Prince: The Day the Music Died

For a previous generation, Buddy Holly’s death was coined in song as “The Day the Music Died.” Prince’s death today marks an equally huge loss for my generation and in the evolution of alternative-based music.

When Prince exploded onto the scene in the early 1980s, I was running WUOG-FM in Athens…the student station. We were proud pioneers of the “college radio” wave that started in small music centers such as Athens, where B-52s, R.E.M., Pylon, Widespread Panic and many others emanated. Frankly, “new wave,” as we referred to it then, was lily white. Yes, we were breaking all kinds of new progressive music that wasn’t getting played on radio, including now mainstream artists such as U2, Police and Talking Heads. But, there was no denying, this was not a genre where artists of color were involved.

Until Prince. When Prince came onto the scene, we embraced it immediately. No questions. In the back of my mind (remember this was the deep South in 30+ years ago), I kept thinking, does anyone notice or care that Prince is black? I know we didn’t, and I never heard one disparaging comment. All I saw were people dancing like crazy whenever Prince came on our radio station.

Prince quickly became the Michael Jackson of Alternative music. Prince brought together Alternative and Pop, and made it cool. He was BY FAR the most popular artist we played. And then he crossed over to Top 40, made movies, made more records, and never stopped being cool.

My generation lost their Buddy Holly today. “This is what it sounds like when doves cry.”

Public, community radio stations labor to keep up

Story posted on BizWest
March 4, 2106
By Dallas Heltzell

“Nonprofit stations labor to keep up with competition while vying for dollars to pay for it all.

Cork-popping celebrations don’t often happen at 6 a.m. on a Monday, but then the scene at dawn in Greeley on Feb. 29 wasn’t your typical party. It was the dawn of a new era in radio along Colorado’s Northern Front Range — and a new challenge for noncommercial broadcast competitors vying for donor dollars.

KUNC-FM 91.5, which for nearly a half century had brought an eclectic mix of music and award-winning investigative reporting to Northern Colorado, switched on a new station it had purchased for $3 million in December to split off its music format so that it could devote its flagship frequency to local and national news.

KUNC general manager Neil Best made a rare appearance behind a hot microphone to introduce the new format — branded “The Colorado Sound” — on former sports-talk station KJAC-FM 105.5. Then the alternative-rock songs began to play, providing a soundtrack for a mounting battle among the area’s community and public stations for listeners’ ears and dollars. (more…)

  • VuHaus
    Permalink Gallery





Boulder, CO (March 2, 2016) – VuHaus, the new Music Discovery video platform from public radio, is now offering a new, free website feature called Song of the Day. The video feature is available to all CPB-qualified non-commercial radio and TV stations.

Delivered via an embeddable player, music videos from some of the country’s most exciting new artists will be selected and updated daily by VuHaus. All content is produced by VuHaus’s growing network of public music radio stations. The first performances to be featured are Robert DeLong “Possessed” (from KUTX/Austin), Graham Nash “Immigration Man” (from WXPN/Philly), and M. Ward “Girl from Conejo Valley” and Lake Street Dive “Side Pony” (both from WFUV/NY).

“This is a great opportunity for public radio and television stations to take advantage of the amazing content that the VuHaus stations are producing,” states Erik Langner, President of VuHaus. “By using Song of the Day, stations will be able to play a curatorial role in the music discovery space, allowing them to serve new and younger music fans in their communities.”

Several stations have already committed to carry the Song of the Day website feature, including KOPB-FM/Portland, KUT-FM/Austin, New Hampshire Public Radio, Alabama Public Radio, KNBA-FM/Anchorage, and the new The Colorado Sound/Ft. Collins. (more…)

By |March 2nd, 2016|Press|0 Comments

“105-5 The Colorado Sound” Launched Today

Today at 6 am (yawning!), I was in the studios for the launch of America’s newest non-comm Music Discovery music station: “105-5 The Colorado Sound.” All new station launches are special, but this one was even more special for so many reasons.

First, it’s who is involved. There simply isn’t a better group of people or professionals than what has been assembled at “The Colorado Sound.” President/General Manager Neil Best is known far and wide as one of the best managers in public radio for his long-term leadership at KUNC-FM, which as of today is 100% NPR News/Talk with the best local news staff in the state. The management team is filled out by COO Jamie Wood, and Marketing Director Robert Leja, who has been building bridges into the local music community for almost 10 years before the launch of the new 105.5 FM station. The programming team is mostly local and 100% great! Leading the charge is market veteran and Music Director Benji McPhail, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for over a year plotting today’s launch. Two more market pros hold down drive-time air shifts, with Ron Bostwick in mornings and Keefer (ex-KBCO and Open Air) in afternoons. Joining the team from Atlanta (ex-Dave FM) is Margot Chobanian, who is the midday music host and doubling in the digital department. Stream here to give it a listen. (more…)