Forums > Queen - General Discussion > The war to get "Thank God It's Christmas" on the radio!

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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
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Posted: 03 Dec 09, 23:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The following is a correspondence is between myself and the program director at a Buffalo, NY, radio station which seasonally play all Christmas music all the time.

Here's my original submission, via their cite:

****
Question: Your question or comment?
Answer: Hi, Your alpha-numeric code system on the Christmas song request page does not work. It keeps sending error messages, despite my opening the computer's setting to allow for it to work as well as entering the correct letters and numbers. Anyway, here're my 3 requests, which you didn't have on your list (I guess you had to save room for bad Jessica Simpson versions of Christmas songs...): "Thank God It's Christmas" and "A Winter's Tale", both by Queen, and "Silent Night" by Mike Oldfield. All three of these tracks are easy to find. "Thank God It's Christmas" appears on Queen's Greatest Hits III collection, "A Winter's Tale" can be found on their Made In Heaven album and "Silent Night" can be found on his 1993 "Tattoo" CD single (this one might be harder to find, but you'll be glad you made the effort, as will your listeners.
***

The Program Director's reply, his name is ironically Brian DeMay:

***
Hi,

Thanks for the feedback, however this time of year the Jessicas and the Britneys get a bunch of requests (along with Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, etc.), while Queen gets zero. No offense. I like Queen, but I’m not familiar with the songs you mentioned, and I would wager neither are my listeners.

To be honest, the goal during the holidays is to be brutally familiar with our playlist. That’s what wins the ratings game, and ratings (or the lack, thereof) determine whether I get to keep my job or not. Believe me, there are a lot of songs I personally would like to play, too, but in this case, majority rules.

Thank you for listening, and for taking the time to write. I hope you have a great Holiday.

Sincerely,

Brian
***

Okay, so here's my reply:

***

Hi Brian,

No offense taken and none is intended in the following reply...

Ignoring the fact that I worked in radio for a number of years, both in programming and on-the-air, I'd think that at least *offering* the two Queen songs for listenership would be a place a start. If they get no further requests, you're well within your wisdom to discontinue their rotation. If you want concrete justification for playing them, here are a few stats:

"Thank God It's Christmas" was number 21 on the 1984/1985 charts (over the Christmas/New Year season). It's a fairly recent original composition, which breaks up the monotony of hearing another cover of "White Christmas," "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Frosty The Snowman" (great songs, yes, but a man can only listen to these so often before needs something new).

"A Winter's Tale" was number 6 in 1995, again over the holiday season (its single was paired with "Thank God It's Christmas" [as the B-side]). This was the last original song written by Freddie Mercury and is a beautiful piece.

Your station has an impressive cross-section of artists and styles (The Vince Garauldi Trio, Bing Crosby, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra [whom I've seen live] and Jessica Simpson [not my favourte artist, but I won't deny her popularity], to name a few), and I sincerely believe that the Queen tracks I'm suggesting will not only fit well into your rotation, but can become perennial favourites if given a chance. Songs and styles and artists go in and out of fashion all the time. While Queen has always been popular world-wide, the 1980s and 1990s saw a decline in their North American impact, but there is definately a resurgence this decade. You could be a trailblazer in introducing a new generation to these holiday songs. Take a leap of faith!

You'll thank me.

Merry Christmas
***

So, here's what I need everyone to do: Write this guy and the station and request the hell out of these Queen songs. "The majority rules," he says. so be it! We Queen fans are legion and will not be ignored. Write pleasant, polite requests to hear these songs on his station. Let it be known throughout the land that Queen have something to offer the holiday season!

Brian DeMay's email:
briandemay@mystar1025.com

The radio station in question (The Star):
http://www.mystar1025.com/

Let's hit them en force! Remember, be nice about it.

I'll keep you posted on development and if he decides to add them to the rotation.

Merry Christmas, brothers and sisters, whatever your faith/beliefs/atheism.

dragon-fly user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 04 Dec 09, 10:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My crystal ball says it won't work :(
Good luck, though...

