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THE Song Of Summer 2017

There aren’t a lot of stories about galvanizing records these days. But a few weeks ago, when the song was about a week-and-a-half old, the topic of Kesha’s “Praying” came up in my office. Three of my colleagues, all female, raved about it. The fourth hadn’t heard it yet. Once she did, she went under the headphones and listened to it several more t...Read More

Songs That Readers Wish They Could Play

When I asked programmers to name the songs they wished they could play on Classic Hits radio last week, there was a wide swath of titles. Some were favorite stiffs—songs that made it as far as the high teens maybe, but never went to current, or songs that never got anywhere near that far. Some were top 10 chart hits, but songs that nevertheless fee...Read More

What The 2017 Summer Song Won’t Be

In Germany, the Summer Song 2017 battle is already decided. On Billboard, “Despacito” has been No. 1 for so many weeks that it would seem like they’re only holding off on the coronation to try and keep the suspense going. I’m still not ready. I like that a Spanish-language hit could be Song of the Summer (as has been happening around the world for ...Read More

Songs That Programmers Wish Would Test

  I’ve never seen Electric Light Orchestra’s “Turn to Stone” do well in music testing. Or “Sweet Talkin’ Woman.” Or “Livin’ Thing.” Or “Do Ya?” The band that had five years as one of pop music’s greatest hitmaking machines is now often represented at Classic Hits radio by two songs, “Evil Woman” and the goofy outlier that it is “Don’t Bring Me...Read More

Summer Song Week 6: The Year Without A Summer?

I’ve been on the road again this week. The place I am now is lovely and temperate—perfect summer weather. The market I was in earlier this week was sticky and hot—undeniable summer weather. And in each of them, the unavoidable song on the radio was “Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara, which was the unavoidable song of my Memorial Day road trip as wel...Read More

What Is Fast? Not So Fast!

Quick, which is more uptempo? “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2? Or “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”? “I Still Haven’t Found” sort of floats, wraith-like, through its four-and-a-half minutes. “Sunday” rocks. But their tempo is essentially the same, just under 101 BPM (beats per minute). Ron Gerber’s “Between the Songs” is billed as “a step b...Read More

Summer Song Week 5: The Summer Stealth Contender

I don’t think it’s going to be long now before somebody just gives the summer song battle to “Despacito.” It’s July. “Despacito” has more momentum than “I’m The One.” (It’s all relative, they’re No. 2 and 3 this week respectively; but “Despacito” is up +1167 spins and “I’m The One” is “only” +488 spins.) And if another song is going to explode into...Read More

First Listen: Real 106.1, Vintage 96.5, 94.7 Smoke

A few notes from some of the July 4 weekend format changes.  WISX (Real 106.1) Philadelphia  Some of the trades positioned it as a head-to-head battle for throwback Hip-Hop and R&B with Radio One’s WPHI (Boom 103.9) Philadelphia, but keep up, people! WPHI modified its Classic Hip-Hop format to a more adult-leaning Mainstream Urban late last yea...Read More

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