The Men & Women on the Wheels of Steel
The Link Between the Artists, the Labels and the Consumers (Fans)
In my last article I brought you part one of this story and I told you that I would be interviewing some industry people. There were some that I felt could really shed some light on what is going on in the Southern Soul and Blues world, but they declined to answer or be a part of this story/interview. I do feel that the ones that did accept my invitation to speak openly about the situation at hand did so very nicely. I feel that for the most part the information shared here will inform and enlighten a lot of people and our readers. I will say that the views/opinions expressed here are not of the magazine and do not represent the whole music, southern soul, artists, labels, and agents in the business.
Jazzii – Please tell our readers a little about yourself, what brought you to the business, how long you’ve been in the business and your role in the business today.
DJ Ced – I’m a 30 year professional DJ with domestic and international experience in Mobile , Nightclub and Radio applications performing all major genres of music.
Boogie – I’ve Been In radio for over 40 Years. I am an advocate for BLUES MUSIC IN GENERAL and Soul Blues /SOUTHERN SOUL In Particular. My Company Mason Media Service Utilizes The Internet Radio and General Media To assist recording artist In Increasing Market Share.
Dylann – Dylann DeAnna, CEO of CDS Records, LLC & Soul Blues Music aka ”Blues Critic”. Some eight years ago I began a site called ”Blues Critic” that was an online magazine featuring cd reviews and interviews specifically of the Soul Blues or ”Southern Soul” genre because that was the music I liked at the time. The ”Blues Critic” website has an online radio station and is an online CD store that specializes in Southern Soul & Blues.
CDS Records was born from interest in that site. Being that very few people outside of Larry Jones, Harold Conover and Jerry Mason wrote about or promoted today’s Southern Soul Blues people started noticing the site and enjoyed the cd reviews (I’ve since stopped writing reviews as I believe ”critics” are irrelevant). When Jerry Mason aka ”Boogie” was doing a monthly ”Boogie Report” he included my reviews, which helped my site get noticed. Eventually various artists tried to convince me to ”start my own record label”. I had zero interest in such a thing. I was doing this as a hobby but I finally gave it a try.
Funky Larry – I started in the Radio/Records biz as a teen so I’ve been involved for over 40 years.
Roscoe Miller – I don’t know how long I’ve been in the business; I know I’ve been in the business ever since my 11th grade year in high school. Let see, I’ve been out of high school since 1969 that should give you some sort of idea how long I’ve been in the business. I came on as a Jock and worked for free, just to have an opportunity to be on the radio and who knew then that I would wind up being a owner.
Jazzii – How important do you feel the DJ’s roles are in linking the artists and their music to the consumers (fans) in the world today?
DJ Ced – It is extremely important. The best example that I can give: Hip-Hop (Rap music) would have never made it if it wasn’t for the street and club DJs. Most stations initially refused to play to the music. Now, one cannot escape it. The street and club DJs brought it to the people.
Boogie – The term DJ is Obsolete as relating to radio. I Don’t Consider Myself A DJ. A DJ is A Disc Jockey who spins records or entertains in CLUBS. I prefer the term Announcer / Broadcaster …….as for the question; Radio is still instrumental in exposing music to fans however the importance of radio is shrinking daily…..
Dylann – The importance of DJs is more important than ever. There aren’t enough radio stations that have allocated slots for ”Southern Soul Blues” so the ones that have a show are essential. Good radio personalities are also entertainers themselves. They put a lot of pride into their work and have a love for the music. Club DJs are another vital source when radio fails.
Funky Larry – Well, we ALL have an effect on educating the public about the artists and their music today. DJ’s work mainly in the clubs or on the street level and Announcers inform and entertain the public mainly on radio.
Roscoe Miller – Me myself I think it is really important. Radio has changed so much till a lot of radio stations have just about taken the jocks out of the equation, but me I haven’t. I still run a full staff of jock except for overnight. Overnight it’s automatic, but doing the day time I run a full staff of DJ. I think people want to be able to relate and be able to pick up the telephone and call someone instead of just like hearing music over a jukebox.
