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2017: World Star Hip Hop Founder Died

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)

Radio Facts: Hard to believe it's been a little over three years since Lee O'Denat died. The site is still going strong. Originally posted Jan 24, 2017.

One of the most popular websites in the world has lost its founder. World Star Hip Hop founder Lee O'Denat, 43, died in his sleep last night according to TMZ. His autopsy is scheduled for later today. No word on services or the fate of World Star.

Radio, Record Stores and Record Labels: A Marriage Divorced by Technology


This past weekend, I went and purchased a bunch of Vinyl records and I was reminded of "The record store experience" that I once cherished.

A Quick Look Back

Originally posted May 30, 2011

Radio Facts - One of the fondest memories I have as a kid growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., ended up being my career choice as an adult. As of this writing, for more than 20 years now. My parents both knew how much I LOVED going to the record store. My father, I could tell, was not impressed with the experience but he got a kick of the fact that I got such a kick out of it but my mother was/is a music lover too so it was more of an adventure with her.

Record Labels, Radio Stations and Retail worked together hand in hand as a great well-oiled music machine to lure the public to love music and the experience of buying it. Blacks were very dependent on "Black" (now called "Urban") radio stations for music and a whole lot more ... and black radio came through.


Audrey's and Dells was THE record store in Buffalo, NY and Doris Records was another popular store. The first thing I remember was the various weekly colored lists from WBLK or WUFO on the glass desk at the record store. WBLK had a chosen single that they called the BLK Pick (Blick Pick) of the week and that was usually a huge hit.

The Record Store was my "candy store" and I was blown away by the huge plethora of new 45s behind the counter on the wall in alphabetical order by the artist. We ALWAYS had to use those Top 40 sheets for reference for records we could not remember the names of. Of course, this was a time when the big Rs worked in unison (Retail, Record Labels and Radio Stations). Record stores were my first experience with incense.

They always had it burning when you walked in. The whole record store experience was the closest I could get to the music industry at the time and I loved it. I also knew I would eventually make a connection with it one day. I distinctly remember Motown almost always released several singles at the same time and they were always hits.

It was nothing for me to use up my Buy 5, Get 1 Free by getting The Jackson 5, Temptations, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Supremes, The Four Tops and/or Marvin Gaye. I was always fascinated, like everyone else with Motown artists. Detroit was right up the river and it was always the best music.


In those days, even though the local stations had a Top 40 list, the music selections on the station were still ENDLESS, unless a record was a huge hit but it would still take a couple of hours before you heard it again, the DJs were beyond entertaining, very personable, passionate and they were hustlers and huge local stars. Being on the air was just a mere platform for them but an important one as they worked their own outside deals and they made MONEY. It was the very reason I wanted to get into radio.

When a concert came to town it was always a popular DJ hosting the show (back then DJs were able to negotiate their own deals, program directors were not taken as seriously as they are today (if there was even one at appointed at the station) EVERYBODY in the neighborhood would play the radio on their stereos while they chilled around the house, had company over or were on the porch sitting in a lawn chair with a beer in their hands after dinner.

There were also conscience community-oriented talk shows on many Black stations like WBLK's Express Yourself (instead of the Quiet Storm) which gave the community an opportunity to talk about important issues.

It has truly been YEARS since I have seen or heard anyone playing a radio station in their home or apartment (sans Sirius and XM which I do play myself). While the advent of technology plays a large part in that, I have to admit, I am surprised that so many commercial stations continue to do so well in this current radio climate.


For as long as I can remember, I have also been fascinated with the mechanics of a record player and for a while, I was a collector of record players as an adult. I still can't resist going to Goodwill every now and then to buy one that someone gave to them especially one from the 60s. The absolute BEST period for home stereos. At present, I don't have a record player because I sold the one I had before I moved from Atlanta but I plan to buy one soon.

Thank God there still a HUGE record store in Hollywood (Amoeba Music) that I can go to for a TON of vintage albums for 99 cents each.. a lot of them NEVER PLAYED. Sometimes I go with several adult friends and we can spend hours cracking up while looking at various album covers and reminiscing. Who can deny the great experience of flipping through albums in a bin to look at all the creative artwork and to flip it over to see what cuts are on the album and the credits?

