For many, many years now Southern Gospel artists have been attempting to get their music played on radio. In their attempts to get through the door they have learned bad habits when it comes to the proper way of approaching a radio DJ. Some are picking up the phone when they have never been trained on how the Southern Gospel music charting system works.
When I say that some of the approaches are bad… OMG!! Bad doesn’t even cover it. I even created a training course to teach artists how to properly call radio and the “do’s” and the “don’ts” of making such calls.
In past articles, I have covered things like, “Don’t Beg Like a Dog” which was a post asking artists to quit begging for chart positions when your airplay doesn’t match up to it. It scares me to think we have people in this industry who had rather get a dishonest report just to satisfy their pride in getting a song on the charts. If you are not being played on the radio, you should never be seen on the charts. But that doesn’t stop some artists from calling and asking for certain chart positions. How can you ask for a certain place on the chart that is supposed to represent how often you have been played?
I will not go through all of my training here but I did want to share a few things that you as an artist should NEVER say to a radio show host or program director.
1. “Well, other stations are playing my music”
This has to be one of the top-level statements that tick off DJs more than anything. Let me say this with all the love I have within me… WE DON’T CARE WHAT THE OTHER STATIONS ARE PLAYING. You making this statement is like standing up in church and degrading the people who did not buy your CD based on the simple fact that one person did. “Well, he bought a CD so why didn’t everyone buy a CD.”
Also – for the sake of the charts and the opportunity for new artists to see themselves on the charts, you don’t want us all playing the same music or we will all just play the same 20 artists who always seem to get nominated for the Top 5 spots of award shows. That would mean no variety in our music. And isn’t that what makes Southern Gospel different than other genres? That we can chart The McKameys and Triumphant Quartet on the same chart?
If you have ever made this statement to a radio DJ, this maybe why you are not getting played.
2. “Well, my song is on the Charts”
La Dee Da Da Da… I don’t play music on my show based on the chart. The chart is created based on the music I play. Using these tactics to try and get your music played on our stations is not working. It’s like you are trying to bully your way onto the air. Just as I mentioned in the first statement, if you have other stations charting you then I have to ask if they are actually playing your music or just simply giving you favors. Because we all know there are people swapping places on their charts to help themselves.
“If you chart me on your chart then I will chart you on my chart because us smaller artists have to stick together.”
(All I have to say about that is this… You will stand before God and give an account for cheating the system. This is wrong and it’s sad that it happens in a genre of music that is supposed to about ministry and not peronal gain.)
3. “Well I sent you a coffee mug so you should play my music”
LOL! We didn’t ask for the coffee mug. You chose to send us something as a nice gesture. If you sent it with the intention of trying to buy our air time then you are breaking the law and we could both be in trouble. I have about 20 coffee mugs and other gift items that have been sent to me. Some were simply thanking me for not only playing their music but also giving them sound advice before they lose their house in this industry.
But if you think sending gifts will get you played… think again. It’s not about FAVORS it’s about the fact of finding a great song that has a great thought that you got a great cut. Just because you have put it on a CD doesn’t mean its radio worthy. What does the song say? Does the song change lives? Will the song speak to me?
At the end of the day, you have to come to the realization that your music may not be up to the quality standards it needs to be on all radio stations. Why is it always the radio station’s fault because they won’t play you. Maybe it’s your fault for not taking the time to work on your craft to become better. Does it bother anyone else that instead of complaining about what you are NOT getting that you would spend that time working on getting better? Nope… not in this industry. We want to make it to the top without vocal training, better songwriting abilities and constant practice. In essence, we just want it handed to us.
Then.. you had rather bash everyone who doesn’t play you as though they are the devil.
Can I give you one more? I heard this and about died laughing…
4. “I would take your training on “How To Get My Music On Radio” but you don’t play my music so I am not going to support you.
That’s funny because many artists have this mindset. They will use their music as a bargaining tool to get what they want. If you don’t play my music then I am not going to support you. That, by the way, is the perfect way to get your music played…NOT!
You are telling us that you really don’t care about us as radio stations just as long as you get what you want. That’s just like groups who want us to give them a “Favor” by promoting their paid concert events while everyone else has to buy the advertising.
Also, you are a double minded person when you do this. Because you will shop Wal-mart even though they don’t sell your music. You will buy booths at conventions even though you don’t get to sing on the prime stage in the prime time. So I am not supporting you by not playing your music but instead investing my time and efforts to help you possibly learn a new technique on how to get your music played on Gospel radio.
Rado hasn’t changed. So if you have been sending music to radio stations for more than 10 years and you have not had any success… is that radio’s fault or should you be evaluating how you are approaching the music business in general?
Okay, that is enough for today…
Be sure to watch this video to learn how to sell more products at your concerts.