Jazzii – With playing such a vital role in the artist’s career, what effect do you feel that the stations have in the making or breaking of an artist career when the stations automate a lot of their programs today?
DJ Ced – That’s simple. Automation removes the human element from the picture. Therefore, the proper exposure to the artist’s music doesn’t occur. The listenership hears the music (and may love it) but they aren’t informed on whos’ music being.
Boogie – This is a two part question first It is not the radio stations duty to make or break an artist. The Purpose of Radio is to Inform and entertain Its audience. And secondly automation is not the problem it’s the content of the automated program that can help or hurt any given artist…….
Dylann – Well, first the artist has to have the right music. It’s been said many times ”you can’t stop a hit record”. Great songs always find a way to the public. The DJs that have input on what’s played during their slot can ”break” such a song in their market for sure. Of course that position of ”power” is often abused but you have to expect the bad with the good.
The automated programming is only beneficial if the chosen songs influence the listeners to go out and buy the music or see the artist live. It takes a keen program director to accomplish that. Automated radio can play certain songs every hour on the hour but that doesn’t guarantee sales or gigs if the songs don’t connect with the audience. You need actual DJs, persons, who interact with listeners, take requests and are hip to what’s ”hot” to help a hit be a hit more quickly. Automated programming is fine on a limited basis but without someone who’s hip to the new stuff it just becomes boring. Without new, exciting music being added it’s lifeless and stale.
Funky Larry – I don’t see radio having the power to “break” an artist. They could in the past but with the technology explosion, there are many ways to get that exposure. Radio will always have a part in that but right now it is minimal. As for automation, whoever controls the content of programs or programming in general holds a vital key in the process. Facebook, Twitter, Artist web sites, Pandora, Sirrus / XM satellite, iheart radio etc. SoulAndBluesReport, & The Boogie Report have some impact.
Roscoe Miller – Oooh, I think it’s very important in the making and breaking of an artist. You take some of the big, big stations, you can’t even get on those stations unless you have already made it, you take independent stations like me, and the artists get a chance to get heard. I think it plays a very, very big part in the making and breaking of an artist career. You have some artists that are good that will never ever get a break with the way radio is changing. You have some radio stations like in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee ect., but have someone in Philadelphia, New York or somewhere else running it, telling the local program directors what they can and cannot play, it just don’t make any sense.
Jazzii – Do you feel pre-programmed shows are the outlet for the stations today vs. live DJ’s like we had in the past and elaborate on the difference.
DJ Ced – I actually believe there should be an eclectic mixture of both. There are times when it is good sound business to rely on automation. But again, I say, there is nothing like the intimate connection between the DJ and the listeners. It’s simply a matter of good strategic programming.
Boogie – It depends on what the needs of the market are and what the station is trying to accomplish. The history of radio ”Before Music” heralds’ very successful pre produced programs as well as live Variety Shows. I happen to enjoy personality radio when done properly but we have lost the art of developing strong creative personalities. I would rather listen to an automated station playing the music I like than listen to some JOCK scream and shout over my favorite song cause he or she thinks that what personality radio is All About……….
Dylann – As Whitney Houston used to say ”Hell to the no!”. Automated programming is only as good as the playlist. You need a live DJ or a very knowledgeable PD who knows what’s out there going for adds. You can’t trust some out of touch corporate person to choose songs. You need persons who are into the music.
Funky Larry – DJ’s, I guess you mean Announcers. First of all, can you tell the difference? Most of the public actually can’t and doesn’t even care. “Live” announcers on the radio are still there but in another form – voice tracking! In the past, announcers were “live’ as we say and you could call and talk to them, request a song, and you felt that you had an active part of programming that station in your city. Today with voice tracking it’s just the opposite. But it saves money.
