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TBT Vinyl: Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant

26 Nov


Arlo Guthrie
Alice’s Restaurant
Warner Bros

Thanksgiving tradition: give Alice’s Restaurant a listen once each year.

The title track itself was 18 1/2 minutes long. Note, the missing Nixon White House tapes were also 18 1/2 minutes long. Coincidence? Or was some listening to Alice in the Oval Office? Hmmm…

Happy Thanksgiving! Oh My God, They’re Turkeys!

23 Nov

Les WKRP 2


Theatre of the Mind

In 1978, television give a big Hat Tip to radio’s “theatre of the mind.” On WKRP in Cincinnati, you “saw” the whole horrific turkey drop, but you never actually saw a single turkey! 

Arthur Carlson WKRP

Art Carlson: “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”


The art and science of radio allows for intriguing storytelling due to the need to describe in detail the events and subjects.


I recently listened to a fascinating interview with President Ronald Reagan from the mid-1980s discussing his early stint broadcasting University of Iowa football games on WHO-AM Des Moines. When asked if he would have moved into TV sports broadcasting if he hadn’t gotten into film and eventually politics, he surprisingly said no. He felt that his strength was verbally telling the story and painting a picture of the action. Radio needed that, but Television didn’t.

Podcast Storytelling

In 2015, all marketers talk about storytelling, but most have bypassed content marketing in audio form. Podcasting may be the simplest and most cost effective way to reach a targeted (and potentially large) group of customers. You share industry news, discuss relevant topics to your customers, and tell your brand’s story. And you don’t need studios in Cincinnati, Des Moines, or anywhere else to get the word out.

Mass versus Niche

One of the issues with terrestrial radio that lead to today’s listenership challenges was the race to appeal to too broad of an audience. The strategy of least offensive programming where stations and groups played content that neither turned off nor inspired listeners created a universal blandness up and down the dial.  

With podcasts, no niche is too small and no subject is too inside. Podcasters aren’t aiming for mass audiences; they’re connecting with smaller, specific audiences.  

For more on content marketing and social media, please join me on the Social Geek Radio podcast, produced by Manalto Social Media Management and Deb Evans Consulting. The show airs Wednesday evenings, and is free via download here or on iTunes




TBT Vinyl: David Bowie and Bing Crosby, Peace on Earth

19 Nov

bowie bing 2

David Bowie and Bing Crosby
Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy
1977, released 1982
RCA Records


Surreal television. Weird team-up in entertainment. Perfect musical moment.


In 1977 glam rocker David Bowie appeared as a guest on Bing’s long-running annual Christmas TV special, and they sang a duet after an awkward scripted setup. The song was a medley of “Peace On Earth” with the standard “Little Drummer Boy”.

Bing died a month after this was recorded, and a month prior to the airing of the TV special.  The song was finally released as a single in 1982. Also that year, MTV added the clip to its rotation as a stand-alone video.

After decades of forgettable holiday TV specials and variety shows with uninspired duets with artists from different genres, this performance stands out. At first you may think it’s due to the shock factor of the pairing: it’s the tiny point on the Venn Diagram where The Golden Age of Hollywood overlaps with Modern Rock. But shock value alone doesn’t hold it up this long. Two great voices do. 












Curated Content Is Like a Holiday Rerun

18 Nov


Just a few months ago, I was much more of an advocate for aggregating and curating content on social media channels. I saw the need for sharing content created by others as an important part of your digital marketing strategy.

However, it now may be time for many brands to tell their story more, and share others’ stories less.

Curated content is a rerun

When I speak with marketers about social channels and how content works with audiences, I frequently draw comparisons and analogies to television programming. Curated content is a rerun. As the holidays approach, TV networks will start relying more on reruns. What are they saying? That they’ve given up on having much of an audience at this time.

By running too much non-original content on your social channels, you’re saying the same thing.

Reruns aren’t all bad

Look at the huge ratings for constant reruns of The Big Bang Theory on TBS, and Seinfeld running in syndication for nearly 20 years. And every year networks trot out Rudolph, Frosty, Heat Miser, and the rest of the 40-year-old animated shows.

