Monday, September 18, 2006

Most Played Artists at WFMU

From a staff email sent around today, the most played artists on WFMU as collected from the playlist search.
  1. The Beatles 439
  2. Bob Dylan 405
  3. Beach Boys 397
  4. Ramones 391
  5. Johnny Cash 390
  6. the fall 355
  7. Elvis Presley 343
  8. NRBQ 330
  9. Ennio Morricone 317
  10. R. Stevie Moore 315
  11. The Clash 311
  12. James Brown 306
  13. The Kinks 304
  14. Rolling Stones 278
  15. Wire 274
  16. Neil Young 269
  17. John Lee Hooker 266
  18. Fatcat & Fishface 260
  19. Nina Simone 249
Given the thousands of recordings aired every week at WFMU, the pleasant surprise is how low these numbers are. I would suggest that The Ramones are the most widely liked band at WFMU. Neil Young gets the majority of his plays from a core of staff fans, including me (20 since '02). I tend make Neil & Dylan central to sets in which they are featured, while I play antique songs by The Stones & Beach Boys more casually. But my Dylan choices are nearly always from his '65-'66 recordings. Even at my rate of only a dozen shows each year, certain artists add up. I've never been much for playing The Kinks (0) or The Beatles (1). My admiration for R. Stevie has rarely been reflected through his songs in my playlists, but rather in the artists he's pointed to as influences. Fatcat & Fishface plays are inflated due to use as a regular birthday song on Greasy Kid Stuff show, & NRBQ are there entirely because of Bob Brainen's enthusiasm for the band.

These plays are only since 2002, when many DJs were still not posting playlists. But it would be interesting to see a list that adds in all the online playlists from pre-archive years, which encompassed an era of major LP re-releases in single CDs & box sets. I suspect Velvet Underground, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, & pre-Dark Side Pink Floyd would crack top 20. The list doesn't show the popularity of songwriters or producers, where a DJ cites an artist but chose the cut for a Burt Bacharach tune or Lee "Scratch" Perry behind the board. & the search engine won't look for a single character li e X, another venerable group.

DJ William Berger once said that Led Zep are everyone's secret fav band at the station. I asked if he meant it in a symbolic sense, that is, we all loved some popular "classic rock" group (for me, say, The Doors). He said no, he meant Zep literally. With about 90 plays, Zep is popular by WFMU standards. But Black Sabbath beats them with 111.

[Ornette Coleman 125; John Cage 89; Skeeter Davis 60; John Coltrane 134; Willie Nelson 145; Love 120; Cowsills 37; Bruce Springsteen 22 (at least double that including Glen Jones' unlisted plays) ; Camper Van Beethoven 85: Ludwig van Beethoven 14.]

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In 2006, we should burst out laughing when some DJ plays Zep.
I dont know who a few of these are.

Ennio Morricone?
Fatcat & Fishface?

I was never a big fan of Bob Dylan, but that playlist generally parallels my music collection at home.

And Bob, you really have to play more Kinks. Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur are two wonderful albums that get played over and over in my house. They are the Davies brothers' finest work.
I was never a fan of The Kinks or Ray Davies. Some "great" artists just don't touch us. Decades pass, it doesn't change. Why? No why. When one needs to know why, that's an indication one has been touched. Somehow, in 1994, Elvis Costello finally got through to me. In 1999, Joseph Haydn. I remember how, & the year.
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