As time went on the 8 track died (which I never liked anyway) then the cassette (which I also never liked) then vinyl (what the hell is wrong with the labels, I thought) CDs have never done it for me. There was a time while working in the industry, I had over 10,000 full-length CDs but they took something away from the music experience for me. Now that CDs are phasing out the mp3 is, without question, making and saving the labels a ton of money but now music can only be heard not seen, touched or held.

There is speculation that a whole new generation of young music lovers are developing a fascination with vinyl. This is literally, no pun intended, music to my ears.

As the internet continues to make us less and less one-on-one in our daily experiences and more isolated in our homes and apartments, certain outlets have to remain intact in order for us to have a reason to leave the house at all.

Today, record labels complain about Black radio's 30 song playlists with little or no room for the introduction of new artists and retail is virtually gone. While I am still not totally familiar with the Pandora experience, they appear to be making quite a splash.

Radio seems less than concerned about internet technology and many stations don't even bother to update their websites. Could this all change in an instant if someone comes up with a stellar idea for internet radio? We'll know by next year when Internet radio will have an opportunity to gain mobile audiences when they are placed in more and more cars.

In the meantime, whatever technology has to offer in the near future, I would love for the younger generation or Black radio Radio DJs to experience what it's like to run their own show and market themselves.

I don't hear the passion and the energy I once heard and I know the reason is the overall homogenization of Black radio. Finally, I would love for the new generation of record buyers to have an opportunity to have more visual and public record store experience a few times.

I don't expect the industry to ever go back to being what it was in the 60s and 70s but I am concerned that today's radio is resting too hard on its laurels and it may be taken by an unpleasant and possibly unrecoverable surprise.

Sarah Morgan Re-Joins The Lex & Terry Morning Show Team


Sarah Morgan Re-joins Lex and Terry Show

Sarah Morgan has re-joined The Lex & Terry Morning Show as a member of the on-air broadcast team. Morgan spent seven years with the highly-rated and highly regarded Lex & Terry show before departing for a career on board a Carnival Cruise liner, but this week the popular former member of the show staff is once again a current member of the program. This announcement comes today from USRN’s EVP/Programming, Andy Denemark and the show’s founding co-hosts, Lex Staley and Terry Jaymes. Sarah Morgan comes back to the show in a role as a full-time on-air contributor, and regarding her return, Lex & Terry commented that “Sarah is a content machine. She was beloved and revered on the show for many years, and it’s fantastic to welcome her back.” Morgan fills a hole in the show’s on-air lineup that was created by the departure of Krystina Byford who had been with the show for the past two years. Byford is joining the Creative/Production department at the Cumulus cluster in Dallas to work on the Country outlet KSCS-FM as well as KTCK “The Ticket," on the nation’s top Sports Radio Stations. Lex and Terry continued by stating that “Both of these young ladies have been a huge part of our success over the last ten years, and we are happy for both of them to be where they are now. Krystina will be a major player in Dallas radio, and Sarah is a rating magnet, so we are thrilled to have her on the air again.” radiofacts.com Lex & Terry first teamed up on the air at WFYV-FM, Jacksonville in 1992. The two had a successful morning show locally in Jacksonville, and then in 1997, the duo decided to take the program into national syndication. The show found a national audience immediately, and Lex & Terry eventually moved their broadcast operations to Dallas, TX, which still serves as the hometown for their studios. Lex Staley has a long history in radio both on the air and in various management capacities including having been a Program Director. Terry Jaymes comes from a background of comedy, television and live performance, and together they’ve got over 50 years of combined radio experience. Currently, the Lex & Terry show is broadcast in dozens of markets from 6 am until 11 am Eastern Time each weekday, with “Best-Of” segments available for weekend programming.  