Roscoe Miller – I don’t think it’s no comparison for the pre-packaged programing that you get from the network everything is already prepackaged. Sometime they pre-program as far as two weeks in advance and to me that just don’t compare to having a DJ that you can pick up the telephone and call right then and get an instant response.
Jazzii – We are losing more and more of live DJ’s today with cuts at the stations, why do you think that is so?
DJ Ced – THE BOTTOM LINE and that’s money. I see more and more stations working with 3 staff members in order to save a buck when it takes 6 to make the station “shine” efficiently.
Boogie – The answer is technology and economics most of the major radio stations are not in business to inform and serve the community they are in business to make money for their stock holders! Today with the advent of Voice tracking one person can operate a five station cluster!
Dylann – Faceless, corporate cost-cutting. In the long run such stations will lose out to stations who have live DJs who ”keep the blues alive”.
Funky Larry – Economics + Technology = saving money. That’s not just in Radio either because it happens in every business today. The goal is to make it work for you.
Roscoe Miller – Economics bottom line.
Jazzii – Do you feel that the move into the 21 century where digitization is the way of life or as I like to say “A microwave society”, have lured more people into the profession of Disc Jockey or steered them away and how so?
DJ Ced –It has caused many non-pros to venture into the arena.
Boogie – I still got a problem with the term ”Disc Jockey” I know lots of DJs making A living and supporting their families by entertaining in Clubs and Public and Private Events. There will always be Jobs for professional Broadcasters who prepare for the 21st Century and are Good at what they do.
Dylann – Digitization was probably the worst thing to happen to the music business. It lessened the value of recorded music by making it easy to be shared and copied illegally. At the same time digitization has made it possible for so many to start internet radio stations and be the DJ they always wanted to be. That’s the good side for sure. And for music collectors, now they can have 4 zillion songs on their little ipod instead of a crate of records or cds. That’s not for me. I like official, factory made cds & LPs and always will.
Funky Larry – Most never lived through the era that I have so, they have no idea of what I (and many others) went through to perfect my craft as an announcer. I feel that anyone who is as focused as I was will not let anything deter them from becoming whatever they want to be in this business. There are as many people trying to get in the biz today as before but it is much easier for them once they master the technology.
Roscoe Miller – Steered them away. Steered them away. Because when you take something like a Clear Channel or Evergreen or something like that….Most of those stations take in account that you can take one jock and have him on 80 or 90 R&B stations or stations, you have no need for a lot of jocks, when one jock can do it all.
Jazzii – Do you feel that DJ’s are underrated, respected or disrespected by the labels, artists, managements and agents today?
DJ Ced – No, I believe these individuals understand the importance of the DJ. However, I’m more than sure that station owners at large do not.
Boogie – Some are Some Are Not, It depends on the image portrayed by the individual-
Dylann – You have to understand there are ”good” djs and ”not so good” djs. The good ones do what they do because they love the music and love being a radio personality. They are respected tremendously. The not so good ones use their position to demand payola to play a record and more often than not fail to do anything beneficial. They are like parasites. They cannot and should not be respected. Ultimately the ones who deserve the most respect and are the reason the rest of us exist in the business are the creators and producers of music.
Funky Larry – The love is still there. Announcers still get the respect but have no power. In the real world today the labels, management and agents actually talk to the real power brokers.
Regional & National Program Directors and Music Directors have the power on the national level. With respect to Southern Soul / Blues, whoever controls the music on those shows basically gets the respect, hate, jealousy, etc.
Roscoe Miller – Well, disrespected if you ask me by both the artists and labels. Unless you are dealing with an independent radio station like me….If you are dealing with a clear channel radio station you really can’t deal with the jock…you have to deal with someone out of town, you can’t just come to town and deal with the jocks. As a matter of fact Clear Channel is trying to get to the point they will be taking off all of the jocks nobody live, they won’t everything pre-recorded. That is disrespect to the jocks.
