Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Solving problems

Well, there's so much to do and sort. I never realised how much work it would take to get the station up and running.

A major challenge we've had is the fact that we're nearly 4 miles from our nearest exchange. It's caused no end of problems keeping the station online during peak periods of the day during the test phase, but we're starting to overcome that through different strategies and planning.

We confirmed another presenter last night and so we're slowly filling the schedule. That's harder to do than I thought it would be. We're aiming to get great shows on board from lots of genres, however including the right presenter is proving more of a problem. I have to admit to being fussy about who we have doing shows on the station. But then again, I'm a bit like that in all things. All I can promise is that we'll have the best we can get.

We're working on the imaging for the station all the time. It's all about being feel-good to me. I want a station that you'll want to listen to because of how it makes you feel. We've got plenty of ideas, but they're going to take money to put in place so that's another area we've got to look at. This station isn't going to be a hobby. It's going to be where I dedicate my time and I'll need to make a living out of it.

I have big plans for where I want this station to go - after all, what's the point in putting effort into it if you don't want to get somewhere?

So sponsorship is another area we're looking at. It would be excellent to be able to raise some support to help the station in it's early stages. There's no doubt, I'm not afraid of hard work and am happy to do plenty of that, and having support behind you certainly would allow us to push on with our plans.

You see, for us, it's more than a radio station, it's about a feeling, and one we want to pass on to others. It's mighty hard out there in the real world for many people, and we'd like to think that people can tune into us to be uplifted and be given a reason to feel better.

There's no doubt, that getting this station up and running will be an all-consuming desire over the next few months - after that, getting us into your consciousness will be our next task as we continue to try and make Smile 101 part of your life!

It's all go....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cliff Banned!




And so another station says they'll not be playing Sir Cliff on their 60s station because he's not 'cool' enough.

It baffles me how one of this country's most celebrated artists is once again given the cold shoulder. I can only assume it's because of his religious beliefs and as we entered the 90s' and 00's he brought out a few religious singles.

Admittedly, they didn't do anything for me, but I'm confused at how you can block out such an important musical figure from and oldies station in the UK.

I don't like Abba - can't help it, I don't. But it's never stopped me playing their music at a disco and it won't stop me playing them on Smile 101. If the audience like them, who am I to argue?

I fully understand the fact that they've decided he doesn't fit their demographic. I'm sure there's music on Smile 101 I won't play. But surely narrowing their choice of artists to those that they consider cool and trendy, will only cut down on their audience.

I'm keen to play as many different songs on the station as we can. To give the listeners variety, and no doubt I'll be accused of not playing certain  classic artists. Smile 101 is about feel good, and so artists that haven't played what could be thought of as feel good music won't be played.

However, I just think Cliff isn't cool because of his religious views and his goodie goodie image. Sorry, for me it's about his music, and whether I like it or not is irrelevant - he was a pioneer in the UK and therefore he should be in the playlist.

Just my opinion....

Monday, 14 November 2011

Update time!

Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks - I made the decision, and we're well on the way to having our station launched.

Smile 101 will kick off early in the New Year - I'm not rushing it as I want to get it right before we launch.
The web site is up and running - a facebook page is in place, the logo has been designed, and now I'm testing the stream. You can check the stream here and see what you think.

So lots of things are going on.

We've started the search for presenters. Some have already agreed to join the line up and we'll continue looking until I find a varied selection of shows to keep our listeners entertained.

All we really need to do now is to get some sponsorship to help cover costs, some advertising to bring some money in and some promotion to bring in the listeners.

Now when I say it quickly, it sounds like we're almost there.......

Monday, 17 October 2011

To start a station or not?

I've been thinking over the weekend about whether to start a net station or not. It's been something I've never really wanted to do, but I've been thinking about it and the proposition is becoming more attractive.

But not because of the station so much as the bolt-ons that I believe I could add which would make it more of an all-round project where some of the extras could make it a money earning enterprise.

The station would of course be the hub of things, but it would take a lot of extra work to make it viable.

I already have some things that could be adapted in order to make them fit into my plans and so it's certainly something that I think could fly, and eventually even down to paying presenters for shows (Which would be a novelty!).

However it has to start from the station itself. To hit the ground running it is going to need great shows, first and foremost. Now I've taken a big step back and looked at other stations and have decided that I don't want a specific type station - we already have more soul stations than enough. An oldies station could fit the bill, but I think that in order to succeed you have to take a look at conventional radio programming and how a day is built show-wise.

Also important is the demographic of the listeners you're looking to attract. The 'What's in it for me?' factor - well, that's what I call it anyway - the 'me' being the listener.

After all, if they're already listening to radio, I need to find out what is going to drag them from where they're listening already.

I understand that being a net station does to a certain extent leave you dangling a bit as a lot of listening is done in cars, so having an app that can make the station accessible to a smart phone will be important.

I also feel that getting the daytime programming right is so important. And that's an area that has to be addressed straight away.

One things for sure, if I decide to go ahead with it, there's gonna be a lot of research done, and some great presenters found before we go live. There's certainly no chance of me looking to put a new station on air this side of the New Year.

I've already fleshed out how I would want the schedule to look - and it certainly wouldn't  be a case of filling the schedule with anything just to get it filled up. I have an idea of how I'd want the day to flow and  so it's a case that I'd need to find the right show to fill the right slot.

One thing's for sure I have no intention of doing this if I'm not committed to doing it properly and making it a success.

Plenty to think about...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Keep on Keepin' on.....

There are times when you're striving for a goal, that you feel disheartened. When things happen that you have no control over, but nonetheless pull you down.

It happens to anyone who's trying to achieve, athletes, business people, students, all are prone to days of, not so much self doubt, but wondering where the next 'break' is going to come from.

It doesn't matter how much, and how hard you work, somehow, every now and again, it happens.

It's nice when you have a coach to help you through these times, but when you're on your own and trying to make something happen, it can be hard to pull yourself around.

I've just been going through two days of this since I found out something a couple of evenings ago that made me realise that I've been daft enough to forget that there are some two-faced people out there who are nice to your face but in reality aren't as nice as you'd like to believe.

I'm one of those people who sees the best in people until they prove me wrong, and unfortunately, I've come to the realisation that perhaps it's time I need to go down a different route to achieve my goals, as I'm the square peg trying to fit in a round hole in certain areas. Shame they couldn't be upfront and honest.

But do you know what? I'll be down for a few days, and I'll pick myself up and start all over again, because I'm bigger that the small minded people that don't want me to achieve. I should have remembered that narrow-minded people are never gonna change even when confronted with truths!

Why is it that some people want you to achieve, but not more than them? It would be different if they were willing to work as hard at it than me, but they don't want to do that. So to them I say this - 'Sit on the sidelines and watch!'

I'm proud to have achieved what I have so far, but this is only the beginning. I'm not doing what I'm doing because I want to be a big shot. It's because I've wanted to do it since I was a kid.

I'm not gonna stop - I have a right to go after my goals, and what's more, one way or other I'll get there.

I'll leave you with what keeps me going.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

David Ruffin - Walk Away From Love - Music Video

David Ruffin, for all his flaws was an excellent singer, from his days in The Temptations to his solo career, his voice was unique and easy to recognize. 

