John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 – Keith Urban (Capitol)

There was a song in ’74 that went Top 10, “Life is a Rock (but the radio rolled me)” by a one-shot amalgamation named Reunion. The record was a novelty that had a hook. The lyric was a whole bunch of rapid fire music and cultural references. That popped into my head about half way through this new thing from master Keith.

Here’s the oldie if you care to hear it.

Now, here’s Keith with a record built on a quick lyrical reading of a bunch of current cultural icons. On first listen it is a most interesting piece of work. Sure ’tain’t what McGee’d call Country, fer shur. Urban’s got my respect. He always sounds like himself but he continues to innovated. Living with that woman’s been good for the boy.


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I am one of the pioneers of the Hot Country format that swept across radio in the late 80's. In the early 80’s, I began advising his clients to make two significant formatting moves: 1) Increase the tempo. 2) Play more Currents. What seemed radical at the time, immediately producing ratings winners. My report about the formatting tactics I was using "Repositioning Country Radio" was published in ‘91. It was purchased by more than 200 radio programmers and served as a basic game plan for the Hot Country movement. Today, most radio markets have at least one station positioning itself as “Hot” Country. However, I no longer advise using the slogan anymore. As the format continues to evolve rapidly, new strategies are needed to maintain market share. First announcing job in '64; first PD position at age 18. I served as PD, air talent and station manager in twelve diverse markets prior to starting my consulting business in 1981. At the end of the 90's, I began transitioning from consulting to full-time business development of my music scheduling software company. Conceived and developed the first for the Macintosh computer, introduced in 1987; and Music1™, the first scheduler for Windows, introduced in 1994. The Mac-based scheduler was retired in the early 90s. The innovative Music 1 scheduler is now installed in broadcast and webcast stations around the world. Author of The Programming Operations Manual, radio's only step by step "how to" programming and formatting guide. The $99 book has been purchased by over 3000 broadcasters in the U. S. and around the world. I've often written about the technical, strategic and philosophical aspects of radio programing. My articles have appeared in all major trade publications. Experienced in all standard radio research methodologies; focus group, one-on-one interviews, questionnaires, call-out, etc. From jingles to TV production, billboard and bumper sticker design, telemarketing to direct mail, I've been involved in every aspect of radio programming and marketing.