Jazzii – Why do you feel we are losing so many urban-formatted terrestrial stations?
DJ Ced – That audience is more tech savvy than previous generations and radio is becoming a less relevant means of consuming music. The same goes for the Hot AC format. When stations take away the DJs, what the listeners are left with is just music. So why would they listen to a radio station with no personality, that plays commercials and the station’s choice of music. Today, they have all music at their fingertips wherever they are. The DJ is the missing element.
Boogie – Urban Is A Plastic Term Utilized By Elitist Programmers Because They Didn’t want to identify with the Term ”BLACK MUSIC” they believed that if they stopped saying Rhythm and Blues or Soul Music they would Attract More White Listeners and more White Advertisers…They were STUPID cause the White Audiences was already there “White Audiences were instrumental in the Development of MOTOWN, STAX and MUSCLE SHOALS Music…Then when ELITIST URBAN BROADCASTERS realized that Racist Advertisers still refused to buy on their URBAN STATIONS they went on a campaign against So Called “No Urban Dictates”. No Urban Dictates Makes It Hard for ”URBAN” stations to survive. Then The Corporate Raiders come in and offer the owner a million dollars plus the owners now tired of fighting take the money and Run. Thus Another URBAN STATION BITES THE DUST”!!
Funky Larry – Again, economics
Roscoe Miller – The few urban stations that are left they are selling out…..they are selling out. You got some of the people or stations that want the blacks to come in and spend money but they don’t, won’t to really advertise with the urban stations.
Jazzii – How do you see DJ’s today vs. 30 years ago?
DJ Ced – If one is in a mid-sized to major market station then he/she likely has no creative control. Back in the day, the DJ made the choices of what’s hot and what’s not along with direct contact with the listener. Everything now sounds the same on every station because of the lack of individuality of the programming.
Boogie – Still The Same Just Few In Numbers You Still Have Leaders and You still have Followers.
Funky Larry – What a strange question so let me ask you one. What Announcer or DJ as you call them could stop a riot today or stop traffic with their mere presence? How many today are called upon to be a voice of the community? That is my answer.
Roscoe Miller – (Chuckle) Ain’t but a few left out here. 30 years ago you had jocks on every corner. Now you have very few disc jockeys depending on where you at. All depend on who he’s working for…You have a lot of Street Jocks and a lot of Club Jocks and a lot of Club Jocks can make or break a lot of songs for a lot of independent record companies.
Jazzii – Today, it seems as though everybody has a chart and the DJ’s should report to four or five different charts. What is the purpose or reason, why are there so many charts in the Southern Soul Blues market?
DJ Ced –It’s because of a lack of organization within the Southern Soul World. It’s way too fragmented. There needs to be a symposium of all the players of the game to create a plan of action to give the music the exposure it deserves. A central point of tracking the music would be a good place to started.
Boogie – In The Context of the music industry A Chart May Be Defined as: a sheet giving graphical, tabular, and or Sales Data. In The Southern Soul Blues Market There Are No Charts. We only have sheets some of which reflect what’s being played on various radio stations. Since there is no process in place to calculate popularity air play and sales data on a scientific bases none of these so called sheets meet the criteria of being a legitimate credible Chart. We at Mason Media Services produce the Southern Soul Top 20 countdown which is a promotional tool used to put the spot light on music our music reporters have downloaded and are rotating on their list, as well as spotlight music we think compliment what Southern Soul Music Should Be!!!!
Dylann – There are only two actual ”charts”. Soul And Blues Report’s Top 25 Southern Soul Songs and Soul Blues Music’s Top 25 Southern Soul/R&B Singles. The others you mentioned I don’t believe promote themselves beyond a specific network or a single radio station. Many people confuse them as industry ”charts” but they’re not an industry wide sampling. The ABN does not promote itself as an official chart for Southern Soul but rather the Top 25 on that network. The Boogie Report is a reflection of Boogie’s network of partners.