The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 04 Dec 09, 11:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote































rhyeking wrote:















To be honest, the goal during the holidays is to be brutally familiar with our playlist. That’s what wins the ratings game, and ratings (or the lack, thereof) determine whether I get to keep my job or not.














If I were you I'd lobby satellite stations instead, as most of them would be more willing to shuffle the deck.

Mainstream stations have to cater to the majority and what is familiar to them.  Familiarity is what makes most people comfortable.  The lack of will to change (unless absolutely necessary) is an unfortunate testament to the weakness of most of us, even with music, never mind major life decisions.

Good on him for giving you an honest reply.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



http://www.queenlive.ca
believe in yourself 45455 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 04 Dec 09, 17:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All I need to hear is Slade's Merry X'mas Everybody

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Posted: 05 Dec 09, 14:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

well done for hitting back ! i really hope this works !
for the record ''a winters tale'' should have been christmas no.1 all over the world

happy christmas !


all your love tonight.......
mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 05 Dec 09, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have just made an xmas cd for the office but I kept that song off it because they know I am a Queen fan and they will ask who is responsible for that horrid noise on the cd they have never heard of. I could never bring myself to tell them....

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Posted: 05 Dec 09, 22:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Horribly embarrasing song. Sounds terribly forced and I can't stand its lyrics, music or production.

I wonder what kind of Christmas song would they have produced had they done it in the mid to late seventies.

Still, I don't know... to me there's something about Queen (the band) that doesn't blend with Christmas or any religious or political statements. I just don't buy it.

On the other hand, A Winter's Tale is a beautiful song that I don't necessarily associate with Christmas but it's lovely.

thunderbolt 31742 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 05 Dec 09, 22:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow, that's about as honest a reply as you'll ever get from a PD. Seriously, most of them would have replied with, "Thanks for the suggestion, we'll see if we can find those songs, and keep listening to KSUK 105.3 for Loudmouth and Dumbsh*t in the Morning and your favorite holiday tunes all day long!"

...if they even replied at all.

Like others have said, I doubt you'll have much luck with terrestrial radio. If you can get ANY station to go along with, it'd be a classic rock station, and you'd have to target your request directly to a DJ who's already shown a proclivity to Queen. Down here in San Diego, we've got a guy named Bryan Schock who does the afternoon drive, and he plays more Queen than I've heard on the radio anywhere else. Not a lot, mind you, because outside of sporting arenas, there really isn't much demand for it here, but you can count on hearing a couple of Queen songs a shift from him, and not the ones you'd expect (WWRY, WATC, Crazy Little Thing, Dust, etc.) either. He plays BoRhap once a week or so (including playing a live cut of it once in a very great while), and occasionally Stone Cold Crazy and Keep Yourself Alive will make it onto his program. If you really want to get Thank God It's Christmas on the radio, a DJ like that is your best bet.



"Do you think I should keep this mustache? Did you say no? F--- off."
steven 35638 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 05 Dec 09, 23:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I admire your endeavor, Rhyeking.  Fortunately, my local hard rock station actually plays "Thank God It's Christmas" this time of year.  I've only heard it once, but when I did I almost crapped myself.  I live in the States, by the way.


"Fuck today, it's tomorrow." - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 06 Dec 09, 07:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I run my own radio station, although admittedly I only broadcast to other rooms of my house.  Having said that I'm an excellent DJ and the weather is always accurate up-to-the-minute.

"Today's weather is ... mm ... partly cloudy".


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 06 Dec 09, 16:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I run my own radio station too. Its just to the people in my head. But there are no people in my head. Just me.

I sing songs in my head. Full stop.

Thank God Its Chrismas isn't one of them.

thunderbolt 31742 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 06 Dec 09, 17:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Zebonka12 wrote:

I run my own radio station, although admittedly I only broadcast to other rooms of my house.  Having said that I'm an excellent DJ and the weather is always accurate up-to-the-minute.

"Today's weather is ... mm ... partly cloudy".

I'd wager "Zebonka at 12" is the highest-rated satirical commentary program on your station.









"Do you think I should keep this mustache? Did you say no? F--- off."