[JPL] Regarding exposing young people to jazzp - Question
DPolletta at aol.com
DPolletta at aol.com
Sun Jul 19 09:17:05 EDT 2009
In a message dated 7/18/2009 2:01:05 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jaejazz at yahoo.com writes:
do have a question for programmers...how do you feel about mentioning
local events on your show...like musicians gigs...from those that never give
your station a dime when pledge time comes around? Just curious.>
this has always been a real sore spot with me. For years, when we had
much more jazz on WCPN, I recorded a jazz calendar that mentioned concerts and
then ran down club gigs. It aired three times a day five days a week. I
would include as many events as possible. Then when fundraising rolled
around, musicians, club owners and member of the local jazz society (who in
exchange for the list of events received a mention on each calendar)
vanished. That was in conjunction with never refusing an interview from anyone
who asked, plugging gigs and playing music of artists who would come to town.
During that period, during one of our purging jazz from the airwaves
periods, I had two musicians tell me they would never give the station another
dime and in the next breath ask me to include a special event on the
calendar. Not a hint of disconnect between the two events.
One of the area's prominent jazz promoters became indignant when I asked
him to support our jazz programming given all the free publicity he
received over the years. He responded "I can't afford to underwrite or contribute
to your station." Yet the club he booked ran ads every week in two
alternative weeklies. Why? Because a) they weren't going to give him the ad
space for free. b) he knew full well if he wanted concert previews in the
papers he needed to buy ads c) he knew we would keep giving it to him for free,
so why should he pay for it?
I ran into the same issue with the a hired pr guy in the final years of
the local jazz society which had been very limited in their support. He
called basically demanding that we interview this and that person for an
upcoming series. I asked him "Why would I support you? You haven't supported us
at all over the years." He claimed since we were public radio it was our
duty to advocate for jazz. I told him that was all well and good but it
didn't help us pay the bills. He responded "what do you want from the jazz
society? It is a non-profit organization. They don't have money to give
away." When I said "Well, if they don't have money-where did they get the cash
to hire you?" our conversation ended very quickly.
One of the vice presidents of the society told me that he listened every
night. When I asked him if he was a member he said "No I can't afford it"
He then proceeded to tell me about his three trips to NYC over the last three
months to hear jazz at Vanguard. Same with the musicians. I worked in a
record store for years. The guys whose names I read daily on the calendar
would come up to the counter with a stack of cds to buy. I would ask if
they were WCPN members."No man, don't have the bread," followed by "You guys
got that new 6 cd set by Miles? I got to get it!"
A very prominent local musician returned from a trip to Cali and called me.
He said "You should hear the public radio station out there. They really
know how to support the local scene. They play a ton of local music and are
always talking up the gigs. You guys are nowhere near that much help."
Two weeks later I found myself in Cali in the same city where the musician
had been. The station was conducting its fundraiser. I received my answer.
When I returned home, I called the musician and told him I had been
listening to the same station as he, but they were fundraising. I then gave him a
list of thirty names of musicians who had phoned in pledges over the three
hours I had been listening. I never read a list like that in Cleveland.
I think we needed to put our foot down earlier. Since we gave it away for
free in the hopes that it would foster goodwill and help us gather
support, no one ever expected to be really be responsible to help us in return
They took for granted to we would always plug their stuff with no need to
reciprocate so that they process might continue. When I cut out the
calendar and cut back on the plugging of local gigs, I had a lot of complaints
from those who had lost the free plugs, but I noticed no decrease in the
amount of revenue generated during fundraising. It was sad that what should
have been the core support group was the least supportive. It was the general
listener, not the jazz society member, musician or club owner who came
across with the pledges.
My all time favorite reason for not pledging came from a Cleveland police
captain who dropped about $100.00 a week in the record store. Every week
he would come in to ask me about tracks I had played and buy the discs. He
said he never missed a show and sometimes he would tape them and listen the
next day. I asked him why in all the years I had been on the air he had
never given a dime. I reminded him how much music we had hipped him to buy as
well as the service we provided him every day. "Give money to CPN? No
way, the news there is too liberal."
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