Funky Larry – There are just as many or MORE for the other types of music Jazzii and reports are the lifeblood of this music or any music genre. The reports have a useful purpose. First, they tell the label and artist just Where the record is played. Second, reports tell the label Where to spend whatever funds they have to promote the record. Third, reports tell the artist just where they might have a chance at a personal appearance.
Roscoe Miller – I don’t know. I don’t even worry about charts any more myself. If you are not mediabase, billboard they don’t really pay you any attention anyway, no matter how many charts you got.
Jazzii – Do you know how these charts are compiled, who’s compiling them and where do the charts go? My reason for asking this is because I don’t understand with as many DJ’s, Stations playing Southern Soul Music why these artists rarely to never appear on the Billboard Charts. How can an artist have a #1 song and only be regional or locally known? Where is the money?
DJ Ced – This refers to the last question. Since Billboard and the major recording companies don’t recognize Southern Soul, it is imperative for those involved in Southern Soul to unite, create their own. When the money can be followed, then the Big Boys will take note.
Boogie – Southern Soul/Soul Blues is not A recognized Genre, as relating to the established charts like BILLBOARD however some Soul Blues Artist have been list on the BILLBOARD TOP 100 Theodis Ealey and Willie Clayton Come To Mind……….as for the money you should ask the artist or their distributors.
Dylann – As far as the songs charts I know SBR collects all AVAILABLE data from radio personnel and club jocks reports and ranks the songs based on what’s getting the most airplay and also the size of the station. That is Southern Soul’s most important chart.
Soul Blues Music or ”Blues Critic” does the same but also collects actual digital sales data from Soundscan. The airplay ranking of songs is not an exact science but more a survey. Meanwhile, Soul Blues Music’s Top 40 Southern Soul Albums Chart collects actual sales figures from distributors, one stops and Soundscan. Airplay also plays a role in an album’s chart position.
Southern Soul Blues rarely if ever charts on Billboard because the market is smaller, independent and major market radio stations who are tracking by BDS normally don’t play this kind of music. There’s no way to accurately track what’s being played at most stations unless the DJ files a report. That is why we have charts for Southern Soul. ”Where is the money?”. Ask the bootleggers. If you find out I’d like to know too.
Having a #1 song on the two official charts means everybody who pays attention to this music is aware of the artist anywhere in the world. Your question of why an artist is only ”locally known” is because the others you refer to as ”charts” are only local or regional ”charts”
Funky Larry – I have a chart as do many others and we all have a goal of keeping our musical heritage alive and kicking. Our methods for compiling our charts vary but have the same purpose. For many years I had the ear of Billboard and wanted them to consider a chart for us. They monitored my web site and others, read reports, and sales. Their conclusion was that Southern Soul had such a small market share and a chart wouldn’t be sensible for them. A few years ago SoulAndBluesreport’s Top 25 Chart was a feature in Living Blues Magazine but as interest in the music waned and sales went down to a trickle ….. Well, the chart was dropped. We’ve had several artists appear on the Billboard Chart. The Billboard Chart reflects sales and airplay, we have none of either that amounts to much.
Roscoe Miller – (Chuckle) Just like I was saying (Chuckle) when it comes down to these big stations, they are not going to play you unless you already got a name. For so a new artist can’t really get a break, they have to broke out in the club and on little independent stations like mines you got to get heard and once he get heard and known then these bigger stations will take a listen and put them on.
Jazzii – Do you feel there should be reviews done on DJ’s and why?
DJ Ced – We have our hands on the pulse of the people, especially the street and club DJs. All too often, the guys that programs the music is relying solely on data and has very litte meaningful contact with the public. Don’t get me wrong, data has its’ place but there nothing like actually seeing the public reacting to music. Therefore, I feel the street and club DJ carry much more weight in determining what’s hot and what’s not.