It's hard to believe that here in the UK, 'Walk Away From Love' was his only hit! It spent 10 weeks in the charts peaking at #8.

David Ruffin's input to The Temptations was immense and certainly a major factor to it being their most successful line up. It's a shame that his frailties meant that he never achieved all he could have done, dying at just 50 on the 1st June 1991.

You can hear David on today's Sunday Shake Up Show - check it out at www.ontheradio.info.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Georgie Fame In Concert Cambridge

I can't wait to see Georgie Fame in concert tomorrow night - an absolute legend who's been performing for nearly 50 years! I've been playing his songs for as long as I can remember.


And what's more - he's our featured artist in the next issue of the 'Pure Grooves' magazine which is out on Monday!

I'm sure I'll be telling you more about his concert in the coming weeks!

A song for Saturday - Stevie Wonder 'Masterblaster' Listen & See

I thought it might be an idea to every now and again, just spotlight a song that I love and share it with you. So to start it all, I'm gonna let you hear one you already know, but maybe haven't heard for a while - Stevie Wonder's Masterblaster.

It came from his 1980 album, 'Hotter Than July' and was the first single to be released from it, and it did very well, reaching #2 in the UK charts.

It's basically a song about Bob Marley, whom he'd been on tour with and had used as an opening act on the tour. It also of course, has the line 'Hotter Than July' in the lyric.

It was a massive song in the clubs at the time and is certainly a feel good song.

It was released on Motown Records in September 1980, and was followed up by 'I Ain't Gonna Stand For It' as the next single.

Enjoy

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

As one era ends, a new one begins

So it’s goodbye ‘Flashback’, hello ‘Random Records’.



Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating ‘Flashback’s’ first birthday, and I didn’t envision ended the series of shows.

However, as you know, I’m always lookiing to improve my radio shows and to bring you a better product.

In fact, I suppose my tagline could be ‘Striving to do better, daring to be different’.

And the truth is, I’ve been looking to do a show that is different to most of what’s out there.

And a couple of week’s ago, I was going to have a night just playing random records. It’s always been something that I do.

This time however, I decided to go on air and do it as a show to see what others thought.

From the minute I decided to do it, I went online, let people know what I was going to do, and starting the show, it was around 10 minutes.

And so ‘Random Records’ went on air for the first time, with no format, no preparation and no playlist. I made it up as I went along, and people made requests as well.

The only proviso, was that if they wanted a request, they had to give me a memory to go with the song they wanted to play.

Apart from that I just played different songs from different genres and years.

The result was a 3 hour, one-off show.

The next day I posted it on my listen again site and the results were astounding. The numbers paralysed every other show!

So I thought I’d try it again. Last Tuesday I did show 2, this time for just two hours.

The result was again excellent. It was then I decided to make it part of my regular scheduling.

However, because of the time constraints I have, one show has to go in order to make way for it.

As it's like an oldies show, ‘Flashback’ would be the one to fall by the wayside.

Whilst ‘Flashback’ has decent listening figures, ‘Random Records’ was beating it by 5/1.

And so, the situation is that I shall do two more ‘Flashback’ shows, so that the stations that take it have time to rearrange their schedules.

I’m going to carry on doing the ‘Random Records’ show and that will then replace ‘Flashback’.

In regard to ‘Random Records’, we’re also going to include a novel feature to the show as well, which will go hand in hand with the randomness of the show.

We’re going to give listeners the opportunity to pick a song from the ‘Pot-Luck Jukebox’.

I’ve assigned 20,000 songs to it and each song has an identify-ing code number.

What the listener will need to do is choose tow numbers.

The first number will need to be between 1 and 20.

The second number will need to be between 1-1000.

Once I have the chosen numbers, I’ll look them up and the song that corresponds with the numbers will be played.

I’ve a feeling we’re going to get some songs played that otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance.

Also, to make sure people don’t keep requesting the same song when they find one they like, and to keep it more random, each week, I’m gonna shuffle the juke box and so the same number may bring up a completely different song.

I’m hoping that this will make the show more interactive, and also a lot of fun.

Like I say in my tagline, ‘Striving to do better, daring to be different’.

Till next time...

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Random Records Novelty or not?


So, did you hear the show? If not, let me tell you about it.

Last Tuesday, I'd finished recording my Pure Grooves show and was at a bit of a loss for something to do. I'm not a great TV watcher - in fact, I've not even got a freeview box plugged into it, so I only watch DVDs.

As I didn't fancy watching a DVD, I thought I'd just have a play of some records. What generally happens when I do this is that I start off with one song and just go on from there picking and playing whatever I see that takes my fancy.

Anyway, for some reason I decided to do this on air, so I quickly went on mixlr and did a facebook invitation to let people know I was just going to go on air and to let them know what I was going to do.

10 minutes later, I was on-air, with a few people listening. Over the next three hours, I had more listeners join in and it became an enjoyable night, not only for me, but for those listening.

People listening joined me on my facebook page and we were chatting whilst I was doing the show. Then people started making requests. I decided that I would take a request, but only if they requested songs that brought back specific memories to them. For me that was the fun part.

In picking the songs, there were no rules other than I just fancied hearing the song. This meant that I was skipping from genre to genre, era to era and with an anything goes spirit.

I think it resulted in a pretty interesting playlist. And what's more, I'm pleased to say that many of the listeners did as well, it was nice to receive emails and messages from people saying how they enjoyed the concept of it.

This has led me to think more about this show. On checking my downloads for the week, this show has beat all of my other shows for listens. It makes me wonder whether this is the type of show that could just be different enough to make it something people would like to hear on a regular basis.

Too many shows these days (mine included) are too 'samey'. People know what they're gonna get before they tune in. To be fair that's great as people listen to what they like to hear.

However, I believe the Random Records show was a success for exactly the opposite reason. People didn't have a clue what I was going to play - come to think of it, neither did I.

It was a refreshing change to not spend time thinking about putting a show together, and I think this gave the show a freshness that Is missing from my other shows. A big plus of course is that it was done 'live' and I could have audience participation which is something I love.

Therefore, I'm going to be doing it again next week to see if it will hold up or whether it was a 'flash in the pan'. If it holds up, there's a good chance that I'd make it a regular show.

In order to do that though, something would have to give. I would have to drop one of my regular shows to make way for it. I would imagine the show that would have to go would be 'Flashback'.

Firstly, as the name of the new show implies, the songs I'm playing come from the era of records, so it's an oldies show of sorts. As Flashback is an oldies show, it makes sense that would be the one to go.

The other reason is that 'Flashback' is only an hour. If I made the new show a 2 hour show, it would be more enticing for stations to take.

But that's all in the future, we'll have to see what happens next time. I can't help but think that this show is going to be a success. Mainly because of the mix of music I'll be playing. It'll appeal to those who don't want to hear just one type of music. And it'll be great for those who like a bit of nostalgia, but don't mind hearing the odd album track, or one that slipped by the charts.

