Smokin’ & Drinkin’ – Miranda Lambert (Platinum LP) (RCA)

Of an incredible selection of songs, this is the one that floored me on the first listen. I was tracking the CD driving up to Dallas. First cut: Good start. Second cut: Sassy, amusing. Third cut: sharp. Fourth cut: Good Lord, This Is Great! Now maybe it won’t strike you with the impact it did me, but I figure everybody will recognize a masterpiece when they hear it. I was in love with it before she even started singing. The 49 second musical intro is mesmerizing. And while I am inclined to grouse about electronically processed voices, I do recognize that when used well, it can become a brilliant stroke of art as it is here. I was driving, now, and didn’t realize this was the cut with Little Big Town backing. First, I thought she’d double-tracked herself the way the original Pop divas Leslie Gore and Connie Francis did back when dinosaurs roamed. With the LBT girls accompanying her, the dreamlike quality of the record is simply gorgeous. And while I’m the leading croaker against overly-long records, sometimes…rarely, but sometimes…a record fully earns it’s extra time. This runs 5:20 and is worth every second of it. If it becomes a single, I expect there’ll be an edit to get it down to somewhere around four minutes. In such case, I’ll uncharacteristically bemoan it. It’ll be like the summer of ’67 when I heard the long version of “Light My Fire”. After that, whenever the 2:57 single came on the radio, it just kind’a pissed me off. Coitus interruptus and all that. “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” is just spectacular music-making.


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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.