Boogie – For What Purpose? What Is To Be Gained?-
Dylann – Only DJs should be allowed to review other DJs. An outsider can’t be taken seriously for they might have a grudge if a particular DJ doesn’t play certain songs so a ”review” would be suspect.
Funky Larry – I’m not sure what purpose that would serve because even the worst sounding DJ or Announcer is not perceived that way in their local community.
Roscoe Miller – No. No, no I don’t think there should be any reviews on DJ’s. The public is constantly reviewing the DJ’s. The public will let you know if you are a good DJ or a bad DJ and let the station know if you have a piece of crap.
Jazzii – Do you feel there should be more written articles on the men and women on the wheels of steel or behind the mic and why?
DJ Ced – Yes, these same questions should be distributed nationwide.
Boogie – Depends on the Purpose of The Article and What the intent is!!! Good Publicity is Good for anybody!!!!!
Dylann – Absolutely. Real DJs are also entertainers and are the gateway to the music for many people. Radio PERSONALITIES make their mark. Popularity of a DJ who plays Soul Blues helps the whole business.
Funky Larry – Certainly, more information would be great.
Roscoe Miller – Well, to me it don’t make any different.
Jazzii – Sponsorship/advertisements…..do you feel they are up or down and why?
DJ Ced – Definitely down. Radio has a great deal of competition these days compared to former times.
Boogie – We at Mason Media Services are experiencing A Great first Quarter If Trends Continue This Could Be Our Best Year Yet!!!!-
Funky Larry – Advertising depends on ratings and demographics.
Roscoe Miller – It’s down, it’s down. It’s down due to the economy and not only is it down due to the economy but you have the Clear Channels and stations like that in the towns and they have four and five stations in the town, they will give stuff away in order to keep them from spending dollars over there with you.
Jazzii – Why do you think that this genre we call Southern Soul Blues is not widely known and/or recognized?
DJ Ced – – I liken it to Hip-Hop (Urban/Rap). It has large black cult following and is mostly heard by way of the street and club DJ. Radio and the Recording industries are missing the boat (again). Even though many of the songs would flow very well with the daily Urban AC format, it is largely a once a week thing.
Boogie – Poor Radio Exposure as well as Poor Representation as to what Southern Soul Blues Really Is!!!
Dylann – It is widely known. Our cd store has patrons from all over the world. It’s just not mainstream yet. Neither are certain types of ”Heavy Metal” like ”Death Metal”. But that style of music is very widely known. Right now it’s a niche market but so was rap music at one time.
Funky Larry –
Roscoe Miller – Well, just think about it. You go to LA, California and into New York, you can’t hear blues there in those areas on the radio, but if you take a Blues show in there you will fill up a football stadium. So many stations now days are using consultants and these dam consultants….say it doesn’t work and we all know it’s the biggest lie. Just like here in Montgomery, Alabama if you listen to these consultants they say Blues don’t work, but if you bring in a Rap Show here in Montgomery and nobody is there, but if you bring in a Blues Show you sell out. But Blues don’t work; people don’t listen to Blues…so the consultants say.
Jazzii – Do you feel that the music we call Southern Soul is different enough in its own sound to not have its own genre or sub-category with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. aka the Recording Academy?
DJ Ced – Yes. Billboard follows Blues which excludes many core Blues artists. Other than B.B. King, one hardly sees the names of the African-American artist listed.
Boogie – I Don’t Think So. Today we have producers who make underfunded music they cut corners sometimes trying to substitute synthetic drums and horns for the real thing!! This make the production sound CHEAP then they attempt to justify it by claiming that that’s what Southern Soul Music Is Supposed to sound like. This Give Southern Soul A Bad Reputation For Being sub-standard Music. When in Reality True Southern Soul Music Is SOUL MUSIC or Rhythm and BLUES…..The Music That Would Have Come Out Of STAX if They Had Not Folded. They Call It Southern Soul Because DISCO Killed Soul Music and The Southern Markets or Chittlin Circuit Kept the Genre Alive during The DISCO ERA Thats when producers started to taking short cuts with the music utilizing The Synthetics do to monetary restraints….There is not enough money audience or support to come up with a Southern Soul Genre when all an Artist has to do just put out good music don’t label it and build a fan base!!!
