Friday, May 06, 2005

Disk Jockeys were Gods ~ sorta

For several generations, radio had been making handsome profits by jumping on the youth bandwagon. First you had the Sinatra years and then the Elvis years and so forth. It seemed that disk jockeys always had been ahead of the curve. But now the broadcast industry inherited a spirited listener who was a channel surfing, volume controlling, instant gratification, audio addict who wanted to associate with only disk jockeys in their own common denominator. Listeners wanted to connect with a rock music icon. Not a ranting and raving blast-from-the-past twin-spin artist. They wanted a no-nonsense rock jock who talked the talk. Made perfect sense to me. Not surprisingly, those changes slowly ushered out yesterdays boss jocks only to invite a new generation of FM DJ's into the music scene. With those changes spawned a new breed of disk jockeys that didn't live on Groovy Street and drive a flashy Cadillac or Corvette. Truthfully speaking, most of the FM jocks that I knew generally drove beat-up Volkswagens or vehicles that were family hand-me-downs. You get the picture.

During that distinct period, radio listeners were starting to fragment into a newfound category called demographic sectors. That was a new term being tossed around and began several generations of research think-tanks and focus groups. An example was turning on the radio dial listening to the AM Radio stations across town you might hear "Baby Love" by The Supremes or "My Girl" by The Temptations. But flipping the dial to the FM stations you would hear "White Rabbit" by The Jefferson Airplane or "Gimme Gimme Some Loving" by The Spencer Davis Group. Astute Program Directors recognized these changing music trends and made split-second decisions in an effort to please the masses. Play the new music they wanted to hear and not yesterday's playlist. The airwaves were experiencing a modern day generation gap and listeners lived the music. The music being programmed was paramount to the station's success and just as before, disk jockeys repeated their role as the pied-piper for generations of music lovers. In hindsight, this musical transition all looks pretty simple and a no-brainer for any radio programmer. But believe me, with hundreds of new releases every week, it was very complicated to air the perfect blend of hit music. Rich in tradition, rock radio was the theatre of the mind.

3 Comments:

Anonymous billy said...

Great web-site..I had not realized what a vast musical experience young Mr. Rauls has lived...stay young, Billy

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Jon Scott said...

What do you mean...sorta..we saved your life on numerous occasions Phillip
Your pal,
Jon Scott

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY GOD, ARE YOU STILL ALIVE,,,BILL BROWDER IS STILL LOOKING FOR YOU...SOMETHING ABOUT YOURE EXPENSE ACCOUNT..

SUPERSHAN
DEE-JAY

11:39 AM  

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