‘Redding News Review Unrestricted’ Reaches 1,000-Episode Milestone


radiofacts.com'Redding News Review Unrestricted' Reaches 1,000-Episode Milestone

Talk Host Rob Redding this week is celebrating the 1000 episode of his popular talk show Redding News Review Unrestricted. Redding says the show which has subscribers in more than 20 states will reach the important milestone since starting in April of 2014 today. "Very honored to have so many fans who believe in me and what I do," Redding said. "And I look forward to another 1000 episodes with all my fans in a growing number of states." Redding who conducts his show out of New York the last two years says the show is responsible for two .com best selling books last year, his autobiography "Out Loud" and "Sinister Citizen."  It also has produced best selling books "Why Black Lives Matter" and "Unthinkable." "Numbers don't lie," said Redding, who also relies heavily on a social media base of close to 20,000 people. Redding built his base for the show from his nearly 20 years on national radio in all 50 states as "America's Independent Voice." Listeners have typically equated his brand with humor, straight talk about politics and a mixture of cutting edge journalism. Listen to the show on the Redding News Review web site, ReddingNewsReview.com.    

Musicnotes Surpasses $75 Million in Payments to Artists and Songwriters


Musicnotes Surpasses $75 Million in Payments to Artists and Songwriters

Musicnotes, Inc., the world's leading digital sheet music retailer, announced today it recently hit $75 million in royalties paid to music publishers and songwriters since the launch of www.musicnotes.com in 1999. The $75 million number takes into account compensation related to all sheet music downloads at Musicnotes.com, as well as royalties related to the www.songsterr.com guitar tab business. "Rewarding music creators is part of our DNA at Musicnotes," stated Musicnotes CEO Kathleen Marsh. Our business model generates healthy royalties and our market-leading database ensures our unpaid royalties are well under 1%, a performance we are proud of and will stack up against anyone in the music business." In fact, Musicnotes' vision statement explicitly calls out that they "will foster the creation of music by advocating for and rewarding its creators." Musicnotes has pioneered the fair and legal e-commerce of downloadable sheet music, was recently named to Internet Retailer's Top 1000 List for the 14th straight year and is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its founding. As the music industry has come under fire for drastically cutting its royalty payments to artists, Musicnotes offers a different comparison. For the song, "As Long As You Love Me" by Justin Bieber, writer Andre Lindal has a 20% ownership stake. Royalties paid by Pandora for over 38 million spins would equate to just $278, whereas 1,400 downloads of the sheet music would produce $747 for the writer. "Revenue from sheet music, tablature and lyrics are becoming increasingly important to songwriters and music publishers," said National Music Publishers' Association President and CEO David Israelite. "There is tremendous value in songs, and it is important these rights are protected and monetised to their full extent. Musicnotes has established and maintained a longstanding commitment to supporting songwriters and music publishers around the globe." Musicnotes sold its first download in late 1999 and has now reached 40 million downloads in 2018. Songsterr joined the Musicnotes family in 2011 and offers a popular guitar tab subscription service. Both Musicnotes and Songsterr offer mobile and web-based apps to complement their respective song catalogues and enhance the experience for musicians. Learning and playing great music is at the core of both business models.




NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 1, 2018)– To celebrate the proclamation of June as Black Music Month (African American Music Appreciation Month), the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has issued the first State of Black Music address. “Black music is America’s music,” said Henry Beecher Hicks, president of the NMAAM. “It’s global music. It crosses boundaries of culture and race and geography, bringing us together in moments of joy, celebration, challenge and contemplation. Black music is, in a word, transcendent, and it may be that the State of Black Music is stronger than ever.”“For the first time in the history of Nielsen Music measurement, hip-hop/R&B claimed the largest share of overall volume sales ... as the top genre in American music,” Hicks said. “It’s hard to believe; but in the span of one generation, rap has come to define the sound of popular music.”Hicks gave his address on WPRT-FM in Nashville, where the museum is set to open in 2019. The NMAAM will be the only museum in the country solely dedicated to educating, preserving and celebrating the influence African Americans have had on music, told through the artifacts, artists and stories that have defined American music. and transcript of speech: listen below About NMAAMThe National Museum of African American Music, set to open in 2019, will be the only museum solely dedicated to educating, preserving and celebrating the influence African Americans have had on music. Based in Nashville, Tenn., the museum will share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring musical heroes of the past into the present. For more information, please visit www.nmaam.org. [audio mp3="https://radiofacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/State-of-Black-Music-060118.mp3"][/audio]