November 24, 2009

Thank God for iTunes and Donnie Simpson

Never in my wildest dreams would I dare to think of turning off the radio. Completely and altogether. Yeah right and just listen to CD's in the car. But I was pushed to the edge. It happened over the weekend. I love to flip stations and listen to the radio for entertainment and information.That's what I DO!

But when it gets to the point that two Urban AC stations are playing the same Anita Baker song on a Sunday afternoon, then there is something definitely wrong with Urban Radio. I have no other recourse but to scream!

Frankly as a listener I could care less how well a 20 plus year old Anita Baker song test markets to the desired 18-25-34-54, 87 year old ??? African American listener. (As you can tell I hate over-researched playlist) It makes no sense for two Urban AC stations to play the same Anita Baker song at the same time. Maybe Maxwell, but not Anita Baker. C'mon.


When will urban radio program to that listener that falls in between the gap that exist between Urban (Hip-Hop/R&B) and Urban AC (Old School R&B and Classic Soul) radio. Could it be that PPM has it right? That the PPM electronic ratings measuring system is a true indication of radio listening. That may be the sad reality.

Now what I have on CD and on MP3's would never make it on to the radio (I'm partial to Jill Scott, Common, Q-Tip and The Roots), but I'm wondering what other urban radio listeners are tuning into for their choice of music programming. Maybe they're really not tuning in to radio at all because urban radio programmers have not done enough to keep them plugged in.

Now many in the radio industry believe that Donnie Simpson of 95.5 WPGC in Washington should just step aside and throw in the towel. Many say he is out of touch on a Urban Hip Hop/R&B station. But I say Donnie keep doing what you're doing in the morning in D.C. I will continue to tune in over the Internet and don't mind that he plays Prince, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Bobby Brown and Gucci Mane all in the same show. Because I know he plays to the audience and not to some corporate playlist.

Also as a radio professional and personality, he has the ability to communicate to his audience during the breaks between songs. One of the moments he shared was his special relationship with his son, DJ (Donnie Jr.) Simpson, a couple of weeks ago. He said his son was his best friend in the world. That was a special moment, it was heartfelt, it was real... and you don't just get stuff like that everyday on the radio or for that fact with a CD or MP3.
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