We'll have to see. In the meantime, if you haven't heard the show:

Here's the link to the show:
 http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/entry/2011-09-14T00_02_41-07_00

Here's the playlist:
1 Rupert Holmes - Escape (Pina Colada)
2 Michel Legrand - Come Ray & Come Charles
3 Kim Weston - Just Loving You
4 Annie Lennox - Walking On Broken Glass
5 Andrew Gold - Never Let Her Slip Away
6 Beatles - Kansas City
7 James Taylor - Little More Time With You
8 George Benson - What's On Your Mind
9 Drifters (The) - On Broadway
10 Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side
11 Art Blakey - Moanin'
12 Jigsaw - Sky High
13 Joe Brown - Jellied Eels
14 Robert John - Sad Eyes
15 Baccara - Yes Sir I Can Boogie
16 Mamas & The Papas - Creeque Alley
17 Sheb Wooley - Purple People Eater
11 Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Crypt Kicker 5 - Monster Mash
12 10cc - Rubber Bullets
13 Heatwave - Posin' Til' Closin'
14 TV Theme - I Dream Of Jeannie
15 Patsy Cline - Just Out Of Reach
16 Brenda Lee - Wee Wee Willie
17 Jennifer Paige - Crush
18 Ella Fitzgerald - Desafinado
19 Pointer Sisters (The) - Yes We Can Can
20 Lisa Stansfield - All Around The World
21 Georgie Fame - Yeh Yeh
22 Donnie Elbert - Without You
23 Toni Basil - Mickey
24 Elton John - Writing
25 Sam Cooke - That's It - I Quit - I'm Movin' On
26 Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Spanish Flea
27 Diana Ross - Last Time I Saw Him
28 Mar-Keys (The) - Last Night
29 M - Pop Musik
30 LaVerne Baker - Jim Dandy
31 Carole Bayer Sager - You're Moving Out Today
32 Louis Prima - My Cucuzza
33 Cab Calloway - Minnie The Moocher
34 Dean Martin - That's Amore
35 Ray Charles & Blues Brothers - Shake Your Tailfeather
36 George Formby - When I'm Cleaning Windows
37 Bobby Helms - Jacqueline
38 Animals - House Of The Rising Sun
39 Elvis Presley - GI Blues
40 Chicory Tip - Son Of My Father
41 Jimmy Young - Man From Laramie
42 Stevie Wonder - Yester-me Yester-you Yesterday
43 Patsy Cline - Crazy
44 Zu Zu Blues Band (The) - Zu Zu Man
45 Carole King - It Might As Well Rain Until September
46 Gilbert O'Sullivan - No Matter How I Try
47 Cockney Rebel - Here Comes The Sun
48 Al Green - Let's Stay Together
49 Paul Davidson - Midnight Rider
50 Don McLean - American Pie
51 Steely Dan - Rikki Don't Lose That Number
52 Dickie Valentine - King Of Dixieland

Let me know what you think of the show.

By the way, if you want to know when the next one is going out, 'like' my facebook page, because that's where I'll be posting the time and day the shows happening again.




Sunday, 11 September 2011

An open letter to one and all

Do your remember where you were 10 years ago today? I know I can remember where I was - and today is a poignant day for many people. I know for the past week or so I've thought about those poor people who went to work that morning, not knowing it would be their last day. And wondered that if they'd known their lives would end that day, would they have done anything different leading up to it.

Henry David Thoreau wrote 'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation' and I think I have to count myself in that number. I've said to my self many times over my adult life 'There has to be more to life than this', but I've never resigned myself for putting up with what life chucks at me.

And so I've decided that today, on the anniversary of 9/11, I want to make a state of intent, and each of you that read this are more than welcome to watch and make sure that I do it.

But before I do, I just want to preface it with a little background.

I've loved music for as long as I can remember, and I've been told I've been drawn to it from the minute I first opened my eyes. I've collected music from the year dot, and I've got more memories because of my music than anything else.

The memory that doesn't go away is the one that as maybe an 11 year old deciding I wanted to do radio as a career. I like many listened to Tony Blackburn, Dave Lee Travis, Noel Edmonds, Johnny Walker and loads of other DJs, and all I wanted to do was play music as a way of earning a living.

But like many of us, life got in the way and we ended up drifting off to different careers, and the dreams we had as children got packed away and left to gather dust.

I've always had music in whatever I've done from my beginnings in a fairground family, through to when I sold records as a market trader, my DJing and so on.

By the 1990s, I was rarely listening to radio anymore, because it all sounded the same to me and so I drifted further from my dream.

Then one night in 2008, I was surfing the web and came across a podcast radio show done by a guy called Don Roberts in Canada, and in the space of 65 minutes, I was hooked all over again. Over a period of months, I got into an ongoing conversation with Don via email  and he sparked my desire to a radio show. With the birth of the internet, it was now possible to do my own show. And so on January 12th 2009, I sat down to record my first podcast.

It was to be a radio show to send out to clients of my disco and to replace a newsletter. Within a couple of months it had developed into a radio show online and now it's just over 2 and a half years later, and I've done around 800 shows.

For months I've been banging on about how I want to make a living from radio and I've been sending off demos to stations and getting the same old reply that I don't fit their format as the style of DJ they require.

At the same time I've had people telling me that terrestrial radio is dying and there's no money to be made from it.

So here's my statement of intent - I am going to make a living out of radio. And make good, enjoyable shows as well. I'm not totally sure how yet, but the decision has been made - now I just have to devise and work a plan.

Many of you will know I don't praise myself up too much, but after thinking long and hard about it this week, I've come to the decision that because I may not fit format radio, it doesn't mean I'm no good.

Here's a fact  - I've got listeners to my 4 radio shows on the net in 59 countries. I've got groups on facebook and had  groups that had around 3000 people in them. And do you know what? Whilst I listen to my shows and pull them to pieces critically, I've just listened to this week's shows and come to the decision that I believe they're very good.

I'm still a baby in radio terms, and I know I still have loads to learn, but that's OK, I'm like a sponge and I'll soak up what I need to learn.

I was 48 before I had this opportunity, and I'm going to grab onto it with both hands and I'm not going to let go till I achieve my dream. I was 11 when I packed it away, and I've now got that dream back out, and I'm not going to let anyone steal it from me again.

If you're on facebook, you'll know that I am no longer going to be posting my shows on my personal group. The 'On The Radio with James Murphy' page is now my main point for my radio shows. There is a web page to support that.  I will no longer be using the 'Very Old, Very Bald, James Murphy page to promote shows'.

So here's what I'd love you to do. If you listen to my shows, haven't listened for a while, or never listened, go along to the  'On The Radio with James Murphy' page and 'like' it. On my web site there is a mailing list form - please go and join it.

Then take a listen to the shows. Don't worry if you're not a soul fan, part of my ongoing growth is that I'm going to be producing and presenting different types of shows. I believe my strength is in the fact that I'm an all-rounder and I want to have some fun along the way.

If you like the shows, please tell your friends, post links on facebook and twitter, and become part of my thinktank and support team. If you've got any comments, constructive criticism and thoughts, let me know.

If you don't like my shows, don't like me, think that I'm a mouthy git, and generally couldn't care less, that's fine. If you don't think I can do this, more power to you.

But you know what - you can watch and tell me I can't do it - but you can't affect me.

To those of you that support me, you know how much I appreciate it. Anything you can do to help will never be forgotten. All I'll promise you is that I'll be giving it my best shot - I want to produce shows that people love and can't wait to hear.

A line in the sand has been drawn, and I won't be going back over it.  This is my dream, I'm going to achieve it, and I would love to have you along for the ride. It's going to be exciting, frustrating, heartbreaking at times, but ultimately what I want to do with my life.

