Radio...I miss the butterflies that music used to give me.

From the dawn of time there were singers that broke into the R&B Urban scene that the charts were ready for. Hitting all the notes, mastering all of the riffs and giving your body the chill that makes you feel oh so good inside. The music industry usually knows how to promote an artist of that ilk such as, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, and Jeffery Osborne.

But what if the artists that has the consumers melting in the front row of the concert is white?

When I grew up and first heard Michael McDonald, Tina Marie, Lisa Stansfield, Harry Connick Jr, Jon B, Joe Crocker, Bobby Caldwell, Hall and Oates, Simply Red, and others I had no idea that these singers were white. In the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s it didn’t matter. Record sales were strictly due to talent. If you could sing and move your consumers you were going to be a star.

So what happened?

The music still sounds the same, but the record sales and the promotion of the artist is lacking because the industry has yet to understand how to successfully promote today’s, “BLUE EYED SOUL” artist.

Record executives think that if you match one of the Blue Eyed Soul artists with a rapper, have them sing their new singles on American Idol, or the Voice, their music will sell.

There are several reasons why Robin Thicke, Jamiroquai, Remy Shand, Joss Stone, and Jamie Lidell aren’t as big as Lisa Stansfield and Simply Red were back in the day. Sadly it is all because of today’s radio and the segmentation of the music.

In the 80’s WGCI for instance would play Hall & Oates in the regular rotation of music. That does not happen today. Once the label is placed on the music, I.E.; Pop, Rock, R&B, Rap or Adult Contemporary, the music will be matched and head to the station that has the matching classification on it.

The title program director means nothing. Radio stations play what is hot in that stations specific genre and nothing else. No more call-ins from a consumer on an R&B station to hear a song that is not in that stations music range.

If you don’t believe me call KISS FM right now and ask to hear anything from Robin Thicke. I will wait………….. Ok no luck right?

What is really sad about the segmentation of music on the radio is that it has lead to generations of new consumers who will never know the complexities of what makes a hit record have legs and reach the masses successfully.

My children will never know who Sam Cooke, Isaac Hayes, Smokey Robinson or the Temptations are unless I tell them. We learned of these artists from Casey Kasem, Walt Baby Love, Wolfman Jack, Larry Lujack, Dick Clark, Don Cornelius, Herb Kent and other radio jocks who hosted countdown shows or just injected history into their radio shifts.

I never thought I was being taught music history when I listened to the radio.

I miss the learning.
I miss the radio jocks.
I miss the fresh artists.
And I miss the butterflies that music used to give me.

Leave a comment