Here's a promotional album that's not the least bit safe for work, unless you happen to be a radio program director at the end of the swinging 70s.
Texas-based TM Productions, responsible for ratings-boosting radio imaging packages for Chicago's WIND and San Diego's KFMB, put together this album as a calling card to promote their cutting-edge (by 1978 standards) services. To grab the attention of program directors, they created an original "drama," set in the year 1983. The story centers on struggling K9 Kiddie Radio as it prepares to launch a format change to Punk Country.
There's a gleeful, no-holds-barred quality to the comedy in the sketch, used no doubt in part to make sure nobody played it on the air. Even by 2007's liberal standards, you couldn't dream of airing this before midnight. The script and performances are tight, but the story jumps around a bit, and you'll need a listen or two to figure out who's who.
The opening narration succeeds in anticipating quite a few of the changes that have happened in radio even as the background music eerily anticipates Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack. Country legend Charlie Pride even turns up on an original song.
Today TM is a narrated series of demos and scoped airchecks showing their imaging campaigns at work. Listen with care and you'll hear the death of freeform radio by catchy jingle. Don't forget the importance of fusion and flow when it comes to making listeners tune in longer. Those jarring cuts between songs are murder on the old Arbitrons.
- Contributed by: Derek Gerry
Media: 33 1/3 RPM 12" LP
Album: Tomorrow Radio
Label: TM Productions, Inc.
Catalog: TMPG 001
Credits: Conceived by Jim Long and George Burns; Written by Jim Long, George Burns, Roy C. Applegate, and Ira Miller; Directed by Jim Long; The Players: Ira Miller, Louis Arquette, Royce Applegate, John Mayer, Garrett Graham, Jack Hines, Dave Verdery, Tony Richland, Charlie Van Dyke, Bob Wilson, Mike Harrison, Don Hagen, Bob Gaskins, Jim Long, and George Burns; Post-production editing, mixing, MOOG and special effects: Ken Justiss; Special sound effects: Ron Harris; Recorded at Watermark Studios Lost Angles, Engineer Lee Hansen, and TM Productions Studios A&B, Engineer Danny Peterson; Original Music: Otis Conner and Bob Piper; Vocals: The TM Singers, Otis Conner, Charlie Pride