So, “the days dwindle down to a precious few”. I trust composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Maxwell Anderson will accord me the courtesy of borrowing their dramatic “September Song” phrase for the occasion.
In spite of our best efforts, and yours, the curtain comes down on the Metromedia Radio internet stream at the end of this month.
Many of you enjoy our Channel via the Live 365 app. Reading the following excerpts from their communique to thousands of broadcasters, including Metromedia Radio, may give you a clearer understanding of what’s happening.
Dear Live365 Broadcasters,
You should have already received our notification and link to the press release regarding two issues that have affected Live365 in the last few weeks.
1. The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) ruling handed down in December 2015 did NOT renew or address the expiration of the small webcaster percentage of revenue plans. At this time there is no small webcaster options except for full CRB rates.
2. Live365’s long time investors have stopped funding us. As a result, we are no longer able to sustain our service.
We are sad that we are closing our doors at the end of this month. There are always possibilities that we can come back in one form or another, but at this point in time, January 31, 2016 is the last day that Live365’s streaming servers and website will be maintained and supported.
This is a surprise to us as it is to all of you. We are proud that Live365 was a pioneer in the streaming music business and have provided a platform to hundreds of thousands of broadcasters to have a voice over the years.
Unfortunately, we have to say good-bye.
We are honored to have served your needs over the last decade and a half.
It has been a wild ride both economically, from the pre-dotcom bust days all the way through the Great Recession, as well as technologically, with internet radio going from an unknown, quirky, muddy idea to a ubiquitous technology that hundreds of millions enjoy. Sadly, Live365’s portion of the ride is ending.
Again, streaming services and website access will not be supported beyond 1/31/2016.
All the best,
The Live365 Team
Joe and Marie Fay, the guiding forces behind Metromedia Radio, have shared that many of the Channel’s fine series will continue to be distributed to the over the air broadcast affiliates who carry many of the shows you follow. For all they have sacrificed for all of us, a loud, public “Thank You, Joe and Marie!” is called for. Consider sending along your message of appreciation for Metromedia Radio. Reach Joe and Marie at this link – http://www.metromediaradio.net/online-jazz-music-contact/
Time and again, THE SINATRA SONGBOOK has been offered the opportunity to participate in this over the air distribution path. While I still consider myself a part of the Metromedia family, for the time being, I have chosen not to participate.
This is a time to reflect on what has been accomplished and how best to grow the SONGBOOK. As I choose to produce the program, a single on-air hour is the result of about twenty hours of pre-production, recording and editing. While it is a labor of love, it is enormously time-consuming.
My love for radio is as strong as ever. Indeed, if there is there a more intimate and exciting broadcast medium, I haven’t found it. My love of Sinatra’s story and music remains as enthusiastic as ever. Fact is, I’m still learning from this man.
And of course my appreciation and love for each of you is beyond description. Be certain. I have learned from you as much as I have shared with you. For the ongoing encouragement, thank you.
The original WNEW Radio went away in 1992. Could anyone have imagined that it would come back as it has in the last few years? Here’s hoping history repeats itself… “ONE… MORE… TIME!”
Is there still life in THE SINATRA SONGBOOK? Absolutely! The most recent interview took place around Christmas time, 2015. It featured a dear friend of forty years, motion picture producer, Robert Fentress.
Rob’s connections to the Sinatra world during Frank’s lifetime were considerable. Accordingly, his experiences attending Reprise sessions in the sixties shed a fascinating light on how the legendary albums we love were created.
Rob is great radio. I want you to enjoy this hour and other interviews, still in the can.
As well, I have a long list of guest-free concept shows that get you thinking about how Sinatra went about what he went about. I have confidence that these programs will make their way to you. When I know more, you’ll know more.
So the broadcast is on hold for a while. But that doesn’t limit our ability to communicate. The SONGBOOK Facebook page will continue. If Metromedia keeps this blog option online, I will continue to post. And I am exploring forums by which to communicate with you.
I invite your thoughts.
AS TO OUR FINAL BROADCAST… FOR NOW
For our final outing, THE TELEVISION CONCERTS. In my estimation, Frank Sinatra’s greatest work on television can be found in two specials, Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music – Parts One and Two, 1965 and 1966, respectively. Part One was inspired by the singer’s fiftieth birthday celebration and career retrospective.
LIMITED EDITION PACKAGING GENERAL RELEASE PACKAGING
Sinatra in the mid sixties was, probably the biggest star on TV, in clubs, at the box office and on record. Vocally and as an all-around performer, he was at the top of his game.
A Man and his Music – Part One was distinctive television, owing to the simplicity of execution. Simple lighting, sets and no guest stars. Just the orchestras of Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins and Sinatra, all doing what came so naturally.
The man coordinating it all was director, Dwight Hemion.
Dwight’s great gift was creating a forum in which a star could do what he or she did best. In specials starring Baryshnikov, Streisand, Como, Crosby and so many more, Hemion’s cameras simply got out of their way.
A Man and his Music – Part One was Emmy and Peabody award-winning television. Part Two a year later was the natural follow-up.
Over the course of his stunning career, Dwight Hemion garnered a record 47 Emmy nominations. He won 18 times.
This week, our SONGBOOK is as much a tribute to TV genius, Dwight Hemion as it is recognition of Sinatra’s brilliant performance in these programs.
For our final outing, highlights from both specials will be featured, Saturday, January 30 at 6pm ET and Sunday, January 31 at 8am ET EXCLUSIVELY on Metromedia Radio (metromediaradio.net).
Listen Live link – http://tunein.com/radio/Metromedia-Radio-s203898/
A NEW SINATRA ALBUM (of sorts)
Recently, my colleague and Facebook friend, John Robert Brown, shared news of a brand new Sinatra release. What is it? By the description on the CD cover, it’s a presentation of select Columbia tracks expertly remastered for better sound quality, then combined with lush new stereo orchestrations.
Visit http://good-music-store.myshopify.com/products/frank-sinatra-the-new-recordings to hear a sample of the release and to view a ”Making of” video. I’m as much a purist as the next guy. But, completely intrigued, I have ordered the CD. I’ll share my thoughts as soon as I hear the album.
WE’RE STILL AROUND!
Please like us. And now, more than ever, please SHARE our Facebook link.
JUST BEFORE WE CLOSE
A few of you know that, in addition to my radio work, I produced and edited an abundant number of documentaries. I’d like to share something of that life with you. In response to Frank’s failing health in 1998, I was commissioned to craft a tribute to his work on film.
Here is the link to that overview.
to be continued…
THE SINATRA SONGBOOK premiered in 1974. Yours truly, this radio series and THE SINATRA SONGBOOK Facebook Page are not affiliated with the Facebook group that carries this name. Nor is this series related to the Myspace page that carries our name.