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Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?

Marion 13 Mar 08 - 05:05 PM
Peace 13 Mar 08 - 05:15 PM
Seamus Kennedy 13 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM
Marion 13 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM
Folkiedave 13 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM
treewind 13 Mar 08 - 06:23 PM
johnadams 13 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM
Folkiedave 13 Mar 08 - 07:01 PM
oldhippie 13 Mar 08 - 07:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Mar 08 - 07:31 PM
Bob the Postman 13 Mar 08 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,Bob the Postman elsewhere 13 Mar 08 - 09:18 PM
Folknacious 13 Mar 08 - 09:39 PM
KT 13 Mar 08 - 09:52 PM
Marion 14 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM
DebC 14 Mar 08 - 09:58 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 08 - 10:31 AM
Folkiedave 14 Mar 08 - 12:20 PM
Bob the Postman 14 Mar 08 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,John Perkins 14 Mar 08 - 09:32 PM
the lemonade lady 15 Mar 08 - 01:57 PM
Marion 15 Mar 08 - 02:19 PM
reggie miles 16 Mar 08 - 03:34 AM
Folkiedave 16 Mar 08 - 08:33 AM
The Villan 16 Mar 08 - 09:01 AM
Folkiedave 16 Mar 08 - 09:32 AM
The Villan 16 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM
DebC 16 Mar 08 - 11:27 AM
Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick 16 Mar 08 - 11:43 AM
open mike 16 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM
open mike 16 Mar 08 - 02:38 PM
open mike 16 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Al (no cookie) 16 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM
Leadfingers 16 Mar 08 - 09:56 PM
Marion 17 Mar 08 - 12:52 AM
johnadams 17 Mar 08 - 02:19 AM
Folkiedave 17 Mar 08 - 05:27 AM
johnadams 17 Mar 08 - 10:46 AM
Marion 17 Mar 08 - 12:22 PM
Marion 17 Mar 08 - 02:34 PM
Marion 18 Mar 08 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Cloet-Folkie 18 Mar 08 - 08:03 AM
closet-folkie 18 Mar 08 - 08:09 AM
open mike 18 Mar 08 - 02:56 PM
Marion 20 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Mar 08 - 10:02 AM
Marion 06 Jun 08 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Al no cookie 06 Jun 08 - 01:23 PM
Marion 30 Jun 08 - 11:37 AM
DebC 30 Jun 08 - 11:40 AM
bruceCMR 31 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM
bruceCMR 31 Jul 08 - 04:02 PM
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Subject: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:05 PM

Hi folks. In a couple of weeks I'm going to a studio to record one song, with my primary goal being to shop it around for airplay. I'm trying to formulate a promotion plan, and thought I should consult the collective wisdom here. I will ask some specific questions, but am also open to general suggestions - I'm sure there are plenty of factors that I haven't thought of.

First, a little background: it's a novelty song, a light-verse synopsis of Anne of Green Gables set to the well-known Canadian fiddle tune St. Anne's Reel. A little less than three minutes long, and I plan to do it with one voice, rhythm guitar, and lead guitar (both acoustic). In June 2008 the book is turning 100 years old, so I intend to promote the song as being especially appropriate to play around that anniversary.

Some specific questions:

1. My recording guy says that at the end of the session I will have both a master CD to duplicate and a "radio quality" MP3; he says also that emailing it around as an MP3 would be a cost-effective promotion plan and that radio programmers can just use the MP3. Is it true that an MP3 version will be just as high quality as a CD? Is sending a digital version generally acceptable in the folk radio world?

2. Assuming that I will be sending CDs to at least some of the radio shows that I find - is it appropriate to send query letters first (i.e., to ask if they're interested at all, and if so, whether CD or MP3 is preferred)? Another consideration I have is that people might not be happy getting an unsolicited email attachment because of its size or the fear of viruses.

3. I was thinking that maybe I should start a Myspace page and put the lyrics and MP3 there. Then, when sending query letters or making a newsgroup announcement, I could suggest people visit Myspace for a preview, then if they like it I'll send them the CD or MP3 on request. Does this sound like a good or bad idea?

4. Any suggestions on finding radio programs to offer the song to? I have already found the folkdj list and am starting to go through its archives looking for locations and descriptions of the programs. My general idea is that I'll market to Canadian programs most actively, then maybe some stations in the US or elsewhere if they respond to an announcement or indicate they're open to MP3s. (Anne of Green Gables is extremely well known in Canada, but I'm not sure if Americans, Brits, etc. would care about the anniversary). I was also considering looking for some English-language programs in Japan - folk-oriented or not - as Anne has a big cult following in Japan.

