Friday, 7 June 2013

Preconceptions about Gold Radio

A typical forum comment.  Copyright: Hearst Magazines UK.
"Worn out old songs" and "repetition" come up regularly on media forums when it comes to discussing Gold Radio and at times isn't seen by some in the anorak community as a proper oldies radio station.  You get kudos if you have a broad playlist like Smooth Radio, online such as Big L which is managed by volunteers or a radio station in the Netherlands which the quote is from a discussion about a poll from a Dutch radio station where they're counting down listeners votes which has an eclectic selection of classics.

So what is Gold apparently doing wrong?  Their proposition under Global management has been "The Greatest Hits of All Time"  A straight out of the tin brand where they play the big hits mainly from the 60s and 70s with a dash from the late 50s and early 80s with tight personality links which is perfectly fine for the average listener.

However Gold doesn't just play the big hits.  Gold Requests on Sunday to Friday evenings is presented by Dean Martin, a promoter and passionate presenter with an encyclopedic knowledge of music.  He's probably the flag bearer for the brand where he uses the traditional straight to air calls from listeners to discuss the songs they'd like to hear in addition to more modern social media techniques to discuss elements of his show while on-air which gives the listener a feeling that he's interested in the listener and isn't afraid to play what could be considered off-target tracks.   If a listener requests The Wombles, it gets played.   There are also specialist request segments for the 50s and 60s.

Gold is a different beast from the big budget Capital Gold of the 80s and 90s which included heritage presenters such as Kenny Everett, Tony Blackburn and Paul Burnett, but continues to treat those core early songs from the birth of mainstream pop music in an entertaining and respectful manner.  It'll never have the wide playlist of a 'Big L' or an niche oldies Dutch station, but it was never meant to be in the first place.

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