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AIRPLAY - The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio

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Ajoutée le 14 août 2008

If you want to see how America works, look at what happened to Rock Radio. For fifty years, it was our revolutionary medium. Radio had the power to move people then. And deejays seized it. In the 1950s, a handful of AM pioneers introduced White America to Black R&B. New York deejay Alan Freed changed the course of American culture by branding it 'Rock 'n Roll.'

In its glory years, personalities like Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, Dan Ingram, Jerry Blavat. Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi and Wolfman Jack ruled the airwaves. But Rock Radio always had powerful enemies. Congress held 'payola' hearings to target the personalities breaking down economic and racial barriers. Alan Freed got booted off the air.

Program Directors and radio consultants took control. Deejays could no longer choose their own music. Top 40 Radio became bland and predictable.

Then came a new wave of progressive FM deejays. They ignited a political, social and sexual revolution that helped end the Vietnam war. Until FM, too, was silenced by FCC intimidation and corporate greed. And 60s Rock became 70s Disco.

When rock radio lost its soul, a flame went out. We pay tribute to its unsung heroes-and the promise of a rebirth on satellite radio. Airplay is a story of love and war, told by the deejays and the artists they made. It celebrates a time when we all listened together and the music changed our lives.

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