Dylann – Being that it’s not typical Blues or what is considered today’s ”R&B/Hip Hop, yes. It is basically retro-Memphis, Muscle Shoals Soul music and Albert King/Stax-like soulful ”Blues”
Funky Larry – No, I think we’re close to being recognized as music once we’re an actual format on radio stations. We won’t get the recognition until that happens.
Roscoe Miller – Yes, I think it’s different enough to have its own category.
Jazzii – The one thing I hear over and over is that a lot of the stations today only play Southern Soul one day a week, on Saturday, or late nights and then all they play is a lot of music by deceased artists. Why is that? Why don’t the stations play more of the new up and coming artist’s music and the older artists that are still living?
DJ Ced – Most stations are data-driven and if there is no data……….
Boogie – Another two part question .I presume you are talking About Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis, and Marvin Sease what people fail to realize is Good Music Is Good Music. It doesn’t matter to the listener if the artist is dead or alive, Johnny Taylor, Marvin Sease and Tyrone Davis were Mainstream Rhythm and Blues Artist, They were signed to major record Labels They had Promotional machines promoting them and their music. Their music was well produced No Short Cuts They enjoy worldwide acclaim. Good Music Last Forever. What Current Song Has the Staying Power of ”We Are Getting Careless With Our Love” By Johnnie Taylor or” I Got Carried Away” by Tyrone Davis. Name one.
Dylann –I think that is a question only each DJ can answer for themselves. I reckon they rely on big names like Marvin Sease, Bobby Bland, Tyrone Davis, ZZ Hill, etc. because they assume the audience wants to hear that. From my experience and the popularity of our Internet station most people listen to the radio hoping to hear the latest hits more than anything. Interest in new music is what fuels Southern Soul (and pretty much all music). I love the classic artists but I can always put on my cds if I want to hear them.
Funky Larry – Have you ever thought about the fact that some of our music isn’t fit to be played on radio? Again, technology is the reason. Many artists today record their music in their living room. Play a Bobby Bland, Tyrone Davis, Johnnie Taylor and then put on a Southern Soul record right behind that. Hear the difference? If you can’t I’ve got some ears you can borrow. Quality is the key word. Announcers aren’t technicians and can’t tell you why something sounds good to them but they will always play what sounds good and if that means more of the deceased artists get airplay….. I’m an advocate for Southern Soul but I can’t play some of it, I do try to play the best of what’s out there.
Roscoe Miller – Because some of the stations are still dealing with these dumb consultants….when dealing with these consultants and the consultants are looking at some papers coming out of New York or Philadelphia telling them what will work and what won’t. It’s different in every town, when you go to Atlanta you hear one type of music, you go to Chicago you hear another type of music and you go to New York and hear another genre of music but it all depend on who they are listening to. Me….I listen to myself, I play what I like.
Jazzii – Do you feel the DJ’s today have a passion for what they are doing?
DJ Ced – – Some do, Some don’t and listeners can easily tell if passion is there or if it is nonexistent.
Boogie – Some Do Some Don’t
Dylann – Yes, many obviously do. These ones tend to rise to the top like cream.
Funky Larry – There is no other reason for them to be in the business, yes they have passion.
Roscoe Miller – Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes
Jazzii – How long has your station been on the air and what do you think has contributed to your station’s staying power?
DJ Ced – Since 1994
Boogie – Our internet stream www.boogieradio.com is celebrating 11 years this year. I volunteer at WMPR a 100,000 watt community station in Jackson Ms. which has been on the air for 23 years.
