Wednesday, October 4, 2017
I Need to Know
Once upon a time, disc jockeys were allowed to pick their own music. I know, that's unbelievable by today's standards. The home office gives you a play list, and that's what you have to adhere to. If not, there will be consequences. Severe consequences.
There's a thing in radio called the "segue." It can be defined as the transition between programming elements. In this case, it is the transition between songs. Some jocks liked to find a song that begins on the same note as its predecessor, or songs that easily flowed in to each other.
If I remember right, there was a music publication that printed segues suggested by radio people and readers. I'm sure if you do a web search, something similar will show up.
My favorite segue was something drastically different, and it involved one of my favorite Tom Petty songs, "I Need to Know." It wasn't a major hit. It peaked at number 41 on the Billboard magazine chart in 1978. Regardless, I loved it.
If you're not familiar with "I Need to Know," it has a rather abrupt ending-- a cold ending as we say in the biz. I loved to pair it with a song that has a really strong, cold open. More often than not, it was Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart." I think I played the pair just about every week during my WVMW FM days-- such a long time ago. It's tough to describe. You had to hear it. Springsteen isn't among my favorites, but I am a huge fan of "Hungry Heart."
The segue wasn't as easy as it sounds. We were playing vinyl on old turntables, and you had to time it just right. I was really good at it by the time I stepped away from college radio in January of 1983.
Tom Petty left us far too soon, but he leaves behind a great body of work. I'm very sorry he's gone.
AT 12:00 AM