Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another "New" Oldies Approach

62° - sunny at 9:20am

Tipped by
Sean Ross: While the industry has been buzzing with the rebirth and reinvention of WCBS-FM/New York - another generation of "gold" stations kicked off Thursday in....Peoria.

WXMP flipped from AC to "Hippie Radio" as WHPI. Sean notes the format is being marketed to stations by Federated Media.

Hippie Radio is described as "radio for baby boomers". See the format presentation

Added: Don't allow the name "Hippie Radio" to lead to expectations of anything remotely close to AOR or classic rock radio. See comments at link below this post. Its oldies - in both music and a pop/top 40 presentation.

Unlike WCBS-FM and Kool/Portland, Hippie Radio avoids the 80s . (oops...jumped the gun...see below) The format has emphasis on mid to late 60s and the early to mid 70s - not unlike many "oldies" stations.

Titles heard this morning 6-7am eastern time:
  • I Can't Help Myself/Four Tops (1965)
  • Kind Of A Drag/Buckinghams (1966)
  • Crocodile Rock/Elton John (1972)
  • Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'/Crazy Elephant (1969)
  • Somebody To Love/Jefferson Airplane (1967)
  • Got To Get You Into My Life/Beatles (1966)
  • American Pie/Don McLean (1971)
  • Just The Way You Are/Billy Joel (1977)
  • Mustang Sally/Wilson Pickett (1966)
  • Incense & Peppermint/Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967)
  • Magic Carpet Ride/Steppenwolf (1968)
  • Blinded By The Light/Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1976)
  • Wedding Bell Blues/Fifth Dimension (1969)
Later: "Thats The Way Of The World" from Earth, Wind & Fire; "Indian Lake" by The Cowsills; "Free Ride" by Edgar Winter; "So Far Away" by Carole King;

Even later: "Marrakesh Express"; "Sweet Home Alabama"; "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis; "Small Town" from Mellencamp (oops...there's an "80s" track!); "Tiny Dancer" from Elton; The live version of "Hotel California" from "Hell Freezes Over"; "Easy Livin" by Uriah Heep. Very broad musically with some real "oh wow" titles.

Imaging: Heard some listener testimonials tied to Peoria - reminiscing about places and events "back in the day". Nice. Generic "Hippie Radio" jingles. Other imaging typical of a new format kickoff.

Listening early this morning the station was running jockless until 8am; once a DJ hit the air the station really came alive.

Sean Ross
notes listening yesterday to a DJ with
"...a lot of attempts to be lifestyle oriented. When Aretha Franklin's "Think" played, the jock front sold it with, "Remember this one from 'The Blues Brothers'?"

Sean adds that local weather came from the "Hippy Dippy Weatherman". His complete "first listen" can be found here.

This is one to watch - especially once the honeymoon period is over. Some of the imaging - even perhaps the name borderlines on novelty - me thinks "short shelf life" - and we'll have to listen to see how this evolves.

Listen here. I'm really impressed with the spot load on a station thats only a day old; a great job at pre-sell and retaining old clients.


RadioFreeAmerica said...

I listened to "Hippie" Radio for about 2 hours yesterday. Though they are right about all the reasons that the Target Audience they are marketing to is a viable and distinctly reachable group, I'm afraid the imaging and general tone of the format is exactly opposite of what someone who thinks of themselves as a "Hip" 45-65 person wants or expects from a station aimed at them.
Too much "Top Forty Hits" from back in the day,interspersed with lame imaging and puking DJs. In the "Late 60's" and 70's, this sound was what caused "Hippies" to tune out Top 40 and gravitate to Underground/Progressive Rock Radio.

Dan Kelley said...

Lee - agree with your comments.

It certainly has limited appeal to the "real Hippies" who are more likely fans of mid-to-late 60s/early-to-mid 70s progressive FM radio.

And as you said tuned out of the Top 40 commercial fare.

Without a doubt "Hippie Radio" is just the name of a pop oldies format.

That said - I do believe there's many like myself who listened to both progressive FM and pop AM in that era.

I feel Chicago's WDRV successfully combines both using intelligent music selection on the Top 40 side (sometimes the setup is everything) with laid back AOR/Classic Rock formatics.

Do "real hippies" (former or otherwise) want a station pitched to them as "hippie radio"?


RadioFreeAmerica said...

It's the "LAME" presentation that makes it so wrong.

The "Top Forty" songs are more passable then the imaging.

It was lame in 1972, it's even worse today.

WDRV is a much better representative of a palatable melding.