5. Not a promotion question, but another thing I'm wondering - once I've sent the song off to a particular station, how will I know if it gets played? I will, of course, skim through the playlists on the folkdj newsgroup. Do the hosts of other radio programs usually let the artists know if they're using their music or not?

Thanks a million, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Peace
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:15 PM

Marion,

A studio-mastered song sent as mp3 is so close to the quality of a CD that it's not something y'ought to let worry you.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM

Copyright the thing first!
An e-mail the the programmer asking if it's OK to send it, followed by a phone call and if they say OK, send it.

If they don't want an MP3, ask if it's OK to send the CD.

Good luck!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

Thanks Seamus and Peace.

I forgot another little question:

6. To send a CD to a radio program, does it matter whether I use standard jewel cases or slim ones? I'm thinking maybe they prefer slim ones because they have so many CDs and want to save space - but maybe they need the standard jewel cases so they can have visible spine labels.

Marion


Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

Speaking as a programmer, the way I would like people to do it is to check my own myspace where I have a blog with my playlist. This is posted each week. It may be that the stations you are aiming at will also have a playlist somewhere. Check the station's own website to see if their folk programme is there.

If you feel it fits into the music I play then by all means send it either to the station or send me a query for my home address. (I only go into the station once a week normally to present the show for example). If you have suggestions as to when to play it (for a CD, tracks you feel are best) then mention this.

If you want to know if it has been played then say so. I always acknowledge those who ask. I can't speak for others of course.

MP3 versus CD? I'd always send the CD. My own station does not like MP3, they tell me there are other losses of sound between station and transmitter and transmitter and radio receiver. Whether this is true or not I don't know. I can tell you I would not even listen to an MP3 emailed to me.

If you are just aiming it at general radio airplay - rather than folk radio programmes then to me it'll be serendipity whether you get played or not, however you do it.

I'd certainly try the myspace/invitation route, I'd go for that - but it takes a while.

The folkdj list is an excellent start, and you are right "Ann of Green Gables" whilst known, is not a significant date in the UK.

Dave Eyre

"Thank Goodness It's Folk" broadcasting to England's fourth largest city each Friday 10.00 - 12 noon
Sheffield Live! - 93.2 FM
Broadcast over the internet on www.sheffieldlive.org
Podcast on http://www.canstream.co.uk/sheffieldlive/
See the playlist at www.myspace.com/davepeyre


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: treewind
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 06:23 PM

Doug Bailey at Wild Goose told me the other day that he's sending all his promo CD's (especially if he's sending them abroad) without any kind of jewel case. Nobody has objected and he saves masses on postage.

I'd agree with FolkieDave that CDs are still the common currency for this kind of promotion. Everybody can play CDs easily; some might be set up for MP3s but others might not. Your MP3s will be useful for putting on your web site or MySpace page though.

Also send enough information for the broadcaster to be able to say something about you - your web site/MySpace page, tour plans if any, where to buy the CD, contact details for him to pass on to listeners who contact the station. But not too much information. Radio DJ's have about five seconds or less to decide whether to take any notice of your CD in a pile that arrives in each morning's post, so the information must be brief, clear and digestible.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: johnadams
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM

For my monthly programme on PhoenixFM in West Yorkshire UK, I always play to air from CD although both the CD players and the Myriad playback system will cope with mp3. Some of the CDs I play in are compilations made in advance and include mp3s downloaded from web sites and reconfigured for CD (ie. to AIF 44.1kHz 16 bit). There are occasional quality issues but they derive from using low quality mp3.

I have no problem with mp3 quality in the local broadcast context. MP3 is a variable format and the main quality issue arises when the bit rate is low. Stereo mp3s at 320 kB/s are usually good enough as long as they haven't been through analogue transfer processes.

Last programme, I used some Brian Peters tracks downloaded from his web site and they worked well in the absence of a CD because the mp3s were good quality. This time, as I'm in Australia and Pete Coe is hosting the programme, I'm preparing a feature on two Western Australian artists (Bernard Carney and Emily Barker who are touring UK soon) and I'll prepare it on my laptop, send it to the station as a high quality mp3 and back it up with a full quality CD in the post. Both will be adequate for broadcast.