Anyone coming on the ride with me?

All the best

James

Friday, 9 September 2011

Boredom.....what do you do?


It's just been one of those days - all my shows for this week are sorted, the magazine is awaiting one page and that will be ready for publication this week, I've wriiten off applications for radio jobs, sorted the new music I've bought and got it ready to go on my disco computer.

I just feel like there's something I could be doing, but for the life of me, I don't know what it is!

So what do you do? Well, I've spent most of the afternoon, surfing the web looking for stuff to stimulate me - I've listened to various Radio shows, both from the UK and abroad, and at the same time I've been reading some online radio related websites.

I suppose it's what happens, when someone who's as goal oriented as me hasn't got too much to do.

I must say it's quite unusual and perhaps I should do as a facebook friend suggested, chill out and grab a beer. But I find it hard to relax, especially when I'm on a mission of sorts.

I think the problem is that when I find myself at a loose end, I get frustrated with myself, because I feel like I'm wasting time and that I could be doing something to help me on my journey to achieving.

Perhaps my problem is that I actually need to take a break to re-charge my batteries - however, I'm not really good at that either.

It's a bit of a conundrum don't you think?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Will He? Won't He? Request Show

As I said last week, I've been feeling it's time to have a bit of fun with my shows. To that end, I've had this idea floating around in my head.

I love doing my shows, and I think they'd be even better with more audience participation. As you know, I've been doing Requestfests for a few years now, and have been thinking to myself it would be great to say 'No' when I got a request I didn't feel like playing.

With that in mind, I thought about doing a request show, but with a difference. Listeners would make the request, but if I didn't want to play it, I wouldn't, and I name them and play that game show bleep that we've all heard on 'Family Fortunes'.

Like most people, on different days, I like to hear different thing, so if I did that, a song could be requested one week and I'd play it, but in another show I may not.

So, in effect, it would be a game of 'see if you can guess what James will  play.' It could end up quite a novel show if listeners got involved.

Obviously, I'd have to do the show live - something I've not had chance to do lately.

So anyway, I thought I'd better give it a trial run and see if it would work. And so this morning I did the show. I have to say I really enjoyed doing it - we had a fair few requests and I refused a few as well.

Hopefully the listeners enjoyed being part of the show.


Here's the link: http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/entry/2011-09-07T06_05_23-07_00


Here's the playlist:
1 Beatles - Good Morning Good Morning
2 Perry & The Harmonics - Do The Monkey With James
3 Boz Scaggs - What Can I Say
4 Cheryl Lynn - Encore
5 Jackson 5 (The) - Looking Through The Window
6 Justin Timberlake - Love Stoned (I Think She Knows)
7 Gloria Gaynor - This Love Affair
8 Earth Wind & Fire - Got To Get You Into My Life
9 BB&Q Band - On The Beat
10 Gene Chandler - Let Me Make Love To You
11 Caro Emerald - That Man
12 Odyssey - Native New Yorker
13 Donell Jones - U Know What's Up
14 Kylie Minogue - Word Is Out (Summer Breeze Mix)
15 Jennifer Lopez - Let's Get Loud
16 Elvis Presley - Tonight Is So Right For Love
17 Buddy Holly - Rave On
18 Los Del Rio - Macarena
19 Roy Ayers - Love Will Bring Us Back Together
20 Isaac Hayes - Zeke The Freak
21 Band AKA - Joy
22 Roxy 5000 - Love Like A lady
23 Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau
24 Junior - Oh Louise
25 Dandy Livingstone - Suzanne Beware Of The Devil
26 Champs - Tequila
27 Paulette Reeves - Jazz Freak
28 Goldie Alexander - Go Back
29 MFSB - K-Jee
30 Cuban Ize - African Message
31 Carly Simon - You're So Vain
32 Barry White - Honey Please Can't You See
33 Fortunes (The) - Storm In A Teacup
34 Dobie Gray - In Crowd
35 Locksmith - Unlock The Funk
36 Fine Young Cannibals - Good Thing
37 Little Eva - Locomotion
38 Mascara - See You In LA-Jet Plane Ride
39 Neo - Smile
40 Don E - Love Makes The World Go Round
41 Soul Bros Inc - Pyramid
42 Raw Silk - Do It To The Music
43 Norah Jones - Don't Know Why
44 Four Seasons (The) - Save It For Me
45 Jackie Wilson - Baby Workout
46 Tavares - Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel
47 Earth Wind & Fire - Brazilian Rhyme

To hear my recent shows, go to http://wwwjamesmurphy.podomatic.com

It would be great to do it again and get a more varied bunch of requests. But that's up to the listeners.

Anyway, have a listen and let me know what you think.

Till next time

Friday, 2 September 2011

Internet stations


So I was thinking about radio stations the other day and wondering if they adequately serve their listenership. And I suppose they do. I think the problem is that I don't fit the demographic.

I've always erred from starting up my own radio station as I've never really wanted the hassle of it, but I have to admit I'm started to get tempted by the idea.

But he truth is I've always been promoting me as a brand - that way, people who like my shows know what to expect. By starting a station it would mean that I then have to look at taking other shows. Being me, I wouldn't want to just be one genre of station as I like to be across the board.

And I've not achieved what I want to yet, and I think I still have so much to learn as a presenter. The other thing is with me that I'm incredibly picky. As with everything I try to do, I want it to be the best that it can be. And running a station would entail me taking in other people's shows. Which would entail me hunting to find the shows I want to put on the station - the trouble is, it'd end up as Saga Radio - music for the over 50s!

My listener demographic is aged between 35 - 55. 35% Female and 65% Male - I do have listeners in the younger age groups - but they amount to only 7% of my total listenership.

I would imagine that for the most part, my listeners enjoy the soul related music the most, however there is so much more that I would like to both play and hear personally.

I make no apologies for promoting myself - after all, if I don't, who will? The problem I could see is that I'd end up on air all the time trying out different shows, and I'm not sure that would help - after all no-one wants to hear me all the time.

The one thing an online radio station that targets a certain demographic would do, is to target it in such a way that I could try to earn an income from it.

Everyone keeps telling me there's no money in radio, but over the last few months, I've been doing extensive research, and I'm not so sure they're right.

There are several niche markets that could be profitable - after all I'm not talking about earning silly amounts of money - I just want to earn a sensible wage from it.

But the other thing that always drives me is that I read somewhere a long time ago a quote that went along the lines of - Observe the masses and do the opposite - and another that said if everyone's agreeing with you then don't do it!

And the other thing is that I really want to be successful in radio - and if there isn't a market available to me at the moment, then I need to create one.

I'm nothing, if not a persistent person, and I feel that there's a place for me in radio - and please don't think I'm a big headed, know all. I'm not. I'm just someone who has a desire to achieve something.

And besides.... I'd rather die trying that give up and regret the decision for the rest of my life.

I'm by no means the finished item where presenting is concerned, but the fact that I have listeners in 58 countries and territories, tells me that I can't be that bad either.

The over-riding thought at the moment though, is that I may just have to create my own path to earning a living from radio - it may be a station, it may be a listening club, I don't know what quite yet.

But you can be sure, one way or another, I will find a way to do it.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Remembering....The Bullworker


I was laying in bed this morning, thinking about stuff to talk about in my radio shows, when I had this flashback to when I was a kid.

