Latest Press for WAVE RADIO SHOWS
Carmen Tells All. At least, the interesting parts….
The year was 1964, and I was just a couple of weeks shy of my kindergarten graduation. To this day I’m not sure if it was just a hallucination, because it seemed so real! It could have been an out-of-body experience, but there I was, standing in this long hallway on the second floor of a building in Orleans, France, tapping my ruby red slippers together, and gazing through a giant window at some guy who looked like he had Mickey Mouse ears that were drooping over his own ears and jowls, talking into this metal thing hanging on a sling-arm, just yakking away to no one. He was waving his hands in the air, and his lips were moving faster than a New York second.
Actually, I was standing in the hallway of the Armed Forces Radio Network, and life was over as I know it. From that moment on, nothing has attracted me as much as an air wave, unless it’s the Light of Love, but that’s another story. Ever since that magical moment, my motto has been: Born to Wave! About the time I snapped out of it, I discovered that my parents had put out an APB (all-points bulletin) on my wanderlust, and I was cordially escorted down the stairs, and got to hang out with real criminals at the Military Police Headquarters until my parents showed up to cart me off. Prior to that, I had spent my early years in a small dog harness to keep me out of harms way. And let’s not forget the 10’x10’chicken wire cage I played in when we lived in Arizona, so the coyotes wouldn’t drag me off to their lair and hungry young. Did I mention that I shared the cage with my pet snapping turtle? I only kissed him once. Lesson learned.
Fast forward to the moment. Sometimes it is easier to look back and sort things out than it is to catch the telltale glimmer that the moment holds out for us when and if we are ready to look at it, but yeah, I love to wave. In fact, I’ve been applying for gigs as a sign twirler, mainly because there’s a lot of waving going on. Thing is, I’m allergic to the bear suits they want you to wear, so there you have it. Let’s get back into the moment, or closer to it.
In the early ‘80’s I got a chance to fulfill my lifelong dream, and landed a gig as a radio host on a jazz station in Oklahoma City. This was a student run station, but in the summer they needed volunteers, and I have to tell you, every lunatic in the metro area was suddenly ON AIR, spinning their little hearts out with the music of their choice, mainly because no one affiliated with the station ever bothered to tune in.
Those were the days. That was in the era of turntables. The record library was so toasted we kept a spray water bottle on hand and squirted the album as it spun to make it sound better. After the first hour, the electrical system became a shocking experience; enough to make my hair curl. But, I survived, and was eventually hired as the Business Manager and kept spinning music. A new GM arrived on the scene and ran off all the drifters, and I decided it was time to move on down the road. So, I picked up the phone and called this Hit Radio station (these days, called Oldies) and amazingly enough, landed a gig on the air. A couple of months later the station was sold, and everyone was fired, except for me, and the format flipped to Classic Rock. The station was actually an old farmhouse with about 100 acres of land surrounding it in the middle of nowhere. I learned to have great courage because it was do or die time as snakes and black widow spiders made their way across the studio console, and I only wish I was a liar. The PD’s name was The Boogie Man, and he was famous for having underage girls breathe heavy for him on the phone, and over the airwaves. The parents didn’t like it, but no one could find us.
Meanwhile, I knew a ton of musicians, and thought it would be nice if all these great unsigned bands got a little exposure on the waves, so the first thing I did was appeal to the greedy side of radio. I found a bunch of sponsors, went to the GM, and said: Look at all this money! And he granted me permission to produce The Homegrown Artists Hour and air it Friday nights at midnight. That was 97.7 FM, KKLR in Oklahoma City. For the money I was raking in, the station wouldn’t have cared if it were ‘dead air.’ Well, the one thing I learned is that I was keeping the Program Directors from stations all over town up really late so they could tune in, and they could only wish I would run out of music. The bands, sponsors and audience were certainly digging it, and more money showed up for a rebroadcast of the show on Sundays at 6 PM. Still making waves. Long story longer, this was the first commercial local music radio show to ever hit any air wave, and the year was 1986.
Burnout, and a desire to leave the dust bowl brought me to Evergreen, Colorado, in 1989. I bought a Natural Foods Store and Vegetarian Restaurant on the lake in town, managed to serve up about 100,000 meals, and kept all my digits. Wanderlust struck again, and I kept thinking about those waves, and sold the store in 1998. Meanwhile, I found KGNU in Boulder, and a few years later, a small station in the mountains. I put out a call for music through the Colorado Music Association, and The Colorado Wave was born on October 27, 2000.
You wouldn’t believe how much music was pouring in. Or maybe you would. Boatloads. I developed this show to the best of my ability, and that’s saying a lot! In 2002, I wandered down to Denver, and knocked at the door of 99.5 The Mountain, and set the hook. It took 7 months to launch the show as Mountain Homegrown Hour, and there I was… keeping all those PD’s all over town up late on a Monday night.
Being the diehard that I am, I was looking at all this music I’ve collected, and decided to give syndication a shot. This is not an easy business, and there are certainly no rules. The bottom line in broadcasting will always be: Best content wins. I’ll be the first to admit The Colorado Wave is a rock solid program. But imagine calling any station and asking the Program Director to carry a show that features 12 songs in a row that no one has ever heard, by a dozen bands that no one has ever hear of! You can feel their eyes glaze over on the phone. Meanwhile, something was working because I had all these stations signing up. This is a work in progress. The Colorado Wave expanded to include bands from around the world, which has helped increase the syndication, and added a new dimension to the program. Indie Music Wave is a spin off of the original wave, and is designed for stations outside of Colorado. To date, more than 20,000 unsigned artists have appeared on these shows, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. The digital revolution has been a blessing for all independent artists, and that would include me. The Wave is now carried by more than 100 affiliate broadcasting platforms, which includes: Terrestrial and streaming stations, on demand, podcasts, mobile phone networks, and goes around the world to present, what I believe, is the best music found anywhere.
Another thing I do in conjunction with my shows is to host ‘Radio Airplay Workshops’ for unsigned bands. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. If I can get an entire show on multiple stations, then any band should be able to get one song on a lot of stations.
There’s nothing I love more than producing a great radio show. It's a fact. I was born to wave. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.