I haven't done this in a while, and since we're getting close to putting our station back on the air (just a few weeks away), I thought I'd revisit a blog I wrote several years ago about a blog I wrote several years before that about who we are (and why).
Before I go any further, I want to thank you for the continued support! Thanks to social media (and you can connect with me through the links on the homepage), I’ve been able to connect with lots of Christmas music fans and friends!
To be honest, I'm more than a little humbled by the success of this station. You have all had a major part in making one of my biggest wishes come true!
For those who don't know, The Sounds of Christmas is an Internet Christmas radio station. For those who haven't discovered Internet radio, yet, it simply means it's like a radio station, but available online instead of through a traditional radio. And as far as I'm concerned, it's a lot better.
I am a huge fan of Christmas music, and I always have been. Increasingly over the years, I had become more and more disillusioned with the way those traditional radio stations went about playing Christmas music.
There are tons of great Christmas CDs out there, and most seem to get ignored, while Bing's "White Christmas" and Nat's "Christmas Song" get featured seemingly every hour.
Don't get me wrong, I love Bing Crosby and Nat "King" Cole. I love Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Johnny Mathis and the Chipmunks, too. But there's a lot more than just those standards, and I can't be the only one that loves all the rest of the Christmas music.
If that didn't underscore my point, how about Josh Groban? His first Christmas CD, which debuted in 2007, sold so well it broke records held by Elvis Presley! In fact, it went on to become the best-selling CD of the year! Not just the best-selling "Christmas" CD, but the best-selling CD, period.
Note: The Sounds of Christmas is considered a "new" station each year because we don't broadcast all year long, just from November 1 through January 6. And we only start on November 1 so that you can start listening whenever you're ready.
Listeners to the Sounds of Christmas last year got to hear new holiday music from singers and bands as diverse as Seth MacFarlane, Chrissie, Hynde, Foiled Again, Nancy Wallace, Rick Lang, Larry Carlton, Cimorelli, Michael Feinstein, Elizabeth Chan, Matthew West, Danny Wright, Shayna Leigh, Judy Pancoast, Jean Watson, Walk Off The Earth, Tim Rushlow, Rebecca Roubion, the Hipwaders, the Jive Aces, Fifth Harmony, Idina Menzel, the Hit Men, Jillaine, Six Appeal, 1 Girl Nation, Guy Penrod, Home Free, Kat Tingey, Modern Post, Sandi Patty, Tin Idols, Dave Koz, Sara Evans, Anthony Hamilton, Earth Wind and Fire, Jon McLaughlin, Kris Allen, Jesse James Decker, Darius Rucker, Felix Cavaliere, Living Sister, Higher Hands, Julian Moon, Alex Rhodes, the Connection, Kendall Schmidt, Annie Marie Lewis, Charles Esten, Hollow Season, Joey DeFrancesco, LeAnn Rimes, Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox, John Schneider and Tom Wopat, Kris Rodgers and the Dirty Game, Celtic Thunder, Kim Walker-Smith, Liminanas, Jonathan Jackson, Daniel Rodriguez, Johnnyswim, Michael W. Smith, Wild Season, Amy Stroup, Dave Harris Project, Carolyn Arends, Funky Jenn, House of Heroes, Blue Rodeo, Smalltown Poets, Maysa, Time For Three, Dalton Cyr, All-4-One, Ryan McAllister, Renee Fleming, Spencer Day, Shane Alexander, Pentatonix, Chris Mann, Katrina Stone, Allison Crowe, Band Aid 30, Cloverton, the Blenders, Blind Boys of Alabama and Taj Mahal, Sam Levine, Paper Lace, Ashanti, B.J. Thomas, Gregory Porter, Craig Pilo, Family Force 5, Proxy, David Lee Roth, Marillion, Yoko Ono and the Flaming Lips, Billy Joel, the Cast of "Nashville", Gregory Abbott, the Hot Club of Spokane, Jason Manns, Lucinda Williams, Liz Phair, Natalie Taylor, Jim Brickman, Meghan Trainor, Little Anthony, Carly Jamison, Kevin Ross, Billy Craig, the Killers (with Jimmy Kimmel), Trouvere, Owl City, the Rosebuds, Joe Bonamassa, Ruby Jane, India.Arie, Belles and Whistles, John Lindberg Trio, Ladyhawke, Band of Merrymakers, Sleeping At Last, Brandi Carlile, Dustin Kensrue, Luke McMaster, Bay City Rollers, Joe Perry, Gold Coast All-Stars, Vanilla Fudge, Sabrina Carpenter, Ayla Brown, Straight No Chaser with Kristen Bell, Amanda Palmer, the Baha Men, John Lodge, Reel Big Fish and Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett. To name a few (and apologies to anyone I left out)!
After all, if you love one particular Christmas song that much, odds are you own it and can play it whenever you want, right?
This station was something I've wanted to do for a long time, and thanks to Mannheim Steamroller, I've been able to make it happen.
Now, I'm starting to get ready to do it again. And if you'd like, I'd love to have your help!
First, if you are a singer or in a band, and you've recorded a Christmas song, make sure I know about it! Leave a comment here or send me a message so I can get it and look into adding it to our playlist.
Please note, I don't add everything that gets sent. I've been in the radio industry for over twenty-five years, and I feel like I have a grasp on what works and what doesn't. I know sometimes that's a matter of taste, but that's how it is. I only add music that seems to fit with what the station is. You can get a little of a taste of that by check out the top hundred songs from last year.
That said, what have you got to lose? Through Live365, we've got an International audience of at least 5 million, and when your song plays, there's a link to Amazon and iTunes. You'll be reaching an audience that is already online, and that loves Christmas music. That's just one click away from a sale! Potentially, it's one click away from 5 million sales!
The key word there is "potentially". Airplay doesn't always guarantee sales. But it will get you heard by a large audience.
Even though it's on the Internet, the Sounds of Christmas is still a radio station. And just like traditional radio stations, we're able to run based on advertising. So if you run or work for a company that would like to reach a really big audience who are, as I already mentioned, online and just a click away from buying your product, let me know!
I try to keep the ads down, allowing the music to be the focus. That is, after all, what people come to the Sounds of Christmas for. So there aren't a lot of slots to fill. And I'm every bit as picky about the ads as I am about the music.
This is a family-friendly radio station, so your ad, service and/or product need to be family-friendly, too. I didn't think I needed to say that, but after all some of the recent friend requests I've gotten, I wanted to be sure.
That said, if you'd like to publicize your business and draw people to you, your website and your products and services (which will even be open online on Christmas Day), leave me a comment or send me a message and I'll get you all the details. Once the spaces fill up, that will be that.
You can also let your friends know about us! Just mention us to friends and family who love Christmas music. And if you hear something that you really like, please check out the artist and at least consider buying their song or CD! Without them, there would be no Sounds of Christmas!
You don't have to buy anything, of course. The best way you can support us is by listening! We'll be back on November 1 with thousands of great Christmas songs, including new holiday music from Kenny Rogers, MercyMe, Danny Gokey, India.Arie, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, LeAnn Rimes, Placido Domingo, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Louis Colaiania and Train!
And may you always believe in Santa Claus!