As far as playing Marion's track goes, if it was well performed and backed up with a story as Anahata suggests, then I'd be far more likely to use it than use a mainstream artist. As with many UK folk stations, my aim is to fill in the enormous gap left after the BBC have filled their weekly (weakly) hour. Using well performed and innovative material that listeners can't hear elsewhere is preferred.

Johnny Adams - sheltering from a record breaking heatwave in South Australia.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 07:01 PM

We can only play minidiscs or CD's or vinyl. For me to play an MP3 I would need to download to my computer and then make a CD of it. Which is why I said I wouldn't touch it. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

I get CD's in plastic envelopes - so long as the liner notes are there I never bother. I bought 500 jewel cases for not a lot of money and I put them into them myself. (I need them in jewel cases so I can see them on the shelf when I am putting the programme together).


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: oldhippie
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 07:04 PM

I have used mp3s from artists with no problems. Quality is close to CD. If I burn them to a blank CD for repeated use, I mark it "demo", so should a full length CD arrive from the artist later, it will replace the mp3.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 07:31 PM

Bland Bollocks. Songs about sod all. In the tradition. The First world war is very popular and the press gang. All those subjects that really grab the heart of the nation nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 07:58 PM

I'm an active member of a small radio co-operative in the B. C. backwoods (CJLY) which is not listed at folkdj--nor are some other small co-op stations. There is an association of Canadian campus and co-op stations which you can find by googling.
I recommend the braces and belt approach--mp3 via e-mail plus CD in the mail, followed up with more e-mail enquiries with the mp3 attached. We receive a lot of promo CDs, so many that we have a winnowing process to select what goes into the library. When you're sending out a CD, include some very grabby literature--funny pictures, outrageous graphics, whatever makes you stand out from the herd. CDs that do make it have to be in a regular jewel case because of the reading-the-spine thing. A CD or mp3 sent to the station itself could easily be lost in the undergrowth, even though your song would be appropriate for several music shows as well as the breakfast magazine/variety show. It's best to make contact with the actual programmer. In our case, if you PM me I will be able to get your Anne song on the air where dozens or even scores of people will hear it(and I would like to learn it myself, I love St. Anne's reel). As to quality, quality is a good thing but not the main thing for co-op radio. After all, most listeners are tuned in on less-than-hi-fi car radios, clock radios, and the like.
Lean heavily on the anniversary factor--we love centennials almost as much as we love Anne. Myspace is a good idea. And how about you in an Anne Shirley get-up with braids and freckles and middy and pinny and all singing the song on YouTube. Could go viral.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: GUEST,Bob the Postman elsewhere
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 09:18 PM

Oh yeah,I forgot, you can upload your mp3 to the CBC Radio 3 website where it will be accessible to any CBC type you can schmooze into listening. If you're in Toronto you've probably got one living on your block. Click on the following link and then click the tab that says New Music Canada. From that page, click on SIGN UP.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 09:39 PM

I don't understand why you would want to do anything other than maximise your chances. Some can't or wont play mp3, some presenters may even object to unsolicited files that size in their email, whichever way you crunch it they're not as good quality as CD - that's the nature of the science of the beast. Then, CDs sent without the packaging may look cheapskate to some, and as somebody said above are very easy to lose in the filing system if not in their proper box. Why risk give the impression you're cutting corners, perhaps not so professional. Surely only sending out the best is good enough if you believe in your music, and giving the best impression is what you want to do? Why take risks: may be OK for some, but playing to the lowest denominator could kill your chances with others.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: KT
Date: 13 Mar 08 - 09:52 PM

Marion, check out whole wheat radio

good luck!

KT


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM

Thanks so much for your responses everybody. There is some very useful information here, and I'm delighted to hear that "we love centennials almost as much as we love Anne."

For those of you who mentioned your own radio connections, I'll be in touch. I hope to have the CDs ready to mail in about a month, though, so it's not quite imminent.

Cheers, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: DebC
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 09:58 AM

I have a few hard and fast rules that I adhere to regarding folk radio:

1) TARGET, TARGET, TARGET-if I see a playlist that plays all singer/songwriter acoustic pop, I really don't have a reason to send them my music. Look at other DJ's playlists and see who plays music like yours

2) ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU SEND

3) There is an excellent article written by Bob Blackman a folk DJ at WKAR in E. Lansing, MI HERE
that has some excellent pointers about airplay

4) ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU SEND
Did I say that already?? :-)

My experience with the Folk DJs is that he best thing to do is contact the DJ personally and ask the questions. Every station is different and every DJ has his or her preferences regarding receiving music.

5) ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU SEND
Can you tell that this is important? :-)

Good luck, Marion.

Deb Cowan
www.DebraCowan.com


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 10:31 AM

My thoughts on your questions -

1. "sending a digital version generally acceptable in the folk radio world?"

It is not general practice in FOLK radio, although the writing is on the wall. Most folk DJ's are volunteers and do not have the time, inclination, or in some cases the knowledge to use audio files.


2. "is it appropriate to send query letters first (i.e., to ask if they're interested at all, and if so, whether CD or MP3 is preferred)? "

ALWAYS send a letter, and check out Folk-DJ - www.folkradio.org and read some playlists. You can target the shows and markets that you feel would be most appropriate.

NEVER send an attachment without asking first. Those e-mails will probably be deleted.

3. " I was thinking that maybe I should start a Myspace page and put the lyrics and MP3 there. Then, when sending query letters or making a newsgroup announcement, I could suggest people visit Myspace for a preview, then if they like it I'll send them the CD or MP3 on request. Does this sound like a good or bad idea?"

It is a good idea for helping get your music to a general audience, but again most Folk DJ's seem reluctant to do searches. It is still a good start in my opinino

Borealis Records came up with a great idea - a one-sheet card, the same size as the booklet so that it can be kept and stored in the case. One side would have info about you - skip quotes or laundry lists of who you played with - just solid info about who you are and what you do. Include contact information. The other side would have a track listing with a short, bullet point info about the song - style, subject, duration.   It is critical that you include a proper track list by number the cuts and include the duration.

4. "Any suggestions on finding radio programs to offer the song to? I have already found the folkdj list and am starting to go through its archives looking for locations and descriptions of the programs. My general idea is that I'll market to Canadian programs most actively, then maybe some stations in the US or elsewhere if they respond to an announcement or indicate they're open to MP3s. (Anne of Green Gables is extremely well known in Canada, but I'm not sure if Americans, Brits, etc. would care about the anniversary). I was also considering looking for some English-language programs in Japan - folk-oriented or not - as Anne has a big cult following in Japan."

Sounds good to me.

5. " Do the hosts of other radio programs usually let the artists know if they're using their music or not? "

Rarely. It is hard for volunteers to keep up with all the artists that they have played and then respond to e-mails. I must receive 20 e-mails a day , besides personal e-mail, and it is a job in itself.   Check station websites, radio hosts personal websites, and of course Folk DJ.'


I would LOVE to receive a copy of your CD when it is done. The second paragraph of your original post was a perfect introduction and my curiosity is aroused!!   I would love to preview it and hopefully share it with my audience.

Ron Olesko
www.ronolesko.blogspot.com


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 12:20 PM

I know she and I met - and that makes a difference - but Debbie went by all those rules and has had a couple of plays on my show - a traditional type show rather than singer-songwriter type show - so it clearly works.

And she will get more.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 03:47 PM

Something else. I once heard Shelagh Rogers state that she could fiddle "St. Anne's Reel" but little else. I think she was interviewing the founder of Swamperella at the time. So that's a toe in the Morningside door. They're bound to be all over a Green Gables anniversary. Plus also one of Shelagh's predecessors in the Morningside/SoundsLikeCanada host chair was Don Harron who wrote the book for the long-running Anne Of Green Gables musical.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: GUEST,John Perkins
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 09:32 PM

Hi

Some of the tips have been covered in such a variety of opinions as to be totally confusing to a newcomer looking to get airplay.

Most station programmers are far too lazy to go listen to an mp3 on myspace or any other site - it means they have to exercise their fingers and click a few links, when they want the CD in their hands.

An mp3 is still far inferior to CD, but online stations who are streaming audio will play them. Traditional broadcasters, like the BBC, generally don't boadcast them nationally in full.

Most station websites carry CD submission info on who to send your recording to and when you should follow up (many stations, especially in USA, have certain days are allotted to follow up on submissions and if you call on a different day you will just be told the person you want is not available)

Most DJs I know do not like the slimline cases as they prefer to be able to read the title in the rack, which can only be done with traditional packaging that has a spine with title and artist on it.

They also hate the recent CD fashion of arty CD labels with no info. Guess what? Even in radio stations CDs get seperated from the inserts and with no info on the CD, something called effort comes into play where they have to play the CD and see if they can guess who it is. That's too much work for your average broadcaster so it will end up in the giveaway bin (if you are fortunate) or in the trash!

First (if it's BBC look up the producer in Radio Times) contact the program producer and ask for submission details if you don't find them on the station website, then submit the number of CDs requested by the producer if you want airplay (most stations want more than one copy even if you are targetting one program) and submit them. After a week has passed, call on the allotted day to follow up on whether it's been listened to and whether they are playing it.

Hope this helps break the mysteries whichever side of the Atlantic you are on. I've counted myself fortunate to have aiplay both sides of the pond.

John Perkins
McDonald-Perkins Band
IMMG InterMet Music Group
http://www.intermetmusic.com


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 01:57 PM

Refresh cos a lot of that is very interesting and it'd be a shame to not see it.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 02:19 PM

Again, thanks for all your responses. I'll be sure to make you a copy, Ron.

What I'd like to do over the next few days is plan what info to put on the CD/packaging (I want to look over all the CDs I have first); then I'll post my plan here and ask for suggestions. Since it's only a single, it seems to me that the insert card mentioned by Ron would be superfluous - I'll have the front and back of the cover as well as the back of the tray card, so that should be plenty of room for anything I can think of to say about one song.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: reggie miles
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 03:34 AM

Are there also limits as to the length of a song as it might pertain to being playable by radio stations? I've heard that there's some kind of magic number with regard to the length of a song and whether it's acceptable to get played.

I've never paid any attention to that aspect with regard to how I've written my material and still I manage to get airplay, whether from online stations or in the flesh dj spins. Still, I've heard that this length issue is a real factor. Is length something that is looked at by radio stations and/or djs as a reason to play or not to play a song?

If it is a factor, does anyone know what the acceptable length of a song is considered to be?

I have a friend who wrote a song that spoke about this very factor but I don't know if his concept of length was an accurate one regarding airplay on the radio.

I have one other question to all of you folk djs who have suggested looking at folk playlists. What if you can't recognize a single name on the list? How will that tell you if your music is qualified to be included in such a play list?

Living just beyond the event horizon of the known universe, here in Snakebutt, (spelled just like it sounds) Watucky, I don't regularly get out much. And given that there seems to be, according to your descriptions, flocks of folk singers out there all trying to get noticed, and again according to your posts, many are as likely, or more so, to get their music trashed or given away as they are likely to get it played, my next question is, how can one be certain, or reasonably so, that they aren't just contributing to the landfill when they send their stuff out? The last thing that I want to do is to overtax an already overtaxed dj with something he doesn't want and won't bother to look at.

While I appreciate the suggestions offered here, this all seems like such an uphill battle as to be almost insurmountable to even consider. It sounds as like this is a case of who you know and not so much what you know. Which seems like that old catch 22 in this whole beeswax.

So, perhaps a pertinent question to all of this is how does one get known by the djs out there? In order to get exposure for our music, we need djs spinning our stuff but if djs don't know who we are and what we can offer musically, because they're, as you say, too lazy to look for our music, how then can we get known by them? Where can one get the exposure one needs to get known by the djs, who, if they hear us and/or if they like us and/or find our music appropriate to their radio station's needs, will then spin our stuff so we can get exposed?

My head is hurting from trying to write that last bit.

Reg


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 08:33 AM

Are there also limits as to the length of a song as it might pertain to being playable by radio stations? I've heard that there's some kind of magic number with regard to the length of a song and whether it's acceptable to get played.

The shortest rack I have played has been 52 seconds (Earsdon Sword Dancers)to illustrate a piece on rapper dancing prior to DERT in Liverpool, and the longest 13 minutes (Chris Woods "England in Ribbons"). I don't play a lot of long material but anything up to 5.15 and time is not a factor. But if I want to play something I play it without thinking of how long it is.

Then other factors come into play. (Like how long have I got left!!)


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 09:01 AM

One thing that I have picked up on, is always put the song that you think is the best as your first song on the CD. Generally if somebody receieves lots of Cd's and they don't have a lot of time, the tendency is to listen to the first song on the CD. If the person listening enjoys that, then you stand a better chance of it getting on the radio.
Its IMHO the same as sending a CV. If you haven't caught the eye of the reader instantly, you stand a good chance of it getting binned immediately.
Finding out about the person who will play your song and their tastes, helps you to direct their attention to a song on the Cd that you think would suit their taste.

I'll get me coat


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 09:32 AM

I tend not to do that Les, I tend to listen to the stuff on the CD that I am already familiar with and see how that is treated. If I like it then I go back and listen. If I don't like it then I play a couple of other tracks to see, usually (as you say) starting at the first one. Only if it is ALL stuff I am unfamiliar with do I start at track one.

From a record company producer......

.........in the first three tracks say what the CD is about. Thus if you have accompanied and unaccompanied, tunes and singing, concertinas or melodeons etc etc then try and get those combinations in the first three tracks - just as much for listeners as it is for me. Finish off with a couple of really strong tracks.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM

I did say "if somebody receieves lots of Cd's and they don't have a lot of time", and it is a CV in reality.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: DebC
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 11:27 AM

Reggie wrote:
So, perhaps a pertinent question to all of this is how does one get known by the djs out there?

Deb sez:
I am a folksinger. My CDs are (IMO) folk, plain and simple. I always joke that folk is .00005% of the music industry and trad folk is .00005% of that. The Folk DJ email list has been an invaluable tool for me. You really do have to do the research and find the shows that will play the kind of music you produce.

Word of mouth is another way to get known. My own story is that I had sent a CD I did in the 1990s with my ex to a friend in Seattle who monitored the Folk DJ list. At the time I didn't look at the list as I thought it wasn't important :-) There was a DJ on there who was stating that he was tired of getting CDs that he didn't consider "folk" and then went on to state his definition of the genre. She sent my CD to him and he put a very nice and enthusiastic review of the CD on Folk DJ. In the next few days, I got over 20 requests from DJs for the CD and the requests continued for the rest of that year. It also set up opportunities to form relationships with those DJs so that I was able to send them my next recording when it was released.

Reggie also wries:
...if djs don't know who we are and what we can offer musically, because they're, as you say, too lazy to look for our music, how then can we get known by them?

Deb sez:
I really want to address this. I know of only TWO folk DJs out of the hundreds (if there are more than hundreds, I'd like to find 'em) that get paid for what they do. The rest are volunteers who have day jobs, families and many other commitments. They do this out of love for the music and their desire to support artists like you and me. Time is something they just don't have. They find our music at festivals, concerts and Folk Alliance. Also from other comments made by other DJs.

Reggie writes:
Where can one get the exposure one needs to get known by the djs, who, if they hear us and/or if they like us and/or find our music appropriate to their radio station's needs, will then spin our stuff so we can get exposed?

Deb sez:
Start locally. Find the folk shows in your local area where you play, contact the DJ and ask them if you can send your CD.

I can only speak from my own experience as an artist. Hope this helps.

Debra


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Kiss Me Slow Slap Me Quick
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 11:43 AM

From my experience of been involved, in a small way, with a radio program I would say, 1, Make sure your brand/style of music fits in with brand/style of music of the program. We played a loose colection of Traditional/Folk based material BUT lost count of the number of Rock/Pop/New Age/Tartan & Heather CDs sent in. 2, Get a contact name. The presenter may not be who decides what is included in the play lists. The weekend show I was with was presented, produced and engineered by the presenters BUT during the rest of the week playlists were supplyed and for PPRS reasons were strickly followed. 3, Send a CD. Not tapes memory sticks, cassettes or any other fancy gadgets. A CD, your name, address and contact number, any puplicity material and details of where you are playing.
If you do your homework and are any good and worth hearing you will be played.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: open mike
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM

I am on the folk d j list.
Many of the dj's on there (myself included)
post their play list each time they have a show.
There is some specific info about airplay
on their home page http://www.folkradio.org/
If a musician offers their music there, d.j.'s
can contact you if the are interested. The spine
label does help i.d. a recording, and prevents it
from getting lost in the stacks. "green" packaging
is appreciated, as well.

I get a lot of material for my radio show from
contacts I have made there. I have been posting
my play list there for years, and also recently
on my my space page.

Wasn't there a thread about similar topic recently?
(radio wants a song I have not recorded....)
perhaps that was your thread...in any case, good
luck !! I always have loved your songs, and your
creative spirit! how goes it with nursing, by the way?


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: open mike
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 02:38 PM

another thing..or two...has come to mind...
several of the c.d. manufacturers have a distribution network.
Oasis and others will send out sample copies to a targeted audience
if you get your recording copied by them. Each compilation is
collected by genre "country" "folk" "bluegrass" etc.

