Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To 98.7 KISS FM: A Special Tribute to a Special Station

 Over two weeks ago 98.7 KISS FM, one of my favorite stations here in NYC closed ranks and merged with longtime rival, 107.5 BLS. Both are your standard rhythm and blues stations but KISS played slightly more oldies. It was devastating for fans who have been tuning in for the past thirty years. The city lost it's only smooth jazz station a couple of years ago and now is losing a historic r&b station, one that featured shows from popular syndication talk show hosts Michael Baisden and Al Sharpton. It's where countless of musicians and community leaders were given opportunities to share their voices with listeners across the city. They must now want adults to listen to the radio anymore. Thanks Nicki.

From colorofchange.org:
In the 1960s and '70s, local Black radio stations served as the political and social "drumbeat" of Black communities. At WERD Atlanta, the nation's first Black-owned station, DJ "Jockey Jack" Gibson regularly slipped political news and commentary between record plays. With WERD's studio located directly above the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Gibson was also known to lower his mic out the window to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whenever Dr. King wanted to make a statement on air.7
A large number of local Black stations were shut down after Congress deregulated the airwaves in 1996. This gave deep-pocketed corporations the green light to buy up thousands of stations in one fell swoop. To cut production costs, corporate owners slashed local programming in favor of nationally-syndicated content that could be broadcast across a large number of stations.8 The Community Low Power Radio Act was designed to bring local programming back to the airwaves by making broadcasting licenses available to nonprofit community groups and individuals.
The last time I blogged it was loosely about the death of black radio. If you are like me and are possibly interested in starting or working with a local FM station , join color of change's efforts in taking advantage of the recently passed, Local Community Radio Act. We need ensure that our voices are heard and our ideas are shared so our interests can be valued. This cannot happen if we do not have the platform community support radio affords us.

It's been awhile since I've posted here and I deeply apologize, but I thought I'd comeback with my favorite segment, Throwback Tuesdays. And this post, is dedicated to my beloved KISS that I will dearly miss. Within the comforts of my home, I like to pretend that I am a disc jokey. I rant a lot about social and political issues on facebook while blasting my favorite tunes and sharing with anyone who will listen. I may not become the next quiet storm disc jockey (my voice is too nasally) but is just a snippet of tunes I would feature on my show.

1. Stevie Wonder "As"

2. Amel Larrieux "Get Up"

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