Always Starts At Midnight
A Concise History of Creative Music Programming,
from Neanderthal Choirs to Video Payola
[ part one ] | [ part two ] | [ press ] | [ links ]
|Fact:|| Before Man had any spoken
humans first communicated with music.
The beat-beat-beat of their tom-toms
united humanity. And the caveperson
with the best sense of this power in music
became leader around the tribal campfire.
Then came Radio.
Alright, first Edison invented the phonograph.
But grammaphones were playthings of the rich.
Radio didn't sell records. It sold sheet music!
Early radio was all live -- and gloriously alive!
Radio brought hope to a Depressed humanity,
and Orson Welles scared us to death with drama.
Radio taught us to use our m-aginations
sitting around the evening hearthfires.
Oddly enough, due to atmospheric anomalies,
even now radio still comes in clearest late at night.
Along comes that instrument of the Devil: television.
Radio didn't die -- but it sure wasn't alive after that.
TV was live, while radio became canned music.
From 1954 until 1967, you had no choice.
Strictly business. Payola came, payola went.
Radio primarily targeted Kids. No imagination.
Jocks pushed the same few songs over and over and over.....
.....then FM exploded on the dial and overnight
blew AM away!
|Fact:|| Before 1967, FM radio was
strictly "Cable Public Access" --
Some classical symphonies, lots of foreign language
programs, and sound effects demo channels!
Dad could impress his friends with local broadcasts of
steam trains and jets planes going zoom across the room
on his brand new "don't touch" hi-fi stereo console.
No cable TV.
Just a half-dozen TV stations and kiddy music on AM radio.
With Top-40 AM Radio's stranglehold on popular music,
the 45rpm Hit Single is the most correct symbol
for this second phase of the Broadcast Music rEvolution.
Then, in 1967, the next rEvolution began. Late one night...
was born in the Midnight hour,
launched from the Graveyard shift
at KMPX-FM in San Francisco.
Within two years,
2,200 hip free-form FM stations
captured our m-aginations
and forever changed
the music buying and
listening habits of America.
Copyright © 1966-2001 The eVangelist