Monday, October 21, 2013

Bob Marley "3 Little Birds"

There are a number of artists that we go really deep on.

In regular rotation on MVY, you can find upwards of 20 songs by The Allman Brothers, The Band, Talking Heads and U2.  And more than 30 by The Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones and a handful of others.

Because we cover these artists really well, it's not uncommon to take some of the most famous songs by these artists, like "Casey Jones" or "Ramblin' Man" and put them in a very, very low rotation.

On the surface, that might be counter-intuitive.  The most popular songs should be played the most, right?

But these are also the songs that you are likely to hear elsewhere.  Classic Rock stations have been grinding these tunes for years, so just occasional play on MVY goes a long way because you are likely to hear these songs elsewhere.

It's pretty rare that something about the MVY library surprises me.

I've been Program Director/Music Director since 2005.  And I've been doing work with our song library database for over a decade.

But last week, something really surprised me.

I was out somewhere and I heard "3 Little Birds" by Bob Marley.  And I thought, "Gee, I haven't heard this on MVY in a while.  Did I take it out of rotation and 'Rest' it?"

I'll do that sometimes.  "Rest" a song, by pulling it from rotation for a few months, or a year.  The idea is that when it returns to rotation, the listener may not have realized it was gone over the course of the year, but hears it and says, "Oh, I haven't heard this in a while."

So was "3 Little Birds" resting?

I went to the database.  No "3 Little Birds."

The database was created in 1999.  So any song that has ever been in regular rotation at any point since then, is in the database.  Songs that maybe we have the CD for, and might play but request but are otherwise not in regular rotation are not there.

"3 Little Birds" not being there means we haven't played it as a regular part of rotation for at least 15 years.

I realized there might be some other Marley songs missing from rotation.  So I went to iTunes to see his most popular songs.

I was shocked to see that there is a whole list of Marley tunes, not in regular rotation on MVY:

"One Love"
"Could You Be Loved"
"Buffalo Soldier"
"Redemption Song"
"Rock My Boat"

These are all songs that you can hear any day of the week on your local classic rock station, or at a party, or out in public somewhere.

So it's not that I hadn't heard any of these songs since 1999.  I was hearing them.  And I was hearing them enough that I hadn't even noticed that MVY wasn't one of the sources.

I don't know if our listeners have noticed.  But I will remedy this by getting all these songs into rotation.  Albeit a low, low rotation.

If I can go 15 years without noticing they are missing, they probably only need an occasional spotlight.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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