Dylann – 7 years and it is more popular than ever. Why? We constantly add current and new music while adding plenty of obscure gems for people to discover.
Funky Larry – We’ve been on 5 yrs now and just playing the best has been vital for us. Internet stations come in a variety of flavors so you can choose your favorite.
Roscoe Miller – Well, I bought the station in 1994, it was granted in November 22, 1994 and after it was granted, I knew what I liked and I was in the community all of the time and knew what most of the people liked and you just got to give the people what they like or what you thank they want.
Jazzii – I find that many artists are not wanting to be labeled as Southern Soul Artists, but yet all the music that they record is of the Southern Soul format/sound and when they mail out & distribute they only send it out to DJ’s, Stations and Clubs who’s format is just that……Then there are mainstream artists like Charlie Wilson, the Manhattans, the O’Jays and Calvin Richardson touring and performing on a Southern Soul ticket/bill/circuit…..What is wrong with this picture?
DJ Ced –It’s all Soul music. The artists and labels that are only sending their music to stations that cater to that one day a week stations. And those stations aren’t playing the music outside of that one day.
Boogie – Nothing is wrong with that picture Good Music is Good Music….most of the time when you go to a so called southern soul festival you will see grandma daughter, and granddaughter all grooving to the same music, be it Bigg Robb, Bobby Rush or Lenny Williams the purpose is to entertain. The promoter will put together whatever package his research tells him is gonna return him a profit on his investment!!!!!
Dylann – Some artists no longer fit the formats for ”Urban R&B/Hip Hop” or ”Pop” stations so it’s either Urban Adult Contemporary or Southern Soul for them. Lenny Williams is an example of this. He’s just as great as ever but corporate radio doesn’t program high caliber Soul music. Lenny has adopted some Southern Soul-type songs into his music and it has helped the genre. I think many don’t want to be categorized as ”Southern Soul” because it’s not yet recognized as an ”official” brand. I guess there’s a stigma still attached to it that it’s smalltime and ”chittlin’ circuit”. Rap was once looked down upon too.
Funky Larry – Artists have to start somewhere and getting airplay on smaller stations that play Southern Soul is a good place to start, if you can get the airplay.
What a picture, I’ll just say that The O’Jays, Manhattans, Charlie Wilson etc. are singing SOUL. People want to hear real singing and want to be entertained. Promoters book the acts they feel are going to put asses in the seats. We’ve got hundreds of Southern Soul acts but only 6 or 7 that can actually headline a concert.
Roscoe Miller – Well, I get a lot of music in….sometime I get a call and if they tell me that they are not southern soul, I’ll listen to it and if I like it I will play it, but if they tell me they are not southern soul then chances are real slim to me playing it, I can say I’m probably not going to play it. A friend of mines in the music business came out in the southern soul market…had two of the hottest CD when he first came out, had two of the hottest CD out….he was so hot, then he turned around and change his style and I guess going to go to another chart….he couldn’t give a CD away….he still doing well, but he haven’t come back to his roots.
Jazzii – Is there anything that you would like to add or say that we may not have covered in this interview?
DJ Ced – N/A
Boogie – There are a lot of producers and artist who cry, bitch and hate on radio for not playing their music my response is stop blaming others go into the studio and produce good quality music and you will get air play don’t label yourself just produce good music that can compete in any genre. Then come out and work your product, I mean really work it. There is no magic formula, there is no Guru you can pay $400.00 and get a hit you got to work it and if you don’t know how to work it, Hire Us and if we think your product has a shot we will Work it with you, But Don’t get mad when we send you back to the studio cause yo stuff ain’t ready!!!!!
Soul, Peace and Hair Grease
Funky Larry – What’s for dinner?
Roscoe Miller – No, I think you have covered everything.
Be sure to check out my radio show “N-Da-Kno with Jazzii A.” ™ on the following stations:
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Essence of Soul “UK’s 100 Independent Music Station” on TuneIn Radio –Essence of Soul
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