YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME by THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS.  Some pretty obscure, slim pickings here ... can anybody out there even hum a line of anything other than LIAR, LIAR, PUSHIN' TOO HARD or possibly OH YEAH?
On Side Three you'll find PSYCHOTIC REACTION by COUNT FIVE, HEY JOE by THE LEAVES, JUST LIKE ROMEO AND JULIET by MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS, THE CRYAN' SHAMES' version of SUGAR AND SPICE, BABY PLEASE DON'T GO by THE AMBOY DUKES and TOBACCO ROAD by THE BLUES MAGOOS.  Some REALLY tough choices here ... I love ALL Of these songs!  In fact, I'd have to cast a vote for each and every one of them!
Plenty of time to still cast your votes on this somewhat unique (and exclusive!) ballot.
Meanwhile, I have to ask you once again ... what exactly IS a "nugget"?!?!?  
I collected the entire series of LP's once Rhino took this project over ... and I STILL don't quite understand what qualifies.  Is it the "of-the-time" yet timeless psychedelia of music like THE ELECTRIC PRUNES' I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT, COUNT FIVE's PSYCHOTIC REACTION or IT'S-A-HAPPENING by THE MAGIC MUSHROOMS ... or is is Classic Garage Band sound of THE CRYAN' SHAMES' SUGAR AND SPICE, MICHAEL AND THE MESSENGERS' version of JUST LIKE ROMEO AND JULIET or HEY JOE by THE LEAVES? Honestly, it seems to be ALL OF THE ABOVE ... plus.  Later LPs in this series even included mainstream Pop Hits by PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS and THE TURTLES ... which don't seem to qualify as "nuggets" at all to me!)
Of course for the ULTIMATE List in Psychedelic Favorites, one need look no further than our very own Forgotten Hits Poll from a few years back ...
You'll find ALL of the results right here: