Friday, 4 March 2016

Music and Radio Magazines

Music and Radio Magazines

I've loved magazines from being about ten years old - well, not quite magazines in those days. it was music papers. A friend at school (Ian Colebourne - where is her now?)  had an elder brother who was chucking out his stash of Record Mirror and Mersey Beat issues. These were weekly tabloid size on newsprint, I think I got some Fabulous 208 mags from him too which had lots of pictures of music stars,mainly Cliff and Elvis. 

I began taking Disc and Music Echo myself and then  Record Mirror, especially as they covered the radio stations, and especially those on the ships which Melody Maker and the NME ignored. The Melody Maker had been running since 1926 but folded into the NME in 2000, which itself has recently collapsed to just 20,000 copies a week. The electronic version has not taken off and has less than 2,000 subscribers. 

I continued subscribing to these and more throughout the 1970s - they provided much needed information when I was DJing and for many years kept huge archives of back copies of Mix Mag, Blues & Soul, and those papers. 

Its only pretty recently that I've been persuaded to move most of them on, although I still have about 20 years of Record Collector. It was one of my favourites for many years, as was Radio & Records (an American weekly, now sadly gone). I still have many years of Private Eye, essential reading once a fortnight. 

A while ago we were asked to recommend a library of books and of periodicals  for a radio station to make sure their presentation team were up to date.  I spent a couple of days trawling through whats available, and thought this might be a useful exercise to repeat now, so here is a pretty comprehensive listing of the magazines you can find at your newsagent today.  A far better way though is to subscribe which has five great advantages.  

  1. It makes sure you don't miss a single copy.  That's can be very important if you are very busy! You get extra free gifts too - exclusive music CDs, and so on
  2. You often get each issue s a few days before it appears in the shops,
  3. Your copy turns up nicely sealed in a plastic wrapper,  not dog-eared and well thumbed like some of those at the newsagents!
  4. Its often much cheaper as a subscriber - you can get up to a half or so off the cover cover price.
Happy reading -  but don't forgot to come back here for my Blog every now and then!


Q Music, content section Acoustic  Monthly guitar, incl tutorials.
Alternative Press   Live rock music  
Audio Media (for engineers)
Bass Guitar Mag a monthly 
Bass Player Leading UK bassist's Monthly. 
Big Cheese  Fashion & music for teen boys
Billboard (American)
Blues & Soul  Long running fortnightly
Clash (UK independent)
Classic Pop
Classic Rock
Mojo Music Magazine coverCountry Music People.  UK monthly
DJ Monthly  Clubbing DJ monthly (UK)
Downbeat  Jazz and Blues monthly 
Fader   Leading Culture bi-monthly
Fireworks   bi-monthly, melodic rock 
Froots (folk  & roots + world music)
Future Music
Guitarist  Very popular monthly mag
Heat Magazine   Lifestyle and pop / RnB
Hip Hop Magazine US fortnightly urban
i-D   Style & Culture
Jazz Journal    Monthly, since 1948
Jazz Times US monthly, jazz with soul
Jazzwise  modern and stylish jazz
K-Mag   (Drum & Bass monthly)
Kerrang! (World biggest rock music monthly)
Live UK  (concerts, equipment & tours
Living Blues Afro-US with US radio charts
Maverick bi-monthly quality country mag
Metal Hammer Hardcore & loud rock mag
MixMag (dance music and DJs lifestyle)
Modern Drummer  Monthly 
MOJO (rock, Alternative and World Music) 
Mondo DR   for sound & light engineers
Music Tech Magazine
Music Week UK Recording industry
NME rock and pop week paper
PowerPlay  Heavy rock and Metal monthly
Record Collector bible of vinyl fans
Rhythm Magazine   summers magazine
Rolling Stone Iconic pop culture mag
Songlines  World music bi-monthly

Sound On Sound equipment focussed monthly
The Source Monthly hip-hop / urban
The Wire   
Time Out    Listing magazine for London 
Top of the Pops  Teen fashion and charts.
Total Guitar monthly, covers amp's too.
UNCUT  new & classic rock music 
VIBE   Hip Hop Magazine
We Love Pop Teenyboppers monthly
Wire  Monthly underground music mag
XXL  Quarterly American hip-hop mag
ZERO TOLERANCE experimental metal

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Soul music on UK Radio

Soul's big hole in the radio market?

The shock news this week that Ministry of Sound has abruptly closed its radio outlet took some time to sink in.  As an old soul boy myself  I find myself tuned to more and more soul outlet, and the MoS channel, although poorly presented and with a music format that was literally "all over the road" was a key port of call as my fingers wandered top and down "the dial". (strange how we say that, even though like so many I pick my stations out on a keyboard!)

I was first turned on to soul music by Johnnie Walker playing the latest hot American sounds on Swinging Radio England in 1966.  t was here I first got into Wilson Picket, and others from the Atlantic and stay labels as well as the very latest tracks from Motown, usually months before they were released by the UK Motown office at EMI in London. When I began DJing, I also played a lot of UK releases that never even got radio play - stuff like the Karate Boogaloo by Jerry O and heaps of stuff on the Action, Soul City,  Direction and President labels. Getting hold of American pressings came later, when I heard stuff on AFN from its giant station in Frankfurt that played the latest US  releases.  

We've never had a radio station solely for soul in the UK that was available on regular radios and covered the whole nation. Some DJs have a love for soul and play as much as they can - Tony Blackburn is a great example, Dave Gregory too and of course Robbie Vincent, all of them heard all too rarely on the radio. But there isn't a radio station that you would call pure soul that has become mainline, big time and a huge success.

I know some of the DAB channels have some soul, some of the time, and I'm always grateful for it and pleased to help promote it. But DAB reception is so poor in many areas, especially in parts of the North. In Wales, Cornwall and Scotland its almost inaudible outside the major population areas.   parts ofThis is the reason 'land pirate' stations have thrived - there is a huge market of listeners who want to hear the music of their choice on the radio.   

The explosion on online radio means that at last almost anyone can open their own radio station. Listeners voice with their feet (OK, their ears!) and we have seen several stations come and go. Perhaps one of the longest surviving is SOLAR which began as a tower rock pirate in London. They are now heard on two of the small scale DAB trial stations (in London and Norwich) as well as online. They feature some well known DJs from the soul scene, such as Tony Monson and Les Adams; great names and very competent and they really know their soul.  The station however does veer towards jazz, lounge and all kinds of laid back stuff that don't appeal to me.

If you want  something a bit more uptime, there is Glitterball Radio, Northern Soul-100mph, and Station X which I do dip in and out of quite often, but I notice from the listener count that their audience often is a big fact zero. Clearly they are not reaching the hundreds of thousands listeners that we should fans KNOW are searching for some up tempo soul to speed their day along.  

So why aren't these stations more successful and achieving 'big time' status?  The reasons are very simple - they are lacking in one of the FOUR GOLDEN RULES OF SUCCESSFUL RADIO, essential elements you need to make a radio station succeed:

1. PROGRAMME a  format that's in demand
2  Make it  easy for listeners to FIND the station 
3.  PROMOTE -  tell people you're there!
4. Keep listeners listening, by engaging with them

once you have a solid station, with regular listeners
5. Market the station to sponsors - advertisers, etc

There are many other skills needed but those four above  which can be simplified as:
Programme  Engineer  Promote  Communicate

Thee are the vital ingredients.  If any one of these elements is missing, the station cannot succeed.and then
  SELL the air time   which means market!

(I don't think of it as selling the listeners, I regard this as renting out all those pairs of ears!)

Now YOU can now have your own radio station

Listening is now moving towards online, and with more mobile WiFi capacity becoming available and very cheaply ANYONE can have their own radio station. No licence is required.  All you need is the KNOWLEDGE  to do it, and we have the solution for that. its all in this eBook

You could start by checking out a book I just published as an eBook which tells you exactly what you need and where to find all that you need. 

Internet Radio 2016 comes complete with links to all the suppliers - equipment, music, staff training, etc. It's your starter for a successful radio station and it will cost you only £6.89, so why not grab a copy now?  I think you'll be pleased that you did!

Never forget those  Golden Rules of Successful Radio.

And I look forward to hearing YOUR radio station !


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