When WBZ played covers instead of hits

Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Tue Jun 19 12:47:15 EDT 2007

>Roger wrote--
>Not limited to Boston.
>The Jordan Bros. were also played in Portland ME on WLOB - which was 
>king of the Top 40 stack by then.  WJAB had been (when 'LOB was 
>beautiful music) but they were a daytimer and when 'LOB flipped, 
>they sank like a stone.  Jim Sands and Bob Fuller both crossed the 
>street to work at WLOB.
>WLOB played both the New Happiness and the New Vaudville Band's versions.
>They also played "The Pied Piper" by the Changing Times instead of 
>Crispian St. Peters.

And at the risk of being a skeptic, it wasn't just altruism and "we 
played what we wanted to."  Let us not forget (gasp) payola.  A 
number of the disc jockeys had close relationships with record 
promoters, and while I would like to say that such friendships never 
influenced what got played, the evidence says they did.  I know from 
talking to various people (as well as from my own observations when I 
became a college music director and met some of the local record 
promoters) that even in the 60s, despite the big payola scandals of 
the late 50s, the influence of certain promo men (and nearly all of 
them were guys, back then) continued to occur, although in more 
subtle ways.  And yes, a d.j. might play a version of a song just 
because a particular promoter was working that record and "really 
needed an ad this week".  That's also how a lot of "local hits" 
happened-- in some cases, yes the jock or the PD loved the song and 
wanted to play it, but in other cases, a record promoter's ties to 
the song or the artist, and the resulting benefits that accrued to 
the announcer who then gave the song some attention, were key factors 
in how decisions were made.

Btw, anybody recall a song by a group called the New Hope-- "Won't 
Find Better Than Me"?  It was only a hit in certain cities, but it 
got a lot of airplay in Boston...  

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