It can be a little perplexing sometimes how much attention is given to old Memphis music, from Stax to Sun records, while the showcases for fresh faces and musical sounds appear to often get a short shrift in terms of publicity.
Two years ago long time Memphis radio personality Ric Chetter saw that void and he adventurously set out to do something about it.
"Radio Memphis" was born.
It's another rip roarin' Saturday night on Beale Street where thousands of revelers are drawn to the sights and sounds of Tennessee's premiere entertainment district....and in what better spot than the electric atmosphere of the Hard Rock Cafe could the crew of "Radio Memphis" set up shop to celebrate their two year anniversary doing what they do best....showcasing live music over the infinite airwaves of the Internet.
"Two years we've come a long way," says Ric Chetter, "115 countries. We've got about 100-thousand people a day that are hitting this thing from all over the world and it's just a great experience and a great feeling."
Think of it as "throwback" radio propelled by 21st century technology. Arriving in July of 2011, in just over a year, the Ric Chetter conceived idea blasted off the launching pad on a path toward orbiting the world of musical genres in the Bluff City. Sure, they pay homage to the city's musical roots and legends, but their successful mission, has been and continues to be, finding the "diamonds in the rough" and connecting them to potential audiences.
Promotions Director Diana Fryer says "We represent unsigned and any talent for the Mid-South area. A lot of these they get in touch with us and just invite us. We're very welcoming of anyone whose gonna throw it out there."
It's that "of the moment feel" of performances and programs which gives the station it's edge. No, if you're waiting to hear Katy Perry's latest hit played five times in two hours, then, Virginia, this is not for you.
"We've done away with the corporate playlist," said Chetter. "We allow every type of music that comes from this area right in to our studios. And we mix it up."
"Basically, take our entire library and we shuffle it. And it plays 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jocks on the air have the opportunity to put in whatever they want to put in. Whenever they want to."
"Now we have bands that come straight over from Ardent or wherever they're recording...trade off masters from mixes and hey, here's our C-D can you play it right now," said Dave Vexar of Radio Memphis.
"You can request music. You can talk to us live on-line. It's just a different technology to do things that made radio fun back in the old days."
So, two years and counting for a concept that's becoming an important conduit for a new generation of Memphis musical talent to reach listeners around the world. What's the future hold for Radio Memphis? As the commercial asks, how much is infinity times infinity?
"Everything is going to online. Everything is going to the websites. Everything is going to apps," said Fryer. "We're right there. We've been ahead of the curve for 18 months. We've been waiting for everybody to show up."
The sky's the limit, man. It really is.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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