Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chicago's Got A New Radio Station

Chicago's newest radio station signed on shortly after noon on Monday by playing two Chicagoland standards ... "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah and "Take Me Back To Chicago" by Chicago.
Me-TV-FM can best be described as soft rock / easy listening oldies from the '60's, '70's and '80's.
There are no live dj's yet ... and no commercials ... right now they're simply setting the tone for the type of music you can expect to hear from the station, located at 87.7 FM ... so it's an excellent time to listen.
(My initial reaction:  I hate the name ... I mean, I understand that they're trying to capitalize on the success of Me-TV resurrecting some vintage television shows not normally found in mass circulation in the world of syndication, by following the same mind-set that this station will be playing music long-absent from the standard, repetitive programming found everywhere else up and down the dial ... and they obviously feel the need to establish a connection between the two in order to help reinforce their mission statement ... but I'm hoping they eventually break from this pattern and allow the station to establish its own identity ... TV is TV and radio is radio.  Their slogan of playing "Me-zy" Listening Music was already stale the second time I heard it!)
I listened the entire way to and from work yesterday to try and get a feel of where they're headed ... and it DEFINITELY is a soft rock mix.  (Suggestion:  An up-tempo tune here and there might liven things up a bit ... and help keep your audience awake!)  They're taking requests and suggestions at their website: ... it's not really clear yet as to how much impact this will have on their future play list ... but it certainly is a nice gesture ... and a great way to draw listeners in early and make them feel part of something new.
I am happy to report, however, that I heard some things that I haven't heard on the radio in a long, long time.  (Honestly, the mix may not be for everyone ... but I'm one of those who simply enjoys hearing something DIFFERENT and out of the norm, regardless of whether or not I happen to be in love with the tune ... rather than feeling the constant need to turn off the same music that we're being force-fed everywhere else.)  That being said, I'm not sure how many people out there have been craving a John Denver or a Helen Reddy tune ... but both were significant artists of this era and it's nice to hear them FINALLY represented on the airwaves again.  This is something Forgotten Hits has been fighting for for a long, long time.  (A few years back K-Hits counted down The Top 40 Artists of every decade for the '60's, the '70's and the '80's and left The Carpenters off the list ... today I got to hear The Carpenters back where they belong ... on the radio.  With twenty National Top 40 Hits, it's flat out WRONG that radio today ignores them ... and the same can be said for both Reddy and Denver, too ... in moderate doses ... it comes across as a nice change of pace ... and certainly helps break the monotony of what has come to pass as "classic hits" radio today here in Chicago.)
Here is a recap of what I heard both to and from work today ... give it a once-over and if it sounds interesting, tune in to 87.7 FM and check it out for yourself.  (Note:  the station is not yet streaming ... but I expect that they will be soon.)
Daniel by Elton John / In The Ghetto by Elvis Presley / It's Sad To Belong by England Dan and John Ford Coley / The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson / Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac / This Girl Is A Woman Now (my all-time favorite song by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap ... and one you NEVER hear) / Galveston by Glen Campbell / Carefree Highway by Gordon Lightfoot / Sooner Or Later by The Grass Roots / Kiss On My List by Hall and Oates / You And Me Against The World by Helen Reddy / A Little In Love by Cliff Richard (when's the last time you heard THIS one?!?  And just try NOT singing along!) / Make Me Lose Control by Eric Carmen (another personal favorite) / A Taste Of Honey by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass / Listen People by Herman's Hermits (another seldom-played gem) / On A Carousel by The Hollies / How Sweet It Is by James Taylor / I Got A Name by Jim Croce / I'm Happy That Love Has Found You by Jimmy Hall (I'll bet I haven't heard this one played on the radio since 1980) / Follow Me by John Denver (evidently an album track I wasn't familiar with) and the Judy Collins version of In My Life
Another Park, Another Sunday by The Doobie Brothers (NOT one of their WAY over-played hits for a change) / Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is by Chicago / Beautiful by Carole King (which sounded great, by the way!) / Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters / Never Be The Same by Christopher Cross / Three Times A Lady by The Commodores / You're All I Need To Get By by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell / A Groovy Kind of Love by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders / I'm A Believer by The Monkees / Shilo by Neil Diamond / King Of The Road by Roger Miller / Leader Of The Band by Dan Fogelberg / Diary by Bread (another long lost favorite) / Moonshadow by Cat Stevens / Handy Man by James Taylor / The Longest Time by Billy Joel / Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles and Taxi by Harry Chapin
Chicago radio veteran Mark Zander (late of The River, one of Chicago's better Classic Rock stations, which broadcasts out of the suburbs ... and a guy who really knows his stuff) is helping the station take shape ... and Mark, if it's an eclectic mix of hits and FORGOTTEN HITS you're looking for, we are more than happy to help lend a hand.  Chicago's been in need of a GOOD oldies station for awhile now and while we're optimistic that the station will find its way with the right mix of easy listening and up-tempo tunes to perk up listeners and get them singing along, (hopefully pleasing them along the way by FINALLY playing some tracks they haven't heard for awhile ... Lord knows, there are hundreds if not THOUSANDS of legitimate Top 40 Hits that don't get played anymore to choose from), a station concentrating ONLY on the soft rock / pop hits risks branding itself as the 2015 version of "elevator music" ... if you're not careful, it can get kinda boring rather quickly.  At this point, it's still VERY early in the game ... hopefully they can steer the course and draw a substantial number of listeners to jump on-board who are fed up with  hearing the same 200 songs and artists on nearly every other radio station in town.  Word of mouth can be a very powerful thing ... if the word is good.  (kk)