Do you remember the 'Bullworker'?


Well, my Dad had one. He was into Karate at the time, and I suppose he used it to build muscle (I can't remember as I couldn't have been more that 10 at the time).

Anyway, being only 10, I couldn't do the excercises, that you were meant to do with it because I wasn't strong enough. But I did try to do my own thing with it. I used to stand it on the floor, and push down from the top. At the time, I reckon the 'Bullworker' probably came up to my chest, so it was still hard for me to push it down.

Well, this one particular day, I'd sneaked it out of my Dad's bedroom, and had taken it into mine. As I was going through my routine of pushing it down, I heard Mum call me for tea.

Now before I carry on, I want to remind you I was only 10, and I wasn't quite as wise as I am now. But I did like my food as much as I do  these days!

Anyway, when Mum called me, I shouted back, 'On my way', and made the big mistake of letting it go before coming back up.

The next thing I knew, I was laid flat on my back and my chin hurt like hell. The bloody thing had so much pressure in it, the minute I took my hands off it, it shot back up and hit me!

I can remember my lot taking every opportunity to tell everyone they knew about it for weeks!

Till next time....

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Revisiting the past

I've been at a bit of a loose end this evening and I thought I'd revisit some of my earlier shows and listen to them again.

I started off playing the recent "Naughty But Nice" show I did, and found myself singing along to the shows and having a great time.

After that I took a show from 19th November 2009 - it was a 'Pure Grooves' 70s Soul Special show.

And there's some cracking music on it. After speaking to one of my listener's who wasn't a listener to my shows back then, I've decided I'm going to re-post the show so that people can have a listen.

These days I record all my shows as they are syndicated and so it's nice hearing one of my old live shows.

So in advance of re-running the show...

Here's the playlist:

1 First Choice - Armed & Extremely Dangerous
2 Chairman Of The Board - Everything's Tuesday
3 Barrett Strong - Man Up In The Sky
4 O'Jays - I Love Music
5 Leroy Hutson - They Got Love
6 Jnr Walker & The All Stars - Take Me Girl I'm Ready
7 Main Ingredient - Everybody Plays The Fool
8 Fantastics - Something Old Something New
9 Garland Green - Ain't That Good Enough
10 Barry White - Never Never Gonna Give You Up
11 Len Boone - Love Won't Be Denied
12 Isley Brothers - Harvest For The World
13 Johnny 'Guitar' Watson - I Need It
14 Ronnie Dyson - When You Get Right Down To It
15 Aretha Franklin - Until You Come Back To Me
16 J Blackfoot - Taxi
17 Gloria Scott - Case Of Too Much Lovemaking
18 Bobby Womack - I Don't Wanna Be Hurt By Ya Love Again
19 Loleatta Holloway - Casanova
20 Raydio - Jack & Jill
21 Emotions - Best Of My Love
22 Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Bless You
23 Al Green - Call Me
24 Johnny Bristol - Do It To My Mind
25 Holland Dozier Holland - Don't Leave Me Starving For Your Love
26 Stevie Wonder - You Haven't Done Nothin'
27 Marvin Gaye - Come Live With Me Angel
28 Brenda & The Tabulations - I Love You For All Seasons
29 Archie Bell & The Drells - I Could Dance All Night
30 Tavares - Never Had A Love Like This Before
31 Teddy Pendergrass - Come Go With Me
32 Detroit Spinners - Ghetto Child
33 David Ruffin - Until We Said Goodbye

While I think about it, don't forget that the Flashback show is a year old in 2 weeks, so if you'd like to leave a voice message to be played in the birthday show, email me your mp3 to jclmurphy@aol.com.

If you'd like a request played in the show, go to www.ontheradio.info and leave your message and request in the guestbook

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Looking to the weekend

On Saturday, I'm playing at the 2nd Woodlands Charity All Dayer at the Woodlands Hotel, Haverhill. It's in aid of Help For Heroes.

I played at the first event last year, but as I needed to get away early last years I was first on the bill. This time I'm not sure when I'm playing, all I know is that I'm looking forward to it. On the decks as well that day is my fellow Solar Radio DJ, Ash Selector - it's looking to be a great day out. Starting at mid-day it's a full 12 hours with some quality DJs plying their trade.

I've been trying to decide what I fancy playing on Saturday, and it's a toss up as to whether I'll play a classic set or go for something a bit different, playing some newer songs or some remixes of some better known songs, or maybe even doing a latin jazz set.

There have been some great records out over the last 18 months or so, that I never really get chance to play out, like Sunlightsquare Latin Combo's 'I Believe In Miracles' ot Fab Samperi's 'Listen Up' that I really fancy giving a spin as well as Cuban Ize's mash up of 'African Message' which is a mash up of 'African Rhythms' and 'The Message'.

But then there are songs that I love to play like 'Mr Magician' or 'Get On Up' - the trouble is people know I like them and may be sick of me playing them.

One thing's for sure though, my set wil be dictated by what's been played by the DJ before me. So truth be told, I really don't have a clue what I'll be playing on the day!

All I know is I've got my mind on 40-50 songs that could get chucked into the mix - and to be honest... I can't wait!

It's going to be a great day, so if you've got a chance to be there, do it! 12 hours of great music... and for a good cause too. On top of that, I'll have chance to meet YOU!

See you there...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Friday Night Out....

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to do a new show - and it made me think about another type of show.

With three shows already, I wanted to do something a little different to what I was already doing, but something that fitted the mould of the types of show I like to do.

The show was going to be going out at 9pm on a Friday, an ideal party time and I'd had this idea for a show buzzing about in my head for a while. And so James Murphy's Friday Night Out was born.

It's not aimed at the afficionado - it's aimed at people who just want some great feel good music that helps them get into a party mood.

Unlike my Pure Grooves show, it's not the type of show that's going to delve deep to play songs that only dedicated followers will like, it's more along the lines of a show that's got songs most people will know and love, and it won't be aimed at just the soul lover, it has songs from a variety of genres. They only thing is that it has to be a song that's going to leave you wanting to have a boogie.

I wanted this show to be for the widest range of people who just want to have a good time. And from the results of the first three week's listen again and download links, it's struck a chord, as the numbers are in front of my three other shows.

But then again, what's not to like? 2 hours of songs that will get you in the mood to have a good time. Songs you can sing out loud to and have a shuffle around the room to.

I have the feeling that this show could become my most popular one over the long run.

Although I'm only playing songs from the 70s and 80s in the show, there's so much to choose from.

It also made me think about today's music. I know some people will say it's because I'm getting old that I think today's music is not great, but that isn't the truth.

I just don't think that the amount of quality music is about anymore. When I look back to the disco era for example, I can remember that each week there was a whole heap of great records coming out. I know this because even back then I was spending over £30 a week on records.

The proof is that today, over 30 years on, people are still requesting those great songs. I did a wedding last weekend and there was a young lad, 21 years old who came up to me and said he loved the music I was playing. He basically said he's not heard anything new that compared with the songs from the disco era.

And he's right. I've been buying all the chart entries each week for years, and I've noticed that after six months, I can look at the recent songs, and can't remember over half of them, and after a year, can only remember around 10%.