There are other services such as record labels who make sampler c.d's
with several selections from various of their artists as promotion.

There is also an agent who keep me supplied with material, and a
business, Hudson Harding can be found here: http://hudsonharding.com

The North American Folk Alliance http://www.folkalliance.org/
holds conferences which have show case opportunities for you
to perform your music.

Most c.d.'s contain more than one song. It is important to label
and number the cuts on the disc and on the package for easy i.d.
for d.j's. There is often a "one sheet" sent along with a disc,
which contains artist name, short, bio, and contact info.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: open mike
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM

there is a center devoted to L.M. Montgomery
(the author of Anne of Green Gables)
http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/

this institute is holding a conference on Tues.and Wed, June 24 & 25.

I believe that would be an excellant place to market your product..
or apply to be hired to sing there for their centennial celebration.

can you dress in period costume and appear as L.M. "Maud" Montgomery?


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: GUEST,Al (no cookie)
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM

Marion, I would be happy to play your song on my radio show "Pride of the Mountains" on KFOK-LPFM in Georgetown California. Since we stream on the web, as well as transmit locally, you can hear us anywhere, including from dialup connections. Just email me an mp3 using a resolution of 128kbs. We have an mp3 player at the studio, but I will probably convert it to CD. I will also share it with other folk genre broadcasters at the station.

You can email me at al@kfok.org

My show is the second Monday morning of the month from 10:00 to noon California time. To listen, just go to kfok.org and hit the play button.

I will post here again prior to my next show so those who wish can listen to your song. If you have any special questions or considerations, you can PM me on this site.

Al Lubanes


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 09:56 PM

A more pertinent question in UK (Outside Sheffield and a couple of other locations) is how the Hell do you get Folk Radio to listen to , other than the few stations who are streaming on line !!!


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 12:52 AM

Once again, many thanks to everybody for contributing.

Yes, Laurel, I'm the one who started the thread "CBC radio wants songs I haven't recorded"; that lost opportunity lit a fire under me to get into the studio and not miss the next opportunity. What do you mean by green packaging?

After looking over other people's CDs and liner notes, some more questions have arisen:

7. My recording guy said that he could supply me with an ISRC number. I notice that many CDs have a code of letters and numbers on the spine - for example, a Seamus Kennedy CD has SK-0012. Is that the ISRC number? What is its function?

8. For contact information, is it fine if I just put my email and website? I'm moving in May, so putting an address or phone number would be problematic.

9. For the copyright date, should I use the year I actually wrote the song (2004), or 2008 as the year it's being recorded and released?

10. A couple of people have said above that DJs would find it useful to know if I had other recordings available or any upcoming shows. I don't in fact have any recordings to sell, nor any gigs booked - should I include that for information's sake, or does it just sound sad?

11. I'm a little concerned that people might assume that a song about Anne of Green Gables is a children's song, and not listen to it because they don't do children's music. Do you think it's necessary for me to clarify that the song is for an adult audience, and if so, how should I clarify that? It's an adult song in the sense that the vocabulary and pacing would be over children's heads; also, there are is some mild innuendo (Anne gets Diana "wasted", I mention the "cradle-robbing teacher", and Anne tells Gilbert "just what he can do with carrots"). Nothing extreme, but not what you expect in a children's song.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: johnadams
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 02:19 AM

Marion wrote:

7. My recording guy said that he could supply me with an ISRC number. I notice that many CDs have a code of letters and numbers on the spine - for example, a Seamus Kennedy CD has SK-0012. Is that the ISRC number? What is its function?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music videorecordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.

http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_resources/isrc.html


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 05:27 AM

I have a downloadable podcast...you can listen to me anywhere anytime. Whether you want to of course.......

Dave


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: johnadams
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 10:46 AM

My previous post was a quick reaction and I didn't have time to expand.

The ISRC code is a bit of info that can be written into tracks on a CD so that automatic logging can happen in radio stations that have it enabled.

This is different from the CD catalogue number which identifies the whole disc and appears on both the disc and the spine, etc.

The last CD I mastered (Hardcore English for the EFDSS) was a compilation but only one track had an ISRC code embedded.

Most small radio stations have to log manually and can use the CD catalogue number along with the artist, track name, CD title, and music publisher, etc.

J


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 12:22 PM

Thanks John, especially for the clarification in your second post.

