With Dani Hoy and I doing not one, but two podcasts that are aired on so many Trop Rock stations, we take the opportunity to listen to them as well. One of the things that has always blown me away is the fact that virtually all of these stations play different music from different artists! In addition to that, many radio personalities tell me that they are inundated with artists who are sending them material, to the point that they can’t keep up with it! That’s a healthy genre!
Granted, while some of it is stellar, that’s the pinnacle. There’s likewise the above average, average, and below average, like anything else in life. I don’t envy the one who makes decisions. It’s really tough when someone calls to follow up on their submission and they have to be told that their music “Wasn’t what we were looking for”. On the same token, these radio guys aren’t drill sergeants, they’re radio personalities. They are expected to be nice guys. So it’s got to be tough for them to put on the rejection hat and tell someone they are not going to play their recording and actually make them feel good about it!
As a songwriter/musician/recording artist, there have been times when a song comes on and I say to myself, as I change the station “How did that song end up on the radio? My goodness!” My guess is that the artist was a really, really nice guy and the radio folks didn’t have the heart to tell them their song wasn’t up to par.
I think one of the best advices I’ve heard told to artists from a radio personality, was from the late DJ Jeff Allen. Jeff suggested many times, over and over, for the artists is to get a great producer. That not only was a great way of telling someone that he wasn’t going to use their recording, but in the end when the artist did seek out a good producer, they had a work that was vastly superior to what they had before and it was air quality.
Producers have very unique personalities by nature. A good producer has the ability to tell an artist that a particular song is crap and it shouldn’t be included on a recording, having the artist agreeing with them and feeling good about it. The great producer will also help cherry pick the best songs, which in the end, make the artist look their best.
As I say, we listen to a lot of radio, specifically Trop. One thing that one particular Trop station is doing that is quite unique, Radio A1A in Islamorada, Conch Republic Florida Keys has started its weekly top 40 vote. Again, as I stated earlier, every station has its unique artists, as well as common ones tossed in the mix.
What I found, by far, is that the artists who have been winning, are a bit out of the norm. Also consider that these people voting are listeners. They don’t have to pay to be in a private club. These are fans who listen to the station.
For the week of March 13, the top ten votes of the forty were for Todd Trusty, Conch Republic Band, Bill Cockrell, Beach Bum Pirate, Flip Flop Boys, Roger Jokela, Ron Bell, Donny Brewer, Max Soelzer, and B Man and the Missbeehavins.
For the week of March 20th - Cory Young, Todd Trusty, Joe B, Todd Donnelly, Sean Gassaway, Barefoot Reggie Starrett, Ray West, B Man and the Miss Beehavins, Jimmy Buffett, and Bill Cockrell.
What this does is inspire food for thought. Here’s what the people of one radio station are voting for. The group that coined the name “Trop Rock Music Association” hold their Trop Rock Music Awards every year, none of these names have ever appeared on their list of nominees. Additionally, none of the Trop Rock Music Association’s nominees, or winners are on either of these lists this top ten. On the 3/20 list, Don Middlebrook was #20, Brittney Kingery was #25 and Southern Drawl Band was #40. On the 3/13 vote Howard Livingston was #22, Don Middlebrook #28, and Brittney Kingery #35.
It certainly raises an eyebrow and leaves one to ponder.
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