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The Robinson Report – Tell Me A Story

Radio – at one time – was the expert spinner of story.

There’s plenty of Covid-19 stories to spin.  If you’re not telling them – swing and a miss!

Stories are right in front of you – every quarter hour. 

“Using only a multi-track machine, Boston’s Tom Shultz recorded nearly all of Boston’s debut album’s tracks in his basement. This included Bradley Delp’s lead and backing vocals” 

Digital automation has made the daily routine of a radio station nearly hands free. Gone is the need to create your own music log, carts stacked by stopset, clearing the wire, back timing hours or cueing up 45’s. 

“At the age of 14, Billy Joel played piano on the Shangri-La’s hit Remember (Walking in the Sand).” 

Yet, with all this time freed you can’t tell it by what you hear. Most stations outside morning drive lay satisfied with a nice voice repeating title and artist. Then selling a laundry list of artist’s upcoming ad nausea.

“BonJovi’s first hit ‘Runaway’ was nearly four years old before it became a hit, recorded with studio musicians which included Dave Sabo who formed Skid Row.” 

The difference to make your product unique is YOU, the on-air talent. What comes out of your mouth separates you from your competitors, the iPod, satellite and Wi-Fi. 

“Shaun Considine rescued Bob Dylan’s song, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ from the trash at Columbia Records – discarded because it was one second shy of six minutes – too long for Top 40 radio” 

Armed with a format log and Internet connection, you can prep a show in minutes! 

“Gwen Stefani’s middle name is Renee, as her parents loved the Left Bank song Walk Away Renee.” 

You find great stories behind every great song. 

“Alabama, known initially as Wild Country, considered breaking up after their first record label went bankrupt and their drummer quit in the late 70’s.” 

Great radio stations are built with talent that understands how to tell these stories. 

“Sheryl Crowe was a backup singer for Michael Jackson…Stevie Nicks wrote Rhiannon while reading about the Welch Goddess by the same name…MercyMe took nearly ten years and sold hundreds of CD’s out of their touring van before hitting it big with ‘Almost Home’. “ 

So what’s the next story you’ll tell – today or historical? 

Next Week: “That’ll Keep Them Humble”