Sunday, June 28, 2009

Radio can't get enough of Michael Jackson

Whenever a high-profile musician passes away, radio stations are always quick to jump on the wagon and increase that artist's airplay. Such is the case with Michael Jackson. To put it all in perspective, this time last weekend, outside of some retro specialty shows like "Lost 45's" or "Back to the 80's Friday Night", a Boston radio area listener would have been hard-pressed to find his name on any local FM station's regular playlist.

Within hours of his sudden death this past week, terrestrial radio stations here and everywhere in the world began to play his music including a lot of songs they haven't spun in years. Case in point, locally. Jamn 94-5 which normally plays today's Top40 hip-hop artists devoted its entire morning show on Friday paying tribute to Jackson. Throughout the show Ramiro and Pebbles took phone calls and requests from listeners. There was an overwhelming response from the public. There was even a six-minute phone interview with the Ruth Pointer of the legenadry R&B group the Pointer Sister.

With on-air tributes all over the dial. radio listeners been struck once again by how unique, how innovative, how just plain incredible he was through out his '80s heyday. Barry Scott of the long-running Lost 45's on Oldies 103.3 plans to focus on Jackson during tonight's show(7pm-Midnight). Scott tells BRW : "From the radio show that never stopped playing Michael, even when it wasn't cool to do so: Michael Jackson salute, "The Lost 45s" way--with rarities and Top 40 hits no one thinks to play, coming this Sunday, June 28th from 7 to Midnight Eastern on Oldies 103.3 and We also have rare TV & movie moments with the King Of Pop, as well as Farrah and Ed McMahon spotlights as well.”

Free on-line radio stations like and already broke every kind of web listening traffic record in the past couple days.

On the satellite radio, Sirius XM has launched The Michael Jackson Tribute Channel early Satruday morning which will run thru Monday night. The channel is devoted to paying homage to the King of Pop is airing right now on Sirius 51 and XM 62.

BRW Notebook :

Park your car and leave it there : Retesting of elderly drivers has been a pretty controversial topic on talk radio in Boston and across the country for the past two decades. Now, with Massachusetts lawmakers taking on this issue, local talk radio is also getting into the act. Here's WTKK's press release :
Boston, MA (6/26/2009): Boston’s Talk Evolution, 96.9 FM-WTKK today launched an online petition for listeners and Massachusetts residents to support bill S. 1929, the Act to Promote Safe Driving. The legislation would require that individuals renewing their license pass a vision and road test every five years after their 85th birthday.

An increasing number of deadly and high profile accidents involving senior drivers has drawn attention to the need to ensure that licenses are only renewed for those capable of driving safely.

“We are encouraging anybody who cares about the safety of our senior citizens to show their support for the safe driving act,” says WTKK Program Director, Grace Blazer. “After collecting signatures of support, we’ll present them to Senator Brian A. Joyce, who’s proposed this is important legislation.”

Adults 18 and older who live in Massachusetts can visit to sign the petition and see where their state senator stands on the issue.

For more information, please contact Grace Blazer , Program Director, at 617-822-6820 or

More talk on FM? : Blogger Kirk Tanter thinks more music FM stations should switch to a talk format.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised by the reaction to Jammin's tribute to Michael Jackson. Jammin is the closest thing Boston has to a locally operated station serving the black community. It's not unusual for black oriented radio stations to stop normal programming when something significant happens in the community, something that somehow bewilders the average Caucasian Bostonian who hasn't been to other cities.