I think it's because music today has become so disposable. Once upon a time we had to go to a shop and spend good money on records, so we were more discerning in our tastes.

Nowadays,  it's easy to nip on limewire or one of hundreds of other sites and download anything and everything for free, and so people do . And because of that, people don't value it so much. I constantly get people come to me at discos and tell me they've got 100,000 tracks + on a hard drive that they've downloaded - most likely they don't even know 80% of what they've downloaded.

I can't imagine too many of today's songs will stand the test of time and still be getting people on a dancefloor in 20 years. It's such a shame. But I think it's definitely the case that music doesn't have the influence it used to have.

And so I'm glad to have the opportunity to play great songs week in, week out, from what were two of the best decades of music...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Another Rock 'n' Roll Tragedy

I have to say it came as no surprise to hear about the death of Amy Winehouse. I remember a few years ago, seeing  a website on which people were guessing the date she would die on, and there had always been a sense of inevitability that she would be one of those rock 'n' roll victims.


Two albums were her legacy, but I expect we'll see a new album with material that she'd recorded but not yet released. I remember hearing her for the first time back in 2004. "Help Yourself" was the first song I heard and thought it was brilliant. Listening the album "Frank" confirmed that she was indeed a great talent, and although people will say that "Back To Black" was the defining album, for me "Frank" was the album that will show the best of her talent.

Her personal life appears to have been a well reported mess, and I can only think that she was a flawed person, talented as an artist, but unfortunately, someone who made the wrong choices along the way and ultimately paid for it.

My favourite Amy Winehouse song? Me & Mr Jones. I would have played it to death on the radio had she not done what so many do these days and used the "f" word in the song. It's a song that's evocative of a bygone era and only went to show that she had a wealth of knowledge about music.

I have no doubt "Valerie" will continue to be a floorfiller at discos for a long time to come and will ensure that she'll hold a place in the history of popular music.

Amy Winehouse R.I.P.

You can't help think that it was such a waste though...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Catching up

Well it's been a busy week or so since I blogged last. Life seems to be running away from me at the moment as I've been a bit bogged down with so much to do - In the past fortnight, I've done 8 radio shows, 2 parties, 2 weddings and a requestfest as well as getting the Pure Grooves web magazine ready for publication.

I have to say though, it's been a fun fortnight. I've played in front of over 500 people, and added a brand new show to my list - and from the first results on my listen again/download site, it looks as though the show could be a winner. The first set of results for that week showed that the new show had 10% more listeners than any of my other shows, which is heartening.

The fact is, I wasn't looking to do another show, and it just came from an opportunity, which makes it all the more worthwhile. The fact is that now I'm doing three, two hour shows and an hour show a week. It's meant that I'm now having to be more organised in the way I do things. I've now set aside Sunday to put together the playlists for all the shows. I takes around the same amount of time to prepare for a show as it does to actually do it. It just means that I'll have to forego doing other stuff on a Sunday - but I believe that for everything you want to achieve, there is a price to pay, and losing a Sunday is the price I have to play to get to where I want to be.

I'm not going to give you the playlist for all the shows I've done since last time as you'll be here all night. However, here are the links for last week's shows:

Flashback:
http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/entry/2011-07-13T07_00_40-07_00 
Pure Grooves:
http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/entry/2011-07-15T02_00_41-07_00
James Murphy's Friday Night Out:
http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/entry/2011-07-16T00_00_44-07_00
Sunday Shake Up:
http://jamesmurphy.podomatic.c?om/entry/2011-07-16T23_00_42-0?7_00

Don't forget that you can listen to the shows from the player at my web site as well
http://www.ontheradio.info

Speaking of which, I've added a guestbook to the web site so that you can get in touch with me - it may be that you want a request, dedication or to contribute something to the show. It may be that you just want to say 'hi!'.

We have a competition running on the site to win a copy of the Soul Unsigned 2011 (Summer) Session album. We've got five to give away and you just need to answer one simple question to enter the competition. It closes on 31st July, so you have still got time to enter.

This week's Pure Grooves magazine has just been published and the featured artist is Aretha Franklin. As always, it's free to read so be sure to check it out - http://www.puregrooves.info

One final thing, if you're a friend of mine on facebook and are a member of any of my groups, I'm going to ask you to like my newest page - On The Radio with James Murphy - this is replacing the group that managed to get archived by facebook, which lost me in excess of 1600 members. I'm hoping to convert all the friends from all of my groups to this one so that I can streamline my social networking news - I realise some people are members of all my groups, and are receiving up to three emails from me each week and more postings if they in all three. Hopefully by doing this I can cut down on the amount of info I'm bombarding people with, making it less intrusive.

In an ideal world, I'd have everyone's email address and be able to send one email with all the information on it, but the way facebook works, it's unlikely I'm ever going to achieve that. As someone who really wants to achieve more in radio, it's important to me to have email addresses of people in the groups - I'm sure that when I lost the old OTR page, I also lost a lot of members who weren't personally friends on my profile page. That will mean they no longer will be able to follow what I'm doing.

That's also one of the reasons that I'm now trying to utilise my web site more. The more people coming through the website the easier it will be to keep they fed with information.

And finally what's in it for you? Well, I'm a great believer in the fact that you never stop learning, and I'm always looking at ways to do things better. Nowhere more so than in my radio shows. I'm looking to improve them and make them into the kind of shows that more and more people will want to hear. I'm doing ongoing research into what people want to hear from my shows, and I'm always going to try and improve them as bring you a better show.

In the couple of years I've been doing them, I'd like to think I've seen continual improvement, not only in my presentational style, but also the quality of the music I've been playing. My four shows are all different in their make up, and I'd like to think each show has it's own personality. My hope is that there is something of interest to people in the 30-65 year old age groups, who can't find what they want in mainstream radio. Time will tell how much I achieve.

Till next time...

Friday, 8 July 2011

I'm beginning to think I'm a trendsetter

I'm a great believer in trying to promote myself and get my name out into the arena. I don't see a problem with that. I think myself and Debz work very hard at it.

I mean, a free web magazine that takes around 30 hours to produce each issue. We maintain groups on facebook and are forever promoting my various Radio shows (now 4 a week) and other activities.

What annoys me somewhat are people who feel that they can hitch a ride. I've had a couple of people want me to put their radio shows in my magazine, but don't want to pay for the privilege of me advertising them. If they want to be in a magazine that much, they're more than welcome to start one as I did.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me to give their first event a shout out on air and possibly in the magazine. There was no clash of interests for me so I did as it was their first event. Well blow me down - they asked again this week! I don't mind doing a favour now and again, but I'm not too happy about being taken advantage of.

I've managed to get some CDs to give away in a competition which is on my web site and will be going in the next issue of the magazine. I posted the competition and what do you know some people have started making a comment about the CD and then plugging their own shows and events. If it's someone I know personally I don't mind so much, and if it's someone who's plugged anything of mine I don't mind, but I get annoyed when it's done by people I don't even know personally. They usually get deleted - although I think I'm going to have to start plugging my stuff on their pages and see how they like it.

And the newest one I've seen was this afternoon - I've been doing a Requestfest in Cambridge for around a year now and did them before I moved here from Weymouth, so it really winds me up when I see an event in Cambridge that's a Requestfest under a different name (and it's in a venue I used to play in).


