Epic Radio GP is now LIVE

By December 11, 2017 Epic Extras

Epic Radio GP is now LIVE in the form of Prairie Lights Radio! We’re test driving some online platforms and you and your family get to be the drivers. Literally. Drive through Prairie Lights and listen to our curated holiday music through the TuneIn app on your smart device or directly from our micro-player at epicradiogp.com.

Epic Radio GP will be housed right inside the main entrance at The Epic when we open this Spring. If you’ve ever wanted to be a radio DJ or on-air personality, you’re in luck! We would love community members to curate their own styles of music for online radio play, record podcasts or just sit down for a talk-show!

Are you a local business looking to advertise? Cool. Let’s talk. Just looking for a new overhead service in your store front? Also cool. Let’s talk about that.

Read further and witness me “nerding out” on some music history.

In 1892, the song “After the Ball” became the first million-seller. The biggest hit of the century was not heard on TV, nor was it broadcast on the Radio. In fact, it wasn’t even made popular as a recording. Believe it or not, the first “Gold Record” was distributed to over a 5 million homes… as sheet music.

We all know that online streaming has changed everything about the music industry. But do you realize that Broadcast Radio was once a technological force of change for the entire industry? The Music Publishing business was thriving on the sales of sheet music for popular songs, plays, operas and classical works. At the turn of the 20th century, the most accessible way to listen to and enjoy music was next to a piano while a skilled player interpreted notes on a page. However, radio changed the industry and almost ended the era of publishers.

The business model adapted. Publishers sought licensing opportunities for songs in films starting in the 1920s (Al Jolson starred as “The Jazz” singer in 1927, later played by Neil Diamond) and revitalized the industry. Radio was now a prime partner and not an adversary. Broadcast made a way for the big band, the jazz singers and songwriters from all over the country to get music played for ears across America.

Radio was a relatively inexpensive appliance. Almost every American home had a radio. They became the central entertainment fixture in many house-holds and because of consistent listenership, they were also the central method of distributing news and information to the public. Ever heard of War of the Worlds? Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama was so well acted that many people thought it was NEWS! They thought we were being invaded by aliens. Easy mistake to make, I guess.

Armed Forces Radio (AFR) broadcast American music to military installations all around the world during World War II and popularized our style of music. You can give credit to the AFR for the U.S. becoming the pop-culture leader on the planet. You can also give credit to AFR for the huge spike in music and musical instrument sales in the late 1940s. Our boys returned from overseas and put a piano in 1 out of every 5 American homes. People bought guitars. They bought horns. They formed bands. They made bands cool. Buddy Holly was in a band. Buddy Holly was cool. The Beatles were cool. Bands in general are cool, right? I digress.

You can probably think of several technological shifts in your lifetime that have made us re-think the way the music business model works. CD’s in the 80s. Home recorders in the 90s. MP3 in the early 2000s. iTunes. Spotify. SoundCloud. The motif you pick up on is that every one of these shifts just makes music more accessible to listeners and creators. Internet radio is a new shift in the music business. Anyone can broadcast to the entire world, or to aliens, with a computer, a microphone and an internet connection. You can be any personality you wish. You can play whatever you want. You can say whatever you want. It’s an immensely powerful tool.

At The Epic, you can’t exactly say whatever you want. We have some standards here, folks. But you can still enjoy the creative process and learn about how to produce your own show! We can help you get a podcast setup on iTunes or teach you about music licensing. You can have a voice!

I hope to meet many of you radio buffs out there and geek out on music with you soon. I’m fascinated by this industry and love to learn all about it and share it with everyone. Please contact me if you’d like to talk about how our radio station works and to start booking time on-air!


Zach Balch
Recreation & Events Supervisor – The Epic

Zach Balch

Author Zach Balch

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