February 1, 2019

What song in your life had a major impact on you and what were the circumstances surrounding that experience?

Frankie V, KSSX: Cole Swindell ”You Should Be Here.” It came out shortly after my dad passed. Working in Top 40 and Rhythmic CHR I’ve never played it… but when I randomly hear I get comfort knowing Big Frank is watching down from above! #VBROS #VFAM

Java Joel, WAKS: Spring/summer of ’79. I’m 4 years old. Driving down the road listening to AM Radio. My Mom’s driving and I hear this futuristic sounding “PING…. PING…. PING!”. Freakiest sounding shit I ever heard. Turned out to be Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell”. Blew my mind. And roller skating in the spring of ’81 hearing Hall & Oates’ “Kiss On My List” – That turned out to be the 1st 45 single I bought. I never looked back after that!

Jammer, WEZB: Cynthia & Johnny O “Dream Boy Dream Girl.” Thanks Bob Burke for almost getting me fired from Q102 Philly back in 1990. I first heard the song on Boss 97/Atlantic City as I was scouting stations and it was a song we weren’t playing at the time and we should have been. Needless to say, I caused some friction within the programming department. Lol

Kobi, WNRW/WLGX: Luther Vandross “Dance With My Father” was out on the radio around the time of my father’s passing.

Tommy Chuck, WFLZ: “Rocky Top” by The Osborne Brothers, it is like a religious experience every time it plays. It sounds best when played after a Vols touchdown!

Fish Boy, WKRZ: Swedish House Mafia, “Don’t You Worry Child.” That song was a game changer for me on multiple levels. First off it was a song I could relate to when I was going through a tough time with when I lost my dad.  Professionally it was the first EDM song I was able to break in this market. In fact it went all the way to #1 in research here. It was one of the biggest and longest testing songs we ever had up to that point.  It actually opened the door for us to expose more of the EDM/Pop-ish sounding tracks in this market which has now infiltrated the market.

Sassy, WKXJ: “Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. I kept getting turned down for full time radio jobs based on not having enough experience. That song made me have patience with the insight that the right job is eventually coming.

Mike “OD” O’Donnell, WKRZ: My first kiss with my first girlfriend when we were listening to “Slow Hand” by The Pointer Sisters on the radio, and every time I hear that song I think of that girl.

Alex Tear, iHeartMedia: Its was a series of songs from Prince’s 1981 Controversy album. Starting with “Private Joy” to “Do Me Baby” and of course “Controversy.” Amazing production, lyrics, vocals, soul and vibe.

Jonathan Reed, WNOK: Eminem “Lose Yourself” and Coldplay “Fix You” for obvious reasons.

R Dub! Z90: It happened by accident: late at night, as a 13-year-old kid, I unpacked my prized clock-radio at my new home in Kissimmee, Florida. I’d just moved from Los Angeles and was scanning the dial in search of a Top 40 station like 102.7 KIIS FM back home. I could have scanned right or left…I went left. Before I’d arrive at a pop music channel, I stopped at a station playing Troop’s “All I Do Is Think of You.” It was playing during The Quiet Storm on Orlando’s WJHM 102 Jamz. This one song spoke to me in so many ways, including introducing me to the “Slow Jams” format, and would change the course of my life in just under five minutes.

Mike Miller, WZFT: TLC “Red Light Special.” Nothing else needs to be said.

Raphael Opida, WIOQ: This is embarrassing to say, but “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke because it reminds me of the great times I had with one of my ex’s. Jack was a major participant in many of those memories, if I can remember them. LOL.

Matt Johnson, KSLZ: “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas was a major turning point during my time at WXKB in Fort Meyers. The record served as a catalyst to our ratings boost, we had an awesome parody video called “Chicken Kung Pow” (you can google it), and we had a lot of fun with that record. It really changed the tone and stationality of that station.

Kobe, WWHT: When I was a kid the first song I ever fell in love with was “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. It made me an instant Pop radio music fan for life!

Brian Mack, WXXL: “Woman” by John Lennon. It seems like his recognition of commitment in marriage, etc. He’s very forthcoming about his feelings toward Yoko in it. I think it’s a great inspiration for all of us men. Relisten to it.

Jon Zellner, iHeartMedia: I’ll always remember my first shift at 92X in Columbus and how nervous I was, surrounded by amazing and seasoned talent. I think I practiced what I planned to say over the :17 intro to “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz a dozen times before I went on the air that night.

Dom Theodore, Radio Animal Media Strategies: There are too many to list, but whenever I hear a big hit that I played on the radio in the 80’s or 90’s, it brings back great memories from simpler times.

Gina Gray, WERO: Coldplay “Fix You.” It was on when I knew I fell in love for the first time!  That song gets me every time!

Max Volume, KOZZ: Rush – “Xanadu” – much better than the Olivia Newton John song. I learned to play every part!

Jeff Hurley, WLAN: Picture it:  Panama City Florida, early summer of 2002.  PC was my first move away from the northeast.  I was 26, and 1200 miles away from my comfort zone, and trying to jumpstart a career after some ups and downs. I’m sitting at the bar inside Spinnaker nightclub an hour before we open for our usual Friday club gig. The place is empty except for a few staff and me.  I’m sitting there in this empty bar, looking out over the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico and drinking a few Heinekens. The DJ is blaring random songs over the sound system. Third Eye Blind “Deep Inside of You” starts echoing off the walls of this empty club. I heard this moody, depressing song, and realized I was truly unhappy with my current situation.  It was time to make a change. I wanted to be closer to home and in control of my situation. Six months later, I headed home to Pennsylvania and took a chance on a job to program Star 104 in Erie. That move jump-started my programming career.  17 years later I now oversee iHeart radio stations for half the state of PA.  For whatever reason, I can remember that singular moment when my mindset and career path changed.  So, thanks Third Eye Blind (and Heineken).  Glad you wrote a depressing, moody ballad that hit me at exactly the right time. 

Rick Vaughn, KENZ: Twin Hype “Do It To The Crowd.”  My senior year in high school, a buddy and I were both real close to dunking a basketball but just couldn’t quite get there.  So we started hammering away on leg presses and squats in the weight room and got to the point of dunking a volleyball no problem.  The issue ended up being SMALL HANDS. Couldn’t one-hand the basketball, or get high enough for two-handed dunk. We added music to the equation and attempted an alley-oop.  There’s a sick build-up into a beat in that song at 2:57 that gave me extra wings.  Alley-oop slamma jamma!  I still remember the feeling.  And to this day, that track is still on my running playlist.  I don’t dunk anything anymore. 

Jonathan Shuford, WRVW: Not a song, but an album, matchbox twenty’s Yourself or Someone Like You. Long story short…That album (and the coinciding VH1 Storytellers) got me writing music, which led me to be a music business major, which led me be to be in a band, which led me to radio, and all that’s come from that.  I can safely say that my life would be drastically different had it not been for running across that special.

Kevin Kash, WIYY: “Welcome To The Jungle.” It got G’N’R into my rock bloodstream. Shortly thereafter, I got behind the mic.

Next Week’s Question Of The Week:
What are some “old-school” qualities that radio lacks today that could still serve value to the medium?
e-Mail your responses to: jodorisio@fmqb.com or bburke@fmqb.com