I'm not upset at the fact it's a blatant copy of what I do, it's the lack of imagination - why can't people try to do something different?

I should be chuffed that so many people want to be associated with what I try and do - it's just a shame they're not willing to put in the amount of work to do what I'm trying to do.

People eh?

Till next time.....

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

So... how did I get on?



I think that just about covers it! I did my presentation yesterday it it seemed to go over well, and hopefully I answered their questions with enough information.

It only took around 10 minutes to cover what I felt needed to be said - they should have enough information to make a decision on how Social media can work for them. Was nice to see one or two even taking notes.

I've not mentioned it before, but my eldest son has been here to stay since last Wednesday. Today is his last full day before he goes back to Dorset tomorrow, so I'm going to take the rest of today off and we're off out, once he's ready.


So a short blog today, but I promise I'll do better next time.....

Sunday, 3 July 2011

OMG... I've got to do a presentation!

I've been in Cambridge for almost 18 months, and am still trying to build my reputation and network of people that know me in the city.

With that in mind, around a month ago I joined an executive networking group of business professionals to help in the process.

At the last meeting, we were discussing social media and how it can help with networking and in particular looking for work.

As many of my facebook friends will vouch, I am something of a self promoter, after all, like my Mum used to say, if you don't promote yourself, who's going to do it for you?

Well it was suggested that someone gives a presentation on Social Media and how it can aid you in work or business use, and they asked for a volunteer to do it. Guess who said they would?

Yes, you got it - gobby here!

''I'll do it'' I said. You could almost see the relief on other people's faces when they realised it wouldn't have to be them.

And so it gets to this morning, and, although I've thought about it through the week, I've only scribbled the odd thought down during the course of the last 10 days or so.

Well... I've got to do it tomorrow afternoon, and with nothing of note to talk about, I had to get up this morning and come up with a fairly brief presentation. How was I gonna do that? Luckily I had a flash of inspiration.

I've built my presentation around the following words:
What, Where, Who, How, Why and When

That gave me a framework to go on. And with the help of google, I've managed to come up with a 10 minute presentation that will cover the basics, and hopefully motivate some people to have a go.

How will it go? Lord only knows! I've read it back a few times and I think it should be OK.

I'll find out tomorrow!


Till next time...

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Life's peculiarities

It’s funny what can happen on a day to day basis.

Over the last few week’s myself and Debz Promo have been talking about what we could do to move my radio shows on.

We started talking about various things and ended up putting together the first stage of a gameplan to move onward with the radio shows, and to that end we started to put in place stage one.

Without going into too much detail, I want to create radio shows that people want to listen to and look forward to hearing. And with this all in mind, I have proceeded to do what I do whilst trying to improve on each show (not that I don’t try and do that already).

Also I have been spending time on the web site as well, trying to make that more user friendly and to add new features to that as well as putting a new player on the site to listen to the shows.

Then on Monday last week, having completed the recording of the ‘Flashback’ show, and having not too much to do that evening, I decided to do another of the live one-off theme shows I’ve done of late.

I mentioned on facebook that I was going to do a show and that I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do, and one of my listeners, Keith Doxey came up with the theme of ‘Summer Breeze’, aimed at getting the feel of those summers gone by and the songs that remind us of summer and summer holidays as well.

That seemed like a great idea to me, so I quickly found a few songs that would fit the theme and proceeded to start the show. I got some requests in as well which helped to fill in the playlist as the show progressed.

Another listener, who happens to be a presenter as well, said that he thought my show should be going out on FM in-stead of on the net. I told him that would be great if anyone wanted to take it.

He then told me he’d email the owner of an FM station he has a show on and try and get him to check the show out. And he came up trumps. Within 15 minutes the owner of the station messaged me to say he was listening to the show.

He listened to the show for a while and then asked if I’d be interested in doing a show on his station ACE FM in Spain. Absolutely! We chatted about a time slot and what sort of show he’d like me to do. I gave him an idea for a show I’d like to do, and he agreed to let me run with it.

And so, from Friday 8th July, I’ll be presenting James Murphy’s Friday Night Out.

I have to thank Lee Vincent (the other presenter) for taking the time and effort to email the station owner on my behalf.

Sometimes, when you decide it’s time to move on, things start to fall into place.

Consider what happened - I didn't have much to do that evening, so decided to do a show. A listener came up with a theme which I liked. Another listener thought the show was good and put me in touch with someone who runs a station. That person, tuned in, and because of those few things, I now have a new show on an FM station in Spain.

But it’s so true what people have told me in the past. You can’t do it all yourself and you need help along the way. But you have to help yourself.

I helped myself by deciding to do a live show when I could have done something else. Keith helped by coming up with a theme. Lee helped by emailing somebody for me, and because I played some great requests (chosen by others), I now have a new opportunity opening up.

I’m not sure I believe in fate, but had not one of those little steps along the way happened, then I wouldn’t be looking forward to a new show.


Like I said at the beginning, it’s funny what can happen on a day to day basis.


Till next time...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

So, you need to book a DJ

Now you're having a function and looking for a Disco and a DJ for your entertainment. It's not something you do on a regular basis and you're not sure what you should be looking for, after all, discos are all the same aren't they?

Choosing a DJ for your function is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure the success of the event. Everything else can be perfect, but if the music isn’t good, the party will fizzle. Selecting the right Disco for your party can be confusing. There are over 15,000 DJs in the U.K. all promising they’ll do a great job for you. So how do you pick the right one for you? Hopefully, I’ll be able to provide you with some guidance to help you make the decision easier.

The best and easiest way is to find a DJ you’ll like is to hire one you’ve already seen. If you’ve been at a wedding or party where the DJ was great, find out who he or she was. If you didn’t get their card, ask the host or the manager of the function room where the party was held.

If you haven’t seen a good DJ recently, ask your friends. Your friends probably have the same taste in music as you. Maybe they’ve been to a function you missed. Let them know ahead of time you’ll be looking, and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open.

If the first two suggestions don’t work, your job gets tougher. You might have to go to the Yellow Pages. Look under Disc Jockeys, Mobile Discos, Music and Entertainment. Circle the ads in which the DJ mention the type of party you’re planning. For example, if you’re planning a wedding, a DJ whose ad says ‘We specialise in Weddings’ would be a good one to call. You’ll probably find several DJs whose ads look good. Alternatively, you can search the internet. There are many good directories to check such as the Wedding DJ Association www.weddingdja.co.uk which will even help you find DJs and Discos in your area.

How do you tell which one is best? Probably the worst way to choose a DJ is on price alone. Some DJs are more expensive than others. Prices can range from £120 to £800+ for a 4 hour event. That’s quite a difference, and it would be very tempting to choose the cheapest alternative. If that’s all you can afford, then you have no choice. But, consider the law of supply and demand. There is a reason that some DJs charge more than others. They are usually worth it. More expensive DJs tend to be the more experienced DJs. They can charge more because they have a lot of jobs, and they have a good reputation. Generally, the DJs on the low end of the price scale are new to the business, and trying to get established. They could do a good job, and might be worth a shot if your party is on the informal side. But there is probably more at risk with a less experienced person.

As you speak with the DJs, pay attention to their professionalism over the phone. It tends to spill over into their DJ style. The most important thing to ask is their experience with your type of event. If you are planning an event like a wedding, it would be normal to expect a professional DJ to have performed for at least 25 of these events. A number in the hundreds is actually common for a DJ who is well established.