How do I go about getting a catalogue number for my recording? If I follow Seamus Kennedy's example and number it MP-001, is there a way that I should confirm that nobody else is already using that code?

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 02:34 PM

PS to John Adams:

Did you get a PM from me? I wrote to several people on this thread today, but my PM to you didn't show up in my Sent Messages list, although all the other PMs I sent are there, and I tried you twice.

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 01:15 AM

12. Shrinkwrap - good thing or bad thing? Discuss.

Cheers, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: GUEST,Cloet-Folkie
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 08:03 AM

Shrinkwrap? Great when you're selling; crap when you're submitting.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: closet-folkie
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 08:09 AM

I'd like to apologise for "Cloet-Folkie(sic); he temporarily lost his cookies. All is well, now.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Mar 08 - 02:56 PM

green packaging is non-plastic,
re-cycled paper, cardboard, etc.
environment friendly..with no
plastic shrink wrap, no plastic
case, etc.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 09:46 AM

I didn't want to use shrink wrap anyway, so it's good to hear the radio folks don't want it.

13. For those DJs who are open to receiving the song by emailed MP3, should I also email some sort of cover art in case they want to burn it to CD? Emailing the actual liner notes I'm getting printed would be a bulky file and might not be universally usable (my graphic design guy is using some program and file type I'd never heard of). So, I'm thinking that maybe I should make a no-frills CD cover in Word and add it to the email, so if they want people can print it, cut it out, and put it with the burned CD. Text only, with song title and length, my name and contact info, and credits. Would this be useful?

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Mar 08 - 10:02 AM

I could never figure out why some Folk DJ's are bothered by shrink-wrap, other than environmental issues, but I guess it is better not to send it wrapped. Shrink wrap can be annoying, but I'm always surprised that some DJ's are so vehement in their hatred for it. Buy a $.50 opener! Jeesh!

As for including artwork, perhaps having it available from a website or sending a note saying that you could send it. I would not automatically include it because it could create bandwidth issues for some IP's.   

I would also stress that if you are going to send an MP3 for airplay consideration, make sure it is recorded at 256ktb/s.


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 11:41 AM

Hello again folks. Well, it's a couple of months off the schedule I originally hoped for, but my single CD is ready for mailing. If you would like a promotional copy, please send me your mailing address; alternatively, I can email an MP3 (speed 256) and a one-page version of the liner notes (Word document, text only).

Those of you who sent me your contact information in March don't need to ask again - they'll be in the mail on Monday. Sorry for the delay.

Go to www.myspace.com/marionparsons to hear a preview of Anne of Three Minutes or read the lyrics.

Take care, Marion
marion_parsons@yahoo.ca


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: GUEST,Al no cookie
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 01:23 PM

Great, Marion. I'll be looking for your mp3 in my email. My next show is this coming Monday, so if I get it by then, you'll be on the air at kfok.org, Pride of the Mountains. You can listen in on the web.
Al Lubanes
al@kfok.org


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: Marion
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 11:37 AM

Hi folks. I'm well into distributing this CD and have been delighted to see my song on four playlists on the folkdj list so far, as well as Al's statement that he intended to play it. Which brings me to the next question:

Is it customary to send a thank you note if you know a DJ has played your stuff?

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: DebC
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 11:40 AM

I try to send an email thank you when I see that one of my songs was played.

But then again, I am a believer in thank you notes for any occasion. :-)

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: bruceCMR
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM

CDs every time please. Better quality than MP3, but more importantly it gives the presenter something to read to find out more info about you.

Always mark up the CD with your name etc - you'd be surprised how many unlabelled CDs are received in our studio.

Make sure the sleeve notes contain details of where we can find out more info about you - eg your website. The presenters will often look this up while a track is playing, to allow them to say a little about you afterwards - dates and venues for future gigs etc.

Highlight your "best" or "favourite" tracks. Yes, we know they're all good, but some of our presenters may not be familiar with your
work. Give them a clue as to which ones to play! If you were releasing a "single", which one would it be? And include any MCPS, PPL
or PRS copyright information.

There's a more detailed summary of my thoughs on this at http://www.celticmusicradio.net/artist_contact.html


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Subject: RE: Tips for getting airplay on folk radio?
From: bruceCMR
Date: 31 Jul 08 - 04:02 PM

That should, of course, be my "thoughts"!

Bruce
Celtic Music Radio
1530kHz around Glasgow and Central Scotland, and worldwide streaming.


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