It’s easy to take the interstate on long trips.
This year marks my 20th year in country radio. I’ve been selecting and scheduling music for about 85 percent of that time. It’s pretty easy to recognize the biggest stars in the format.
Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean , Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and the rest of the A-listers are like realizing you need to buy milk at the grocery store. They are all household names. They drive the format. However, they were also all complete unknowns at one time.
Carrie waited tables in Oklahoma.
Jason Aldean worked on mastering George Strait tunes in his bedroom after getting home from classes at Windsor Academy earning him a gig at a VFW hall in Macon, Georgia.
Kenny Chesney was an advertising major at East Tennessee State U.
Those little nuggets of info bounced around in my bald head as I watched Kane Brown, Big Smo and Ryan Hurd play tremendous shows at Anthem. Three very talented artists I had no idea who any of them were when Brad Streeter from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City announced their concerts on-air at KSUX.
January 1st, 2016 I made the New Year’s Resolution to listen to more new music from unknown (to me) artists in country music. To help expedite this goal, we launched Friday Night Spotlight on KSUX. We play 12 songs every week with a focus on songs BEYOND the Top 40. This is the first resolution in my 4 decades of walking planet Earth I could actually – and proudly state I’ve kept 90 days into 2016. I can’t grow hair on my scalp, but I can grow my artist knowledge and appreciation.
I’ve learned to love so many new songs.
Here’s a partial list of the songs we’ve featured so far:
Used to love you Sober – Kane Brown
Suitcase – Steve Moakler
American Love Song – LANco
Freaks like Me – Joe Nichols
Healing Highway – Bryan Collins
Stilettos – Allie Louise
My Whole World – Blair Lane
Oh Tonight – Josh Abbot Band with Kacey Musgraves
Can’t Get Away – Logan Mize
Leaving Nashville – Charles Kelley
Southern Boy – Jordan Rager
By the Way – Lindsay Ell
Ex to See – Sam Hunt
Loud – Courtney Cole
80’s Mercedes – Maren Morris
Yours – Russel Dickerson
Tonight – Ryan Kinder
Tie Me Down – Taylor Ray Holbrook
Reckless – Martina McBride
Obvious – McKenna Faith
XO – Kelsea Ballerini
Said No One Ever – Jana Kramer
Something to Remember You By – Jacob Davis
Bad for You – Waterloo Revival
Jesse James – Davisson Brothers
Mayday – Cam
Getaway Truck – Aaron Watson
While I Was Away – Pat Green
Good Ol’ Days – Smithfield
Whiskey Dreaming – Morgan Myles
Locks on Doors – JT Hodges
Outta My Head – Leaving Austin
Get Awesome – Julia Cole
I Know Somebody – LoCash
American Country Love Song – Jake Owen
If the Boot Fits – Granger Smith
Make You Mine – High Valley
Plan B – Brad Morgan
Fire Away – Chris Stapleton
Tuxedo – Clare Dunn
Born With it – Stevenson Everett
Livin’ the Dream – Drake White
Panorama – Ryan Hurd
Rock On – Tucker Beatheard
Blue Tacoma – Russell Dickerson
Saving up for Saturday Night – Sam Austin
Light of Day – Aubrie Sellers
I Don’t Usually do This – Josh Goodlett
Ice Cold Summer – Trailer Choir
Can’t Stop Love – Chandler Stephens featuring Kane Brown
Drunk over a Girl – Tyler Hammond
Feels This Right – Casey Donahew
How many country stations in America have played all those artists in the last 7 weeks? The whole process of new music discovery has been fascinating and very gratifying professionally and personally. I’m quite aware of the fact there are some superb melodies and lyrics that NEVER get heard by mainstream radio. We are fortunate our bosses and Hard Rock are very supportive on this venture.
We always welcome your feedback and would love to hear who you want to hear on KSUX.
Every Friday at 7p, we take a scenic backroad through the country music landscape. It’s been a wonderful journey, but it’s always best to road trip with some buddies. Tune in. Get the free KSUX app. Listen online at www.ksux.com. Adjust your frequency to 105.7.
You can learn a lot when you take the off ramp from the interstate.
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