DJs with less experience might also do a good job. And they’ll usually cost less. If you talk to one who sounds interesting, ask them for references. Get 4 or 5 names and phone numbers of people who have recently hired them. Call these references and ask about the DJs performance. Any DJ can easily give you 2 or 3 names. Getting more names is a better test of the quality of their performance.

You might also ask the DJ if they are performing in a location where you could see them. If so, make a visit, unannounced. Observe how the DJ interacts with the crowd. Are people having fun? Are people dancing? Is the music too loud? Is the DJ dressed appropriately? These are all good clues to the DJs skills and personality.

Always ask the DJ about their policy on requests. The best DJs will take requests from the audience and work them into their routine. However, do not expect the DJ to play every request. Many requests are simply inappropriate for the mood of the event. A good DJ is not a jukebox. He will blend requests with songs he feels will properly motivate the crowd. The art of DJing is timing, and this takes experience. Forcing a DJ to ignore his or her instincts by making them play every request will result in an ‘uneven’ (and less fun party). On the other hand, the DJ should try to play as many of your audience’s requests as possible. Try to get a feel for their philosophy of requests as you interview them. It is also appropriate to give a DJ a list of 5 or 6 songs you ‘must have’. Just don’t make that list 15 or 20 songs long.

Many DJs boast about the number of songs they have. While variety is great, the fact is that they will only be able to play 60-70 songs in a four hour show. Having the right 60 songs is a lot more important than having 20,000 songs your crowd doesn’t want to hear. After you tell the DJ what type of party you are having and who the audience will be, ask him what type of music they’d suggest. You should feel comfortable with most of his or her selections.

Many DJs also boast about having great equipment. Unless you are familiar with professional audio gear, you probably won’t know which brands are great and which are budget. However, your DJ should at least have professional grade equipment. If they list brand names you are familiar with at the local electronics retailer, that is a cause for further questioning. Home stereo equipment is not designed to stand up to 4-5 hours of high volume use. It could fail in the middle of your party! For example, typical professional DJ power amplifiers usually have 200-600 watts per channel, where consumer amplifiers that are considered powerful may have only 100 watts per channel.

Some DJ companies have more than one DJ working for them. In this case, it’s important to get references on the particular DJ who will be assigned to your show. Even if the company has been around for ten years, they might have hired your DJ last week. He might be a pro himself, or he may be newly trained. Be sure of who you’re getting.

The perfect DJ for you will be affordable, experienced at your type of event, and have great references. There are probably a lot of DJs who fit that description. As you search remember that above all, you want your event to be fun. Also remember, you need to feel comfortable with your DJ.

I hope this helps you, as you look for your entertainment.

James Murphy owns Impact Disco Entertainment and has been involved in the DJ/Entertainment field since 1977. He can be contacted for questions by email – impactdisco@aol.com or telephone (07786) 387338. His website is http://www.impactdisco.com/

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Guilty Pleasures...now doesn't that sound nice?

A few years ago I used to listen to a radio show called 'Glitterball' on BBC Radio Leeds. It was presented by cringy 70s style DJ called Dr Dance, played naff music and I loved it!

People used to get in touch and request all sorts of rubbish and he'd play it. It was just brilliant. It always featured well in the download charts and seemed to have worldwide listeners. At the time I was living in Dorset, so it certainly had a more than local following.

I'm not sure what happened to it, but it's no longer on. I've hunted for it's show website and I can't find it either. However, it got me to thinking about how I'd enjoyed it and wondered if it could be a viable show to produce and present.

It's not going to be a show for the serious minded music listener, but if you're up for a bit of fun, it could be well worth a listen.

Anyway, last week, I had a night free, and on a whim, I decided to broadcast a show with 'Naughty But Nice' as a name and Guilty Pleasures as a theme. As I only announced 10 minutes before going on air that I was going to do it, I never expected too many listeners. However I was pleasantly surprised how many logged into the show during the time it was on.

More surprising is the amount of downloads/listens again it's had in this week since the show went out. It make me think that this show could have somewhere to go.

So without further ado, here's the Naughty But Nice show for your pleasure....is that the right word?


Here's the playlist:
1 Jingle - Asteroid (Pearl & Dean Theme)
2 Joy Sarney - Naughty Naughty Naughty
3 Tina Charles - Dance Little Lady Dance
4 Baccara - Yes Sir I Can Boogie
5 Andrea True Connection - More More More
6 Aneka - Japanese Boy
7 Starland Vocal Band - Afternoon Delight
8 Pointer Sisters - Slow Hand
9 Sheila & B Devootion - Singin' In The Rain
10 Cilla Black - Something Tells Me
11 Eric Carmen - Hungry Eyes
12 Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
13 Pussycat - Mississippi
14 Eruption - I Can't Stand The Rain
15 Rocky Horry Show Cast - Touch A Touch A Touch Me
16 Paper Lace - Billy Don't Be A Hero
17 Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy
18 Raffaella Carra - Do It Do It Again
19 Pete Rodriguez - I Like It Like That
20 Jackson Browne - Stay
21 Boystown Gang - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
22 Exile - Kiss You All Over
23 Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
24 Mavericks - Dance The Night Away
25 David Christie - Saddle Up
26 Boney M - Daddy Cool
27 Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
28 Jimmy Young - Man From Laramie
29 Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting
30 Alessi - Oh Lori
31 Barefoot Man - Big Panty Woman
32 David Dundas - Jeans On
33 Judge Dread - Big Six
33 Barry Blue - Dancing On A Saturday Night
34 Fern Kinney - Together We Are Beautiful
35 Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
36 Kenny - Fancy Pants
37 Kelly Marie - Feels Like I'm In Love
38 Gilbert O'Sullivan - Get Down
39 Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night
40 Belle & The Devotions - Love Games
41 Nolans - Who's Gonna Rock You
42 New Seekers - Never Ending Song Of Love
43 Sheena Easton - Nine To Five
44 David Cassidy - Puppy Song
45 Osmonds - One Bad Apple
46 Liquid Gold - Dance Yourself Dizzy
47 Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
48 Robin Sarstedt - My Resistance Is Low
49 Maureen McGovern - Continental
50 Guy Marks - Loving You Has Made Me Bananas
51 Village People - Can't Stop The Music
To hear  recent shows, go to http://www.jamesmurphy.podomatic.com/ - you can now also use the player on my re-designed web site to listen again to. Ideal if you want to listen at work!

Till next time...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Why Twitter makes me feel like a twit

Please help me with this one. Do you understand Twitter?

I really am trying to work it out, but I just don't seem to be able to follow what happens there. I'm following people, but I don't understand their messages. I keep seeing all these weird links but they mean nothing to me. I post, and yet after 382 of the damned things, I don't think I've had a reply to more than one of them.

I've just upgraded my 'On The Radio' website again and wanted to add buttons and stuff from twitter, and when I try to use any of their buttons, all I get is an error on page message.

I've tried to follow others' conversations and I can't make head nor tail of it.

But the worst thing of all for someone like me, is how do you try to get across a message in 140 characters, when I'm a waffler and need that many just to say hello?

I'm determined to get the hang of it, if only to prove to myself that I'm not a twonk!