But it’s a rerun. It’s not original. When you share a lot of aggregated stories, your audience has probably seen it or something similar already. Worst of all, you may get a bit of credit for sharing the nugget, but your brand is not the star. You’re telling someone else’s story.

As mentioned earlier, I used to be much more of a proponent of posting content created by others, especially popular content. My aim was to promote the idea of just getting something on those empty pages – and with any luck, something popular. But now no one is paying attention to your Facebook page anyway; they’re focused on their Facebook feed. And hopefully you get a little portion of that feed where you’ll have the opportunity to get their attention.

Be the TV Programmer

So think of your page as your own TV network, and use curated content only to fill those holes when you don’t have a new blog post or original video or podcast to share. And when you do share others’ stuff, it may make sense to get share the work of business partners, channel partners, friends in the industry, and other marketers you know. Perhaps they will reciprocate on days when their programming is running dry too!


TBT: Steve Martin, A Wild and Crazy Guy

5 Nov


Steve Martin
A Wild and Crazy Guy
Warner Bros

I always heard about the great stand up comedy records from the 60’s by George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and others. For me, stand up comedy started in the late 70’s on SNL and its name is Steve Martin. Or King Tut.


Best Fishes – that still cracks me up. And of course there is Steve’s cat…



Got a condo made of stone-a…

TBT Vinyl: The Kinks, Shape of Things to Come

29 Oct

Kinks Shape IMG_1230

The Kinks
Shape of Things to Come (10″ Import)

This rare 10″ was issued in the UK in 1983 during The Kinks comeback and featured the band’s biggest hits from 1964-1970. Love this record! 



TBT Vinyl: Foo Fighters, Exhausted

22 Oct

Foo Fighters Exhuasted IMG_1324

Foo Fighters
Exhausted (12″ Single)
Capitol Records

The “No. 1” on the cover says it all – “Exhausted” was the very first release by Foo Fighters. This was a radio promotion-only 12 inch single released a few weeks before the first Foo Fighters album. 

It’s really a Dave Growl solo record, as he played every instrument and hadn’t yet actually hired band members! 



Luke Is Vader!

20 Oct


You heard it here first.  After careful analysis of the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I am convinced that Luke Skywalker becomes Vader, or a Vader – like figure on the The Dark Side of the Force. Submitted for your approval:

  • In this new trailer, Han, Leia, and Chewie appear, but Luke isn’t there. Or is he? Why would you not show Mark Hamill?
  • The shadowy figure in the black mask says to the Darth Vader skull / mask, “I will finish what you started.” Who better to finish Vader’s work than his son?
  • Legend has it that George Lucas wanted Luke turn to the Dark Side at the end of Return of the Jedi, but that idea was nixed for a more kid-fiendly ending.
  • Star Wars is all about parallel storylines. In the trailer, we see the former Storm Trooper becoming a Rebel, and perhaps a Jedi. To balance this, how fantastic would it be to see the hero of this epic go bad?!?


Special thanks to Star Wars Fanboys Anthony Owen, Chris Adams, Ian Wheal, and Wynn Corliss for validating my theory!

Watch the new trailer here:

TBT Vinyl: Kiss Rock and Roll Over

15 Oct


Rock and Roll Over

While not a huge blockbuster like Kiss’ previous LP Destroyer or the next release, Love Gun, this record had several great rockers and top 20 hit in “Hard Luck Woman”. The LP included a cool mini-album cover made of stickers – check out the photo above!

TBT Vinyl: Led Zeppelin III

7 Oct image3-3

Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin
Atlantic Records


Zepp fans are mostly divided between the masses who think their fourth album is their best and the purists who favor the second album. I however prefer Led Zeppelin III. It shows the band’s full range from metal to blues to acoustic folk rock. No other band of any era can cover this spectrum! 

The packaging on this LP is unique with a volvelle, or cardboard disc that rotates and shows different images on the cover. This kind of stuff is lost on CDs and digital downloads.


Also missing in the digital world is the warm, pure sound from analog LPs. Listen to Page’s guitar and Bonham’s cymbals on “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” and you’ll hear sounds that you cannot find on the digital version.




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