Center Stage on Live365 this week is KoHoSo Radio 66, "where living in the past is part of your future!" We spoke with station manager Kevin Sammons about their history with radio, their station's programming, and we got some music recommendations. Check out the interview below!
What made you get started in radio?
I was inspired by great DJs of the past plus the music they played.
What brought you to Live365?
I saw an article shared on Twitter that Live365 was being resurrected back in 2017.
What's your favorite part about running your own radio station?
Listeners writing in telling me how special the station is to them.
Tell us about your station's programming. What can listeners expect when they tune in to your station?
When listeners tune in, they can expect to hear mostly uptempo rock & roll and R&B oldies from the 1950s and first half of the 1960s. However, it won't be the same songs most other oldies stations play. Added in with all the big hits are regional hits, B-sides, and album tracks along with a sprinkling of pop, blues, and the artists of the late 1940s that paved the way for what would become everything from rock & roll to Motown.
To break things up from there, listeners will hear classic radio jingles or announcements that always come with era-appropriate music so they always fit in with the style. Most of all, listeners will enjoy the fact that KoHoSo Radio 66 does all of this with no commercials!
Name one artist that you play on your station that is underrated in your opinion.
What's your favorite music memory/moment?
Long ago, I used to play rhythm guitar and sing. Through my job at Tower Records in Citrus Heights, California outside of Sacramento where I was living at the time, I became friends with some other musicians. We would gather at one couple's house and jam. Through an odd circumstance, most of us ended up moving to Santa Rosa where we continued our jams. On sort of a lark, three of us went to play acoustic at a coffee house in nearby Sebastopol for its open mic night. We played three songs and the reaction from the crowd of about 150 people was electric. It gave me a taste of how "real" musicians feel when an audience reacts with warmth and enthusiasm for the performance.
Please list your top 5 or 10 songs, with a brief reason why the songs made your list.
This is my top 10 for the era of music I play on KoHoSo Radio 66 (anything released from 1946 through 1966). In alphabetical order by song title:
"Gimmie Some Lovin'" - The Spencer Davis Group
That bass line. Then, that organ. Then, a big "Hey!" Then it just keeps going. Instant feel-good music!
"I Can't Turn You Loose" - Otis Redding
A pure soul sledgehammer made up in about 15 minutes before Otis had to be somewhere else. For a fast-tempo song, it doesn't get more emotional than this.
"Jive After Five" - Carl Perkins
In Carl's comeback record after being seriously injured in a car accident, he laid down this absolute atomic rockabilly bomb in his first single for Columbia.
"Johnny B. Goode" - Chuck Berry
As Jerry Garcia once said about this song, "This is the one it's all about."
"Not Fade Away" - Buddy Holly & The Crickets
I can't even begin to describe how much I love the sound and feel of this song.
"Short Fat Fannie" - Larry Williams
When my mother would play her old records on our big Magnavox console, this was my first favorite song.
"Something About You" - Four Tops
For me, this is the epitome of feel-good Motown music.
"That's All Right" - Elvis Presley
I still get chills up my spine as soon as I hear the beginning, both for its sound and what this not-even-two-minute song did for the world.
"The Last Time" - The Rolling Stones
That hook, a bit of Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" production assistance, and great harmony vocals on the chorus really make this an outstanding song that doesn't stop driving until it fades out.
"(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" - Bill Haley & His Comets
I don't know how anybody can listen to this song and not at least feel immediately happy, if not getting up and moving around.
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