Every town in America offers more or less the same radio stations: pop, country, classic rock, and talk. Some stations like to offer something a little bit (or a whole lot) different, and so do broadcasters who pipe out music from the wild west of the internet.
THE FIX IS IN
Broadcasting in London, Fix Radio is made specifically for the workin’ man. Before launching, owners researched the kind of music that electricians, plumbers, roofers, bricklayers, and other hands-on professionals liked to listen to that kept them working throughout the day, and compiled a playlist primarily of upbeat classic rock and ‘80s pop songs. The Fix also delivers frequent, detailed weather reports for all of its listeners working outdoors.
NONE OF THE HITS
Virginia station WXXS has a pop format, and like all other pop stations, spins a lot of records by the likes of Rihanna and Katy Perry. Unlike other stations, it only plays songs by those artists that weren’t huge hits, preferring songs that were released as singles but didn’t catch on and didn’t reach the top 10. Also: DJs never speak on the air on WXXS.
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SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EARS
In 2013, Colorado became the first state to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational (meaning non-medicinal) use. It spawned a cottage industry of marijuana-related businesses, including radio station KBUD, or “Smokin’ 94.1.” It lasted about a year and played rock and pop songs about drugs, drug-themed talk radio shows, and clips from old Cheech & Chong movies.
A HEAVENLY MIX
WXJK, or “The X,” is a one-man broadcaster in Farmville, Virginia, and it’s a Christian, rock station. But it doesn’t play “Christian rock” music. Rather, it plays secular, nonreligious classic rock music (The Beatles, the Allman Brothers) interrupted by an occasional sermon by the station’s owner.
HALF THE EFFORT
Another one-man operation, WDUK broadcasts out of rural Illinois. The programming was heavily made up of nationally syndicated shows of nostalgic ‘60s rock n’ roll and classic bluegrass, which the owner would receive on cassette…and play just one side of the tape, or rather half of every show. The operator would also deliver farm news and during weekday mornings he’d play old country tunes, but only ones from vinyl records he’d purchased at a specific store in Nashville.